Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Cor 6:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
As your fellow workers, we appeal to you
not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
We cause no one to stumble in anything,
in order that no fault may be found with our ministry;
on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves
as ministers of God, through much endurance,
in afflictions, hardships, constraints,
beatings, imprisonments, riots,
labors, vigils, fasts;
by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness,
in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech,
in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left;
through glory and dishonor, insult and praise.
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged;
as dying and behold we live;
as chastised and yet not put to death;
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing and yet possessing all things.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2b, 3ab, 3cd-4

R.(2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
In the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Alleluia Ps 119:105

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 5:38-42

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”

– – –
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

St. Albert Chmielowski

Founder of the Albertine Brothers and Sisters, and one of the saints who inspired the vocation of the young Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II. Saint Albert was born on August 20, 1845 in Igolomia, Poland (near Kraków) as Adam Hilary Bernard Chmielowski.  Born into a wealthy and aristocratic family, Adam was the oldest of four children. Actively involved in politics from his youth, Adam lost a leg fighting in an insurrection against Czar Alexander III at age 18.  In Krakow, he became a popular artist and his talent in the subject led him to study in Warsaw, Munich, and Paris. A kind and compassionate person, Adam was always deeply aware of human suffering, and felt called to help those in need.  Realizing that God was calling Him to a life of service, he returned to Krakow in 1874, determined to dedicate his talents to the glory of God.  Instead of continuing his work as an artist, he decided to care for the poor and became a Secular Franciscan, taking the name Albert.  In 1887, Albert founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants of the Poor, known as the Albertines or the Gray Brothers.  Then, in 1891, he founded a community of Albertine sisters, known as the Gray Sisters.  The Albertines organized food and shelter for the poor and homeless of any age or religion.  Albert preached on the great crisis that results from a refusal to see and aid the suffering individuals in society. In 1949, Pope John Paul II, who was at the time Father Karol Wojtyla, wrote a well-received play about Albert called Our God’s Brother.  John Paul II later said that he found great spiritual support for his own vocation in the life of St. Albert, whom he saw as an example of leaving behind a world of art, literature, and theater to make a radical choice for the priesthood. Brother Albert died on Christmas Day, 1916.  He was canonized on November 12, 1989 by Pope John Paul II.  The Church celebrates St. Albert’s feast day on June 17.  

Longing for Spiritual Food

God communicates in different ways to different times, but the core message remains; a message of love. In the Old Testament God the Father spoke to the Prophets, in the New Testament the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and after the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles at Pentecost the Holy Spirit has been guiding us and the Church ever since.

Though we can see these real examples of each person of the Trinity working in specific times of history, every person of the trinity is present with us all throughout our lives. One of my favorite parts of the Catechism is where it says, “God is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange.”

Our destiny is to share intimately in the relationship of God, but that destiny starts today. We can start to enter into that relationship here and now. The Father loves us and we can experience him through our prayer. The Son loves us through the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Spirit loves us through the Sacraments and our openness. We do not have to wait until the end of our lives for our destiny to start to become realized.

I like to think of this in relation to food. I love cooking and I love eating so most of my analogies are food based. Haha. Think of eating your favorite food. You have the taste and goodness of it instantly, but you don’t experience the fullness of it until it has been digested and used for energy. In the same way, we can taste the love of God in a very real way here on this earth, and we long for the fullness of that love to be realized at the end of time.

One time when I was on a work trip we stopped for dinner and I had these bacon wrapped dates that changed my life forever. Ever since tasting those delicious little pieces of perfection I have longed for the day when I can get back to that restaurant and try them again. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we treated our relationship with the Trinity in the same way? That we tasted God every week in the Mass and then longed for him until we could receive again. With this mindset, Mass stops being a chore and starts becoming something we look forward to every week, the same way I look forward to getting back to that restaurant. But the food God gives will give us eternal life. I know I can be more aware of this in every moment of my life.

One of the most helpful things I have heard about the spiritual life came from The Wild Goose Series. Fr. Dave Pivonka encourages us to simply say, “Come Holy Spirit,” throughout the day. This helps us not only to experience the love of God but also to help us be aware that we should long for the day when we are united perfectly with God in heaven. He longs to be united fully to us. Let us hunger for the same. From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!


Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at tshultz@diocesan.com.


Everything is Different Now

Life-altering events change our perspective on everything around us, don’t they? I remember so clearly how I felt the day my mother died. I walked down the street and looked around me and felt astonished, truly astonished, that so many people were out and about and acting as if nothing had happened, nothing had changed, everything was the same as before.

For them, of course, it was. I was the one who’d felt the earth move. I was the one who could now divide my life into two halves, my life when she was still here, and my life after she’d gone. I was on the second half of that journey, the one I had to undertake alone. I knew then—and I was right—that nothing would be the same. Everything would be different forever.

I’d passed from what-was to what-is. I couldn’t yet imagine what-will-be.

Today’s first reading is about change, too, the change of transition from one way of living to another. The old order, St. Paul tells us, must give way to the new. “Everything old has passed away, everything has become new.” Before, as a community, we lived in the what-was, the first half of our journey; after Christ, we’re living in the what-is and we look forward to a future what-will-be.

In other words, everything is different now.

If grasping that change wasn’t enough—and heaven knows it should be, drawing a clear line between the past and the future is difficult all by itself!—St. Paul has more to say about it. It’s all fine and good that we acknowledge the change; now we have to live it. To enter into it. To change our lives to reflect this momentous, earth-moving event.

In other words, once we know, nothing can be the same. Everything is different.

One of my favorite writers and theologians, C.S. Lewis, explains the transition better than anyone. “It is as if there is a door behind which, according to Christians, the secret of the universe is waiting for you,” he writes. “If their claim is not true, it is the greatest fraud in history. It is obviously the job of every man to find out if the claim is true; then to devote his life to exposing this gigantic humbug… or serving this tremendous secret.”

God opened that door to us, and now everything is different. We need to serve that difference.

The letter defines what’s at the core of that difference: we are reconciled through Christ; a fundamental relationship has been changed fundamentally. One recent translation of this passage talks about a “fresh start” and “settling relationships.” Can you feel how the words themselves are filled with excitement? Accepting that everything is different isn’t about mourning what was past, but setting out on an adventure into the future, and St. Paul is clear: we’re to include everyone in that adventure. God reached out to us through Christ, and now it’s up to us to pass Lewis’ “tremendous secret” on to others.

It’s moving forward into the what-will-be with confidence, not knowing what awaits us there, but trusting that whatever it is, we won’t be alone in facing it. God will be with us, and our community of faith will be with us. Because we’ve been reconciled to him, and through him to each other, we’re never again alone. Everything is different now.

Oddly enough (or perhaps not so oddly), this is the anniversary of that life-changing event: my mother has been with God in heaven for exactly thirty years today. And as I look back on that transition, I realize that all change, whether it’s losing something or gaining something, is a reflection of the transitions we live in our lives in Christ: the what-was we once had becoming the what-is we are living now as we wait with joyful anticipation for the what-will-be.

Or, as St. Paul assures us today: everything is different now.

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Jeannette de Beauvoir is a writer and editor with the digital department of Pauline Books & Media, working on projects as disparate as newsletters, book clubs, ebooks, and retreats that support the apostolate of the Daughters of St. Paul at http://www.pauline.org.