CATHEDRAL OF ST. HELENA

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  • Deacon Bob Fishman

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

We all know people who, for whatever reason, have left the Faith. Many of us have suffered the pain of having someone we love leave the Church. This is very hard and wounds many people. The reason I write all of this is because of today’s readings. The problem is not new. It even happened to our Lord Jesus. There is an old saying that goes “familiarity breeds contempt”. Why is this so? We find the answer in our Gospel passage. Our Lord is not respected in His own town because people feel that they know Him, and based on their own preconceived notions, there is no way that the Jesus they know and have seen grow up could possibly be the long awaited Messiah. Thus many in His own home town did not believe in Him even when they had seen the miracles He was performing. So often this can occur in our own families as well. We desire to share the message of Good News and our Faith with those who are closest to us, yet often we are rejected.

I know this first hand from being a Jewish convert to the Faith, I desperately wanted to share what I was learning with my parents and family, but they did not want to hear my message. This can be very discouraging. So what is an on fire Catholic to do? The answer is found in our second reading from St. Paul. We need to show them the Christ inside us by our love for them. It is rumored that the great St. Francis of Assisi once said “preach the Gospel, and sometimes use words”. We need to pray for our families and learn how to listen to them when they are hurting. However the greatest thing we can do is show them love. We may not always agree with their decisions or choices, but that does not mean we cannot love them. If we show the love of Christ in this way, we will be truly evangelizing.

So, this week take some time and pray for those who have wandered away. Let someone know how much you love them and will listen should they wish to talk, and finally, remember how much God has done for you and allow Him to truly be the Messiah of your life and His message will be heard…Something to think about…May God richly bless you always…

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