Thursday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time [II]
2 Timothy 2:8-15  +  Mark 12:28-34
June 2, 2016

“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.” [Psalm 25:5]

Yesterday I was tempted to continue the homily, about the “Songs of Ascents”, with a quotation from C. S. Lewis.  But the quote in question—which comes from his book titled Reflections on the Psalms—also relates well to today’s Responsorial Psalm, so consider this quote about the art of teaching:

“It often happens that two schoolboys can solve difficulties in their work for one another better than the master can.  When you took the problem to a master, as we all remember, he was very likely to explain what you understood already, to add a great deal of information which you didn’t want, and say nothing at all about the thing that was puzzling you. Continue reading

St. Justin, Martyr

St. Justin, Martyr
2 Timothy 1:1-3,6-12  +  Mark 12:18-27
June 1, 2016

“To you I lift up my eyes who are enthroned in heaven.”

Psalm 123, from which today’s Responsorial is taken, is one of a collection of fifteen psalms.  Each of them—Psalms 120-134—begins with the same title:  in the New American Bible, “A song of ascents.”

It’s significant that the word “ascents” is plural.  Each of these psalms is not a “song of ascent”, akin to the Ascension of Jesus, or the Assumption of Mary, as if the ascent takes place in one fell swoop.  The fact that the psalmist is talking about “ascents” in the plural connotes that there are discrete stages or steps within the entire ascent:  one ascends, and then stops, and then continues again, and so on.  In St. Augustine of Hippo’s exposition of the first of these fifteen psalms, he meditates on this image of the ascent of the spiritual life taking place in discrete steps, saying: Continue reading