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Showing posts from July, 2018

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Bread is perhaps the oldest prepared food known to mankind, and can be found in one form or another throughout the world and throughout all cultures.  It is considered a staple of life, and thus carries with it a significance beyond mere sustenance.  Its importance is also reflected in our scriptures as we see in this Sunday’s readings:

The Word for the 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Psalm 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
John 6:24-35

Our first reading comes from the Book of Exodus.  Moses has been successful in bringing the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, but their joy as a free people is short lived when they are faced with the realities of finding food and water for their long journey through the desert.  Moses brings their complaints to God, who in turn promises that they will not go hungry, providing then with manna… bread from Heaven.  This experience has such a deep and significant meaning that it carries through to our Psalm, not to men…

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Lord will provide.  It’s a phrase we hear often, especially when we find ourselves in situations of need.  But for as often as we may hear it, how often do we honestly, sincerely, believe it?  Or when we find ourselves in need, how many of us find the strength to turn it over to God?  Our readings this week show us how faith in the Lord can lead to his answering of our needs…

The Word for the 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time
2 Kings 4:42-44
Psalm 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18
Ephesians 4:1-6
John 6:1-15

Our first reading is a story of the Prophet Elisha from the Second Book of Kings.  Elisha, as we remember, was apprenticed to the great prophet Elijah, and served in the Northern Kingdom Israel during the period of the monarchy.  He is known for his many works of wonder, including this week’s passage about the barley loaves.  A man from some distance away came to Elisha to give him twenty barley loaves made from his first harvest as an offering to the prophet. As the people around Elis…

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Church is defined as the People of God… that is, all of us.  But as with any large group of people, there would be utter chaos if we didn’t have anyone to lead us.  Someone to guide us… a shepherd to literally show us the way.
The Word for the 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
Ephesians 2:13-18
Mark 6:30-34

Our first reading is from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah.  Jeremiah, as you may recall, was witness to the final days of the Kingdom of Judah.  Jeremiah was called to prophecy in support of the reform minded King Josiah.  But that support of the monarchy was short-lived with Josiah’s premature death, and Jeremiah was forced to watch the eventual downturn and first fall of Jerusalem in 568.  While he tried to council King Zedekiah (placed on the throne by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar), he eventually failed, and with that came the destruction of Jerusalem in 587.  Jeremiah fled to Egypt while the rest of Israel was taken into Exi…

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This is the time of year where many parishes receive new priests or pastors or administrators.  By way of trying to get to know these priests, we will often ask how they came by their calling.  We like to imagine some kind of Heavenly voice calling out to them like God calling Moses from the burning bush.  But that’s not always the case.  Nor is it the case that only these special people are being called.  We too are called by God to be a part of his church, yet we too easily assume our calling is not anything special.  We so easily say “I’m no saint” without recognizing that many of our most beloved saints have past experiences far worse than anything we may have done in our lives.  Our readings this week give us some stories about their calling by God…

The Word for the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Amos 7:12-15
Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Ephesians 1:3-14 or 1:3-10
Mark 6:7-13

Our first reading is from the Book of Amos.  Amos is that fiery prophet from the middle period of the …

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Prophecy.  Our modern understanding of this word can often skew its relevance to our Christian faith tradition.  For us today, “prophecy” often refers to the future… what is to come.  But prophecy, in the Biblical sense, isn’t so much about the future as it is about the present.  God, through his designated prophet, speaking to the people what they need to hear, at that moment.  What the people need to hear, however, isn’t what they want to hear, making the prophet’s job a thankless one.  Prophecy, like fine art, is all to often only appreciated by those who come after us, the future generations.

The Word for the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 2:2-5
Psalm 123:1-2, 2, 3-4
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Mark 6:1-6

Our first reading comes from Ezekiel, that priest turned prophet from the first wave of the Babylonian Exile.  This week’s passage is a reflection of Ezekiel’s calling.  God has selected him to speak to the people of Israel.  That he calls them a “rebellious house” tells us…