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July 27 Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Catholic Homilies
July 27th, 2003

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


While St. John's last supper account says nothing about the Eucharist (he must have presumed everyone knew about it because by the time he wrote the other three gospel traditions were known by most Christians. However, many scholars think that this is a mystical reflection by St. John on the Eucharist, with the emphasis on feeing one another - a link between eating regular food and the Eucharist. Jesus did not choose randomly or arbitrarily a meal to be the sign of his presence among. A common family meal is a moment of special intimacy in our lives because in it we provide one another with the sustenance that keeps us alive (even if some family meals are a little less than love feasts). Yet they are closely connected with God feeding us like a loving parent at Mass.

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Once upon a time a certain woman went on a vacation with her husband and children. She didn't want to go on a vacation because she had been on them before and she knew they meant more work for her. A vacation was like being home, only you had your husband and your kids under your feet all the time and not just part of the day. Moreover, they all made more demands on you as they tried to adjust to a strange place. Finally, towards the end of hot, humid days on the beach, everyone was irritable and looking for a fight. This was fun? Especially for a mommy? Gimme a break! However, she was overruled, especially by her children. So they went on a vacation. It was even worse than last year. The weather was hot and humid every day for two weeks, except for two evening thunderstorms which knocked out both the television and the freezer. The kids missed their friends. Her husband was on the phone to his office every day. Relax? You gotta be kidding! So she didn't notice how helpful the rest of the family was, how easily her kids made friends, how beautiful were the water and the sky, how rich were the sunsets, how warm the water was for swimming, how nice her husband was when he wasn't on the phone, how good the meals were at the local restaurants, how friendly the neighbors were, how much fun they had on small sailboats. Because she was judging by previous vacations, she was not ready for surprises. When the surprises came, she missed them.

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