Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
July 02, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.








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,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (RM)

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP)

Sovereign God, ruler of all hearts, you call us to obey you and favor us with true freedom. Keep us faithful to the ways of your Son, that, leaving behind all that hinders us, we may fix our eyes on him and steadfastly follow in the paths of your kingdom. Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.(BCW)

First Reading 2 Kings 4:8–11, 14–16a

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her. Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine. So she said to her husband, “I know that Elisha is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp, so that when he comes to us he can stay there.” Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight.

Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?” His servant Gehazi answered, “Yes! She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.” Elisha said, “Call her.” When the woman had been called and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.”

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 89:2–3, 16–17, 18–19


Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

The promises of the Lord I will sing forever,

  through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.

For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;

  in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. R/.

Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;

  in the light of your countenance, O Lord, they walk.

At your name they rejoice all the day,

  and through your justice they are exalted. R/.

You are the splendor of their strength,

  and by your favor our horn is exalted.

For to the Lord belongs our shield,

  and to the Holy One of Israel, our king. R/.

Second Reading Romans 6:3–4, 8–11

Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.

 If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.

Gospel Acclamation


Gospel Matthew 10:37–42

Jesus said to his apostles: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple— amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

Catena Nova

Thanks to the power of the Word and the renunciation of past sins, temporal gains are death to the soul, and temporal losses salvation. Apostles must therefore take death into their new life and nail their sins to the Lord’s cross. They must confront their persecutors with contempt for things present, holding fast to their freedom by a glorious confession of faith, and shunning any gain that would harm their souls. They should know that no power over their souls has been given to anyone, and that by suffering loss in this short life they will achieve immortality. (St. Hilary of Poitiers)

A Christian is: a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks and a hand through which Christ helps (St Augustine).

If you wish to enter into life, keep My commandments. If you will know the truth, believe in Me. If you will be perfect, sell all. If you will be My disciple, deny yourself. If you will possess the blessed life, despise this present life. If you will be exalted in heaven, humble yourself on earth. If you wish to reign with Me, carry the Cross with Me. For only the servants of the Cross find the life of blessedness and of true light (Thomas à Kempis).

The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first and in truth, to enter the thicket of the Cross. ….The gate that gives entry, into these riches of His wisdom, is the Cross, because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it. (St John of the Cross)

The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. The cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it is not one inch too large nor one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy name, anointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God (St Francis de Sales). 

Every cross, great or small, every discomfort even, is an appeal from our Beloved, asking us to declare our love and go on doing so while the cross lasts. When we think of it like this, could we not wish that our cross could last forever? It will last as long as Jesus wishes. However sweet it may be, however greatly loved, we desire it only as long as it is Jesus’ will for us. Your will, not ours, Brother Jesus. As for ourselves, we should think no more of ourselves…. We should think only of you, our beloved spouse. We want not what seems good to us, but what is good to you. We ask nothing for ourselves; all we ask is your glory. Hallowed be thy name; thy Kingdom come; thy will be done in your children, in all men. May these things be done in us. May we give all possible glory to you throughout our lives. May we do your will—may we give all possible solace to your Heart. That is all we want and all we need. We are here at your feet, do with us as you will—whatever it may be, do it according to your will. We have no will, no wish except to fulfill your will, to do what seems good to you (St. Charles de Foucauld).

The more profoundly Christian a person becomes the deeper the gap between that person and all who refuse to follow Christ. The width of the gap is proportionate to the strength of the refusal. And this split runs right through our most intimate relationships. Genuine conversion isn’t a matter of natural dispositions or personal histories but the most personal and private decision one can make. One makes a decision for Christ and another doesn’t. Hence the possibility of a kind of schism even between father and son, friend and friend, one member of a household and another. When it comes to a choice between domestic peace and Jesus one must value Jesus more, even more than the most dearly beloved person. This can mean cutting into the very core of our life. Temptation presses us to preserve our human ties and abandon Christ. But Jesus warns us that if we hold onto “life” as we have had it, and sacrifice Jesus to do this, we will end up losing the life we want to keep. If we let go for Jesus’ sake we will find ourselves and in the heart of an immeasurably rich reality. This is difficult. It is the cross. (Romano Guardini)


     I’d like to tell you about a friend of mine named Maria.  I’ve known her for over 40 years.  She belonged to the first parish I was assigned to after my ordination.  Shortly before my arrival, Maria, who was 49 years old at the time, had suddenly lost her husband.  She struggled to go on with life, despite her loss.  With two children still living at home, things were difficult, but she managed.  I don’t know if she had a faith crisis, but during my years at that church, she was very active in both the parish and community.  After suffering an injury at work, she went on disability.  Her health declined somewhat and, of course, there was always the loneliness to deal with, something that worsened after both children left home.  For the last number of years, she has been  in a nursing facility suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, no longer recognizing even her children.  The last time we tried to speak by phone, she didn’t really know who I was.
     I recall having dinner at her house one evening.  She told me about the things which then filled her life: She coordinated a program of Eucharistic adoration in her parish, making sure the people who participated kept their weekly commitment of an hour before the Blessed Sacrament; she kept the chapel decorated with candles and flowers and many other duties connected to this ministry.  In addition to this, she babysat for grandchildren, helped other widows like herself deal with their loss; she visited the sick, comforted the bereaved, assisted new immigrants, and God knows what else.  All that voluntary activity took place despite significant health problems of her own as well as financial and emotional stress.  At the end of our conversation, she simply said, “My life has always been for others.  And this gives it meaning and purpose.”
     As I looked over today’s readings, I couldn’t help but think of Maria.  When I first read the story of Elisha the prophet and the woman of Shunem, I wasn’t sure what I could say about it; the story seems so far from our own experience.  Then I thought of the hospitality I and other priests have been shown time and again by people like Maria.  Those who’ve opened their hearts and homes to receive the ministers of Christ.  People with no hidden agenda or dubious motives--only a generous disposition.
     Then when I turned to the gospel, I saw Jesus’ words to the apostles: Whoever receives you receives me; and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me ... whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple ... will surely not lose his [or her] reward. (G)  And I thought once more of people whose generosity has astounded me over the years.  People who couldn’t do enough to collaborate in the work of the church, serving God and their neighbor.  When you look at such people (and they’re in every parish), you see how they’ve learned the hard lesson in today’s gospel: the one about taking up your cross, and losing your life for Jesus’ sake in order to find it (cf. G).  And you see how, despite their problems and limitations, people continue to serve with joy and simplicity.
     I’ve noticed, with some amazement, how often the most generous people are the ones who bear the heaviest burdens.  I remember noticing another woman I knew years ago sitting by herself in a church where I used to assist.  I stopped her after Mass and inquired about her husband.  She told me he was confined to bed, in the final stages of Parkinson’s Disease.  I asked if I could stop and visit.  When I arrived, I went to Joe’s room.  I couldn’t believe it was him.  His illness had left this once vigorous man a complete invalid.  I couldn’t even give him Communion since he wasn’t able to open his mouth, having to be fed through a tube in his stomach. 
Joe nodded that he recognized me.  I said a few feeble, priest-type words, and gave him my blessing.  His wife Virginia and I went to the kitchen for some coffee.  She told me, very matter of factly, how she cared for Joe around the clock with just a few hours’ assistance from a public nurse, and how “You know, Father, it’s not so bad.”  I was struck by the calm resignation with which she and her husband have borne this heavy cross: Two people who could never do enough for their pastor or their church, never seeking the slightest recognition, going on with their lives with the same discretion and humility they’d always shown.
     I could tell you many other stories of people I’ve been privileged to know as a priest. I’m sure you have your own models of people who live their baptism in such marvelous ways: living proof of God’s power at work in us who believe.  People aware they’re immersed in Christ -- as Paul says, buried with [Christ] through baptism into his death.  And despite their burdens, they walk in newness of life, believing they’ve died with [him]…. and living for God in Christ Jesus (cf. II).  Who lives and reigns, forever and ever.  Amen. 


Intercessions (Joe Milner; The Sunday Website)

For the Church: that we who have died with Christ in baptism may recognize our dignity in being children of God and sisters and brothers to one another.

For a spirit of hospitality: that we may welcome all who enter our lives as we would welcome Christ with great love and generously share our time and talents with them.

For a reordering of our pursuits: that God will free us from idolatrous struggles for power, fame, social status, and possessions and help us find fulfillment in loving service and life-giving relationships.

For all who are struggling with addictions, particularly with opioids: that God will free them, help them find the assistance they need, and restore them to their families. 

For an end to polemics in public discourse: that God will touch the hearts of public officials and help them to speak respectfully and truthfully in pursuing their programs and policies. 

For care for our common home: that we may recognize God’s gift of the earth and its resources to us and work to preserve it so that all of earth's inhabitants may be blessed by it.

For all who are suffering: that God strengthen all who are facing the power of nature, guide all who are in difficult relationships, and give peace to all who are wrongly judged or misunderstood.

For the people of the United States: that God will guide us in living the values which we proclaim so that all may experience life, liberty, and justice.

All-powerful God, your incarnate Word commands our obedience and offers us true life. Make our ears attentive to the voice of your Son and our hearts generous in answering his call,
that we may take up the cross with trust in his promises.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.(ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Chant

Offertory Hymn

If you lose your life for my sake, you will find it; If you want to save your life, let it go. Take up your cross, deny yourself; Come follow me, follow me.

How will you profit by gaining the world while you forfeit all of your life? What will you give in return? What will you give in return?

Before I return in glory, I will give you the gift of my love; You will never taste death. You will never taste death.

Communion Anthem


Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him. O sing unto the Lord a new song, for the Lord hath done marvellous things. In the sight of the nations hath he showed his righteous judgements; with his own right hand and with his holy arm hath he gotten himself the victory. Alleluia!

Closing Hymn

We will go the world in peace, spurning hatred, singing love. We will be the hands of Christ, bringing strength to those who faint. And we will overcome with good, we will overcome with grace.

We will go to the world in hope, shunning violence, speaking peace. We will be the hands of Christ, bringing comfort to those who mourn. And we will overcome with light, we will overcome with life.

We will go to the world in joy, sparking transformation, transformation of the darkness into dawn! We will go to the world in strength resisting evil, rejoicing in good.

We will be the hands of Christ, bringing grace to all the earth. And we will overcome with love, we will overcome with love.