As this bulletin serves for four weeks, here are my brief reflections for each Sunday.
14th Sunday – July 4
Those who follow Christ do not have to make themselves perfect. Even when we are frail, the Lord can work good in us and through us. Admitting our weaknesses gives permission to him to support us where our need is greatest. And Christ brings us to perfection.
The lack of faith shown by Jesus’ home-town neighbours prevented his power from acting for them. Our faith must be active if it is to make a difference. It means putting Christ at the centre, having confidence in him, inviting him to act in our lives, being patient enough to accept his way of answering our call.
Following in Faith
It is challenging to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, because keeping our faith active, or alive, means there always is a need to grow, to reach higher, to understand more fully, to love more completely. Sometimes we can look back at specific events in our lives as key moments in our growth in faith. Very often, however, our growth is like that of a coral reef – almost invisible growth and change occurring day after day for years that results in a thing of great size and beauty.
Have you ever had a problem or weakness beyond your control that (eventually) led you to greater strength or showed you clearly how much others loved you? How important was your attitude when facing it?
15th Sunday – July 11
Following Christ, we share not only in the love and power of God, but also an adventure of great promise.
The challenge of going forth like the Apostles into unknown situations and among strangers on an urgent mission that might or might not receive support could be exciting for anyone. Going light-weight, that is, trusting in God alone, would add a keen edge to the experience.
Our journey through life is not necessarily ‘safe’ or predictable. It does, however, have a clear purpose, recognizable character and attitude of confidence. Wherever we go, we are to radiate the love and peace of Christ. Flamboyant people can do it dramatically; others more quietly. By the way we naturally respond to people, situations and problems, we are to be bearers of the Good News. This can indeed be a demanding and risky adventure!
16th Sunday – July 18
Jesus’ compassion, healing, forgiveness and powerful teaching were all a direct result of prayer.
Although Jesus often interrupted his plans out of compassion for the needs of the people who came to see him, he always took time to show his followers that activity should be directed by prayer. That is, his constant dialogue with the Father was a natural part of his being the Word of God. Thus he was indeed the shepherd who could comfort his people and lead them to life.
17th Sunday – July 25
When Jesus fed the people, he did not do all the work himself. In fact, he made a point of including his disciples in the action.
It would have been more convenient for them if they could have sat back and watched, but their participation was an element of Jesus’ message and part of their training as his followers. Jesus had deliberately surrounded himself with a community of people who could work and pray together, people who could become like him by being personally involved in living and sharing the Gospel.