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Showing posts from July, 2014

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

“God will provide.”  It’s a common response by well meaning people of faith when we’re struggling with a difficult situation and we find ourselves in need.  Be these needs physical or spiritual or both, the phrase “God will provide” can be hard for us to accept, especially when our common human reason would seem to suggest otherwise.  Our readings for this 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time helps us to find faith that God will answer our needs…

The Word for the 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Isaiah 55:1-3
Psalm: 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18
Romans 8:35, 37-39
Matthew 14:13-21

Our first reading comes from the book of Isaiah, “Deutero” or “Second” Isaiah to be precise.  This part of Isaiah speaks of redemption for an Israel that finds itself in Exile in Babylon.  The Babylonian’s destruction of Jerusalem and their subsequent Exile was a deeply transformative experience for the Hebrew people, and much of that transformation is seen in our Scriptures.  Yet through that pain, they came to realize that God’s fo…

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

What is the Kingdom of God?  We hear this term so often it can lose its meaning, assuming we had any clear understanding of this idea to begin with.  The “Kingdom” is what we’ve been promised.  The “Kingdom” is what we struggle to obtain.  The “Kingdom” is why we follow Christ.  But ask your average Catholic what the Kingdom of God is, and you’re likely to get many different answers.  To help us wrap our minds around this concept, we turn our attention to our readings for this 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time…

The Word for the 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time
1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
Psalm: 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
Romans 8:28-30
Matthew 13:44-52

Our first reading comes from the 1st Book of Kings.  King David has died, passing his crown to his son, Solomon.  In this Sunday’s passage, the Lord appears to the young king in a dream, and asks Solomon what he, the Lord, can give him.  Solomon responds humbly, addressing himself as the Lord’s servant, and asks for “an understanding heart.”  God, reco…

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

One of the beauties of Ordinary Time is the opportunity to “play the long game” when it comes understanding Jesus and his teachings. We literally journey with Jesus and the Apostles during his mission to spread the Word, and because many of our readings pick up where we left off the previous week, we have an opportunity to learn as we go, much like the Apostles themselves.

The Word for the 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Psalm: 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Romans 8:26-27
Matthew 13:24-43

Our first reading comes from the Book of Wisdom.  This book, coming about 50 years before Christ (most likely from the Jewish Community of Alexandria) served, like most of the wisdom books, as a kind of “catechism” for the faithful. Our passage this week reminds us that God is both mighty and benevolent.  In fact, the text goes to great lengths to say that this might comes from his benevolence.  Not only has God taught us what good (through The Law), he gives us the opportunity to repent… to change …

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

“Can you tell me a little about yourself?”  It’s a question many of us have had to answer… maybe during a job interview or when meeting someone for the first time.  More often than not our answer to this question will start with talk of family, friends, where you grew up, where you went to school, where you worked.  From the moment we are born we live our lives in the context of our environment.  Put another way, the story of our lives is written within the stories of those around us.  Their stories become our stories, and in turn define who we are.  The same is true for the Church.

The Word for the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14
Romans 8:18-23
Matthew 13:1-23

Our first reading for this coming Sunday is from the master story teller of the Hebrew scriptures… Isaiah.  In a short poetic stanza from the time near the end of the Exile from Deutero-Isaiah, the passage paints a picture of the rain and snow giving nourishment to the earth, which then produc…

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

With our special celebrations and feast days behind us, the Church now enters a long stretch of Ordinary Time.  This also means that our lectionary – the order of our readings for Mass – falls back to some basic patterns for the cycle and the season, and our themes become more varied.

The Word for the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Zechariah 9:9-10
Psalm 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14
Romans 8:9, 11-13
Matthew 11:25-30

We open with a reading from the book of the prophet Zechariah.  It is helpful to remember that Zechariah’s prophecy comes from the early post-exile era, around 520 BCE, around the same time as Ezekiel and Ezra, and is attributed to two different authors (1st Zechariah forming Chapters 1-8, 2nd Zechariah forming chapters 9-14).  Our passage for this Sunday comes from 2nd Zechariah with a vision of a restored Jerusalem with a new king.  This vision of a new King should sound very familiar, because to our Christian ears this sounds very much like Jesus.  While Jesus wouldn’t be coming…