Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Teach us how to pray, the disciples asked Jesus. This is the longing of our souls. We want to pray. We want to be with God. Sometimes we don’t know how to do this. Last weekend we reflected on the life of Martha and Mary. Today speak about prayer[1], why? Well because prayer is what we are about, not just here in Church but as people committed to Jesus Christ.

As Catholics we need to nurture our dialogue with him, our prayer Life. We come to Mass to pray the Lord’s Supper as a community, as a family, and to reverence the Lord within us in communion. We call out to the Lord throughout our day whether it is simply grace before meals, or speaking to the Lord the three basic points of our Christian life: God loves me unconditionally, God forgives me and God is with me. We have to remember that prayer expresses who we are: the People of God. And prayer helps A LOT to understand the meaning of life.

Also, we forgot very often that we need each other for our prayer life to grow. There are people who say that they don’t attend Church, but they pray on their own. I think it is great that they are praying, but I also know that they are depriving themselves of the greatest prayer: the celebration of the Holy Mass. It is great that they are praying alone, but by refusing to join the community they are depriving themselves of the Eucharist.

Maybe we all need to reflect a bit about the mystery of the Eucharist. We go to communion so often that it is easy for us to forget what we are doing and whom we are receiving.

My brother, my sister, when we receive communion, Jesus Christ comes inside of us. He is closer to us than our skin. Yes: He is closer to us than our skin. When we receive communion, we worship Him within us with our whole being.

In a few moments and every time we receive communion we take Jesus within our selves. He is there at the altar, looking at each person here and saying this is my body, this is my blood, take and eat, take and drink. When we receive communion Jesus is in some way present on the cross saying, “My body is given up for you. My blood is yours.  Even if you were the only person to ever live, I would still accept the cross for you.  I want to be inside you.  I want you to have my body and blood.”

Jesus once told the story about a jewel merchant who came upon a valuable pearl. When he found it, he sold everything he had so he could possess it[2]. Well, we have indeed the Pearl of Great Price offered to us every single Sunday, every single day.

Teach us to pray, Lord, the apostles asked probably full of anxiety and fear, and He taught them the Lord’s Prayer, and He gave us the Eucharist.  As your Pastor and your brother in Christ, I invite you today I challenge you today to enter into deep adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every time you receive communion. We have to re-discover the meaning of the Holy Mass; we have to be parish absolutety centered in the Eucharist. Help me! If we open our hearts to the grace of God and we ask for the intercession of our blessed Mother, we will accomplish this great challenge

[1] Sunday 25th July, 2010, 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Readings: Genesis 18:20-32. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me—Ps 137(138):1-3, 6-8. Colossians 2:12-14. Luke 11:1-13 [St James].
[2] Mt 13: 45-46. a

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris