DEAR FATHER | Scriptures, legends shine light on where first apostles shared the Gospel

Before His ascension, Jesus told His apostles, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). While these words were meant for the whole Church, the apostles were the first to embrace them. They traveled, sometimes great distances, to preach the Gospel. All but one of the apostles were martyred for their belief in Christ and proclaiming Him to others.

With that, let us look at what the apostles did after Pentecost:

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Recognizing God as a God of abundance

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

The readings for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time make it clear: God always provides an abundance of goodness for man's needs.

In the first reading, a man brings Elisha 20 barley loaves to feed 100 people, while expressing the discouraging thought, "How can I set this before 100 people?"

Elisha knows that God is a God of abundance and compassion. A true prophet, he speaks forth God's goodness, saying, "Give it to the people to eat. For thus says the Lord, 'They shall eat and there shall be some left over.'"

BEFORE THE CROSS | God acts to protect His people from harm

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson made a pastoral visit to Father Luis Mesa, the superior of the Messengers of Peace, a mission and religious community based in Colombia, South America.  The community is dedicated to praying for peace in that nation and around the world. The mission also has a commitment to works of peace through serving children, the elderly and poor in Colombia.  The archbishop was instrumental in supporting Father Mesa in founding the Messengers of Peace who is pictured renewing his vows as he is incardinated into the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

In Scripture readings this week, God's people face three threats -- each potentially deadly. But God gives three corresponding responses to protect His people from death. Let's look at each.

"Thus the Lord saved Israel on that day from the power of the Egyptians." (Exodus 14:30)

The first threat is the Egyptian army. The Israelites have escaped from Egypt with Pharaoh's permission. But when Pharaoh realizes he lost his slave labor, he regrets the decision and pursues the Israelites with his army -- either to kill them or force them back into slavery.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Following Christ an important aspect of freedom

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, left, laughed with Mae Duggan June 18 after a luncheon and awards ceremony at which her husband, Martin Duggan, was posthumously awarded the Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Excellence in Communication Award. Duggan’s daughter, Mary Leahy, received the award on behalf of her father.

"So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom." James 2:12

BEFORE THE CROSS | Finding challenges and blessings in God's call

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

This week, we begin a cycle of readings from Genesis, the first book of the Bible; and we celebrate the feasts of three martyrs: St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher on June 22 and St. John the Baptist on June 24.


The cycle of readings from Genesis will take us from chapter 12 to chapter 50. These chapters tell the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. The story goes all the way from God's calling of Abraham through the almost-sacrifice of Isaac, from Jacob wrestling with the angel to the settling of the Israelites in Egypt in the time of Joseph.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Struggles help us awaken to a greater life in God

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

The Gospel for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time illustrates the simple fact that the more overwhelmed we are by life, the more ready we are to let God burst into our lives. In the Gospel, the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years and the father of the dying 12-year-old girl knew that they had exhausted all worldly help.

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