In the Gospel, Jesus invites us to take up our cross and follow him. “At Baptism our lives were joined forever to the cross of Christ, as Paul tells us in today’s Second reading. Baptized into His death, we’re to renounce sin and live for God in Christ Jesus.” (Dr. Scott Hahn).
As His disciples, we learn from Him and we are to follow Him. As we follow Jesus each of us takes up our own personal cross. We may not all be called upon to suffer martyrdom for Christ and His Church, but we are called to self -sacrificial love (service to our neighbor), self- denial (in the spiritual life this means re- straining ourselves from giving into temptations and vices),and the offering of our lives in service of God’s plan.
On that last point I encourage our young people to ask the Lord what his calling is for you. Are you called to the married life, priesthood, religious life? When you say yes to God’s plan, you will find a joy and purpose that nothing else could ever give you.
“Jesus must be elevated to first place in our lives—above even our closest bonds of kinship and love. By Baptism, we’ve been made part of a new family—the kingdom of God, the Church. We are to proclaim that kingdom with our lives, bringing our fathers and mothers, and all men and women to live as “little ones” under the fatherhood of God and the kingship of the Holy One.
We do this by opening our hearts and homes to the service of the Lord, following the Shunnamite woman’s example in today’s First Reading. As Jesus tells us, we’re to re- ceive others—not only prophets, but also little children, the poor and the imprisoned—as we receive Christ himself.
As we sing in today’s Psalm, we are to testify to His favors and kindness in our lives. We’re to hold fast to the promise—that if we have died with Christ, we shall also live, that if we lose our lives for His sake, we shall find our reward, and walk forever in His counte- nance.” (Dr. Scott Hahn).
God bless you all,
Father Robert Letona
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!
As Americans, may we always remember that our freedom, our liberty, and our rights must never be taken for granted.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence)
A word from John Adams, a founding father of the United States:
“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.”