09 August 2009


9 AUGUST 2009. Today the Church celebrates the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings for mass today, especially the Gospel reading, remind us of the challenges that our faith poses.

In the Gospel, we hear that those around Christ were skeptical of his proclamation of being from God, for they knew Mary and Joseph. Even though Jesus appeared to be only of human origin to them, he was challenging them to believe in more than their mere experience told them was the case. We too are challenged to accept Him in the bread of the Eucharist and to rectify our lives (echoed in the call of the second reading) in accord with the gift of Himself that we receive sacramentally. Christ was challenging his listeners, and us, to fully believe (with our lives) in Him as the Christ, the Messiah sent from the Father.

So too was Elijah challenged by the angel to take nourishment to endure the journey. We hear that after eating and drinking, Elijah journeyed for forty days and nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.

In the second reading, we are challenged to not "grieve the Holy Spirit" by continuing to live as those who do not know Christ; instead, we are called to be "imitators of God" and to "walk in Christ." A challenge indeed.

We pray that the challenges given to us by Our Lord are not beyond our abilities. We trust and hope in the Lord that by His grace, which is always sufficient, and with all humility to lift up our sufferings and hardships to Him, we may meet these challenges in a manner that is truly an offering to Our Lord, who gives us everything. Amen.

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