Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 30, 2024

Dear Friends,

The 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, brings us a wonderful and reaffirming message of hope: a message that God LOVES LIFE and HATES DEATH. In our first reading, the Book of Wisdom (1: 13-15; 2: 23-24 puts it marvelously:

God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, and there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the netherworld on earth, for justice is undying. For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to his company experience it.

As I was reading this amazing passage, I thought of a latest hit song titled, “I was Gonna Be,” that helps to brings this message in a new way. Sung by Rachel Holt, an 18-year-old girl from Indiana, and written by Chris Wallin, it has reached number 5 on iTunes’ most-listened-to country songs. Here is a selection from the lyrics:

Some don’t believe I’m a living soul Just a bad mistake that needs to go

If my mama coulda just seen my face Maybe she woulda had me anyway There are those who speak for me

Who fight for lives that they can’t see But there are some who only mourn

This life of mine if I were born All I wanted was a chance

To learn to love and laugh and dance

But I was gone before I arrived

Sent back to heaven on a starlight flight…

I was gonna have some pretty curls Yeah I was gonna be a girl

I’m more than just some one night stand Or some burden that you think I am

And there ain’t no man ever gonna be What I was gonna be

Some don’t believe I’m a living soul Just a bad mistake that needs to go.

You can listen to the song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM6SPWGQs-A

Yes, dear friends, as we hear in the Gospel today, our God in Jesus continues to cure, heal, and give life. Let us pray for the many who are waiting to be born but are scheduled to be discarded before they can get that chance, and for those who are making a different decision for them, that the Lord may change their hearts.

Congratulations to Schonda and Ronnie Rodriguez who were awarded the family of the month for June 2024. What a blessing they are to our community!

I am so looking forward to celebrating the 4th July with a picnic here at St. John’s. It’s a first for us! Let us use this day to rejoice and be grateful to God for the chances we have been given to BE. I wish you all a very Blessed and Happy Independence Day!

Let us now return to where we left off in our reading of Pope Benedict XVI’s masterpiece, the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis. As I pointed out last week, we are providing you with this beautiful exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI in easily digestible portions as an aide to renewing a grateful appreciation of the gift of the Eucharist.

Have a Blessed Week!

With love,

Fr. John

SA C R A M E N T U M C A R I T A T I S ( T H E SA C R A M E N T O F C H A R I T Y : T HE E U C H A R I ST )


P A R T T W O : T H E E U C H A R I ST — A M Y ST E R Y T O B E C E L E B R A T E D ( c on t i n u e d )

"Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven" (Jn 6:32)



  1. In discovering the beauty of the eucharistic form of the Christian life, we are also led to reflect on the moral energy it provides for sustaining the authentic freedom of the children of Here I wish to take up a discussion that took place during the Synod about the connection between theeucharistic form of lifeandmoral transformation. Pope John Paul II stated that the moral life "has the value of a 'spiritual worship' (Rom 12:1; cf. Phil 3:3), flowing from and nourished by that inexhaustible source of holiness and glorification of God which is found in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist: by sharing in the sacrifice of the Cross, the Christian partakes of Christ's self- giving love and is equipped and committed to live this same charity in all his thoughts and deeds" (228). In a word, "'worship' itself, eucharistic communion, includes the reality both of being loved and of loving others in turn. A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concretepractice of love is intrinsically fragmented"(229).

This appeal to the moral value of spiritual worship should not be interpreted in a merely moralistic way. It is before all else the joy-filled discovery of love at work in the hearts of those who accept the Lord's gift, abandon themselves to him and thus find true freedom. The moral transformation implicit in the new worship instituted by Christ is a heartfelt yearning to respond to the Lord's love with one's whole being, while remaining ever conscious ofone's own weakness. This is clearly reflected in the Gospel story of Zacchaeus (cf. Lk 19:1- 10). Afterwelcoming Jesus to his home, the tax collector is completely changed: he decides to give half of his possessions to thepoor and to repay fourfold those whom he had defrauded. The moral urgency born of welcoming Jesus into our lives is the fruit of gratitude for having experienced the Lord's unmeritedcloseness.


  1. Here it is important to consider what the Synod Fathers described as eucharistic consistency, a quality which our lives are objectively called to Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: it demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one's children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms (230). These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature (231). There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrustedto them (232).



  1. In my homily at the eucharistic celebration solemnly inaugurating my Petrineministry, I said that "there is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with There is nothing more beautiful than to know him and to speak to others of our friendship with him." (233) These words are all the more significant if we think of the mystery of the Eucharist. The love that we celebrate in the sacrament is not something we can keep to ourselves. By its very nature it demands to be shared with all. What the world needs is God's love; it needs to encounter Christ and to believe in him. The Eucharist is thus the source and summit not only of the Church's life, but also of her mission: "an authentically eucharistic Church is a missionary Church." (234) We too must be able to tell our brothers and sisters with conviction: "That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also toyou, so thatyoumay have fellowship with us" (1 Jn 1:3). Truly, nothing is more beautiful than to know Christ and to make him known to others. The institution of the Eucharist, for that matter, anticipates the very heart of Jesus' mission: he is the one sent by the Father for the redemption of the world (cf. Jn 3:16- 17; Rom 8:32). At the Last Supper, Jesus entrusts to his disciples the sacrament which makes present his self-sacrifice for the salvation of us all, in obedience to the Father's will. We cannot approach theeucharistic table without being drawn into the mission which, beginning in the very heartof God, ismeant to reach all people. Missionary outreach is thus an essential part of theeucharistic formof the Christian life.

(228) Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor (6 August 1993), 107: AAS 85 (1993), 1216-1217

(229) Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est (25 December 2005), 14: AAS 98 (2006),

(230) John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae (25 March 1995): AAS 87 (1995), 401-522; Benedict XVI, Address to the Pontifical Academy for Life (27 February 2006): AAS 98 (2006), 264-265.

(231) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life (24 November 2002): AAS 96 (2004), 359-370.

(232) Propositio 46.

(233)  AAS 97 (2005), 711.

(234) Propositio 42.