St. Alphonsus Liguori

St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Exodus 33:7-11;34:5-9,28  +  Matthew 13:36-43
August 1, 2017

“‘Whoever has ears ought to hear.’”

In today’s Gospel passage Jesus offers a point-by-point explanation of the parable that He preached in the passage proclaimed a few days earlier in the cycle of Ordinary Time weekdays.  The evangelists rarely offer us examples of Jesus explaining a parable, so today’s passage is insightful not only in terms of the parable’s content, but also in terms of Jesus’ method of using parables. Continue reading

St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
Exodus 32:15-24,30-34  +  Matthew 13:31-35
July 31, 2017

“All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.”

Jesus today proclaims two parables about the Kingdom of Heaven.  In wanting to understand these parables, we might wonder what exactly the Kingdom of Heaven is.  Is the Kingdom of Heaven the realm of Heaven?  Is it the Church, or some measure of both the Church and Heaven, or something else entirely, such as the individual Christian’s soul? Continue reading

The 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time [A]

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [A]
I Kgs 3:5,7-12  +  Rom 8:28-30  +  Mt 13:44-52
July 30, 2017

“…all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”

Ten centuries before Christ, the son of David became the King of Israel.  Solomon was a young man.  He realized his lack of experience and his lack of ability to govern Israel.  The Lord told him to ask for any gift, and it would be granted.

Solomon could have asked for wealth, since with immense wealth he could buy off any kingdom that got in his way.  Or he could have asked for absolute power, since he could then destroy any kingdom that got in his way.  He could have asked for any number of things.  But he asked for wisdom.

Wisdom is insight into the meaning of things.  Such meaning manifests itself chiefly when Wisdom shows how everything fits together:  how everything has its place.  This wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit.  It is through the providential power of the Holy Spirit that St. Paul’s words in today’s Second Reading are true:  “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”  This purpose we can consider as God’s providential will, which converges in Christ.  St. Paul explains this as he continues:  “those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn”. Continue reading

St. Martha

St. Martha
Exodus 24:3-8  +  John 11:19-27
July 29, 2017

“‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.’”

On this feast of Saint Martha, the Gospel Reading must come from the feast day.  The other readings may come from the day in Ordinary Time, which the feast supersedes.  However, there are two options for the Gospel Reading on this feast.  Both, of course, feature Martha. Continue reading

Blessed John Soreth, Priest

The Carmelite Feast of Blessed John Soreth *
July 28, 2017

Blessed John Soreth was born in Normandy in northern France in 1394 and entered Carmel as a young man.  He took a doctorate of theology in Paris, and served as Regent of Studies and provincial of his province.  He was Prior General from 1451 until his death at Angers, in western France in 1471. Continue reading

Blessed Titus Brandsma, Priest & Martyr

The Carmelite feast of Blessed Titus Brandsma
July 27, 2017

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is well known as one of the martyrs of the Second World War.  Less well known is a Carmelite priest who was martyred at Dachau on July 26, 1942.  As the Carmelite orders celebrate his feast today, we can learn from his life, admire his death, and ask his living intercession before God’s throne. Continue reading

July 28, 2017

Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Exodus 20:1-17  +  Matthew 13:18-23
July 28, 2017

“‘But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it….’”

If you work on a computer you know that how many things one can do with them.  They can help us with our homework, with our finances, with preparing a talk, with sending messages and pictures to our loved ones by email.  The list seems endless. Continue reading

Divine Intimacy § 241: “Faith”

Divine Intimacy § 241 is titled “Faith”.
The following reflection is based upon Father Gabriel’s meditation:

Faith, like hope and caritas, is called a “theological” virtue because “God” is the virtue’s object.  But faith and hope differ from caritas in one important regard.  To get at this difference, we can appropriate terms from the field of language. Continue reading

July 27, 2017

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Exodus 19:1-2,9-11,16-20  +  Matthew 13:10-17
July 27, 2017

“‘…knowledge of the mysteries… has been granted to you, but to them it has not….’”

When the disciples in today’s Gospel passage ask Jesus why He speaks to “the crowd” in parables, He responds with what we might call a “theology of parables”.  Jesus contrasts the disciples with the crowd.  The disciples, He explains, have been granted “knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven”.  But the crowd has not.  Jesus also points out that the crowd “look but do not see” and “hear but do not listen or understand”.  So given this two-fold deficit on the part of the crowd, why is it fitting for Jesus to speak to them in parables? Continue reading

Sts. Joachim and Anne

Sts. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Exodus 16:1-5,9-15  +  Matthew 13:1-9
July 26, 2017

“And He spoke to them at length in parables….”

Jesus paints four illustrations in today’s parable.  The first three are pictures of the sower laboring in vain, because of “the path, rocky ground”, and “thorns”.  Only the fourth illustration describes seed falling “on rich soil”, producing “fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Continue reading