It is now summertime in the Northern Hemisphere. I, like billions of human beings, love summertime. It can be a time of rest, vacation, time for family. Let it not be merely a superficial time, but rather true recreation: re-creation – for drinking from deep well springs that return us to what life is really about, that renew us and give us life. That can happen in simple, beautiful ways.
“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:50 Beautiful and true words that have attracted people everywhere since the Lord spoke them … but then there is an obvious question: how do we do the will the Father? How do we know what that is in concrete everyday situations?
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“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest … My yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Matt 11: 28, 30) These are among the most inviting and comforting words of the Lord - yet they can seem elusive to us at times. Today, let us ask the great saint whose memory we celebrate today, Kateri Tekakwitha, for her prayer, example, and guidance, for she indeed is a great one who lived them.
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. They will see his face." (Revelation 22:1-4)
I’d like to invite you to close your eyes, if you feel comfortable, and imagine this scene: a beautiful summer day, like it is at this time of the year here in Massachusetts. You are in a beautiful countryside, as is Galilee, with other disciples. Jesus is teaching and leading you all in prayer. Then He chooses the 12 apostles … Simon, Andrew, James, John, Philip …. You know something important is going on and you have a sense that nothing will ever be the same. Sending the 12 is just the beginning. Eagerly you wait your turn soon.
As many of you know, I am blest to have lived at Lourdes in France for three years serving in our Family Rosary mission there. I’m looking forward to returning for a month in September, Lord willing. I have seen the place up close, so I can say that there have been thousands of physical healings – cures! It’s the real deal. Yet one could counter: there have been millions of sick people who have visited Lourdes. What about the rest of them?