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Showing posts from October, 2017

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time

Practice what you preach.  This is the warning from our readings this week.  While pointed specifically at the religious leaders of the community, these warnings also serve as a reminder for us, that we too much not become complacent in our duties to the Lord. 

The Word for the 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time: Malachi 1:14b-1:2b, 8-10
Psalm 131:1, 2, 3
1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9, 13
Matthew 23:1-12

We open with a reading from the prophet Malachi, who’s career began a few generations after the return from Babylon.  Malachi sees a priesthood that has lost its way, and through that, caused the people to falter.  The prophet condemns them and reminds them that is God who created us and with whom we have our covenant. 

Our Psalm helps those priests (and all of us) to focus back on what’s important as we sing, “In you, Lord, I have found my peace.”  When we turn to the Lord in humility, we find peace and hope.

Our second reading picks up on that theme of a caring mother found in our Psalm a…

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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
Mathew 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 Covena…

29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Who is God and what do we owe him?  The answer to both questions is “everything.”  This question 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
Mathew 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 can choose whomever he wishes.  The hand God chose to free Israel from her Exile was in fact the hand of Cyrus, the king of the Persian Empire, …

28th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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
Mathew 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 continues where we left off last week, where we see Jes…

Community Life on the Wane? Yes, for some time now...

I ran across a very interesting article that was posted on our daily Angelus News email.  Posted from the National Catholic Register:

Catholic Community Life on the Wane? As community life in the United States declines, Catholic parishes also must address the consequences. The article discusses that this is not just a Catholic phenomenon, but that community life in general has been on the decline for some time.  The author, Nicholas Wolfram Smith, makes use of a study from a new research group in the U.S. Senate, called the Social Capital Project, which recently published it's first report, “What We Do Together,” another interesting read if you have the time.
The report and the article mention several contributing factors to this decline in what they call "associational life," including an increase in "affluence" as one of the factors.  But in all this research, I feel they've missed a very important factor... that we have lost the perceived need for communi…

27th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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 the most quoted in the New Testament.  His prophetic book, by at least 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 Israelites return to Jerusal…