14th Sunday in Ordinary Times (July 7, 2013)

Notre Dame students praying

This week’s Readings

When I first saw this Sunday’s readings, I had to check the calendar to make sure I was looking at the right ones. All three could have been taken from any Advent Mass. Come to think of it, a little bit of Advent weather wouldn’t be bad … it’s been hot!!!

On further reflection, it’s not all bad to be reminded of Advent’s theme (the Lord’s coming) in the middle of Ordinary Time. After all, Jesus does walk with us constantly in our daily journey, and oftentimes we get so stuck into the ordinary routine, or so battered with the pressures of life, that we forget to seek His presence. Our attention is focused entirely on ourselves.

As a corrective, we have the Gospel for Sunday. The Lord is coming, but you and I have to prepare the way. The Lord is present, but you and I have to be that presence. If we focus on those things, then the routines and pressures of our lives somehow seem to take a different perspective. They don’t go away … but somehow, it’s more bearable. As an example, I can still remember the times when I was down on myself or discouraged. Instead of navel-gazing and doing that “poor me” thing, I’d visit parishioners who were hospitalized. Almost every time, it healed me.

Theresa of Avila was fond of saying that we are the eyes, ears, hands, feet and heart of Jesus. Through us, Jesus lives and moves in our world. That’s the whole point of why Jesus pointed out the paucity of laborers. He wasn’t just speaking of priests and religious men and women. When Jesus spoke there were no priests, brothers and sisters. But there were young men and women, middle-aged and older folks, married and single people, and he was simply asking them – and us – to be his presence.

Through us, God’s power penetrates the lives of people. In turns that same power penetrates deeply into ourselves. It’s eerie how it works!!! The result is what happens in the First Reading: there is great rejoicing!

Be God’s smile for someone today!

herb yost reflections

Fr. Herb, C.S.C.

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