Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time–
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time– 2017
July 4, 2017 (Independence Day)
As we celebrate this Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, our nation, the United States of America remembers around this great country, in the places of worship the blessings and freedom that God has bestowed on us. It can be said that in the Holy Roman Catholic Liturgy, that the readings of this Sunday reflect this mood of national celebration. In the First reading from the Second King, we were reminded about the blessings that God showed a barren woman who cared for the prophet Elisha, for which she received a child as the result of her kindness. The story continues, “Later Elisha asked, "Can something be done for her?" His servant Gehazi answered, "Yes! She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years." Elisha said, "Call her." When the woman had been called and stood at the door, Elisha promised, "This time next year you will be fondling a baby son." What a blessing for those who love and walk in the path of the Lord?
In the Second reading, Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans takes this blessing to a celestial level. He reminds the Romans that to be baptized in Christ is not only to bear witness to him, but also to receive sacrament that unchains one from the original sin and bestows on us the privilege of being called the sons and daughters of God by adoption. Paul emphasizes this blessing and freedom from sin when he beckons the Romans, “Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.”
The Gospel of Mathew captured what a true life really represents? It is not the acquisition of the material treasures, but the life which Christ gives. Hence, Jesus said to his apostles: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
On Tuesday, July 4, 2017, when we as a nation rejoices for the freedom we enjoy it this great country, it is very important, brethren, that we do not lose the sight of Who ultimately gives us this freedom, blessing, and nation in the first place. The readings of this Sunday should remind us that our freedom and independence is not to throw away God from our life and society, but to reject sin and embrace the many generous potentials that God has bestowed on us, despite our unworthiness. May God bless the United States of America!
Happy July 4 to Y’all!