Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus deals with our fears. What is the greatest fear that we have? Undoubtedly, the fear of losing our own lives; we fear the death of the body. Jesus is telling us not to worry about those paper tigers that can only affect the body and its goods. All of the body’s goods come to nothing compared to the supreme good of life with God. Therefore God alone should we truly fear—doing his will should be our exclusive concern. Let me state this more positively. When I am in love with God, when I am “fearing” him above all things, I am rooted in a power that transcends space and time, a power that governs the universe in its entirety, a power that is greater than life and death. More to it, this power knows me intimately and guides me according to his purposes: “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid.” Because of this I have nothing to fear from anything or anybody here below. www.usccb.org/bible/readings/bible/luke/12:1
Friends, Jesus concludes today’s Gospel by prescribing giving alms as a key to holiness. I’ve quoted to you before some of the breathtaking remarks of saints and popes about almsgiving: Leo XIII says,“Once the demands of necessity and propriety have been met, the rest of your money belongs to the poor.” John Chrysostom says,“The man who has two shirts in his closet, one belongs to him; the other belongs to the man who has no shirt.” The deepest root of all of this is in the prophets, who continually rail against those who are indifferent to the poor. The prophets teach us that compassion is key to biblical ethics, feeling the pain of others in our own hearts. We’re not dealing with an abstract Aristotelian moral philosophy, but rather with something more visceral. This is precisely why the two great commandments are so tightly linked: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…and love your neighbor as yourself.” In loving God you feel the feelings of God, and God is compassionate to the poor and oppressed. That’s all the argument that a biblical person needs. www.usccb.org/bible/readings/bible/luke/11:37
On October 13, 1917, witnesses who gathered near Fatima, Portugal observed an extraordinary “Miracle of the Sun” on the day when three shepherd children revealed that Our Lady would appear and perform a miracle. Non-believers as well as the faithful reported seeing the sun zig-zag and spiral in the sky, emit dazzling colors, and appear to hurtle towards the earth. Gazing at the phenomenon did not hurt or cause harm to the eyes of the crowd. Land that had been drenched by torrential rain only hours before suddenly became dry. Over a thousand miles away in Rome, Pope Pius XII witnessed the unusual solar activity and made note of it.
In honor of the anniversary, we revisit the rainbow that formed as a halo above our church and procession on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 26, 2011, to remind us of the Divine presence in every rising of the sun.
(Photo by Warren Yee) ... See MoreSee Less