June 5, 2016 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time Deacon Steve Whiteman

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time June 5, 2016

Reading 1 1 Kgs 17:17-24

Responsorial Psalm Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13

  1. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. Reading 2 Gal 1:11-19
  2. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 7:11-17

5 June 2016 New Beginnings in prayer Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time year C Lectionary: 90
In our readings today, we have 3 incredible stories of new life. God miraculously interceded in their lives and like our Psalm today, He turned their mourning into dancing:
1. In the OT reading, the widow’s son died but was brought back to life when Elijah prayed for him. 2. In the Gospel, Jesus brought the widow’s son back to life when he touched his coffin. 3. In our 2nd reading from Galatians, Paul recounts the faith transformation he went through. He went from being a persecutor of early Christians to becoming one of our most successful evangelists.
In all 3 stories, God heard the cry of those suffering and responded with a miracle. He literally turned death into new life.
These events happened a long time ago so how do they relate to our lives today?
Why don’t we see miracles like this today?
Depending on your perspective and where you look, there are many examples of modern day miracles:
x There was recently a movie in the theaters called “Miracles from Heaven”.  It’s a true story of a 10-year-old girl who had a near-death experience and was later restored to health from an incurable disease. x MiracleHunter.com is a website recently featured in National Geographic. It attempts to document every known miracle and appearance by Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, saints and angels. x After many years of praying and peaceful protesting, Planned Parenthood left Dubuque. x It may not be considered a miracle by some but I did see the Cubs are still in 1st place.
If we thought about it long enough, could we come up with examples of miracles in our own life?
Sometimes it takes several years of hindsight and experience but I’ll bet that most of us could recall examples of divine intercession in our lives or the lives of our family. When something seems to happen in your life by coincidence you may look back and see God’s fingerprints on it years later.
If we think about our lives today…where do we need another miraculous change? Where do we need a new beginning?
This could take many forms:
1. Are there relationships that need to be renewed? 2. Are there parts of our lifestyle that need to be transformed? 3. Does our faith life of the faith life of someone we know need rebuilding?
This goes beyond a New Year’s resolutions. I’m suggesting we reach for the stars here and focus on one significant change we need for ourselves or for someone we know. This miraculous change should bring peace in our lives and closer to God.
So how do we get started? How do we take the next step?
There are some Bible verses that may help us:
x From the Gospel of Luke we have: “ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” x From 1st Thessalonians St. Paul tells us to: “Pray without ceasing”
With our prayers and petitions we have the chance to think through the miraculous change we are asking for. In this conversation, God already knows what we want and more importantly what is best for us. In prayer we can discover what we really need. We may realize what we can do to help, and find the patience we need to let God do the rest. It’s also helpful to remember that God’s answer to our prayers may not be the one we are looking for. The answer might be: YES, NO or NOT AT THIS TIME.
Sometimes when we pray really hard for something it helps us realize we may be asking for the wrong thing. In 6th grade I had a big crush on a girl. I prayed night and day that she would be my girlfriend. Looking back on it now I don’t think she had any idea how much I liked her and fortunately it never worked out. God had other plans and saying NO to that prayer lead me down a different but much better path. Christy and I celebrated 28 years of marriage last month.
Be sure to ask other people to pray too. There is a book of prayer requests at the front door of the church and information about Nativity’s prayer chain is on the front of the bulletin. After the petitions are read at Mass is a perfect time to offer up our own prayer request. Don’t forget the intercession of the Saints is very powerful.
Since many of us often pray for friends or family members who have fallen away from their faith, I want to share a story about a miraculous conversion. You may have heard it before:
This is the story of Saint Monica and Saint Augustine, a mother and son who lived in the 4th century in northern Africa. Augustine was certainly not a saint in his younger years. He pursued his worldly passions for almost 20 years. When he later wrote about that time period in his life he said:  “I was simply a slave of lust”.
After many years of praying by St. Monica and the influence of St. Ambrose, St. Augustine made a profound conversion. After he was baptized, St. Monica told him that all of her prayers had been answered and she no longer hoped for anything in this world. St. Monica died soon after this and St. Augustine went on to become a great bishop and doctor of the Church. His most famous writings include City of God and a spiritual autobiography called Confessions.
I will leave you with one of his quotes:
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.

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