Annunciation Awakening Retreat
Come away with us to be with Jesus and experience God’s abiding love for you.
From Bulletin, Sunday, June 25
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “If Christianity, as so often and so rightly has been said, is not primarily a doctrine but a person, Jesus Christ, it follows that the proclamation of this person and of one’s relationship with him is the most important thing, the beginning of all true evangelization and the very condition for making such a thing possible.
“To reverse this order and put the doctrines and obligations of the Gospel before the discovery of Jesus would be like putting the carriages in front of the railway engine that is supposed to pull them. The person of Jesus opens the highway of the heart for the acceptance of everything else. Anyone who has once known the living Jesus has no further need to be goaded along; we ourselves burn with desire to know his thought, his will, his word. It is not on the authority of the Church that we accept Jesus, but on the authority of Jesus that we accept and love the Church.
“So the first thing the Church has to do is not present herself to the world, but present Jesus.”
—Fr Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap. (Preacher to the Papal Household)
SCRIPTURE FOCUS: In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that they “must not be afraid of their opponents. They must still proclaim the gospel. It would be tempting to stop preaching the gospel or to soften its message in order to make things easier and protect themselves from suffering. But Jesus entrusts the full gospel message to his disciples, and others are dependent on them to proclaim it for their salvation. Therefore, Jesus says, even though they will be persecuted like their teacher and Lord, they must not be afraid. What they learned from Jesus they must speak in the light, not being afraid to proclaim it on the housetops.
“Such bold proclamation may lead to martyrdom. If faced with the choice between dying for the sake of Christ or denying him to save one’s life, we must remember that the worst thing our enemies can do is kill the body; they cannot kill the soul. Better to save one soul then to save one’s physical life. Therefore, we should fear God much more than our persecutors, for only God has power over the body and soul. In other words, we should have a healthy fear of the Lord because God alone can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
“In the face of persecution, if the disciple acknowledges Jesus before his enemies, Jesus will acknowledge him before his heavenly Father. Even if his enemies harm his body, God will save his soul. But the disciple who rejects Christ to save his life here on earth cannot rely on Jesus to defend him on judgment day: ‘whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.’ In sum, Jesus addresses the Twelve in a very straightforward way about the opposition they will encounter on the mission he is giving them. Matthew records these words for future disciples, whose lot will be the same.”
The Gospel of Matthew, Curtis Mitch & Edward Sri