Thus says the Lord: I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and petition; and they shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they shall grieve over him as one grieves over a firstborn. On that day the mourning in Jerusalem shall be as great as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. On that day there shall be open to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, a fountain to purify from sin and uncleanness.
1) O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
Like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. (Refrain:)
2) Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you. (Refrain:)
3) Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you. (Refrain:)
4) You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me. (Refrain:)
Brothers and sisters: Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendant, heirs according to the promise.
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"
They said in reply, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, 'One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'"
Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Peter said in reply, "The Christ of God."
He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.
He said, "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised."
Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."
(Copyright 1970, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2001 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc. Washington D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
Copyright 1970, 1997, 1998 Contraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc. Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
The English translation of some Psalm responses, some Alleluia and Gospel verses and the Lenten Gospel Acclamations, some Summaries, and the Titles and Conclusion of the Readings, from the Lectionary for Mass copyright 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc., Washington D.C. All rights reserved.
The poetic English translation of the sequences of the Roman Missal are taken from the Roman Missal approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States, copyright 1964 by the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Inc. All rights reserved.)
(Order these or other resources at a discount through the Homiletic Resource Center .)
- Catechism: #'s 464-469 (Jesus, truly God and truly human). Copyright 1994 by the United States Catholic Conference, Washington, DC. [As recommended in A Homily Sourcebook (The Universal Catechism), copyright 1993 by N. Abeyasingha, the Pastoral Press, Washington, DC.]
- Days of the Lord, Volume 6, pp. 92-101. Copyright 1991 by the Order of Saint Benedict. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.
- Help for Hurting Dads (Galatians 3: 23-29). From Dynamic Preaching, copyright 1998 by Seven Worlds Corporation, 310 Simmons Road, Knoxville, TN, 37922.
- Why Did Jesus Suffer?, from Good News. Copyright 1998 by Rev. Joseph T. Nolan. Liturgical Publications, Inc., 2875 South James Drive, New Berlin, WI. 53151.
- The Great Discovery and The Conditions of Service, from The Gospel of Luke. Copyright 1975 by William Barclay. Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland.
-The Coming of Faith from The Letter to the Galatians. Copyright 1975 by William Barclay. Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland.
- The Cultural World of Jesus, pp. 100-102. Copyright 1997 by John J. Pilch, the Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.
-Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (C) by Roland J. Faley. Copyright 1994 by the Third Order Regular of St. Francis. From Footprints on the Mountain, pp. 438-443, Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ.
-Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (C), copyright 1995 by Liam Swords. From Sunday Homilies, pp. 282-284, Twenty-third Publications, Mystic, CT 06355.
-Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)(Psalm63). From Sing a New Song, by Irene Nowell, p. 38. Copyright 1993 by the Order of St. Benedict. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.
-Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (C) by Reginald H. Fuller. Copyright 1984 by the Order of St. Benedict. From Preaching the Lectionary, pp. 478-480, the Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.
-Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (C), by Catherine Ziel. Copyright 1989 by Pueblo Publishing Company, New York, New York and 1991 by the Order of St. Benedict, Collegeville, MN. From Homilies for the Christian People, pp. 491-493, the Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.
-Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (C), copyright 1991 by Francis J. Moloney, SDB. From The Gospel of the Lord, pp. 138-139. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN.
-Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (C), copyright 1991 by Desmond Knowles. From Homilies and Prayers of the Faithful, pp. 334-335. Twenty-third Publications, Mystic, CT.
-Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (C), copyright 1996 by Tom Clancy. From Living the Word, p.190. The Columba Press, Dublin, Ireland. Distributed in the US by Twenty-third Publications, Mystic, CT.
- Texts for Preaching (Proper 7), pp.391-400, by Cousar, Gaventa, McCann and Newsome, copyright 1994 by Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, KY.
- Celebrating the Word, pp. 217-219, copyright 1995 by J. D. Crichton, Columba Press, Dublin. Distributed in the US by Twenty-third Publications, Mystic, CT.
- The Word In and Out of Season, pp. 41-44, copyright 1991 by Richard Viladesau. Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ.
- The story is told by a man named Bob Stamps, who is bald, about what his children did one night. He and his wife decided to go out to dinner, so they hired a babysitter to take care of their two small children. While they were gone, the babysitter got interested in a television program and wasn't watching the children very carefully. Their little boy Peter, got into his father's electric shaver and shaved a big landing strip right down the middle of his head. When Bob came home, he was furious. He said, "Peter! I told you never to play with my shaver. Now you are going to get a spanking that you will never forget!" He was just about to administer that spanking when Peter looked up at him and said, "Wait until you see sister!" Bob said that he and his wife were horrified when they went into the next room and saw their little four-year-old daughter with all of the hair shaved off of her head. She looked like a little skinned rabbit. By this time, Bob was really furious. He grabbed Peter and said, "Now you are really going to get it!" Just as he lifted his hand and started to bring it down, Peter looked up at him with tears in his eyes and said, "But Daddy, we were just trying to look like you!"
Needless to say, Peter never did get a spanking that night. Instead he got an explanation and a hug. (1)
In the beginning, we were all created in the image and likeness of God. But sin ruined that and we looked nothing like our Creator. So God sent his only Son to show us the depth of the love which God has for us. One of things that absolutely blows me away when I think about it is the fact that at some point in time - earthly time, not heavenly time, for there is no time in heaven - God made a decision to create mankind. And before he did, he also made a decision to send his only Son to show us how to live, to take our own flesh with all of its weaknesses and make it divine, and ultimately to suffer and die on a cross for us. And even knowing all that, God loved us enough to go through with creation.
In the gospel passage we just heard, our Lord breaks the news to the disciples of just what his love for us would cost: his suffering and death on the cross. Because of that act of love, we can each become an adopted child of God if we have faith in Christ Jesus, as Paul says in the second reading. Because of that act of love, we can once again take on the image and likeness of our Creator, just as the children in our story who wanted to look like their father. Christ sacrificed his own life so that we might have the opportunity to live eternally with him in heaven, if we only acknowledge him as Peter did: "You are the Messiah of God". It is our faith in Jesus which unites us once again with the Father.
Any parent would do anything to save their children from suffering themselves. I remember so vividly a scene in the movie Steel Magnolias in the cemetery after the burial of her daughter. Sally Field rages on to her friends and asks them: "Why did Shelby have to die before I did? A child is not supposed to die before her parent does." Implicit in that statement is the sentiment that she would have gladly sacrificed her own life to spare that of her child. But, for the most part, parents do not have to lay down their lives for their children. But they are supposed to do all that they can for their children.
The following story is told by a man whose father had a profound impact on his life. He says:
- I have many memories of my father and of growing up with him in our apartment next to the elevated train tracks. But there is one which sticks in my mind more than any of the others. For 20 years, we listened to the roar of the train as it passed by our windows. Late at night, he would wait alone on the tracks for the train that took him to his job at a factory, where he worked the midnight shift. On this particular night early during World War II, I waited with him in the dark to say good-bye. His face was grim. His youngest son had been drafted. I would be sworn in at six the next morning while he stood at his paper-cutting machine in the factory. My father had talked about his anger. He didn't want them to take his child, only 19 years old, who had never had a drink or smoked a cigarette, to fight a war in Europe. He placed his hands on my slim shoulders. "You be careful, son, and if you ever need anything, write to me and I'll see that you get it." Suddenly, he heard the roar of the approaching train. He held me tightly in his arms and gently kissed me on the cheek. With tear-filled eyes, he murmured, "I love you, son." Then the train arrived, the doors closed him inside, and he disappeared into the night. One month later, at age 46, my father died. I am 76 as I sit and write this. I once heard Pete Hamill, the New York reporter, say that memories are man's greatest inheritance, and I have to agree. I've lived through four invasions in World War II. I've had a life full of all kinds of experiences. But the only memory that lingers is of the night when my dad said, "I love you, son." (2)
As I said, parents usually do not have to lay down their own lives for their children. But every parent is required to - not just advised to, but required to - do something which, for some, may be even harder than laying down their life, namely, to tell their children how much they love them. I'm sure the author of our story did not expect that his father would be the first one to go. And yet none of us knows either the day or the hour when we may be called from this life. How sad to waste the precious little time we have on this earth without doing all that we can to show our children how much we love them. So I ask all of you fathers today to bite a bullet that may be harder than the bullet which would take our lives and express your love to your family members in no uncertain terms while you still can. And children, perhaps it would be a good thing to tell your fathers, and even your dear old moms, how much you love them, too. After all, you just never know....
1. From a sermon by Dr. Joe Harding, quoted in A New Daddy, from Eight Habits of Highly Effective Families, copyright 1997 by Seven Worlds Corporation, 310 Simmons Road, Knoxville, TN 37922. Used with permission. (This resource is available at a discount through the Homiletic Resource Center.)
2. The Only Memory That Lingers. Copyright 1996 by Ted Kruger. From A Fourth Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul, pp. 109-110, copyright 1997 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Hanoch McCarty and Meladee McCarty. Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL. Used with permission. (This resource, as well as many others including a specially-priced package of the Chicken Soup books, is available at a discount through the Homiletic Resource Center.)
(Copyright 2016 by the Spirit through Deacon Sil Galvan, with a little help from the friends noted above. Permission is freely granted for use, in whole or in part, in oral presentations. For permission to use in writing, please contact the human intermediary at email@example.com.)
Lord Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of God. Lord, have mercy.
Christ Jesus, you laid down your life for us. Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you have made us adopted children of God and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. Lord, have mercy.
Celebrant: Each of us is a child of God because of our faith in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we can bring our needs to the Father confident that he will hear us.
Deacon/Lector: Our response is "Lord, hear our prayer".
That the leaders of the Church may care for the needs of their flocks like loving fathers, we pray to the Lord.
That the wealthy nations of the world may come to care for the needs of those nations which have not been so blessed, we pray to the Lord.
That all parents who have recently lost a child may experience God's love and consolation through our prayers and support, we pray to the Lord.
That this summer may be a time of refreshment and renewal for us all, we pray to the Lord.
That all those whose lives have been affected by natural disasters will be strengthened in their efforts to rebuild their lives and not give in to despair, we pray to the Lord..
For all of the intentions we hold in our hearts and which we now recall in silence. (Pause) For all of these intentions, we pray to the Lord.
Celebrant: Heavenly Father, you have provided the example for all human fathers by caring for our needs and providing us with both physical nourishment and spiritual food through your Son, Jesus Christ. Just as he showed us his love for us by suffering and dying on the cross, may all fathers lovingly sacrifice their own desires to provide for their families. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.