Thursday, July 23, 2009

"The people saw the sign he had done"

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (17B)
Issue Date: July 26, 2009

BURNING QUESTION: Why do we call the Eucharist "COMMUNION?"
FEATURED BLOG: Have You Received The Rewards Of Your Giving?
VOCATION NEWS: Priest's Last Words: "I Forgive You"
PASTORAL HISPANA: Todos tienen hambre y sed de Dios en el mundo de hoy

Dear Friends,

This Sunday, the Readings narrate the story of the miracle of the multiplication of the fishes and loaves. It is the only miracle reported in all four Gospels and the story centers around a boy who triggered the miracle by offering to give up his own food to share with the apostles. Our Discussion Questions will guide you in your bible study sessions with you family, friends, and church group.

Fr. John Foley, SJ starts our Homiletics session by reflecting on the Second Reading's Letter to the Ephesians. If today has been “one of those days” for you, meaning stressful and tiring, maybe you could let it bring you home.

THE MYSTERY OF THE EUCHARIST. The miracle of the loaves and fishes tells us about the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. Christians argue a lot about the Eucharist. And Fr. Ron Rolheiser asks us to reflect on what it really means to us. Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB asks us to reflect on whether our participation in the weekly and daily celebrations of the Lord's meal transform us into people of gratitude, loving kindness, justice and charity?

The Feeding of the 5,000 is not a miracle of healing but a miracle of nurturing. Fr. Alex McAllister says the food that Christ gives us, the bread of the Eucharist, nurtures and sustains us on our journey through life. The Eucharist is the only perfect "sign" on earth of God By Father Cusick explains that the Eucharist is the only perfect "sign" on earth of God for he is really and truly present and we do indeed receive him whole and entire in the sacred host.

LIVING THE MIRACLE. Fr. Orly Sapuay preaches that miracles seem to happen in situations of scarcity rather than plenty. Where there is abundance there is no need of miracles. Fr. Campion P. Gavaler says the miracle would not have happened without the boy who was willing to share what was really his to eat. He adds that today the boy is each of us who has something to offer the Lord. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino reminds us likewise that we are the disciples whom Jesus tells to feed the people.

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains that our financial resources, talents, and holiness are clearly inadequate to meet the needs of a hungry and confused world. We don’t have enough to provide for all their needs. But this gospel commands us to offer these resources anyway, trusting that He will multiply them. And finally, Fr. Phil Bloom preaches that even today, people can be a problem. They can arrive at the most inconvenient moment. And sometimes we don't know what to do with them. But like like Jesus, we can say, "Think of all the souls!" Speaking of Giving, a new study reports that the US leads the world in private, charitable giving with its donations sustaining lifelines in many developing countries. And Bo Sanchez tells us the greatest rewards of Giving: Generosity brings us closer to God.

PRIEST STORIES. Vocation houses are a precious commodity in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church which faces a critical shortage of priests. In the San Bernardino Diocese of Southern California where there is one priest for every 13,000 Catholics,the Serra House is a budding solution. And from Havana, Cuba, we bring you the story of Fr. Mariano Arroyo, the 74-year-old Spanish priest who was knifed and burned to death July 13 at his parish. Friends say the priests last words to his attackers were "I forgive you," expressing his forgiveness for their violent acts against him.

THE BIBLE IS FOR CATHOLICS. The US Bishops reminds its faithful that the Bible is for Catholics. The USCCB released recently its "10 points for fruitful Scripture reading." And who do we turn to as the final authority in clearing up any confusion we may have with the Bible? We refer to the Magisterium, the sacred teaching office of the bishops and pope of the Roman Catholic Church. We bring you a very important 4-part series on this very important Church institution. Part 1: What is it and why do we need it? Part 2: A Complex and Diverse Reality. Part 3: Infallibility? Part 4: Attitude Towards Teaching of the Magisterium. We urge you to read this series. It will help you gain a good understanding of what you read in the Bible.

CONFIRMATION, LOTTO & HANDS. Confirmation is probably the most misunderstood Sacrament out of the seven. Let’s take a quick look at the misconceptions, shall we? Paul Dion, STL relates an amusing personal story about his prayerful encounter with California's $80M lotto jackpot. And we bring you a reflective piece about "Hands" and the amazing things many gifted people can do with them.

SUMMER BREAK AND HOUSE MD. Here are some tips for parents to survive the summer school holidays. A social worker believes parents need to take a deep breath and think positive to avoid becoming stressed during the school holidays. And we all know that the TV drama "House MD" is one of the most watched in the world - 82 million people in 66 countries in 2008. But did you know that while the main character can be evil at times, the Vatican newspaper thinks the show House MD is pro-Life! Check it out here.

Another eventful week 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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