Here we sit in the midst of our long hot summer. We all knew it would arrive, didn’t we? I really do like it! Some might think I’m crazy! I still remember my first experience of Arizona. It was a weekend in June of 1978. It was a hot June weekend. My uncle picked me up at Sky Harbor for the ride to his home way out in Glendale. It was only 114º. His car’s A/C wasn’t working! The breeze from the windows as we drove on I-17 was amazing. I was refreshed by an iced tea or two upon arrival at his home.
That evening, while sitting on the edge of the pool in his back yard, drinking a cold one, towel over my shoulders, radio playing… they said it was 97º, and I was chilly. I knew this was the place for me. It just took me another 14 years to move here. Since August 1992 I haven’t looked back!
This weekend’s readings challenge us to consider our call to spread the good news by our actions. It also challenges us to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Those vocations are still needed in our Church. We need families to support their children’s faith and nurture God’s call in them. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.”
Today, a large number of lay Catholics work alongside priests and religious in parishes in our country and throughout the world. A 2005 study found that over 30,000 lay ministers were working in US parishes at least 20 hours a week in paid positions. Nine percent of these identified themselves as music ministers, and just under 6% as liturgists. Religious educators accounted for almost 42% of lay parish ministers, while 42% identified themselves as general pastoral ministers. Without lay staff, the parish life would be weakened, and pastors would be exhausted!
Please offer a special prayer for more people committed to be parish workers…
Since we all drive Cave Creek Road at least weekly, I thought you’d like to contemplate the “Drivers' Ten Commandments” as given us by Renato Cardinal Martino, from the Vatican's Office for Migrants and Itinerant People…
1. You shall not kill.
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
7. Support the families of accident victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible toward others.