July 2.  13th Sunday A.   Fr Elias ministered in a parish with a very mixed congregation. He started his homily by asking,   “Who amongst the different cultures cherishes children the most?  I know that in my country if a woman is childless it is seen as a curse.   Her husband is even allowed to take a second wife, but that is for the sake of the family name and its continuation  into future generations.”   Mrs Pretorius squeezed her husband’s hand as they looked down on their baby sleeping in his arms.”  They were getting on in years and had battled with infertility and prayed and discerned much as they tried different procedures.  They believed that God had finally gifted them with this baby.  

Reflect, share, act. Scripture:   A wealthy woman had generously provided shelter for Elisha. To reward her Elisha said to his servant.  “What is to be done for her?”  The servant said, “she has no son, and her husband is old.” Elisha told the woman, “At this season, when the time comes round, you shall embrace a son.”  2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a.  Pope Francis Some couples are unable to have children. We know that this can be a cause of real suffering for them. At the same time, we know that marriage was not instituted solely for the procreation of children. AL 178.   The technological revolution in the field of human procreation has introduced the ability to manipulate the reproductive act making it independent of the sexual relationship between a man and a woman.  In this way human life and parenthood have become modular and separable realities, subject mainly to the wishes of individuals or couples.  AL 56