Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Independence Day, USA

GRACE: Lord, help me to be glad and rejoice intensely that You have given me companions, fellow pilgrims, with whom I have journeyed and will continue to journey along the way. 

Jesus says in today’s gospel passage:

I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.

The internationally famous pilgrimage el Camino de Santiago, or, the Way of Saint James, attracts people from all walks of life: business professionals and the unemployed, people filled with consolation and joy and those who are quite depressed and dispondant, city dwellers and farmers, the wealthy, poor, and all those in between, Christians and non-Christians alike, saints and sinners, all pilgrims.  In other words, this very attractive “Camino” facilitates a unity amongst the diversity of the family of man in the symbolic and actual journeying of all the pilgrims toward deeper relationship with God.  

Our broader pilgrim journey of faith is never alone, never isolated, and need not feel lonely, though at times it certainly may.

Help me, Lord, to realize that along with the other sinners whom You love and call, I, too, am with You.  Show me that my path is not desolate or lonely but involves countless others who yearn to see Your face, to experience Your great love, and to offer themselves to You.  And Lord, help me to turn to you in gratitude for the gift of living in a country where I am free to express my Christian, Catholic faith without fear of violent persecution, imprisonment, or death, and bless those pilgrims in other lands who are not as free as we.

July 4th, 2014