Happy Fourth of July. Soon we will celebrate the most important day in American history. July 4th, Independence Day, is an American national holiday. This great national holiday is not connected with the feast of a saint, or with a festival of the Church. And yet can it be said that the anniversary of the birth of a nation is ever an entirely secular affair? In this case we do not believe it is so. Because in man’s aspirations for freedom, there is always a spiritual element…

This holiday gives us time to thank God for the birth of our nation, and give thanks for gift of life and petition God to preserve our country and rid it of its evils. This is a great day for spending time with family and friends.

On Monday, June 29, Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. Saints Peter and Paul are probably the most known of all the saints in the Catholic Church. It is a feast commemorating their martyrdom. To seek Jesus like Saints Paul and Peter is our greatest task and to find him in the same manner is our greatest human achievement. Come let us pray through their intercession at 8:30 AM Mass.

On Friday, July 3, Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle. Thomas the Apostle, also called Didymus, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. St. Thomas is famous for having doubted the Resurrection of Jesus and for demanding physical proof of the wounds of Christ’s Crucifixion… When Jesus showed him the wounds, St. Thomas became the first person to explicitly acknowledge the divinity of Jesus. We celebrate this feast with Mass at 8:30 AM.

Scripture readings for this Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, remind us that Our Baptism calls us away from sin to live a new life in Christ.

St. Paul remind us of the wonderful gift we received in Baptism. We joined Jesus in his death to sin once and for all and we were given a share in his risen life, a life for God. Paul tells us that we must continue to think of ourselves in light of what happened to us in our Baptism: in Jesus we are dead to sin; we are living for God.

Our Baptism changed us into new people who share in divine life. The challenge for us is to choose each day to live as a redeemed person.

Today’s Gospel is Matthew’s conclusion to Jesus’ great missionary instruction to his disciples – to you and me. Our Baptism commissioned us to be missionaries – to live our new life in Jesus with enthusiasm and to share with others the good news we are experiencing so that they can experience it too.

Jesus reminds us that much of our missionary efforts will be done in little things: giving a cup of cold water in his name. He tells us that there is a profound implication to even the smallest act of unselfish love. In these little acts of kindness, we can mirror the loving kindness of our God. Our God in return gives us a reward immensely greater than our efforts deserve. That is the nature of God’s loving kindness. Let us resolve once again to live more faithfully the new life we were given in our Baptism. Let us be more conscious of the little opportunities we are given to be God’s loving kindness to one another each day.