Following is a reflection on the readings for July 14-15 liturgies, composed by Deacon Richard Montalto of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The readings are available in full on the web site of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – www.usccb.org.
Amos 7:12-15; Psalm 85: 9-14; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:7-13
From the beginning of time, God chose humans, frail though we may be, to proclaim the good news of salvation.
He didn’t have to do this. He might have written His message across the sky, so that it covered all the nations of the world and spoke to them all in their respective languages – His message of salvation, of love and peace. He chose another way.
He chose human life in the forms of man and woman, Adam and Eve, our first parents – flawed humanity. Then, to redeem us, He sent His Son, who assumed all our weaknesses save sin. Through Him, God established His Church to provide us the means to salvation.
Why church? Why a structure, human and material? Because structures facilitate learning.
It is through structures that our children learn to play and compete.
It is through structures that we become proficient in our work.
The structure Church provides us with all the spiritual and material means we need to get to heaven. In His Church are our teachers, called by God to guide us, to help us appreciate the fullness of God’s authoritative Word and to administer the divine gift of the sacraments.
To reach their peak and retain their proficiency, athletes must train. To reach our peak as Christians and retain our proficiencies as children of God, we must train, too, by devoting ourselves to prayer and the sacraments, by acting on the bedrock tenets of our faith.
We Catholics we have been given the awesome responsibility of confronting a culture that regularly challenges God’s dominion and the teachings of His Son and His Church. We cannot sit idly by. Rather we must be bold in our faith, courageous in our Christian action. And as Christ counts on us, we must rely on Him.