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Showing posts from February, 2017

Breaking the Bubble...

A lot has been said recently about how people tend to live in their own "bubble" of influence. That is to say, they build themselves into a sort of "cocoon of comfort" around their own ideologies, their own accepted reality or "truths" that can be very hard to penetrate.
One of the most frustrating "truths" for me is this seemingly common understanding that science and religious faith can't mix. It can only be one or the other. I have two problems with this. First is that this idea completely ignores the idea that there is any intellectualism within religious faith. We Catholics have this in abundance! Second is this idea assumes that God can't be at work when it comes to scientific endeavors. Here again, we Catholics know that God can be seen in his creation regardless of how that creation is studied, be it the mechanics of the building blocks of life or the discover of new possibly habitable planets.
Now by way of full disclosur…

8th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Our readings this week remind us of God’s ever-caring, ever-loving nature.  But sometimes we spend so much time worrying about our own lives and the future, we don’t take the time to “stop and smell the roses.”  We focus so much attention focusing on our physical and fiscal needs that we end up ignoring our spiritual needs and those other parts of our lives that, in the end, are more 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

Our first reading is a very short passage from Isaiah.  Here the prophet (2nd Isaiah, or Deutero-Isaiah) tells about how God could never abandon us.  Here Isaiah, in one of his most poetic visuals, equates God’s love with that of a of a mother and her infant.  We can’t possibly think of a caring mother forgetting about the child she carried, but, Isaiah states, even if she were, God could not.  Isaiah’s intent is to remind Israel, currently in Exile in Babylon, that lik…

An "Obligation" or a "Community"?

For those of you who are not aware, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has been focusing on improving their "on-line" presence and communication.  It began with the re-branding of our old weekly newspaper, the Tidings, into the new Angelus news magazine.   Included in this media blitz is the Monday-Friday daily email from the Angelus team that not only highlights the saint of the day and other Angelus news items, but they highlight interesting articles of interest from other publications (usually from other Catholic media, but not exclusively).

Today's Angelus email highlighted an article from the Catholic Herold, a Catholic publication from the UK:
http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2017/02/13/how-an-anglican-explained-where-catholic-parishes-are-going-wrong/


This article from Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith makes some very valuable observations between Catholic parishes and other Christian parishes.  In it he notes that we Catholics have a tendency to view Church t…

7th Sunday of Ordinary Time

As Christians know we are “called to be holy.”  We hear this phrase often, and yet few Catholics can say where it came or can explain what it really means.  Our readings this week give us some answers…


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… the second retelling of the Moses story only this time through prism of priestly (Levite) Law.  In this rather short passage, we are given two powerful commands.  First, God commands us to be holy.  But what does he mean?  While the intervening passages (verses 2-16) provide some clarity, the real understanding comes from the second commandment in the passage, “love your neighbor as yourself.”  Period.  Before we can even utter an inquisitive “why” God says, “I am the Lord.”  the scriptural equivalent of “because I said so” from a parent to a child.  But before we get too concerned over this…

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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 law and 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, 37

Our first reading comes from the book of Sirac…

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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 …