NOTE: Christ in Our Neighborhood is a parish-based program consisting of small groups that gather in the home weekly to discuss and pray through the upcoming Sunday Mass readings.

This coming Sunday, we celebrate the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The question the Christ in Our Neighborhood reflection asks us is: How do you honor Christ the True Prophet even when you do not feel His presence?

This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, when it comes to faith. We don’t always “feel” the presence of God, but we can know it and believe it.

We are guaranteed that God’s grace is present in the sacraments, in the tabernacle, in the Word, at the Mass and in the splendor of creation. He is as close as our next breath, even when He might seem far away or silent. While faith is a gift, it’s also something we need to practice, particularly when we don’t feel like it.

We live in a time when it’s not uncommon to hear the advice, “Do what feels right” or “Follow your heart.” But Jesus doesn’t say that. Instead, He invites us to follow Him on the narrow way.

That means the Cross, of course, but we don’t carry it alone. Christ empowers us by the gift of His grace.

The Apostle Paul urges us to fan into flame the gift of God. We received the Holy Spirit at Baptism. That gift was sealed at our Confirmation, but we need to follow Paul’s advice to keep this Presence stirred up and active in our lives. One way to do that is through our CION small groups, so let’s keep those groups going!

Be sure to join us for our Saturday, August 17, Morning of Reflection! This free, half-day retreat is an opportunity to meet other Christ in Our Neighborhood participants from around the Diocese of Phoenix. With an exciting array of speakers, this morning packed with inspiration, fun and a free gift. You can sign up to attend here: : Christ in Our Neighborhood Aug. 17 Retreat/Cristo en Nuestro Barrio retiro de 17 de agosto (

To sign up for our weekly Christ in Our Neighborhood newsletter that has everything you need for your next meeting, visit: