Thursday, July 16, 2009

"For they were like sheep without a shepherd."

"For they were like sheep without a shepherd."
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (16B)
Issue Date: July 19, 2009

BURNING QUESTION: What is "The World?"
FEATURED BLOG: "We have lost the sense of sin"
VOCATION NEWS: Married and Ordained: The ministry of deacons
PASTORAL HISPANA: Jesús nos invita a tener una vida equilibrada

Dear Friends, In this Sunday's Gospel, the apostles just came from a series of successful preaching trips and, rightly so, felt good and happy albeit tired. Jesus tried to take them away for some much-deserved rest but the crowds wouldn't leave them alone. Our Discussion Questions this week helps you talk about how Jesus changed this event from a challenge into a teaching shepherding moment.

Maybe the reason the people flocked around was more because they wanted to see miracles than to hear the truth of the Gospel. But, Fr. Alex McAllister tells us, Jesus knew well that sensation won’t hold their interest for long; but real solid teaching will. He could have asked them to leave. But, Fr. Thomas Rosica explain, Jesus' compassion is a deep anguish, a gut-wrenching type of anxiety and sorrow over the condition of people. He had to be the compassionate Shepherd of God.

True shepherds, according to Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio, never allow either fear or weariness to get in the way of feeding people with the truth. Fr. John Foley preaches that the question for you and me is not whether we should go without sleep and food and be workaholics for the sake of others. It is whether we can love them as we love ourselves. Can we be God’s good shepherds?

Fr. Orly Sapuay describes prayer as the discipline of listening to God's voice of Love. Fr. Phil Bloom tells us that after resting, a follower of Jesus does not go looking for distractions. Rather we return to Jesus, to reflect on what happened and to ask, What next? Deep questions need to be asked and answers need to be sought every day. Fr. Joseph Pelligrino explains that we cannot do that without going into the quiet. We need the quiet just to be with the Lord. When we take time to hear God in that quiet place in our hearts, Fr. Demetrius R. Dumm tells us that we are no longer like "sheep without a shepherd," no longer confused about our ability to live in peace and joy.

Finally, Fr. Ron Rolheiser talks about "Losing a Great One - Fr. Joseph Champlin, 1930-2008." This loving priest was a good shepherd. He's gone now and the temptation is to say that we will never see his like again. But we will. Not because he wasn’t exceptional, but because God raises up great people and saints in every generation.

READING GOD'S WORD. Archbishop Charles Chaput offers us all a lesson in Renewal and he says it can happen through understanding God's word in the Bible. But who has never experienced frustration trying to read the Bible? So what is the layman to do? We offer five basic principles which allow us lay people to read the Bible as Roman Catholics and maximize the profit we can gain from the sacred page.

And whenever we say “the Church teaches” something, we are speaking about the teaching of the Magisterium. It is where we look to know the authentically Catholic position on a subject. The term “Magisterium” refers to the teaching role of the Pope and bishops as successors of the apostles to judge authoritatively what is in accord with the gospel and what is not. Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains that the teaching of the Magisterium sets the standard.

LIFE & THE POPE'S ENCYCLICAL. Another survey has confirmed that Americans are indeed continuing to move toward a more pro-life perspective on abortion. 86 percent of those surveyed said they would significantly restrict abortion. This message of Life was the Pope's gift to the US president during the latter's visit to the Vatican. President Obama received two two gifts: the new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, and the recent document on bioethics, Dignitas Personae. Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life thinks the timing was perfect, because these two new documents have much to say to the current administration, and to the wider culture, both within and outside the Church. "Caritas in Veritate," a challenge to everyone, is a thorough rebuke. It is a call to engage the world — not only through evangelization, but through economic, social, and political thought and action; through commitment to the cause of integral human development and social progress. Even a Wall Street has a positive opinion. Brian Griffiths, vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs International, claims the new encyclical offers the best analysis of the economic crisis.

STORIES OF HOPE. Bo Sanchez gives us an inspirational two-fer this week. You will be moved by both his stories this week: "Can I Hug You?" and "Simplicity." Read it and share it with your friends. They will love you for it.

THE SUMMER SIZZLES. The summer weather has been miserable in Southern California during this past week. Have you tried getting into a parked car that has been baking in 100 plus-degree sun? It is no easy picnic. Check out these six steps to cool down a scorching car as quickly as possible.

Summer also means you have young people at home, doing nothing. Get your kids off the sofa this summer. Here are some tips to help your children use the season to work, volunteer and learn. Finally, if you're a college student or know one who is, here's important information about Social Media. While the increased online exposure can be useful if handled properly, social media can also lead to unwanted consequences if a student does not fully understand their potential online audience. Read this: Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for College Students.

Another eventful day in our Catholic World. Have a safe and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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