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Showing posts from October, 2014

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day), 2014

This coming Sunday is the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, or more commonly referred to as All Souls Day.  As this special day falls on a Sunday this year, we put aside our readings for the 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time to focus our attention on those who have passed on before us.

The Word for All Souls Day:
Wisdom 3:1-9
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Romans 5:5-11 or Romans 6:3-9
John 6:37-40

What happens after we die?  This is the question that our first reading from the Book of Wisdom tries to answer.  Here the passage states that “the souls of the just are in the hand of God.”  In other words, those good people who have passed on are in good hands.  The book of Wisdom comes to us about 50 years before the birth of Christ from the Jewish community in Alexandria.  In many ancient cultures sickness and death were equated to sin, so those who were passing before their time, that is, those who didn't die of old age, must have done something to anger God.  Our passage from Wisdo…

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

What is the measure of a person? From a Biblical perspective, it’s how you treat others. In fact, the Scriptures are quite consistent on this point. From the Mosaic Law Code in Exodus, to the teachings of the prophets, to the parables of Jesus, to the teachings of Paul and the Apostles, we are constantly reminded about how a God-loving people are expected to act toward one another. Our readings for this coming Sunday provide us the best examples of this most important teaching:

The Word for the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
Exodus 22:20-26
Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10
Matthew 22:34-40

We open with a reading from the book of Exodus. When we think of the Exodus, we always remember the Ten Commandments, but we tend to forget that these Ten are just the beginning of the Law Code. Just as with the preamble to the Constitution for the US, there’s a whole lot more that follows, providing the nuts-and-bolts (the context and applications) of how this new Covenant with God is goi…

29th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

Sometimes it can be aggravating when someone answers a question with a question, but when looking for the theme of our readings this week, that’s what I get.  Who is God and what do we owe him?  The answer to both questions is “everything.”  This theme has its origins in the 1st Commandment, “I am the Lord your God… there is no other.”  But what does that mean to us on a practical level?  In short, it is God whom we thank for everything we have, and because of this, it is only to God whom we owe our allegiance.

The Word for the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
Psalm 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b
Matthew 22:15-21

We open with a reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah… in this case, “Deutero” or Second Isaiah.  The Exile is coming to an end.  The Babylonian Empire has fallen to the Persians and now Cyrus, whom we know as Cyrus the Great, has been, according to Isaiah, anointed by God.  Cyrus?  A pagan?  A foreign king?  Yes.  How could this be?  Simple… God …

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014

Invitation.  This is the theme that resonates through our readings for this 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time.  And not just any invitation… an invitation to the Lord’s house.  Who wouldn’t want to go?  Who would turn down this invitation?  Let’s explore our readings to see what we might be missing…

The Word for the 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
Isaiah 25:6-10a
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20
Matthew 22:1-14

We open with a reading from Isaiah at a point where he sees great hope for Israel (for a brief time as King Hezekiah begins his reign).  In this poem of praise for God, he describes what it is like to live on the mountain of the Lord… a paradise with rich food and choice wines… a place where God’s people rejoice under the umbrella of his protection.  Our Psalm echoes this joy with its chorus “I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”  Who would want to leave?

Our Gospel from Matthew has Jesus using this image of a Heavenly banquet as he confronts the…