Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2014

27th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

This week we continue with our series on morality.  While our readings give us examples of what could be considered “bad behavior”, the focus is not so much on the behavior but the consequences of that behavior.  Bad consequences for bad behavior is indeed a motivation for right behavior, but it is not, and should not, be the only motivator for taking the right path.  God wants us to see the right path, but we sometimes miss the opportunities that are right in front of us...

The Word for the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
Isaiah 5:1-78
Psalm 80:9, 12, 13-14, 16-16, 19-20
Philippians 4:6-9
Matthew 21:33-43

We open with a lament from early Isaiah.  Remember that Isaiah is known as one of the greatest prophets, and is often quoted in the New Testament.  His prophetic book, by three different authors, takes us from a time before the Assyrian uprising, through the Babylonian uprising, through the great Babylonian Exile, and all the way to the return to Jerusalem.  In this week’s passage, Isaiah s…

26th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

How do we know what is right or wrong? But even when we think we have a firm hand on morality, how then do we turn that into a consistent life ethic… a way of living each and every day in a manner that reflects our beliefs? These are difficult questions… but as Christians we turn to our scriptures for some answers.

The Word for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 18:25-28
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
Philippians 2:1-11
Matthew 21:28-32

This Sunday we open with Ezekiel. You may recall that we heard a passage from this same prophet a couple weeks ago. This week Ezekiel, our great prophet from the Babylonian Exile, has a stern warning for us. This passage comes from a time just before the fall of Jerusalem. Ezekiel sees the “writing on the wall” and is urging the people of Israel to reconsider what is fair in the eyes of the Lord, and do what is right and just. While Ezekiel’s message didn’t help the Israelites at that time, it does provide us with a valuable lesson today.

Our Psalm thi…

25th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

When we talk about the Sacrament of Penance, we generally think about what is right and what is wrong… what is a sin and what isn’t a sin.  But our readings for this coming Sunday don’t so much focus on what is right or wrong in God’s eyes, but rather on what is fair in God’s eyes.

The Word for the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Isaiah 55:6-9
Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a
Matthew 20-1-16a

We open with a reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah… in this case, from the closing chapter of Deutero or “second” Isaiah.  This comes from a point in Israelite history where the people have been released from their Exile in Babylon.  The Lord has shown them great mercy and forgiveness, and freed them from exile.  But why?  They broke their covenant with God and they were punished.  Why now take them back?  By our human standards of fairness, this is difficult to understand.  Because, as the prophet tells us, for those who turn to the Lord, he is always near.  The people have ch…

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 2014

This week we take a break from Ordinary Time to celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  This particular Feast is fixed to the date of September 14th (marking the date of the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 335 CE).  As this feast falls on a Sunday this year, we use the readings chosen for this feast.  We last celebrated this feast on a Sunday in 2008, but it won’t fall on a Sunday again until 2025.  The Feast itself is a celebration of the cross itself as an instrument of salvation.

The Word for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Numbers 21:4b-9
Psalm 78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
Philippians 2:6-11
John 3:13-17

In order to understand this feast day, one must first understand the nature of the Cross.  Crucifixion is a pre-Roman form of execution which was adopted by the Romans during the time of Jesus.  Crucifixion was not only used as a form of brutal punishment for accused criminals, but it was meant both as a humiliation to those being crucifie…

23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, 2014

This week our theme is conversion… a most appropriate topic for the opening sessions of the RCIA!  But as can sometimes happen, a quick read of the text might leave you asking where this theme is coming from.  That is because it’s not so much a story about a conversion as it is a teaching on how a converted person should act.

The Word for the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 33:7-9
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Romans 13:8-10
Matthew 18:15-20

We open with a reading from the book of the prophet Ezekiel, who tells us that we are not only responsible for our own actions, but for the actions of others as well.  Ezekiel is teaching us that the sins of others, if left unchecked, becomes our sin as well.  This is at the heart of issues that revolve around the idea of “social sin.”  In other words, if we know what is right, we can’t just turn out back to it.  For indeed, the mark of a civilized society are the establishment of rules of behavior that all members of that society are expected to follow. …