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Showing posts from February, 2014

8th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

Lent is almost upon us… that season of introspection and soul-searching reminiscent of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert (after his baptism).  Our readings for this coming 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time help prepare us for our Lenten Journey by helping us focus on what is truly important…

The Word for the 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Isaiah 49:14-15
Psalm 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Matthew 6:24-34

We’ve spent the past several weeks listening to Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus’ teaching starts with the Beatitudes (blessed are the poor in spirit), and then proceeds to teach his disciples about the Law – which we know to be the Commandments or the Mosaic Law.  In following this, Jesus teaches, is the key to salvation.  So now with our heads filled with all this “what to do” and “what not to do”, as if sensing our overload, our readings for this week take a decidedly different tone.  In liturgical terms, we call it “Divine Providence” – a reminder that we are God’s chosen and that He lov…

7th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

What does God want of us?  It’s a fairly common question for many people, especially during our most difficult times.  Yet amid the noise of our lives we usually forget that God has answered us, over and over again.  Let’s explore this week’s readings to hear what he says…
The Word for the 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13
1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Matthew 5:38-48
Our first reading comes from the book of Leviticus… that book that falls right after Exodus which is essentially the second retelling of the Mosaic Law, only this time through priestly (Levite) perspective .  In this rather short passage, we are given two powerful commands.  First, God commands us to be holy.  What does he mean?  While the intervening passages (verses 2-16) provide some clarity through their retelling of the 10 commandments, the real clarity comes from our reading’s second command, “… love your neighbor as yourself.”  And as if God can hear your “why” coming be…

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

Right is right, and wrong is wrong.  Is the world really that black and white?  While some might argue that it’s just that simple, our Catholic tradition recognizes that it’s not.  The extremes of darkness and light are easy to see, but much of our everyday life lives operate somewhere in-between.  The time we spend studying scripture and Church tradition are not so much to point out the obvious light and dark, but in learning how to, as I often say, “navigate the gray”.  Or put another way, finding the right balance between the letter of the lawand the spirit of the law.  On the surface, our Gospel this week takes a fairly strong, even harsh line with regard to the Law, but to view this passage literally is to miss the deeper meaning that Jesus is trying to teach…The Word for the 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Sirach 15:15-20
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
1 Corinthians 2:6-10
Matthew 5:17-37 or Matthew 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37Our first reading comes from the book of Sirach, named …

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

We Catholics sometimes have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be.  Take for instance our use of certain words, like catechesis or liturgy to describe certain regular activities of Catholic life (to teach and to pray).  Their meaning gets lost because they’re just not part of everyday life.  Take for example the phrase Social Justice.  Within Catholic leadership circles this has certain meaning for a wide array of Church activity, but if you were to ask the rest of us what “Catholic social justice” means, you might be hard pressed to explain.  Perhaps this Sunday’s readings can help…

The Word for the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Isaiah 58:7-10
Psalm 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Matthew 5:13-16

Our first reading comes from later Isaiah, where we are reminded of what it is that God really wants to see of his people.  Not festivals, but works of mercy.  This passage comes from a period after the Exile… the people are back in the land… but a land not like what …