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This weekend we celebrate “Independence Day” as a nation. While we celebrate on July 4 with parades, fireworks, and barbecues, I can’t help but think that in some ways this holiday might be more aptly named “Dependence Day.” The people who founded our nation did so that they might have the opportunity to freely practice “dependence” on God in any manner they chose or believed they were called.

This sort of mix-up seems present in many phases of our lives. Recently some of our young people informed me they are working toward or recently obtained their driver’s licenses. We often speak of this rite of passage as being a time when a young person gains independence. However ask the parents or guardians of these youth and they will tell you it is a time of increased dependence, a dependence on God to watch over and protect the new drivers as they take to the road. Similarly for students who have recently graduated from or are heading off to college/vocational schools, military service, or embarking upon a career: these young adults are more than ever dependent on God to help them make good decisions and care for them in their new roles.

Further when we progress to the senior years of our lives we speak about “losing our independence”. A driver’s license must be given up, a move to an assisted living facility or nursing home becomes necessary, and others take over the responsibility for making decisions on our behalf. But did we really have independence up to this point in our lives? If we did, we lived a life separated from God. For our belief is that God created humans as dependent beings, completely reliant on a loving God. At this senior point in life we may discover that while we thought we were independent creatures, we finally now are learning just how dependent we always were. During this stage the true measure of our faith is the grace with which we allow others to take on these caregiving roles for us.

While I will not propose we completely rename the Fourth of July, it wouldn’t hurt to remember that the Declaration of Independence begins with a statement of dependence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…” It ends in a similar fashion, “with a firm reliance on Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” What the Constitution guarantees is not a freedom to be independent from religion (which itself is a religion – secular humanism), but the freedom to be dependent on the religion of one’s own choice.
In our Gospel reading for this Sunday we hear that Jesus was amazed at the lack of faith he encountered in his homeland. He reflects that a prophet will always struggle to be relevant in his own native place. The struggle many had with the prophets then and now is that the message of a prophet often includes a reminder that we are less independent than we like to think. Life requires acceptance of a greater dependence on God – and even others – than we often wish to admit.

Fr. John Gerritts
July 5, 2015



~ Friday, July 3
8:00 AM Mass

~ Saturday, July 4
8:00 AM Dust Busters
10:00 AM Confessions
5:00 PM Mass
Scrip  available after Mass

~ Sunday, July 5
Masses 7, 9, 11 AM, 7 PM
Scrip available after Mass

~ Monday, July 6
8:00 AM Mass
H.S. Faith Formation Courses
9:15 AM Bakery and Produce Give Away
~Tuesday, July 7
8:00 AM Mass

H.S. Faith Formation Courses6:00 PM Family Rosary
9:00 AM Summer Stretch Peer Leaders Meeting
5:30 PM Social Concerns Committee
6:00 PM Family Rosary
6:00 PM KC Officers
7:00 PM KC Meeting
7:00 PM Oremus

~ Wednesday, July 8
8:00 AM Mass

H.S. Faith Formation Courses
10:00 AM Mass CCH

~Thursday, July 9
8:00 AM Mass

H.S. Faith Formation Courses
Summer Stretch
10:30 AM Mass Red Cedar Canyo
6:00 PM TNT (Thursday Nights Together)

~ Friday, July 10
8:00 AM Mass

H.S. Faith Formation Courses

~ Saturday, July 11
8:00 AM Dust Busters
10:00 AM Confessions
11:00 AM Funeral Mass for Mary Jayne Witzman
5:00 PM Mass
Scrip  available after Mass

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