Voices of Faith

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Freinds:

With July upon us this week, summer is now in full swing, meaning that for many there is a less intense pace and perhaps a lighter workload for adults, a break from studies replaced by summer jobs for young people, and just a different mood for all of us. That atmosphere might make it difficult to hear a message about the intensity of discipleship from Jesus today. Fitness for the Kingdom of God means steady devotion and a relentless focus on the things of God, with no time to pause. Jesus did preach about the need to take time out, and he himself did manage to find out-of-the-way places to rest, to reflect and pray, and to be with his disciples. The fact is that we need both: a spirit of perseverance in our pursuit of the things of God, and time to re-focus and recharge so that we can maintain that focus as we follow along the way with Jesus. Even as we slow down during the summer, it is good to take advantage of that relaxed pace by finding more time for prayer. Perhaps among the novels and magazines which make great beach or poolside reading you might add in something to nourish your soul: a book on prayer, a devotional, or a biography of a saint. God never tires from looking after our needs. As we give thanks for his unrelenting love, let us resolve to show our gratitude and our love in return.

Thanks to all our hard-working volunteers for your enthusiasm, your faith, and your care for our youngsters this past week at Vacation Bible School. What an awesome experience it was for everyone, and I was moved by everyone’s devotion expressed with such enthusiasm! Kudos to Amy Buttarazzi, Katie Gould, and all who worked so hard this week. And speaking of young people, I want to acknowledge our high school youth who over the past two weeks have participated in weeks of service, first in Baltimore City, and then in the Appalachian region of West Virginia. Both weeks saw great dedication and hard work in the name of Jesus, and we are grateful that so many of our young people answered God’s call to service.

Join us this Thursday, July 4 for a special Mass in honor of Independence Day. Begin your day here with Mass at 8:30 am before heading to the parade, to the pool, to cookouts, and evening fireworks as we give thanks to God for the blessings bestowed upon our country and to ask his continued blessings upon us. Best wishes for an enjoyable and relaxing holiday weekend!

God’s peace,

Fr. Rick