Daily Reflections for the 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Year A)

Sunday 5th July

Introduction

On this 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time we reflect upon the word of God which calls us to be humble and gentle. Jesus tells us that is how he is and therefore calls us to come to Him and He will help us.

As Christians that is how we are called to be  –  humble and gentle, making ourselves available to others to offer comfort and support.

For the times we have been less than humble and gentle, we first ask for God’s loving mercy and forgiveness in our lives.

Sermon

I was reading a story recently, how many years ago there was a group of young newly ordained priests who wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Holy land. Whilst there they had arranged to meet with the great, world renowned scripture scholar, Pere Lagrange. The young priests travelled wearing their brand new crisp black suits, with their shiny white Roman collars. They looked every inch the new priests!

Part of the journey was by boat where it had been arranged that they could have an altar for saying Mass. After going on the boat the priests sat themselves squarely in the center of the lounge. An impressive sight for all to see. Then a rather scruffily dressed old Dominican friar got on bored the boat and sat down quietly.

On the first morning the old Dominican Friar politely asked the smart newly ordained priests, may he join them for Mass. Rather unwillingly they agreed, but told him that perhaps tomorrow he should say his own Mass once they had finished their own Mass. So morning after morning the smart newly ordained priests said their Mass first and after that the old Dominican Friar said his own Mass by himself.

Eventually they arrived in the Holy Land and straight away arranged to go to St Etienne to visit the great Pere Lagrange, the world renowned scripture scholar. The very smartly dressed young newly ordained priests went excitedly to meet this great man. They knocked on the door of the house where he lived and there before them was that very scruffily dressed old Dominican friar whom they had refused to share Mass with.

The point of the story being, never judge anyone by appearances. Appearances are so deceptive. That scruffy old Friar turned out to be the highly intelligent, deeply spiritual, world famous Pere Lagrange. The smart newly ordained priests, although they looked every inch the priests, actually showed themselves to be actually rather shallow young men who had a lot to learn about life, about being a priests and indeed about being Christian.

Jesus says of himself,

“Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.”

If that is how the Son of God can speak of Himself, then surely, that is how we must be also, if we would dare to call ourselves Christian.