Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Jgs 6:11-24a

The angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth in Ophrah
that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite.
While his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press
to save it from the Midianites,
the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said,
“The LORD is with you, O champion!”
Gideon said to him, “My Lord, if the LORD is with us,
why has all this happened to us?
Where are his wondrous deeds of which our fathers
told us when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’
For now the LORD has abandoned us
and has delivered us into the power of Midian.”
The LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have
and save Israel from the power of Midian.
It is I who send you.”
But Gideon answered him, “Please, my lord, how can I save Israel?
My family is the lowliest in Manasseh,
and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.”
“I shall be with you,” the LORD said to him,
“and you will cut down Midian to the last man.”
Gideon answered him, “If I find favor with you,
give me a sign that you are speaking with me.
Do not depart from here, I pray you, until I come back to you
and bring out my offering and set it before you.”
He answered, “I will await your return.”

So Gideon went off and prepared a kid and a measure of flour
in the form of unleavened cakes.
Putting the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot,
he brought them out to him under the terebinth
and presented them.
The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and unleavened cakes
and lay them on this rock; then pour out the broth.”
When he had done so,
the angel of the LORD stretched out the tip of the staff he held,
and touched the meat and unleavened cakes.
Thereupon a fire came up from the rock
that consumed the meat and unleavened cakes,
and the angel of the LORD disappeared from sight.
Gideon, now aware that it had been the angel of the LORD,
said, “Alas, Lord GOD,
that I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!”
The LORD answered him,
“Be calm, do not fear. You shall not die.”
So Gideon built there an altar to the LORD
and called it Yahweh-shalom.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 85:9, 11-12, 13-14

R. (see 9b) The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace
To his people, and to his faithful ones,
and to those who put in him their hope.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

Alleluia 2 Cor 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,

“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Bernard, please go here.

– – –
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Seasons of Hardship

Have you ever gone through a period of great suffering in your life, a time when you felt like enough was enough and just couldn’t go on? I mean, how many things can snowball into a stark reality before you go absolutely crazy?

In today’s first reading, Gideon wondered the very same thing. Begrudged by the oppression of the Midianites, he was an unhappy man. So God sent HIM to do something about it. As I type, my body is wracked with soreness and exhaustion, my soul is bruised from wounded relationships and unexpected realizations, my mind is whirling with a hundred things that crush my thoughts. How long can this go on?

Faced with the eviction of close relatives who trashed a living space we owned, we have been forced to spend countless hours and thousands of dollars that we don’t have just making it livable again. We count on the rental of this space to pay our bills and every month it lays vacant we go more and more in the hole. So each night, after working all day, my husband and I trudge over to our “side job.” Most days the to-do list is so long we can see no light at the end of the tunnel. Now, with most cosmetic aspects in place and a smaller list of practical details to finish we feel a certain amount of relief. It is short-lived, however, as we realize how much work we have to do on our own home, all projects abandoned in a rush to finish the rental.

To top it all off, my husband has begun a new venture that he loves, but that also entails a certain amount of stress and takes up a good portion of his time. The kids are fighting and cocking attitudes. School is about to start. We have family visiting for a week. Did I mention we are EXHAUSTED?…the words of the Psalm come as a balm to my weary soul.

“I will hear what God proclaims; the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people, and to his faithful ones, and to those who put in him their hope.” (Ps 85)

“For everything, there is a season, even a season to suffer, to be tired and to wonder why. And in every season God is there and there is hope. For every season there is a reason. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.” (Mt 19)

Someone once told me that it was kind of nice being in the depths of the pit because you knew the only direction you could go from there was up. So here’s to moving forward, to ascending the heights, with my sights on the eternal goal, my final climb heavenward. “For God, all things are possible.”

Contact the author


Tami grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling home improvement projects, finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at Diocesan, is a guest blogger on CatholicMom.com and BlessedIsShe.net, runs her own blog at https://togetherandalways.wordpress.com and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for almost 20 years.

St. Bernard de Clairvaux

On August 20 the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a Doctor of the Church thanks to his writings and sermons which greatly influenced Europe during the 12th century, and his numerous efforts which helped to avoid a schism in the Church in 1130.Born in 1090, Bernard spent his early years near Dijon, France before leaving to joining the Cistercians at the age of 22. He was well educated and so passionate about his faith that he convinced his brothers, his uncle, and many of his friends to join him at the abbey.Bernard first entered the abbey at Citeaux, but only three years later was sent with 12 other monks to establish another monastery in the Diocese of Champagne. The monastery came to be known Clairvaux (Valley of Light). He led the other monks there as the abbot for the rest of his life.St. Bernard knew how to harmonize the contemplative life with important missionary work, as the Pope noted in 2006. However, the saint’s strict observance of silence and contemplation did not impede him from living a very intense apostolic life. His humility and his commitment to tame his impetuous temperament were exemplary, he said.The Pope also highlighted the saint’s focus on the truth that God, who is love, created mankind out of love and that man’s salvation consists of adhering firmly to Divine love, revealed through the crucified and risen Christ. “The richness of St. Bernard’s preaching and his theology were not in pursuing new paths,â€� the Pope said, “but in succeeding to propose the truth of the faith in a clear and incisive way so as to fascinate the listener and lead the person to prayer.â€�St. Bernard is also well-known for his Marian devotion, especially in using and promoting the “Memorare” prayer.  He became widely known throughout Europe and was consulted by Popes and political leaders. He died in 1153 and was canonized less than three decades later in 1174.In August 2008, Pope Benedict spoke of the saint during his weekly general audience.  He recalled that Pope Pius VIII labeled the “Honey-Sweet Doctorâ€� for his eloquence and that he traveled throughout Europe defending the Christian faith.  Benedict XVI added, “He was also remembered as a Doctor of Mariology, not because he wrote extensively on Our Lady, but because he understood her essential role in the Church, presenting her as the perfect model of the monastic life and of every other form of the Christian life.â€�

Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Jgs 2:11-19

The children of Israel offended the LORD by serving the Baals.
Abandoning the LORD, the God of their fathers,
who led them out of the land of Egypt,
they followed the other gods of the various nations around them,
and by their worship of these gods provoked the LORD.

Because they had thus abandoned him and served Baal and the Ashtaroth,
the anger of the LORD flared up against Israel,
and he delivered them over to plunderers who despoiled them.
He allowed them to fall into the power of their enemies round about
whom they were no longer able to withstand.
Whatever they undertook, the LORD turned into disaster for them,
as in his warning he had sworn he would do,
till they were in great distress.
Even when the LORD raised up judges to deliver them
from the power of their despoilers,
they did not listen to their judges,
but abandoned themselves to the worship of other gods.
They were quick to stray from the way their fathers had taken,
and did not follow their example of obedience
to the commandments of the LORD.
Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, he would be with the judge
and save them from the power of their enemies
as long as the judge lived;
it was thus the LORD took pity on their distressful cries
of affliction under their oppressors.
But when the judge died,
they would relapse and do worse than their ancestors,
following other gods in service and worship,
relinquishing none of their evil practices or stubborn conduct.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 106:34-35, 36-37, 39-40, 43ab and 44

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They did not exterminate the peoples,
as the LORD had commanded them,
But mingled with the nations
and learned their works.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They served their idols,
which became a snare for them.
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to demons.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They became defiled by their works,
and wanton in their crimes.
And the LORD grew angry with his people,
and abhorred his inheritance.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Many times did he rescue them,
but they embittered him with their counsels.
Yet he had regard for their affliction
when he heard their cry.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Alleluia Mt 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 19:16-22

A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.

For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint John Eudes, please go here.

– – –
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Fulfilled Hearts

As a young adult, I recognize myself in the young man that we read about in today’s Gospel. We want to know the rules, the step-by-step instructions, the exact path to walk down for perfection. I’ve talked about it before, how as technologically advanced people, we want to be able to perfect the art of being happy and of being holy.

Today, the young man follows the rules, the Ten Commandments, and yet he does not feel like that is enough. He is correct.

Living out a faithful life is more than simply going through the motions. Most of us are not murderers, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t lie, and we honor our parents. We treat others kindly. Yet, we still feel empty.

I think back to when I was depressed and yearning for God’s presence in my life. I was going to church and following the commandments, but I didn’t feel the faithful joy that others were experiencing.

Finally, I realized that going through the motions of being a Catholic is not the same as living out your Catholic Christian duty. Both your actions and heart must be in it. Also, even if you want your heart to be in it, it’s not that simple. You have to understand what you’re gaining. You have to value yourself and your place in God’s world.

I find it comparable to the workplace. You can like having a job and the financial/health benefits that it gives you, but that is not the same as having a job that you find fulfillment in.

For me, working for the Catholic Church through technology gives me everything that I need to be fulfilled. I love knowing that I am helping the Catholic Church be more relatable and accessible to this generation. Without knowing what I am doing this all for, I’m not sure the work that I do would be fulfilling.

All the emails, all the meetings, and all the stress wouldn’t be worth it if it was only about emails, meetings, and stress. It’s the problem solving and lightbulb moments that give my job meaning. It’s about the bigger picture and my role in it that makes it worth it. It’s knowing that my actions are in line with my goal of heaven and service to My Father.

The same can be said for being Catholic. We can go to Mass and do all the Catholic “work,” but if we don’t understand why we’re doing it then it won’t be meaningful.

I ask that you not give in to being complacent with your faith. Ask what your God means to you and how you allow him to play a role in your daily life as you “go through the motions” of your life.

Is your heart fulfilled with the service you’re providing to God and his people?

Contact the author


Veronica Alvarado is a born and raised Texan currently living in Michigan. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has published various articles in the Catholic Diocese of Austin’s official newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, and other local publications. She now works as the Content Specialist in Diocesan’s Web Department.

St. John Eudes

St. John Eudes was a French missionary and the founder of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity, and was also the author of the liturgical worship of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.  St. John was born at Ri, France on November 14th, 1601.  At the age of fourteen he took a vow of chastity and since the time he was a child he tried to live in imitation of the Lord Jesus. When he was ordained a priest in 1625, at the age of 24, he was immmediately thrust into the service of victims of the plague, whom he cared for at great risk to his own life. He also began preaching missions and was known as the greatest preacher of his age, preaching missions all over France, especially throughout Normandy.In 1641 he founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, to provide a refuge for prostitutes.  In 1643 he founded the Society of Jesus and Mary for the education of priests and for missionary work.He was also instrumental in encouraging devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Heart of Mary, writing the first book ever on the devotion to the Sacred Hearts, “Le Coeur Admirable de la Très Sainte Mère de Dieu”. He died at Caen, on August 19th, 1680.His virtues were declared heroic by Leo XIII, on January 6th, 1903. The miracles proposed for his beatification were approved by Pius X, May 3, 1908, and he was beatified April 25th, 1909.  He was canonized in 1925.

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Jer 38:4-6, 8-10

In those days, the princes said to the king:
“Jeremiah ought to be put to death;
he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city,
and all the people, by speaking such things to them;
he is not interested in the welfare of our people,
but in their ruin.”
King Zedekiah answered: “He is in your power”;
for the king could do nothing with them.
And so they took Jeremiah
and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah,
which was in the quarters of the guard,
letting him down with ropes.
There was no water in the cistern, only mud,
and Jeremiah sank into the mud.

Ebed-melech, a court official,
went there from the palace and said to him:
“My lord king,
these men have been at fault
in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah,
casting him into the cistern.
He will die of famine on the spot,
for there is no more food in the city.”
Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite
to take three men along with him,
and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before
he should die.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2, 3, 4, 18

R. (14b)  Lord, come to my aid!
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
The LORD heard my cry.
He drew me out of the pit of destruction,
 out of the mud of the swamp;
he set my feet upon a crag;
 he made firm my steps.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
And he put a new song into my mouth,
 a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in awe
 and trust in the LORD.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
Though I am afflicted and poor,
 yet the LORD thinks of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
 O my God, hold not back!
R. Lord, come to my aid!

Reading 2 Heb 12:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
he endured the cross, despising its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

– – –
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Set the World Ablaze

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!” -Luke 12:49-50

I can still distinctly remember standing in my scout uniform at attention while the casket of President Gerald R. Ford passed by. The faces that day were a mix of honor, sorrow, and patriotism. I remember the flag waving in the breeze and even at a young age, I knew that this day was important. I was blessed to be able to attend the funeral of a past president as a Boy Scout. This was one of those times we all experience where we have an urge to change the world, be better than we are, or to fight for a noble cause. It was a tangible moment that I can remember made me want to do something big.

Another such moment came when I walked across the stage at graduation. My parents brimming faces and those of my friends, most of which never thought I would actually graduate, and the feeling of accomplishment took me over as I knew I was made for something great.

The most recent time that this inner pursuit took me over was on my wedding day. As I saw my bride walking down the aisle, I knew I wanted to be the best man I could be for her. I wanted to fight as hard as I possibly could to be my best self for my bride.

Fast forward to today and these beuatiful readings. Jesus says it very; clearly, he has come to set the world on fire, and he wishes it was already blazing. Then he mentions the importance of baptism. While all of these moments I recounted were very special to me and changing points in my life, none are so important as the day of my baptism, when I became part of God’s family.

I think it is hard, especially for cradle Catholics, for us to remember our baptism and the power we still receive every day from God. This day should make us want to fight the good fight and run the race. It should make us want to set the world on fire. But fear, despair, loneliness, the day to do of life, and time seem to erode the power of what happened so many years ago. It’s as if God’s grace was on a timer, and every day, the sand comes closer and closer to running out.

Though it can seem this way sometimes, it couldn’t be further from the truth. We need to realize and claim the power that we received on that glorious day when we were made new. We need to remember that it was on that day that we were called to be witnesses to the Gospel and share the love of Christ with the world. It was on that day that we started our journey to sainthood.

So here is my challenge to you. Look up your baptismal records and figure out when exactly you were baptized. Then pray to God and ask him for the grace to always remember that beautiful day and to thank him for the grace he has given you ever since. And finally, let’s all ask God how he has chosen for us to set the world on fire. We all make up a different ember in the fire of faith, what does your ember look like and have you made sure it doesn’t go out? The world needs your light.

From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!

Contact the author


Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at tshultz@diocesan.com.

Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Jos 24:14-29

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
and addressed them, saying:
“Fear the LORD and serve him completely and sincerely.
Cast out the gods your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt,
and serve the LORD.
If it does not please you to serve the LORD,
decide today whom you will serve,
the gods your fathers served beyond the River
or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling.
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

But the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD
for the service of other gods.
For it was the LORD, our God,
who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt,
out of a state of slavery.
He performed those great miracles before our very eyes
and protected us along our entire journey and among all the peoples
through whom we passed.
At our approach the LORD drove out all the peoples,
including the Amorites who dwelt in the land.
Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”

Joshua in turn said to the people,
“You may not be able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God;
he is a jealous God who will not forgive
your transgressions or your sins.
If, after the good he has done for you,
you forsake the LORD and serve strange gods,
he will do evil to you and destroy you.”

But the people answered Joshua, “We will still serve the LORD.”
Joshua therefore said to the people,
“You are your own witnesses that you have chosen to serve the LORD.”
They replied, “We are, indeed!”
Joshua continued:
“Now, therefore, put away the strange gods that are among you
and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
Then the people promised Joshua,
“We will serve the LORD, our God, and obey his voice.”

So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day
and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem,
which he recorded in the book of the law of God.
Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak
that was in the sanctuary of the LORD.
And Joshua said to all the people, “This stone shall be our witness,
for it has heard all the words which the LORD spoke to us.
It shall be a witness against you, should you wish to deny your God.”
Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his own heritage.

After these events, Joshua, son of Nun, servant of the LORD,
died at the age of a hundred and ten.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 11

R.(see 5a) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Alleluia See Mt 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 19:13-15

Children were brought to Jesus
that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

– – –
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Wholehearted Trust

Do you ever miss being a child? Some of you may read that question, roll your eyes, and say, “Who has time for questions like that?” Or maybe that seems so long ago, that you’ve forgotten that time of life. Perhaps you read that question and automatically responded with a head nod, longing for what it’d feel like to not have a mortgage and laundry list of responsibilities.

Personally, I don’t think I miss those days as much as I like to reminisce upon them. Reminiscing upon the days that were filled with imagination and play. A time in which all of us needed much help. We were incapable of doing simple tasks on our own – a time in which our day to day required trust. We trusted wholeheartedly, whether we realized it or not. Day in and day out, we trusted our parents.

In today’s readings, I am reminded of the littleness I’ve felt in my life and of how little I am today. I don’t mean physically little, although I am an astounding five-foot-tall Italian who always feels small. I mean that I, as a human person, am pretty small in this great big world, and I am pretty small in comparison to the vastness of God.

In today’s Responsorial Psalm, we are told our inheritance is the Lord. We state this four times as we proclaim that the Lord is our refuge, our portion and cup, our counselor, our guide, and our joy. The Gospel today is short and sweet, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”

I believe it’s important to reminisce on what it means to be a child, to think about yourself as a child again. For me, it’s a way to keep a part of my heart child-like. Jesus is completely straight forward with us that we must be like children to enter Heaven! Those beginning years of our lives were VERY important! Of course, this does not mean any adult should be acting like a child because that would not be good nor appropriate. But God calls us to be child-like, looking at the beauty of children and taking the lessons to heart. I believe Jesus calls us to trust again like children, to remember that He is bigger than the challenges we face. He is bigger than us! Trust our Heavenly Father in our needs, our wants, and in our future. Wholehearted trust that He brings us comfort, joy, and guidance. Trust that He has our back. Trust that He is faithful to His promise, the inheritance He has waiting for us, life everlasting. May we trust like children trust their parents. May we trust our Heavenly Father completely today. Amen.

Contact the author


Briana is the Pastoral Minister at St. Mark Church in Cleveland, OH. She is also a district manager at Arbonne. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Catechetics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH and is excited to use these skills to serve the Church. “My soul has been refined and I can raise my head like a flower after a storm.” -St. Therese