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Showing posts from August, 2013

22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

The Word for the 22ndSunday of Ordinary Time: Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29 Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11 Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a Luke 14:1, 7-14
If you had to describe this week’s readings with one word… it would be “humility.”  In our first reading from the book of Sirach, the author states this very clearly in the opening lines of the passage:  “… conduct your affairs with humility.”  Why is this important?  First, it’s good to remember that the book of Sirach falls under the category of “wisdom” literature in the bible, and because of it’s relatively late writing (around the 2ndcentury BCE), has been excluded from the Hebrew and Protestant bibles.  Catholics, however, find the work to be inspired and includes it in our Canon.  Like all wisdom literature, it is a cross between popular non-fiction and catechetical text.  In today’s reading, the author reminds us that the more we humble ourselves, the greater favor we will find with God.  And this humility isn’t limited to just how we approac…

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

The Word for the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time: 
        Isaiah 66:18-21
        Psalm 117:1, 2
        Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
        Luke 13:22-30 

Our first reading opens with the prophet Isaiah with a passage from the closing chapter. These later Isaiah passages speak of a new Heaven and a new Earth, and here the Lord says he will send fugitives to all nations to proclaim the Lord’s glory and lead them to the new Jerusalem. The choice of the word “fugitives” seems odd, but is a bit more understandable when you consider that the passage is from, for lack of a better description, Isaiah’s Final Judgment discourse. While what we read here seems pleasant enough (God calling all nations together), it is part of a larger prophecy that reminds us that not all will be coming to this new Jerusalem (using a rather unpleasant example of what happens to those who rebelled against the Lord.

Our second reading, a continuation of our journey through Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, telling us not…

RCIA Summer Field Trip 2013

On Saturday, August 17th our RCIA group went on a summer field trip. The day started meeting in the OLR Church Parking lot to carpool, then we hit the freeway to head to downtown Los Angeles to visit Our Lady of the Angles Cathedral. We walked around the inside of the Cathedral admiring the archeticture and artwork. We also explored the Mausoleum, garden and gift shop.

Exterior Shot of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral
The outing continued with lunch a few blocks away at historic Philippes for some famous French Dip Sandwiches. Then we hoped back on the freeway for a few minutes and headed towards Mission San Gabriel.

Exterior entrance to the Mission Church.

Inside the Mission Church

Vines of growing grapes!

Exterior of the Mission featuring the Mission Bells.

20th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

The Word for the 20th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
        Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
        Psalm 40:2, 3, 4, 18
        Hebrews 12:1-4
        Luke 12:49-53

We open with a reading from the prophet Jeremiah. Our scene opens with the princes of Judah looking to King Zedekiah to have the prophet Jeremiah put to death. The princes throw him into an empty, muddy cistern to die, but the king orders that he be taken out. What’s going on here? Clearly Zedekiah doesn’t want Jeremiah to die, but there’s much more going on here. We need to remember that Zedekiah was the last king of Judah. The northern kingdom fell to Assyria only some 25 years before, and it was the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar himself that put Zedekiah on the throne in Jerusalem in an attempt to create an ally in the region. Since then, however, the princes have been plotting against him, scheming with the weak remains of the Egyptian empire to put down Nebuchadnezzar and win freedom from Babylon. Zedekiah feels he’s caugh…

19th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

As we continue our long Summer journey through Ordinary Time, sometimes you hit a sequence of readings where you are forced to ask the question… what does this all mean? What am I supposed to get out of this? For me, this coming Sunday is one of those times. Perhaps with a little unpacking, we can find a theme we can grasp onto.

The Word for the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
        Wisdom 18:6-9
        Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22
        Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 (or short version Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-12)
        Luke 12:32-48 (or short version Luke 12:35-40)

We open with a reading from the Book of Wisdom. First, it’s important to remember that this book dates itself to some 50 years before Christ… making it contemporary literature for the Disciples. Based on the date alone it’s no surprise that we see a lot of its teachings reflected in Christian theology, but even more poignant is that its message addressed to an oppressed minority. Using images of the Exodus, it stands as a reminder…