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Sunday, August 14, 2011

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20th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
Matthew 15:21-28

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is your catholic church catholic?

"My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." —Isaiah 56:7

Is your church filled with members who are young and old, black and white, male and female, poor and rich, U.S. citizens and internationals? Many Catholic churches in the USA are filled with old, white, upper-middle class, American women. We thank God for these women. They are the precious remnant who are helping the church survive.

Nevertheless, where are the men and the young? We need these members of the body of Christ (see 1 Cor 12:21ff). We American Catholics formerly were the church of the poor, but now the poor would not feel welcome in most of our gatherings. We white folks desperately need our African-American brothers and sisters. Moreover, if our traditionally immigrant American Catholic Church doesn't evangelize the new immigrants from Vietnam, Korea, China, Mexico, Central America, Africa, and Muslim countries, are we truly catholic, that is, universal?

What can we do to be truly catholic? Break new ground. Invite African-American, Asian, or Hispanic people over for supper. Sponsor a foreign student. Make your house a place where young people find Jesus. Live a more austere life in solidarity with the poor. Challenge a man to follow Jesus. Be Catholic in the true sense of the word.

Prayer:  Father, may I make my church representative of the body of Christ.

Promise:  "Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass." —Mt 15:28

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who came to earth "so that God may be all in all"! (1 Cor 15:28) Glory to our awesome, abundant God!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Church in America on audio AV 115-1 or video V-115.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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