Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 18:1-10a

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre,
as he sat in the entrance of his tent,
while the day was growing hot.
Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;
and bowing to the ground, he said:
“Sir, if I may ask you this favor,
please do not go on past your servant.
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet,
and then rest yourselves under the tree.
Now that you have come this close to your servant,
let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves;
and afterward you may go on your way.”
The men replied, “Very well, do as you have said.”

Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah,
“Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.”
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer,
and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it.
Then Abraham got some curds and milk,
as well as the steer that had been prepared,
and set these before the three men;
and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.

They asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
He replied, “There in the tent.”
One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 15:2-3, 3-4, 5

R.(1a) He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
One who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
by whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
One who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Reading 2 Col 1:24-28

Brothers and sisters:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ
on behalf of his body, which is the church,
of which I am a minister
in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me
to bring to completion for you the word of God,
the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.
But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
It is he whom we proclaim,
admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

Alleluia Cf. Lk 8:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

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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. Lawrence of Brindisi

St. Lawrence of Brindisi, whose feast we celebrate on July 21, is a Doctor of the Church. He was born Caesar de Rossi in 1559 in Naples. As a boy, he studied with the Conventual Franciscans and later went to study in Venice. There he discerned a call to enter the Capuchin Franciscans and took the name Lawrence.Fluent in Hebrew and expertly versed in the Bible, he worked as a diplomat for the secular powers in Europe and as a missionary. In 1596, he was commissioned by the Pope to work for the conversion of the Jewish people and to combat the spread of Protestantism. He was a great preacher and refused a second term as minister general of his order in favor of preaching. He died in 1619.

Wishing To Go Unnoticed

I wonder how many times in the Gospels Jesus tells those he has healed not to tell anyone about it, or not to make Him known. It seems contradictory, doesn’t it? I mean, isn’t the whole reason He came to Earth to save the whole world, so that everyone could have a relationship with Him and reach heaven? Why did He insist that people not spread word of His miracles? Was it because He would have literally been bombarded by people from every side, never able to eat or sleep? Was it because His “time had not yet come” and he didn’t want the “bad guys” to find Him before then? Or was it an act of simple and true humility? He didn’t want to be known, so that they wouldn’t applaud Him…

If the latter is the case, I have a lot to learn…

As complex human beings made up of the physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological and otherwise, we seem to tend to seek affirmation that we’re ok people, at least I do. I don’t expect to be a famous superstar, but I do wish to be loved and liked and I would hope that people appreciate the efforts I put into all I do. It almost seems like I would be working in vain if at least ONE person didn’t notice. Right? I appreciate a pat on the back, a congratulatory comment or a “good job!” but maybe I put too much emphasis on it. I know I have a lot to work on when it comes to humility.

Let’s just say that I continued my everyday life, went to work, did my job to the best of my ability, helped out a family member or coworker, came home and took care of the kids, put them lovingly to bed, spent quality time with my husband, listening to him and tending to his needs, and throughout the whole day, not a single person said “thank you” or “you look nice today” or “you did a great job with that”. At the end of the day, how would I feel? Would I be happy to be able to identify with my Lord and Savior who wished to go unnoticed?  I kinda doubt it.

I get defensive and upset whenever anyone decides to correct me or tell me something I did wrong. God forbid I make a mistake! I realize I’m only human, but I find it soooo hard to accept my shortcomings. I want to do everything right and get it right the first time. I want to have the answer before you finish the question. I want to guess what you’re going to say next and have that cute quip ready at the tip of my tongue to make you laugh…

“And in His Name the Gentiles will hope.” (Matthew 12:21)

People do not and should not hope in yours truly, but rather in the Lord.

Dear Jesus, help me to be a beacon of your truth and goodness, your love and joy. May I not seek praise or affirmation for myself, but rather may all the attention be reflected back to you. Amen.

Tami grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling home improvement projects, finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at Diocesan, is a guest blogger on and, runs her own blog at and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for almost 20 years.

I Desire Mercy

Today’s Gospel has Jesus saying, “I desire mercy,not sacrifice...”  In an article by Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, he explains the concept this way:

The Latin word, which is the ultimate root of our English word “mercy,” is misericordia. It, in turn, derives from two words: misereri, meaning “to have pity on” or “compassion for” and cor, meaning “heart” (genitive case — cordis: “of the heart”). Mercy, therefore, carries the idea of having compassion on someone with all one’s heart. The latter phrase expresses the idea: “From the very inmost depth (or core) of one’s being.

The Sacred Scriptures show clearly that mercy is the greatest “relative” characteristic of God, the attribute that extends over all He created (e.g., Ps 145:9); and it explains the whole plan of salvation: the power (virtue) of a compassionate heart that shares another’s misery to come to that other’s rescue. Saint Thomas, therefore, can fearlessly profess and demonstrate that, with relation to all that exists in creation, mercy is the greatest divine attribute (Summa Th., IIa IIae30, 4c).

A “composite” definition of “mercy” (based on definitions found in various dictionaries) would go like this: A feeling of tenderness, aroused by someone’s distress or suffering, which inclines (causes) one to spare (abstain from killing/hurting) or to help another who is in one’s power and has no claim whatever to (or is completely undeserving of) kindness. Another definition would be: pardon given to someone who could be punished (often used with reference to God when He forgives sin).

Both these definitions make quite understandable what Pope John Paul II expounded in his encyclical on the Mercy of God in Part VII, no. 13, par. 4:

It is precisely because sin exists in the world, which “God so loved … that He gave His only Son” (Jn 3:16), that God, who “is love” (1 Jn 4:8), cannot reveal Himself otherwise than as mercy.

The essence of mercy is to take into account not only that which is strictly due (as is the case with justice), but also weaknesses, infirmities, and defects of all kinds; and in considering them, to give more than is required by merit and to soften the blow that guilt deservingly brings upon itself through the shutting off, by sin, of the flow of God’s goodness. Divine Mercy, therefore, by no means signifies some sort of sentimental emotion (as certain pagan philosophers saw it, branding it “a weakness excusable only in old people and children”)

Mercy is love, plain and simple. However, as humans we tend to conditionalize love, by placing “if [blank] then I can love” types of boundaries on it. We pray for the issues that we can relate to, people we know and judge (sometimes judging unconsciously, many times not) that other situations are not as dire and choose not to include them in our prayers, our mercy. That is not part of our beliefs as Catholic Christians. God’s love is unconditional and we are meant to imitate his love. 

I forget that I need the mercy of the Lord just as every person in the world does. I am not called to judge or withhold love and mercy. I am called to bring forth the mercy poured out by Christ on the cross into the world. We do this by embracing and embodying the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. 

You know what’s on your heart and on your mind regarding mercy. Listen to this song as a closing prayer, “What Mercy Did for Me”. You know what needs to be done.

Beth is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She brings a unique depth of experience to the group due to her time spent in education, parish ministries, sales and the service industry over the last 25 yrs. She is a practicing spiritual director as well as a Secular Franciscan (OFS). Beth is quick to offer a laugh, a prayer or smile to all she comes in contact with. Reach her here