13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
June 30, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Introit

Kyrie

 

Gloria

 

Collect

O God, who through the grace of adoption
chose us to be children of light,
grant, we pray,
that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error
but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24

God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. 14 For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth. 15 For righteousness is immortal. 23 For God created us for incorruption, and made us in the image of his own eternity, 24 but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his company experience it.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 20:2,2,5-6,11,12,13

Second Reading 2 Cor 8:7,9,13-15

Now as you excel in everything— in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you— so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking. 9 For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 13 I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance 14 between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. 15 As it is written, “The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.”

Alleluia Cf. 2 Tm 1:10

Gospel Mk 5:21-24,35b-43

When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders named Jairus came 23 and, when he saw Jesus, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. And a large crowd followed him. 35 Some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 Jesus allowed no one to follow him. 38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. Then Jesus put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about for she was twelve years of age. At this they were overcome with amazement. 43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.                                                                                           

Catena Nova

Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us.  Let us become God’s for His sake, since He for ours became Man. He assumed the worse that He might give us the better; He became poor that we through His poverty might be rich; He took upon Him the form of a servant that we might receive back our liberty; He came down that we might be exalted; He was tempted that we might conquer; He was dishonored that He might glorify us; He died that He might save us; He ascended that He might draw to Himself us, who were lying low in the Fall of sin. Let us give all, offer all, to Him Who gave Himself a Ransom and a Reconciliation for us.  But one can give nothing like oneself, understanding the Mystery, and becoming for His sake all that He became for ours (St. Gregory Nazianzen).

Every gospel reading, beloved, is most helpful both for our present life and for the attainment of the life to come. Today’s reading, however, sums up the whole of our hope, banishing all grounds for despair.... And indeed, for God death is nothing but sleep. He can restore life-giving warmth to limbs grown cold in death sooner than we can impart vigor to bodies sunk in slumber. Listen to the Apostle: “In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, the dead will rise.” He used an image because it was impossible to express the speed of the resurrection in words. How could he explain its swiftness verbally when divine power outstrips the very notion of swiftness? How could time enter the picture when an eternal gift is given outside of time? Time implies duration, but eternity excludes time (St. Peter Chrysologous).

May Jesus touch us, too and at once we shall walk.   We may well be paralysed, our deeds may be evil and we may be unable to walk, we may be lying on the bed of our sins… but if Jesus touches us, then we shall immediately be healed.… Lord, I beseech you, touch our hands as we, too, lie prostrate.   Make us rise from our bed of sins and enable us to walk.   And when we have walked, make them give us something to eat.  We cannot eat when we are lying down- unless we are standing, we shall not be able to receive the Body of Christ (St. Jerome).  
 
In order to enrich us with true riches, Jesus Christ chose to be a poor man, as the Apostle writes, ‘For your sakes He became poor, that by His poverty ye might become rich.’ He chose to be poor in order to teach us by his example to despise earthly blessings; and thus to enrich us with heavenly blessings, which are infinitely more precious, and which last forever. Wherefore he declared that whoever did not renounce every species of attachment to this earth could not be his true disciple (St. Alphonsus Liguori).
 
We need to believe in the power of miracles. Notice that as soon as Jesus raised the little girl to life he told her parents to give her something to eat. He thought of her human needs. Notice too, that once he had raised the girl he wanted people to settle down and go on helping each other in their regular family life. Jesus was blessing our ordinary human existence. He was making it possible for [the little girl] to enjoy the normal joys of life. Recall what the Book of Wisdom tells us. God loves life, ordinary life, and wants the creatures of his world to be healthy and wholesome. To enjoy life we have to share, and Jesus shows us unexpected ways of doing that. A selfish person isn’t a happy one. Such a person lacks a quality that is part of “wholeness” and of belonging to the human family, as well as a particular family. This is essential to being one of God’s People. Don’t miss you opportunities to do this (Fr. Carroll Stuhlmueller).
 
Although the mystery of death utterly beggars the imagination, the Church has been taught by divine revelation and firmly teaches that man has been created by God for a blissful purpose beyond the reach of earthly misery. In addition, that bodily death from which man would have been immune had he not sinned will be vanquished, according to the Christian faith, when man who was ruined by his own doing is restored to wholeness by an almighty and merciful Saviour. For God has called man and still calls him so that with his entire being he might be joined to him in an endless sharing of a divine life beyond alcorruption. Christ won this victory when he rose to life, for by his death he freed man from death. (Second Vatican Council)
 
The healing of Jairus’ daughter is worthy of particular attention (cf. Mk 5: 21-33). There is a father who is in a hurry: his daughter is ill and for this reason he asks for Jesus' help. The Master immediately accepts, but on their way home another healing occurs, and then the news comes that the girl has died. It seems to be the end, but instead Jesus says to the father: “Do not fear, only believe” (Mk 5:36). “Continue to have faith”: because it is faith that sustains prayer. And indeed, Jesus will awaken that child from the sleep of death. But for a time, Jairus had to walk in the dark, with only the flame of faith. Lord, give me faith! May my faith grow! Ask for this grace, to have faith. Jesus, in the Gospel, says that faith moves mountains. But, having real faith. Jesus, before the faith of His poor, of His people, is won over; He feels special tenderness, before that faith. And He listens (Pope Francis).

Homily

Sleeping Beauty

The child is not dead but asleep.  Within all of us dwell things, apparently dead, but really just lying dormant, awaiting the word to arouse them, Arise!  Sometimes those things asleep within us are forgotten truths about ourselves, or perhaps a hidden talent, a muted passion, a dream unfulfilled pushed down from awareness, often due to life circumstances beyond our control. Such things are never truly dead, though we may end up going through life as if they were and we become half-alive, partial selves, accompanied at time by a great deal of inner commotion, weeping and wailing, our soul mourning its loss.  And should someone tell us, Oh, they aren’t dead, only sleeping, we can expect ridicule since, after all, the dead cannot be raised. 

That someone, however, who reassures us, Do not be afraid; just have faith, is a life-saver, calling us to wholeness.  And whoever speaks with that voice is someone very willing to disregard the naysayers, those doubters telling us not to disturb the dead.  Such voices may well tell them to get out and come near us together with others who truly care for us. And they speak words to arouse us, our forgotten selves, younger by decades, and demand we get up from our slumber. After all, we are fashioned in such a way that we might have such fullness of being.

This fullness is what the Swiss analyst Carl Jung called “consciousness.” “Consciousness, he reminds us, “does not create itself -- it wells up from unknown depths. In childhood it awakens gradually, and all through life it wakes each morning out of the depths of sleep from an unconscious condition” (Collected Works 11:935). In other words, throughout our lives, we are meant to expand and grow beyond the limits life and circumstances impose and fulfill all the potential that lies within every human being, not to be submerged forever. 

I saw an interview this week with the apparent next mayor of Buffalo, India Walton, who won an upset victory in a primary challenge to the long-serving incumbent.  “Walton, born on Buffalo’s primarily Black East Side, became a full-time working mother at age 14 after dropping out of high school. She worked as a nurse in the Buffalo Public Schools and became involved in the local SEIU union before turning to community organizing work, founding an affordable housing group that rehabilitated vacant homes for low-income residents” (HuffPost;  June 23, 2021).  Apparently, she allowed herself very little “sleep” of the kind Jung means. 

By the way, isn’t that what brings us to church?  Why have we come here, if not to be challenged to such growth? Again Jung insists that, “No Christian is meant to sleep in a safe pew. . . a true Christian is not bedded upon roses and is not meant for peace and tranquility of mind but for war” (Letters, II, 242).  War against what?  Well, death of course, in all its manifestations for God did not make death (I).  And not only the death of our body, but even more the death of our soul.  And not just when we leave the confines of time and space, but in the here and now too.  

Of course, deathly sleep afflicts society as well as individuals.  We’ve heard a lot lately about “woke culture.”  For some, “woke” means being newly-aware of injustice in the land, the unhealed wounds of racism, preventing us from fulfilling this land’s potential.  For others, “woke” is just another form of racism in reverse.  For a while last week, when the U.S. Senate unanimously – yes, unanimously! – approved making Juneteenth a national holiday, I thought something had indeed awakened as if by a miracle.  While India Walton won a primary “in one of the country’s most segregated cities, which also claims the nation’s third-worst child poverty rate” (ibid.). Of course, at the same time, the red herring of “critical race theory” was dividing the “woke” from the “unwoke,” voting rights were being curtailed, and the Capitol insurrection was claimed to be just a bunch of energetic tourists. I sometimes I think Rip van Winkle slept less soundly.

But it’s not just race.  One can be woke about climate change or else in dire need of a wakeup call.  Woke about gun violence or in desperate need of an alarm clock.  Woke about the nuclear threat or left in suspended animation. Woke about income inequality such that whoever has much does not have more and whoever has little does not have less (cf. II) or else remain asleep at the commonweal. Why, by the end of the month we just might have a national awakening about UFOs!

In the end, though, it’s the grace of God we need, to raise us up and awaken us to Christ who in this Sacrament that we offer and receive fills us with life (cf. Prayer after Communion).  Who lives and reigns, forever and ever.  Amen.

 

 

Intercessions (Joe Milner; The Sunday Website))

For the Church: that we, who are made in the image of God, may celebrate God’s gift of life to us and live it with gratitude and zeal.

For growth in our faith: that God will draw us into a deeper relationship, help us to trust in challenging times, and free us from fear.

For all who are ill, particularly children and those with chronic conditions: that God will renew the gift of life within them and restore them to health and wholeness.

For all who are clinging to life, particularly those who have fled war, gangs, famine, or natural disasters: that God will open the hearts of many to reach out to them and support them.

For all who are incapacitated by age, disability, mental illness, or illiteracy: that they may be respected as persons and receive the food, shelter, and medical care they need.

For all entrapped by loneliness: that God’s love may break through their bonds and heal their deepest hurts.

For the members of Congress: that God will open them to finding ways to work together in developing programs that address the greatest needs in society and the advancement of the common good.

For the healing of minds and hearts: that the healing touch of Jesus will restore those who have experienced abuse, discrimination, abandonment, or ridicule.

For all who are traveling: that God will watch over them and protect them from harm.

For peace: that God will guide leaders of nations in promoting agricultural and economic development so that everyone may have food and opportunities to use their gifts.

God of the living, in whose image we have been formed  with imperishable life as our destiny, dispel from your people the fear of death and awaken within us the faith that saves. Bid us rise from the death of sin to take our place in the new creation. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Antiphon

Offertory Hymn  (Margo)

 

Everything around me is dying
Everyone says I am dead
But my eyes are only closed
I cannot seem to get out of my bed
It's a tiny cramped room in my head
Is anyone calling for help?

Jesus came into my room
He grabbed my hand and said "Talitha Koum"
Talitha Koum
Talitha Koum

He told me not to be afraid
Believe in my name
You say
"I'm free I feel it in my body"
"I'm clean I feel it in my skin"
"I'm free I feel it in my body"
"I'm clean I feel it in my skin"

Jesus came into my room
He grabbed my hand and said "Talitha Koum"
Get up my child, you'll feast with me soon
Talitha Koum
Talitha Koum
Talitha Koum
Get up my child, you'll feast with me soon

Communion Antiphon

 

Closing Hymn (Libera)

 

I will sing for you at the start of each day,

I'll sing forever, sing for you

In all things I do in the dawn of my life,

I'll sing forever, sing for you.

Shutting out night my life renewed,

Happy for love that is to come

Opening eyes I'll follow you

Glad to see, glad to be yours.

Echoing what you say,

Shining out what you are,

Out of dark, into your light.

I will sing for you in the light of each day

I'll sing forever, sing for you

In all things I do at the noon of my life,

I'll sing forever, sing for you.

I will sing for you at the end of each day,

I'll sing for ever, sing for you

In all things I do in the eve of my life,

I'll sing forever, sing for you.

I will sing for you each and every day,

I'll sing forever, sing for you

In all things I do to the end of my life

I'll sing forever, sing for you.

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