Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?"

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Issue Date: June 21, 2009

FEATURED BLOG: Is missing Sunday Mass a mortal sin?
PASTORAL HISPANA: Jesús es el unico que puede calmar nuestras tormentas

Dear Friends,

he fear of a storm at sea was too much for Jesus' disciples in the Sunday’s Gospel reading. Many of them were fishermen. But they were still terrorized when they saw the storm coming. Our Discussion Questions this week will help you at your bible study sessions with your family, friends and church group. This Sunday is also Fathers Day.

CALMING THE STORM. The Readings show us a Lord who stills the wind and the waves. And not only on the Lake of Galilee, explains Fr. Alex McAllister, but Jesus also calms the wind and waves in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino adds that the fear that the disciples had is the exact fear that we all have when we are confronted with a crisis. Fr. Thomas Rosica explains that besides indicating Christ's divine power over nature, the calming of the story suggests His power over evil. While Fr. Phil Bloom gives us his bottom line: God allows storms for a purpose - the salvation of souls; Jesus calms storms.

THE STRUGGLE TO TRUST. Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS once concluded a funeral mass with the words “See you in heaven,” when someone added almost immediately, “but not too soon!” Everyone wants to get to heaven but nobody wants to die. Faith is given by God, says Father Cusick, precisely to sustain our weakness by divine power through the difficulties life will bring. And perhaps the most important thing we ever need to learn, according to Fr. Ron Rolheiser is this: It is safe to trust and love!

HAVING FAITH. Why are Jesus and God so bent on finding faith and trust in us? Because, explains Fr. John Foley, S. J, faith and trust are like openings that allow God’s love to enter us. Fr. Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B. observes how we may be tempted to respond that we do indeed have faith for we can say “Amen” to all the statements of the Creed. He says that is an important kind of faith but it is not as real and personal as the faith that God wants us to have.

Fr. James Gilhooley can only imagine what the apostle Mark was telling the early Christian church members when they were going through a rough patch, "We've been down this road before. If you think you got it bad, you should have been in the boat that night." And this is the same leasson gleamed in this inspirational story we call "Can You Sleep While the Wind Blows?" And for those who struggle with their marriages, Lenora Grimaud shares her personal perspective "On the Brink of Divorce."

HAPPY FATHERS DAY. Many world religions throughout the ages have professed belief in one God. So, what sets Christianity apart from the rest of the world religions? Jesus taught us this prayer - Our Father, Who Art in Heaven - but what does it mean when we call God "Our Father?"

Fathers play a unique role in helping children develop a living faith. So, to celebrate all fathers this Sunday, we give you "An Ode to Fathers." Let's give them their due on Fathers Day starting with these ideas on "How to Really Celebrate Fathers Day." And we discuss the unique role fathers play in helping children develop a living faith. Plus this one reminder ytto all dads out there: "Any man can be a Father. But it takes a special person to be called Dad."

SACRED HEART. Today, June 19, 2009, Friday, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Just what is this celebration all about? We explain it here. It is a practice that is so entrenched in Catholic devotional life, that many have developed misconceptions about it. Like the the time Paul Dion found out that there are a lot of people out there who are convinced that they are required to attend Mass on the First Friday of the month. And, as we have announced in the previous weeks, the Vatican has chosen this date to launch the "Year of the Priest" to ready the Church for a renewal.

CATHOLIC NEWS. "Religion, Ethics and the Market" was the topic Grand Knight Carl Anderson tackled when he talked Moral Responsibility as the key to economic recovery. So can things get better? Pope Benedict XVI assures us it will when he noted last week how the corpus Christi Feast speaks of Divine Love. He also exhorted all to remember that Revelation should penetrate every culture and the truths of salvation should be expressed by every language of the world. Finally, word has come to us that the PBS national board has voted to ban all new religious programming in its network and affiliate stations, including "Mass for Shut-in." This is a major setback for religious media in America.

It's always encouraging to see stories of people like rocker Lenny Kravitz who have re-discovered Jesus Christ and have taken the first steps to improving his life based upon our Lord's teachings. Check out the interview. And finally, if you're struggling like many in this tough jobs market, we found a pleasant surprise: Jobs that pay in the six figures. Check them out.

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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