Daily Reflection
July 4th, 2006

Deb Fortina

Academic Affairs
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Independence Day (United States)
Isaiah 9:1-6, or Isaiah 32:15-18, 20, or Isaiah 57:15-19
Psalms 72:1-2, 3-4, 7-8, 12-13, 17, or Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Philippians 4:6-9, or Colossians 3:12-15, or James 3:13-18
Matthew 5:1-12, or John 14:23-29, or John 20:19-23

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Click HERE for reflection
for 13th Tuesday in Ordinary Time

The Spirit from on high will be poured out on us…My people will live in peaceful country…Isaiah 32

Near indeed is salvation for the loyal; prosperity will fill our land… Psalm 85

Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4

The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name;
he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. John 14

Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336) known as a peacemaker, she had the opportunity to study at a young age where she began to develop her strong thirst for spirituality. She married Denis, the king of Portugal and they had a son together. She continued seeking the Lord, and was a friend to pilgrims, strangers, the sick and the poor throughout her life. Her skills as a peacemaker were called upon many times. Both inside her immediate family and family outside of that circle she worked to restore right relationship. She was also effective at restoring peace between another king and his cousin.

Today we celebrate Independence Day here in America, the land of the free. I have a new awareness of the significance of this national holiday as in some ways technology has made the world grow smaller, shortening the distance between people. Our own men and women are on the ground fighting for freedom for others; and across many nations we look into the faces of people whose most basic needs are not being met and we feel their oppression. The 4th of July in America can no longer be just about donning red, white and blue, and shooting off fireworks. We pause today in gratitude for the many blessings we’ve received in this country. Where God has given much, much is expected, the riches bestowed have been given to be shared. St. Elizabeth of Portugal, whose feast we celebrate today was always thinking of others, and serving their needs. With our many blessings, may we each reflect on how we are using the many gifts God has given us who live in this great country. Thankfully, more and more people are noticing the world’s cry for help, which does not seem to end. Let’s ask ourselves, what would St. Elizabeth do, what would Jesus do?

From the Gospel of John, Jesus is telling His disciples that when He leaves the earth, the Father will send the Advocate in His stead. Jesus tells us the Father will send Him in His name, and He will “teach (us) everything and remind (us) of all that (He) told (us).” (John 14:26) So we are reminded to let the Spirit guide us in all things; constantly listening for guidance as we go through this day each day. The first reading in Isaiah speaks of that same Spirit guiding God’s people. Invoke the Spirit and ask for guidance in all things.

In the second reading I am reminded of the deep need we have for peace on this great earth. Let us examine our motivations. Are we doing what the Lord wills? We can have the peace that only the God of Peace can give. But today there are many pockets of unrest; the world is groaning in anguish without this peace. As people who have been given much, God’s creatures of the highest order; He expects much. May we renew our commitment to learn Christ’s teachings and then restore this great land and our neighbors to His peace. Let us negotiate and resolve our differences; we can do all things with God who sustains us. God Bless.

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