Welcome to the Virtual Parish weekly worship! We encourage you to participate with your family in the following Liturgy of the Word. You will find audio recordings of the readings and videos of Father Au reading the Gospel and providing his Homily.
Have a blessed weekend. And Happy 4th of July!
Audio of the readings, read by Shrine parishioner Tita Siozon
First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145: 1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14
Response: "I will praise your name forever, my king and my God"
Second Reading: Romans 8:9, 11-13
Do you have childlike innocence?
In today's Gospel Jesus is reflecting on how He and his teaching has been rejected by many of the learned teachers and leaders of his society while many of the desperate and lowly have embraced him. He offers a prayer of praise to the Father for hiding the revelation from the wise and learned but giving it to the childlike. It is one of many times that Jesus uses the image of a child to depict what true discipleship is, and that one must become like a child to enter the kingdom.
Thus, it is important to understand what Jesus means in His demand that we become like children, for certainly He did not mean to be childish. The Jesuit spiritual writer, Anthony DeMello captures it well: "The first quality that strikes one when one looks into the eyes of a child is its innocence, its lovely inability to lie or wear a mask or to pretend to be anything other than what it is...Only the adult human being is able to be one thing and pretend to be another."
Similarly, as the child's innocence is without pretense, so too the child does not look at others through the prejudiced labels of race, class, religion, beauty, wealth, etc, that it later is taught to use. The child only sees the naked humanity of others and how they treat him with love or not. This is the innocence Jesus says we must have to be open to the Gospel and enter the kingdom of God. Father DeMello asks the question: "How much of the innocence of childhood do you still retain, is there anyone today in whose presence you can be simply and totally yourself, as nakedly open and innocent as a child?"
If we must honestly admit to the loss of this innocence, we must honestly reflect on how we lost it by the false ways we were taught we had to acquire certain things and be a certain way to be acceptable to society and our families. We must face the ways our loss of our own self worth has blinded us to the humanity of others, whom we have come to view through the lens of the prejudices we were taught. If we see the price we have paid in the loss of that innocence, we will see that the demand to become like a child to enter the kingdom of God is not a poetic metaphor Jesus liked to use, but a necessary step in rediscovering our true selves healing our relationships with others.
God of peace, who defeats the oppressor with love and redeems the victim with justice, we bring out prayers before you today:
- For the church universal that it may reject worldly wealth and power to embrace the staff of a shepherd, we pray to the Lord…
- For those in authority, that they may demonstrate solidarity with their people, we pray to the Lord…
- For all who presume that their will and desires are your own, that they may be humbled and shown the error of their ways, we pray to the Lord…
- For all our beloved dead, especially, Lois Bender, Joan Perrault, Ted Vogel, Ruth Vogel, Angus MacDonald, and Ultima MacDonald, we pray to the Lord…
- For those for whom we have promised to pray, especially, Melanie Crawford and Laura Dugan, we pray to the Lord…
- For those of our parish who are sick, especially those listed in our bulletin, we pray to the Lord…
- For the safety of those who guard and protect the public peace, and for the safety of those serving in the military, we pray to the Lord…
With grateful hearts we dedicate these prayers to your care, confident in your power to make life and make it new. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Lord, please empower me to keep going when things become difficult.
Please help me to trust You in these hardships.
And through them, please bring about spiritual growth in me.
Copyright YouVersion, A Prayer for Perseverance