Thursday, July 2, 2009

"He was amazed at their lack of faith."

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Issue Date: July 5, 2009

BURNING QUESTION: What are the four marks of the True Church?
FEATURED BLOG: Unplug, Snoop and Grow a Spine. Please.
VOCATION NEWS: From Altar Server to Bishop
PASTORAL HISPANA: Jesus enfrentó rechazo... nosotros tambien

Dear Friends, Can you imagine any kind of circumstance where Jesus Christ, would not be able to perform a miracle? We are talking about Jesus, God Almighty through Him all things were made – not able to perform a miracle, but why? This Sunday's Readings relates exactly what happened when Jesus returned to his hometown. And our Discussion Questions will help guide your bible study sessions with your family, friends and church group.

If Jesus was God and therefore omnipotent, Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio wonders, wouldn’t it be admitting that he is not God to say that he was unable to work miracles in a given place? Fr. Demetrius R. Dumm explains that Jesus could not work more miracles there because the hardness of people's hearts would not would not permit it.

Fr. John Foley puts it in perspective: Jesus’ miracles were an outcropping of the living, loving bonding we are invited to have with him. Faith is our acceptance of that bonding and without it God’s loving power cannot reach us. Father Cusick reminds us all about the impossibility of salvation without the virtue of faith. And Fr. Alex McAllister points to Mary as the perfect example of faith. She was his first and most devoted follower.

This story - Fr. Thomas Rosica tells us - shows how when we are faced with someone like Jesus, someone with a generous heart, a wide vision and a great spirit, our reactions are very often filled with jealousy, selfishness and meanness of spirit. And like St. Paul, Fr. Phil Bloom explains, all of us have weaknesses and needs. It's a point reinforced by Fr. Joseph Pelligrino who points out also that we all have really embarrassing personal weaknesses and His Power Is made perfect in our weaknesses.

INDEPENDENCE DAY. This weekend as we celebrate another Fourth of July, our nation's Independence Day, let's not forget that Catholics have been involved in the creation of American history from the very beginning. Also, Peggy Noonan offers us a reminder of what it means to be an American, and it involves a story about Brooklyn and a priest. And Mark Shea tells us that the right way to understand Patriotism is to recognize that, like all natural and healthy human things, it is sacramental. God reveals Himself in a human way.

ST PAUL, OUR PRIESTS & MORE. Benedict XVI this week linked the Year of St. Paul with the Year for Priests by offering the Apostle of the Gentiles as a role model for priests. He also pointed to a new scientific analysis that seems to confirm that the tomb of St. Paul may indeed contain the remains of the Apostle of the Gentiles. And in a visit to San Giovanni Rotondo, where Padre Pio is buried, the Pope served to disclose the meaning of pain, a Vatican spokesman affirmed. Finally, he underlined Charity as the source, standard and strategy of all organizations that serve the Church.

CELEBRITIES, DEATH AND THORNS. Amazingly, in a span of just a few days, three entertainers, so well known and revered, have left behind legacies not soon to be forgotten. Farrah Fawcett, a lifelong Catholic, died at the age of 62 in Los Angeles. Ed McMahon, another lifelong Catholic, died at the age of 86. And Michael Jackson also passed away. Bo Sanchez this week delivers a very relevant challenge to all of us: Imagine that you were a dying man. How would you live the rest of your life? And in another story, a bitter woman enters a flower shop to buy a bouquet of roses. And she was surprised when the florist handed her what appeared to be long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped; there were no flowers.

HAPPY ELDERLY & UNPLUGGING CONNECTED TEENS. A cluster of new studies clearly indicates that old age doesn't sound as bad, on average, as younger folks expect. A mere 1 percent of those 85 and older said their lives have turned out worse than they expected. And concerns are rising for teens who live a "very connected life." Studies show that the "connectivity" is shortening their attention spans, narrowing their worldview, damaging their ability to communicate, and leading some down a very dangerous path. Parents therefore are asked to heed these words of advise: "Unplug, Snoop and Grow a Spine. Please"

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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