Fr. Mike’s Communication for July 3 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk | July 3, 2022 | Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

~Galatians 6:14

Brothers and Sisters,

“O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

As a native Baltimorean, I always thought over-emphasizing the O (a nod to the Baltimore Orioles) was a unifying moment. It wasn’t until college did I discover that not everyone enthusiastically sings the “O” in the national anthem. For me, our Nation’s anthem — with or without the enthusiastically sung O — served to honor the best of what our country stands for. But we live in a different time than my childhood. The anthem protests and the Nation’s criticism have revealed a growing chasm of division. Regularly we are confronted with a new mode of analyzing our history and questioning our historical figures. While some believe there is nothing good to be found in our Nation’s past, may we, the faithful, eagerly petition the Holy Spirit to endow us with eyes of understanding when reflecting on the Lord’s Divine Authorship of Salvation History.

Last week, on retreat, I heard Fr. Brian Barr vibrantly speak of passion. Passion should not be reduced to excitement (such that I enjoy when singing the O a bit louder when amid our rivals). True passion motivated Jesus to bear the cross so we might have life. True passion leads us to commit our lives to a more significant cause and see a way forward through difficult challenges to achieve our goals. Our passion may lead us to join others to march for rights or may be lived out more subtly, like faithfully serving and caring for others, despite the daily grind. Passion will help us transform the world into the Kingdom God intends.

Transforming our culture is difficult. And we are often left with a feeling of helplessness. Church teaching reminds us that we should engage the culture and enter into dialogue. We are called to understand and appreciate another’s perspective, even if we disagree. As we celebrate the 4th of July, let us thank God for the many blessings of the United States of America. Let us think of those who sacrificed so we could have freedom, both in giving their lives and those who lived their daily lives for the sake of their communities. These are the ones who lived out the freedom earned for them. These are the brave that we should be proud of.

Let us also think of our highest ideals and be open to the many ways we fail to live out these virtues. This honest account does not make us failures, however. A reflection on how we could have done better makes us a Nation eager to keep growing, not satisfied with our achievements nor complacent with the injustices that still exist. Let us be willing to listen in charity, mending the discord that threatens to weaken our democracy.

Land of the free and home of the brave.

May the Lord continue to raise true leaders who help our Nation realize the ideals we profess.

Some considerations:

  • OLPH Senior Community – looking to meet new friends in the faith?| The OLPH Grasshoppers, a small group for the senior set of OLPH, gather on Thursdays in the Parish Office at 10:30am for lunch and fellowship. On the third Thursday of each month, the group heads out for lunch. Come by any week and join up with other friends.

  • Worldwide Marriage Encounter is excited to announce an upcoming experience at St. Philip Neri Church on July 15-17. The Experience will end with Mass on Sunday afternoon. There’s no group discussion. Over the course of the experience, three couples and a priest provide tools, using examples from their own lives, to help couples work through common themes to which we can all relate. To apply online visit:
  • Take a Personal “Retreat” Day this Summer! | Aug 12 / Sep 16 Are your days overcrowded, jam-packed, and busy, busy, busy? Take a break this summer and enjoy your very own personal retreat at Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center. During your personal retreat, from 8:30am-4pm, an experienced retreat director will guide you to a place of rest with Christ. The retreat schedule allows for one-on-one spiritual direction (optional), quiet reflection, Mass, Confession and Eucharistic Adoration, plus continental breakfast and lunch, so you will be nourished and cared for while Our Lord speaks to your soul about the depths of His love for you. Cost is $120 per person. Advance Registration is required, and registrations will be limited to facilitate appropriate social distancing. Visit our website to register and to find more dates Or call 301-365-0612. We also have monthly Mini-Retreats for women and Evenings of Reflection for men. Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center, 7007 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817.
  • Support for New Dads | At the Columbia Pregnancy Center, we recognize the importance of Dads. We are thankful for our fathers who make personal sacrifices and commit to being active and involved in their child’s life. The Center welcomes Dads to attend our education classes taught by doctors, nurses, and health experts teaching childbirth, lactation, nutrition, and infant care. In addition to our live classes, we have hundreds of classes to stream to your mobile device to help build knowledge and expand skills to help dads and moms prepare for parenthood. We have 11 classes designed JUST FOR MEN. If you are an expectant Dad, we are here to help. Contact us by calling or texting 410-730-3223 and check out our services for men.
  • Are you refurnishing or downsizing? The Resource Exchange Ministry of St. Vincent de Paul in downtown Baltimore needs gently used, clean furniture and household goods. For a decade parish, volunteers have been working with Health Care for Homeless to furnish the apartments of their newly housed clients. For more information, visit: or call 410-657-5874.

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett