The month of July is dedicated to The Precious Blood of Jesus. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.
The Blood that coursed through the veins of Christ was a part of that Sacred Humanity made possible by the maternity of Mary, whose parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne are honored this month. (July 26). Our Lord's blood poured out on the Cross purchased our salvation, washed clean the robes of the martyrs, and gave birth to the Church as it flowed from his wounded side. The Precious Blood of Christ — now pulsing through his Mystical Body — continues its salvific work, preserving and purifying, repairing and providing nourishment for regeneration and renewal of its members.July’s longer and warmer days also provide us with the opportunity for renewal, both interior and exterior. Schedules relax and pressures ease, inviting travel. But, whether we travel or not, like the missionary, Bl. Junipero Serra (July 1), we preach to others — by our conduct, our speech, even the clothes we wear. May we be modest in everything we do, imitating St. Maria Goretti, the young martyr for purity (July 6), and “preaching” Christ to everyone we meet. The summer Readings of Ordinary Time remind us that our earthly pilgrimage is also a journey, a great adventure towards union with Christ, the Beginning and the End of our journey. Each Sunday with its Easter renewal becomes a mile marker along the way, linking where we have been with where we are going. May the Precious Blood of Jesus sustain us as we journey to our true home, with Mary and the angels as our companions on the way.
The phenomenon of Christmas and Easter Catholics -- those who attend Mass only on the two greatest holy days of the year -- is often noted with a touch of horror by those who attend Mass every Sunday. Worse yet are those who come to church only to be "carried" (baptism), "married," and "buried."
But while we're often quick to point fingers at others, we tend to forget that proclaiming the Gospel, living the Faith, and believing in the truths that the Catholic Church teaches are the work of a lifetime. Simply showing up doesn't cut it. Pope Benedict reminds us that evangelization is an ongoing process. Some of the areas in which Christianity has been preached the longest are in the most desperate need of hearing the Gospel, and even those who still consider themselves Christians can lose sight of the truths of the Catholic Faith.
In recent years, surveys have shown that many who consider themselves faithful Catholics have begun to see what they receive in the Sacrament of Holy Communion as merely a symbol, and not the actual Body and Blood of Christ. But the entire Catholic sacramental worldview flows from the recognition that being a Christian means becoming part of the Body of Christ. If we regard the Host as mere bread, we have separated ourselves from Christ. As Christ Himself said (John 6:54), "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you."
If being a Christian is no longer a living faith but more like a box that we check on a census form, then we have lost the essence of what it means to be a Christian. While we are still indelibly marked by our baptism and confirmation, we cannot expect those sacraments alone to save us. As members of the Church, the Body of Christ, we are called to preach the Gospel of Christ to all nations, but that first requires us to hear it, embrace it, and live it ourselves. As Pope Benedict notes, that is our true identity as Christians; anything less is just a label.
On the first day of the week, the Lord's Day, God assembles the beloved people to hear the word, to reflect upon it, to offer the living sacrifice of praise, and to eat and drink the banquet of the Lord. Then God sends them forth to proclaim this love by their words and actions.
Sunday is the original Christian feast day, following the tradition handed down from the apostles' time, for this was the day of the Lord's resurrection. Today's Christian communities continue this tradition by celebrating every Sunday as the day of the risen Lord.
Ordinary Time begins after the feast of the Baptism of Jesus and ends on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. During the Sundays of these weeks the readings are remembering the many aspects surrounding the life of Christ.
The Mass admits of limitless levels and layers of understanding. A richness of outward signs points to inward realities of grace; sensible symbols become gateways to the mystical realm. The Church wisely uses externals – words, gestures, and material things we can see, hear and smell – to surround the sacred mysteries that will sanctify her children.
With urgency, therefore, the Magisterium encourages us to participate fully and actively in the liturgical sacrifice: by coming to it with proper dispositions; by offering our lives with the sacrifice of Christ our High priest; by growing in our knowledge and appreciation of the Mass; and by leading our children, through instruction and example, to a deeper understanding and love of the faith and the liturgy.
There are few prayer forms that are as “kid-friendly” as the rosary. While an entire rosary might be too much for some kids, a decade of the rosary can be the perfect length for a short, yet meaningful family prayer time. Holding a sacred object is important to children, and the rosary provides that. Each of the 10 Hail Marys within a decade can be an opportunity to have different children lead by saying the first half of the prayer. Before each bead, family members can take turns offering a specific prayer intention.
Want a fun and simple way to bring the Sunday Mass readings alive? With just a few minutes’ preparation, your family can enjoy fun activities, discussion time and even a creative snack, but best of all, your family will remember the time spent together learning more about God.
Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When the heart is pure and united with God it is consoled and filled with sweetness; it is dazzled by a marvelous light.
In a prayer well made, troubles vanish like snow under the rays of the sun.
So, when you're down and out, and nothing else seems to be working, the prayer to St Jude is here for you.
Parish office hours:
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We are a Catholic community inspired by the Father’s love and mercy to help fulfill the mission of Christ. Our Pastor is Monsignor Jeremiah (Jerry) Desmond
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2826 Bank Road
Kamloops, British Columbia
Office Tel: (250) 579-8711
Center Tel: (250) 579-8407