Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE! 

Our first reading today from Genesis is part of the creation stories, and today we hear about the creation of man… man and woman… created in the image and likeness of God.

Man and woman who continue to be dependent on God’s blessings, no matter our age.  We are, if you will, both child and adult, both creation and creator, partners in bringing the Kingdom  of God to fruition.

As one article I read this week shared, what can I do?  What can my family do? What can my parish do? … to create a holier home, neighborhood, parish… world?

This week, I read a story about two brothers, Cole who is 10 and Blake who is 8, from the Washington Post, August 17, 2021 entitled: Turtle Patrol:

Two brothers – Cole, 10, and Blake, 8 – were riding their bikes to go fishing near their Ventura, Iowa, home when they discovered a horrible site: a group of dead baby turtles crushed by cars as they tried to cross the busy road.  Cole and Blake climbed off their bikes and began helping other small turtles cross the busy thoroughfare.  The brothers recruited their friends Kasen, Keygan and Zacaious to come and help the turtles make it across.

The boys returned to the crossing every day this summer to help the Western painted turtles cross the road between the marsh and the lake where the turtles looked for new nesting spots.  The five were at the crossing for a couple of hours every day.

“They seem okay with us moving them but they usually tuck their heads inside as soon as we pick them up,” nine-year-old Keygan explained.  “We’re helping the turtles see a lot of extra days, and that makes me feel happy.”:

Biologist Scott Grummer of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said, “what these kids are doing is wonderful, and I hope their love of conservation stays with them throughout their lives.  It’s heartwarming that they’re using their summer break to help nature and protect turtles from getting hit by cars.”

The boys would watch for the turtles from the safety of a nearby bike path and crossed the road themselves only if there was no traffic – but on occasion, they held up their arms to stop a car if the turtles were on the move.

The boys estimated that they have saved more than 200 turtles.  The five didn’t mind that their “turtle watch” cut into their fishing time.

Keygan said, “We do it because they’re living things – we don’t want to see them run over and killed.”

These boys, in recognizing the danger these poor turtles faced and realizing their ability to do something about it… these children mirrored the “child-like” faith Jesus asks all of us to embrace.  Faith that does not separate words from action.  Faith that is centered in loving God in loving others (loving creation) without condition or expectation.

The power of such simple child-like faith is the ability to overcome every rationalization, fear, complication, and agenda in order to mirror the selfless generosity of Jesus Christ.

Whether they realized it or not, these children were advancing, were building up the Kingdom of God here on Earth, as it is in Heaven.

May we seize the moments, ever before us, big and small, to do the same today and every day, that build up the Kingdom of God, here on Earth as it is in Heaven.