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Showing posts from July, 2013

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

The Word for the 18thof Ordinary Time:
Ecclesiastes 1:2;2:21-23 Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17 Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11 Luke12:13-21

Our first reading comes to us from Ecclesiastes (classified as one of the books ofwisdom)… a book ascribed to Qoheleth, who in the text describes himself as the son of David and King of Jerusalem. Now wait a minute… isn’t it Solomon who succeeds David to the throne? Of course it is… so why the pseudonym? It’s not a name, but a title, which means “collector” or “assembler.” In this case, an collector of saying ascribed to Solomon (who didn’t actually write the book). But back to the text…

“Vanity of vanities!” is how the book (and our reading) begins, and is the major theme that runs through this work. In short, the book wants us to answer the question… we toil all day long, both physically and mentally, and to what end? In other words, the author telling us that we need to re-evaluate our priorities. The worries of this life, the work of this li…

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

The Word for the 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time
        Genesis 18:20-32
        Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8
        Colossians 2:12-14
        Luke 11:1-13

We open with another story from Genesis about Abraham. In a story that follows shortly after our reading from last week, we meet Abraham traveling to the city of Sodom (most likely because his nephew, Lot, and his family live near there). As he is traveling, the Lord comes to Abraham wanting to know if the “outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah” is as great as he has heard. Abraham fears the Lord will “sweep away” the cities as punishment for their sins, so he queries the Lord, asking if he would spare the city if there were 50 innocent people. The Lord relents, so Abraham ups the ante… if there were only 45 innocent people, only 40 innocent people, and so on. With each request, Abraham fears the wrath of God, but he persists… “what if there were only 10 innocent people?” With each request, God continues to relent.

To most Christians…

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

The Word for the 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
        Genesis 18:1-10a
        Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
        Colossians 1:24-28
        Luke 10:38-42

Hospitality is one of the running themes through our readings this 16th week of Ordinary Time. First is a reading from Genesis, in which Abraham (no longer just Abram) has an encounter with... well, who? The text isn't clear... first calling it a visitation from the Lord, but then a visit from three men who were traveling through the area. While the likely interpretation is that Abraham didn't realize it was a visitation from the Lord until after the events of the story came to fruition, it is clear that Abraham takes his job as host to these travelers very seriously. In fact, it would not be wrong to connect this story with last week's Gospel of the Good Samaritan, with Abraham showing us a true expression of the teaching of "love thy neighbor". What makes this reading special, however, is not so much the hosp…

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

I hope everyone had a good Independence Day holiday. It’s a great time to gather with friends and family and enjoy the color, light, and sound of the fireworks as we celebrate the birth of our nation. Oddly enough, this holiday also reminds me of the birth of our Church. Just as the members of the Continental Congress sought freedom from the taxes and burdens of the British Crown, Jesus and his disciples sought the freedom to engage in relationship with God without the taxes and burdens of the Sanhedrin and the Temple hierarchy. Just as the British Crown had grown bloated and complacent to the colonists, the Temple had grown bloated and complacent to the followers entrusted to their care.

July is the month of new beginnings. For many, July marks the beginning of the new fiscal year. July is also when many pastors and administrators start their new assignments in the Archdiocese (as we celebrate the 5th anniversary of Fr. Ray coming back to OLR as her pastor). This theme of new beginn…

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

Looking towards 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time, our theme is evangelization.  In fact, the church’s primary mission is to spread the Gospel, to share the joy of God’s love with everyone willing to listen.

The Word for the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
        Isaiah 66:10-14c
        Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
        Galatians 6:14-18
        Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

That joy could hardly be expressed more passionately than in our first reading from the closing chapter of the book of the prophet Isaiah.  Here the Babylonian exile is over, and Jerusalem is again the center of God’s people, a beacon for the nations.  The sheer joy expressed by the prophet has us looking to the Lord as a mother to her children.  For through the Lord we shall “flourish like the grass.”  In other words, as servants of the Lord, we thrive.

Our second reading concludes our study of Paul’s letter to the Galatians by giving us his closing words… that we are a new creation.  It matters not who we were before.  The Galat…