Posted by: fvbcdm | June 13, 2013

Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua (13 June 2013)

I would like to call to your attention some of the beautiful ideas expressed in this Sunday’s Mass. First of all, let’s reflect on the fact this in our secular calendar, this Sunday is Father’s Day.  In our religious calendar, every day throughout the entire year is Father’s Day, but the Father we are referring to here is God our Father.  When some people asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he agreed.  “When you pray,” he said, “say: Our Father who art in heaven . . . .” Notice: not “My father,” but rather  “Our father.” Our Lord wants us to relate to God as a group, a community, a family, a band of brothers and sisters.  If you and I call God “Our Father” then we are siblings one to the other; I am your brother; you are my brother or sister.  When you attend Mass this weekend and say the Our Father as you must do since it is a part of the Mass, stop and think: this person to my right, to my left, in front of me, behind me, all of them are addressing God with me as “Our Father.” God wants me to see them as my siblings; He wants me to love them as my siblings—my brothers and sisters.

In the first reading of this Sunday’s Mass, God says to us that we are “dearer to me than all other people.”  Those words were first addressed to the Jews of the Old Testament. But in the New Testament, the Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ has inherited the chosen status of the Jews of old. That doesn’t mean that the Jewish people have lost their position as God’s chosen ones, but rather that we followers of Jesus are now included, too. We, too, are “dearer to him than all other people.” As we are dear to him, let him be dear to us. Let us love God with all our hearts.

And finally, in the gospel, we find Our Lord being “moved with pity for the crowds for they were like sheep without a shepherd.” Let us rejoice that we, so lacking in shrewdness like not-too-bright sheep, appeal by our neediness to the love of our savior, whom we adore as our Good Shepherd, and whose heart is full of love, pity, and the desire to do for us all that we need. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.


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