Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A
Reflecting on Romans 8:35, 37-39
Have you ever felt the absence of the love of Christ? Because Paul promises us in that beautiful second reading today (Romans 8:35-39) that nothing can take us from his love.
Let’s see. Not chronic migraines or sciatic pain. Not rheumatoid arthritis. Not bald heads and nausea. Not even the recurrence of cancers we had prayed were gone.
Not the loss of our house. Not the loss of our retirement fund. Not the loss of our health, our strength, our vigor, even our memory.
Not sadness for our children who don’t go to church. Not the loss of our sense of safety for ourselves and the world. Not our horror as we read about atrocities towards children. Not the loss of those we love. Not the loss of love itself. Nothing can take us from his love.
I like to think about Paul. By the time he wrote this letter to the Romans (probably the spring of 57 AD) he himself had already endured danger from rivers, danger from bandits, …danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea… sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold and naked (2 Corinthians 11: 26-27).
It sounds like Paul was remembering his own suffering throughout his courageous missionary journeys. It comforts me that the author of these words―For I am convinced that neither death nor life…neither present things nor future things…will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord—suffered so deeply himself.
Nero executed him for this faith. And now he, and his words of comfort, lives forever.
In what ways have you been sustained by the love of Christ?
My dear friends, this might be a good time for us to remember all whom we love who are struggling to feel the power of God’s love. Where do we begin? Where do we end? Let’s do something different this week. Let’s use the collective power of the hundreds of prayerful people who visit this site to pray for those who are suffering. Maybe we could just place their names here and we can all pray for them this week. I’ll start: please pray with me for the lioness of faith and solidarity with those who are poor, Dorothy Leonard. Dorothy has had a recurrence of an early stage ovarian cancer from 9 years ago. Lord, the one you love is sick. We ask you to hold her and heal her in your way. And touch all whom we love who struggle to find your love today. We trust your Word. Nothing can take us from your love. AMEN.
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
I’d like to pray for Nelia Pobre whose husband died last Wednesday night of pancreatic cancer. The couple was just visiting from the Philippines to be with their son Froilan who is also suffering from the same cancer. A few years before this, another son of theirs died from pancreatic cancer. And yet during our faith sharing, she mentioned that her suffering was minuscule (gesturing with her fingers the length of 1/2 inch) compared to the sufferings of Christ. – — Cris
PS: Thanks for Bobbie’s sharing regarding the Pearl of Great Price and the twist done on the parable.
Please pray for my friend Mary Ann Swafford, who is battling ovarian cancer, my friend Cheryl Lara, who also has ovarian cancer, and Marge Lay who had a double mastectomy last month for breast cancer.
Please pray for 81/2 year old Jack. He has to bear the pain of being separated from his Mom. He wasn’t prepared for it and has no idea when he will live with her again or even see her again. He struggles with school and has to go to a new school in a new area.
Please pray for people with drug addictions. May the Lord stir within them who feel so alone,that they self medicate themselves to end their pains of abuse and abandoment. There are so many to name, so I ask forYour healing those who suffer world wide.
My brother passed away on June 10th. Rest in peace, Doug. You suffered with such dignity.
I ask prayers for all of us dealing with grief.
I heard yesterday that my aunt Jean was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which has spread to her lungs and liver. She is also dealing with blood clots. Healer God, have mercy.
Please pray for my girlfriend Paula, who is being treated for Lymphoma. She has been suffering from another illness for 23 years, one that has compromised her liver and her immune system. She has been taken off the medicine that controls that illness, in preparation for chemotherapy.
Pray fervently for her healing, and ask Pope John Paul II to intercede and perform a miracle by healing her of all her illnesses, with no need to depend upon medication, and to return her liver to a normal condition. Amen.