St. Tom's Friday Flocknote - 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (07/16/21)
A Message from Martin Schap,
Director of Operations
In this week's gospel, we see the prelude to the miracle of feeding the five thousand. It may be natural for many of us to focus on the miracle that follows immediately after these verses and view this reading as simply setting the scene for what follows. Still, there are some lessons for us here that would be hazardous to overlook. The importance of
seeking guidance from and trusting in the shepherd
As we begin this reading, the apostles report back to Jesus after being sent out in pairs in last week's gospel. Jesus tells them to go and rest. We all need rest and replenishment, and Jesus acknowledges our humanity and His when he instructs the apostles to go away to a deserted place. As we see later in the reading, it can be difficult to do this, but acknowledging the necessity of rest is something many of us should remember as we manage all the competing demands on our time and energy. All of us are called to be disciples, and to do this well may require slowing down.
Of course, the plan to rest is foiled by the large crowd gathering at the deserted place before Jesus and the disciples arrive. The people knew they needed Jesus and could not be kept away. This prioritization of the spiritual life is affirmed by Jesus in a couple of ways. First, he does not turn the crowd away. Despite being weary, He “began to teach them many things.” This follows a pattern that we see when Jesus performs miracles. He attends to spiritual needs as well as the physical. Neither the crowd nor Jesus appears to be giving much thought to physical needs at this point in the gospel despite the rather obvious problem of finding food in a deserted place that will manifest shortly.
Finally, Jesus demonstrates compassion for the crowd. Rather than turning them away, and even though He is tired and hungry, Jesus is filled with pity, “for they were like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus frequently compares Himself to a shepherd, and the people listening would have understood that sheep without a shepherd are worse than leaderless; they are in grave danger. What could be more important than the well-being of our eternal souls? This is the reason for Jesus having pity and prioritizing spiritual care.
Next week we will see Jesus’ power on prominent display in the feeding of the five thousand. Although
eeking out the Good Shepherd
may not be as attention-grabbing, they are important messages for us.
Director of Operations
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Sunday in Ordinary Time
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"World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly" on July 24-25
Next weekend we will observe the first Church-wide celebration of a “World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.” Pope Francis instituted this celebration to take place on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus. If you aren’t a grandparent yourself, bring one to Mass with you. We will have a special blessing at all Masses and complimentary coffee and donuts on Sunday morning after Mass.
Save the Date for Blockbuster Weekend - August 27 to 29
Save the date! After a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic, Blockbuster Weekend, including yard games, a dinner-dance, ministry fair, Mass on the Grass, and a parish picnic, returns and will take place Friday, August 25 to Sunday, August 27.
"Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church's Opposition to Hitler" Presentation slated for July 22
This Thursday evening, Professor Ronald Rychlak will present a lecture entitled, “Pius the 12th and Catholic Opposition to Hitler’s Third Reich” at 7:00 p.m. in Room 3. Professor Rychlak is the Distinguished Professor and Jamie L. Whitten Chair in Law and Government at the University of Mississippi and a native of Lafayette. See today’s bulletin for more information on this presentation. For more information, read page 3 of
this weekend's bulletin
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on Friday, July 16 at 4:55PM