13th Sunday of the Year A
Take some time to pray over the people in our lives who strengthen and who weaken our relationship with Jesus and the Church.
Jesus lived in a culture that had strong family ties.
In that culture aunts and uncles, cousins and in-laws
all lived in the same household.
They were your lifeline and to lose them
would be like a walking suicide
where a person became a beggar.
It was a tough decision to leave your family for Jesus.
How different our American culture compared to
people who lived in our Lord’s time.
After high school kids go off to college
and maybe they’ll return home but likely
they will get a job out of state.
While we do not have these strong family ties,
we still have distractions in our culture
that can keep us from following Jesus with all our hearts.
Sometimes we must step back,
and prayerfully consider the people
we relate to every day.
Do the people in our lives
strengthen or weaken our love and commitment to Jesus?
Just lift each one up in the presence of Jesus.
And what kind of influence
are these people having in our lives?
Thank Jesus for those individuals
who strengthen our faith and love in him.
If anyone is a challenge
to our relationship with Jesus,
don’t just write them off.
Pray for them and let us pray for ourselves.
Should the occasion arise,
we can share with them something
God has done for us or someone we love.
Maybe share something St. Anthony found for us
when we prayed to him.
The other day, a man was working on our air conditioner
and guess what? He lost his wallet.
He called the restaurant where they went to lunch – no wallet.
He called his buddy whose truck they drove to the restaurant – no wallet.
So, I told him, let’s say the prayer to St. Anthony.
And no sooner did we say the prayer with Fr. Gordon, “St. Anthony, something is lost that can’t be found, help us look all around.”
His buddy called and said he found it in the truck.
It was so natural to share my faith with this man I didn’t know,
whether he had any faith or not.
I like the approach of St. Francis of Assisi:
He would say, “Preach always, and when necessary, use words.”
Cecil Northcott in his book, “A Modern Epiphany,”
wrote about a group of young people
from many nations in a camp
who were discussing ways of telling people about our Lord Jesus.
They turned to the girl from Africa. ‘Maria,’ they asked, ‘what do you do in your country?’ ‘Oh,’ said Maria, we don’t have missions or give pamphlets away. We just send one or two Christian families to live and work in a village, and when people see what Christians are like, then they want to be Christians too.’”
My friends, our greatest witness is the example of our life.