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Sunday, August 18, 1996

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20th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Psalm 67
Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
Matthew 15:21-28

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is your catholic church catholic?

"My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." —Isaiah 56:7

Is your church filled with members who are young and old, black and white, male and female, poor and rich, U.S. citizens and internationals? Many Catholic churches in the USA are filled with old, white, upper-middle class, American women. We thank God for these women. They are the precious remnant who are helping the church survive.

Nevertheless, where are the men and the young? We need these members of the body of Christ (see 1 Cor 12:21ff). We American Catholics formerly were the church of the poor, but now the poor would not feel welcome in most of our gatherings. We white folks desperately need our black brothers and sisters to teach us how to worship and pray. Moreover, if our traditionally immigrant American Catholic Church doesn't embrace and evangelize the new immigrants from Vietnam, Korea, China, Mexico, Central America, Africa, and Muslim countries, are we truly catholic, that is, universal?

What can we do to be truly catholic? Break new ground. Invite Black, Oriental, or Hispanic people over for supper. Sponsor a foreign student. Make your house a place where young people find Jesus. Live a more austere life in solidarity with the poor. Challenge a man to follow Jesus. Be Catholic in the true sense of the word.

Prayer:  Father, may I make my church representative of the body of Christ.

Promise:  "Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass." —Mt 15:28

Praise:  Alleluia! On a Sunday morning, Jesus rose from the dead. "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:54-55)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, January 29, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 5, 1996