Voices of Faith

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:

One of the hallmarks of Jesus’ ministry was his openness of heart to those who came to him in need. In a very human way, Jesus went out of his way for those who longed for healing, as any of us would do when a friend or loved one is in need. The difference, of course, was that his capacity to love was fueled by his Father’s divine love, and Jesus’ own power to heal and to save brought far more to those who cried out than we could ever offer. Today’s gospel presents two accounts of healing, and we can see how even Jesus was tested to keep giving and going out of his way. Parents and caregivers know the demands of constantly looking after those entrusted to your care. See in Jesus an example of patience, and be renewed by his ability to love without limit!

As we celebrate Independence Day this Wednesday, we have many reasons to give thanks for the blessing of independence: of liberty and of freedom, particularly the religious freedom that those first pilgrims to this land— immigrants, to be blunt— craved as they went in search of a new life. Our nation is far from perfect, and we have much to pray for: “America, America, God shed [your] grace on thee… may God thy gold refine… God mend thine every flaw… God shed [your] grace on thee.” Join us on Wednesday morning, July 4, for a special Mass in honor of Independence Day at 8:30 am as we turn to the Lord to guide our steps in the ways of peace and lasting justice.

As we say farewell to Fr. Carlos this weekend, I want to express my gratitude for his friendship and the priesthood we have shared together these past three years. Our parish community is better and stronger because of Fr. Carlos’ service here, and we say ‘thank you’ as we also thank God and ask God to continue to bless Fr. Carlos for many years of faithful service to the Church in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

God’s peace,

Fr. Rick