by Renae Bauer
Anyone familiar with farming or gardening knows that harvesting crops means getting out to the field. To borrow from a pastor's homily, "You don't open the barn doors and expect the crop to blow in."
Likewise, our task of sharing the Good News of Christ's salvation requires effort and focus. Sunday's Gospel directs the disciples (and us) to give this mission our all: "Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way." Not even a courteous greeting should distract us from our task.
At first blush, this seems a mighty task in light of caring for aging relatives, raising children, tending to a spouse, being a responsible employer or employee, fulfilling commitments made at church or elsewhere, making sure the roof over your head doesn't cave in and whatever else you have on your plate today. And then I realize maybe the way in which I carry out my responsibilities should be in a Gospel fashion. Before Sunday's reading concludes we hear, "Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.'" If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you."
It's not a new revelation but it's one I need to hear often: True peace, real peace is found only in Jesus Christ, and that's what I can share with others today.
chapter 22, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
by Sister Mary Kabat
Do you have sacramentals in your home? By definition, "sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church that bear a resemblance to the sacraments." They include blessings such as the Sign of the Cross or grace before meals, prayers such novenas or the rosary, processions or pilgrimages, holy water, blessed ashes and palms, medals, statues, icons, stained glass windows -- all those Christian images, words or actions which make visible the invisible mysteries and presence of our God.
Through the use of sacramentals and devotions we permeate our everyday life with prayer and deepen our faith, our hope and our love of God. What sacramental do you treasure? What devotion or prayer keeps your mind and heart united with God?