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13th Sunday of the Year – B 

13th Sunday of the Year – B

 

Dear friends in Christ,

 

The common theme of today’s readings is God made us for better things. “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”

Today’s First Reading from the Book of Wisdom tells us, “God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him.” This statement shows that there is a special bond between God and us. Unlike all other creatures in the world, we are created to be loving partners with God and so enjoy eternal life. For this reason, we are urged to be wise in the ways of God.

This reading is obviously a commentary on the story of Adam and Eve in the garden, how they tried to find happiness and fulfillment by doing their own wills rather than doing what God told them to do or not do. Adam and Eve thought that God wanted to prevent them from being happy instead of trusting that God had their best interest in mind. When they fell into the devil’s suggestion that they needed to do things their way and not God’s way in order to find happiness, they found death instead.

The truth is: God did not make death. Death in this context is not simply the end of physical life but mainly the separation from God that results from willfully choosing idolatry over a relationship with the living God.

The two miracles in today’s Gospel show what can happen when people really put their trust in Jesus. There are two levels of meaning here: Jesus has compassion for our physical needs, but a greater compassion for our need for salvation.

The Church is to be a community without fear of rejection by others, a community free to live on the level of God.

Happy Fourth of July!

Fr. Joe