Word To Life
Sunday Scripture Readings: July 4, 2010
By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service
July 4, Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Cycle C Readings:
1) Isaiah 66:10-14c
Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20
2) Galatians 6:14-18
Gospel: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
I was leaving the administrative offices of the Salvation Army in Fort Worth late one afternoon as we finished a major capital campaign. We had raised $7.5 million, primarily to build a new shelter for homeless families and individuals, and I had headed the second half of the campaign. I had helped keep the campaign alive in a rough economy, an economy in which local banks were losing value drastically. They were rough economic times locally, not unlike our current national recession.
As I closed the door and put my key in the lock, I was basking in the glory of "my" accomplishment. As I silently thanked the Lord for allowing me to lead this campaign, I gradually worked my way backward until I had reached the more realistic point of being grateful for having been a part of the team God used to accomplish his goal of serving the poor.
It was a good and useful lesson I have never forgotten. Even though I may temporarily drift into the area of the ego trip, God always brings me back around to see that I am merely a member of the team, one of his servants being allowed to witness and participate in his work.
In the Gospel for this week, Jesus cautions his followers who have just returned jubilant from a successful mission. He says he has observed Satan fall in defeat like lightning from the sky. But he goes on to say, "Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
The Scriptures from Isaiah 66 and Psalm 66 implore us to rejoice in the prosperity of Jerusalem and, "Shout joyfully to God, ... sing praise to the glory of his name," to "proclaim his glorious praise," to "say to God, 'How tremendous are your deeds!'"
So even though Jesus warns us against dwelling too much on our own roles in accomplishing God's purposes, Scripture places no such restriction on our praise of God for his glorious deeds. As the Psalm reading puts it: "Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you, sing praise to your name!"
What successes have you experienced that you realized came, ultimately, from God's grace? Is praise of God for his presence in your life, for his creation, and simply for who he is, a part of your prayer life?
SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:
"Loudly sound his praise" (Psalm 66:8b).
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