We Are Family / Somos Familia

Do you have friends who are more like family?

I’ve known some people in my life who I’m pretty sure I’m actually related to. No, we aren’t biological relations, but we laugh and cry and support each other so much you’d think that we were “cut from the same cloth.” 

But, I really am related to them. 

When Jesus says, “Whoever does the will of God in Heaven is my mother and my brother,” we know that we are God’s adoptees. Through word and deed, in action and speech, in truth and in love, the rest of the world will know that we are Christians. We become automatically related to God when we confess our sins and cry out, “Abba, Father!”

Today, let us go to the Father and remember our place in the family as sons and daughters of God. Let us claim the crown of adoption. And let us delight in the love of our Father as only little children can do.

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¿Tienes amigos que son más como familia?

He conocido a algunas personas en mi vida con las que estoy bastante segura de que somos parientes. No, no somos relaciones biológicas, pero nos reímos, lloramos y nos apoyamos tanto que uno pensaría que estamos “cortados del mismo patrón”.

Pero en verdad sí somos familia.

Cuando Jesús dice: “Pues todo el que cumple la voluntad de mi Padre, que está en los cielos, ése es mi hermano, mi hermana y mi madre”, sabemos que somos hijos adoptivos de Dios. A través de palabras y hechos, en acción y discurso, en verdad y en amor, el resto del mundo sabrá que somos cristianos. Automáticamente somos parientes de Dios cuando confesamos nuestros pecados y clamamos: “¡Abba, Padre!”

Hoy vayamos al Padre y recordemos nuestro lugar en la familia como hijos e hijas de Dios. Reclamemos la corona de la adopción. Y deleitémonos en el amor de nuestro Padre como sólo los niños pequeños pueden.

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Mary Thissen is a St. Louis native living in East Central Illinois with her husband and children. She is blessed with twin boys Earthside and four children now living in Heaven. When she is not working as a healthcare data analyst or caring for her boys, she enjoys studying and writing about the Catholic faith and ministering to women who are suffering through miscarriage or infertility. You can connect with Mary on Instagram @waitingonmiracles. 

Feature Image Credit: Anemone123, pixabay.com/photos/team-spirit-teamwork-community-2447163/

St. John Cassian

Feast date: Jul 23

The Church celebrates the feast of St. John Cassian on July 23, an eastern monk and theological writer. He went to Palestine in 380 with a companion, Germanus, and became a monk in Egypt. In 400 he entered into the discipleship of St. John Chrysostom, going to Rome to defend the much-oppressed saint before Pope Innocent I.

Ordained in Rome, John founded several monasteries in southern France, near Marseilles, thus helping to pioneer monasticism in Europe. His two main writings, Institutes of the Monastic Life and Conferences on the Egyptian Monks, were much praised by St. Benedict and were extremelly influential for a very long time; the former had a direct impact upon Benedict during the time that he was composing his famed Rule.

John also authored the work De Incarnatione Doniini, in seven books, at the behest of Pope Leo I the Great so as to inform the Western Church of the details of the teachings of the heresiarch Nestorius. He died in 433 A.D

Printed with permission from Catholic-Defense.

Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1  MI 7:14-15, 18-20

Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland,
in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?
You will cast into the depths of the sea
all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and grace to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our fathers
from days of old.

Responsorial Psalm PS 85:2-4, 5-6, 7-8

R. (8a) Lord, show us your mercy and love.
You have favored, O LORD, your land;
you have brought back the captives of Jacob.
You have forgiven the guilt of your people;
you have covered all their sins.
You have withdrawn all your wrath;
you have revoked your burning anger. 
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.
Restore us, O God our savior,
and abandon your displeasure against us.
Will you be ever angry with us,
prolonging your anger to all generations?
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.
Will you not instead give us life;
and shall not your people rejoice in you?
Show us, O LORD, your kindness,
and grant us your salvation. 
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.

Alleluia  JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel  MT 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

– – –

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.

I Have Seen The Lord / He Visto al Señor

Love drives us beyond our “selfwardness”, beyond our narrow vision, beyond our comfort zone, even beyond our natural limits, to desire, to seek, to do more than is necessary. Love for the Lord springs from our confidence that we are loved by the Lord, and prompts us to ask so that we will receive, seek so that we will find, knock so that it will be given to us.  

Today we celebrate the Feast of Mary Magdalene, whose love for the Lord has her seeking Him and Him alone. She is undeterred by the risk of being arrested and apparently unmoved by the presence of two angels speaking to her. She is focused on finding anew the One Who has loved her into wholeness, to whom she has dedicated her life and her means, and the source of her joy and peace.

But when she turns away from the tomb, she does not see Jesus right in front of her. How can she miss this? Because she is looking for a dead body. She could not have guessed that Jesus was alive, glorified, and again at work in the world. She does not recognize the One she loves until He speaks her name.

This is a mistake we all can make: we are expecting the Lord to reveal Himself in a certain way, and so we cannot see Him when He works in surprising ways. He is, after all, a God of surprises. Often, we have lost our sense of wonder and awe and patient openness. We look for Him to answer our prayers in a specific way, in a specific time; when He says, “Actually, I have a better idea,” we cannot recognize His hand at work.

Today, let us open our whole selves to His presence in whatever way HE wills to reveal Himself; then, our seeking will always be rewarded because we will receive Him as He gives Himself, hear Him when He speaks what we truly need to hear and provides what we truly need to draw closer to Him in the way that He knows is best.

Mary Magdalene, pray for us, that we will receive the grace we need to see the Lord clearly in our lives every day. Then, we can say with you, “I have seen the Lord.”

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El amor nos lleva más allá de nuestro “egoísmo”, más allá de nuestra visión estrecha, más allá de nuestra zona de confort, incluso más allá de nuestros límites naturales, a desear, a buscar, a hacer más de lo necesario. El amor al Señor brota de nuestra confianza en que somos amados por el Señor y nos impulsa a pedir para recibir, buscar para encontrar, llamar para que nos sea dado.

Hoy celebramos la Fiesta de María Magdalena, cuyo amor por el Señor la lleva a buscarlo a Él y únicamente a Él. Ella no se deja intimidar por el riesgo de ser arrestada y aparentemente no se conmueve ante la presencia de dos ángeles que le hablan. Ella está enfocada en encontrar de nuevo a Aquel que la ha amado en su plenitud, a quien ha dedicado su vida y sus medios, y la fuente de su alegría y paz.

Pero cuando se aleja de la tumba, no ve a Jesús que está justo enfrente de ella. ¿Cómo puede perderse esto? Porque está buscando un cadáver. Ella no podría haber adivinado que Jesús estaba vivo, glorificado y nuevamente obrando en el mundo. Ella no reconoce a Aquel que ama hasta que Él pronuncia su nombre.

Este es un error que todos podemos cometer: esperamos que el Señor se revele de cierta manera y, por lo tanto, no podemos verlo cuando obra de maneras sorprendentes. Después de todo, es un Dios de sorpresas. A menudo hemos perdido nuestro sentido de asombro y apertura paciente. Buscamos que Él responda nuestras oraciones de una forma específica, en un momento específico; cuando dice: “En realidad, tengo una idea mejor”, no podemos reconocer Su mano en acción.

Hoy, abramos todo nuestro ser a Su presencia en cualquier forma que ÉL quiera revelarse; así nuestra búsqueda siempre será recompensada porque lo recibiremos tal como Él se entrega, lo escucharemos cuando habla lo que realmente necesitamos escuchar y brindaremos lo que realmente necesitamos para acercarnos a Él de la manera que Él sabe que es mejor.

María Magdalena, ruega por nosotros, para que recibamos la gracia que necesitamos para ver al Señor claramente en nuestras vidas todos los días. Entonces podremos decir contigo: “He visto al Señor”.

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Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and eight grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is www.KathrynTherese.com

Feature Image Credit: Emma Shappley, unsplash.com/photos/white-wooden-table-decor-8huCshiNhro