The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Judges 6:11-24  +  Matthew 19:23-30
August 22, 2017

“‘…and the last will be first….’”

Today’s feast of Mary’s Queenship falls one week after the feast of her Assumption.  Seven days ago, we celebrated the Fourth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary, and today we celebrate the Fifth (Mary being crowned as the Queen of Heaven and earth).  These two feasts of Mary are connected, and teach us about who Mary our Mother is.  The Assumption and the Queenship of Mary also teach us what being a Christian is about. Continue reading

Pope St. Pius X

Pope St. Pius X
Judges 2:11-19  +  Matthew 19:16-22
August 21, 2017

“‘Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?’”

The young man in today’s Gospel Reading knows that something more is needed.  He’s very confident that he has observed the commandments, but knows that he still lacks something for the gaining of eternal life.  Jesus’ response aims for Heaven:  “to be perfect”, the young man must sell what he has in order to give to the poor, and then he must follow Jesus. Continue reading

The 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time [A]

The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time [A]
Isa 56:1,6-7  +  Rom 11:13-15,29-32  +  Mt 15:21-28
August 20, 2017

For God delivered all to disobedience, that He might have mercy upon all.

You cannot force someone to have faith in God.  No matter how many arguments a person devises to prove the existence of God, all of them can be argued against, though whether the opposing arguments have merit is another matter.  Jesus preached in public for three years, but He did not spend His time offering proofs of God’s existence.  My spiritual director in the seminary had a saying:  “You love people to faith, you love people to hope, and you love people to love.”  Today’s Gospel shows us how faith becomes love.

This dialogue (we might almost call it “banter”) between Jesus and the Gentile woman shows how God relates to us, and how He wants us to relate to Him:  both in our daily lives, and from the broader perspective of our spiritual growth over the years.

Have you ever prayed to God and felt He wasn’t listening?  The evangelist Matthew tells us that a Canaanite woman—which is to say, an outsider—came to Jesus and called out, Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!  This woman, despite not being one of the people who had been waiting for the Messiah, nonetheless knew who Jesus was.  So she cried out to Him for help.  But what happened next? Continue reading

August 19, 2017

Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Joshua 24:14-29  +  Matthew 19:13-15

“‘Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them….’”

Our spiritual need for humility is like our body’s need for water:  it is foundational, in an on-going manner, and in a manner that we constantly have to attend to.  Some people think that humility is only for children.  This sort of thinking says, “Of course you should be humble when you’re small.  You should be humble, for example, when you’re applying for a job, and when you’re going to confession, and when you’re at the bank applying for a loan.  But… once you’re older, and you’ve made something of your life, and have money in the bank, and people who work for you… well, then, the time for humility is past.  At this point, you should take pride in yourself.” Continue reading

August 18, 2017

Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Joshua 24:1-13  +  Matthew 19:3-12

“‘So they are no longer two, but one flesh.’”

In raising the institution of marriage to the dignity of a sacrament, Christ transformed it into a covenant reflecting His own love for His Church.  This transformation was symbolized at the wedding at Cana by Jesus transforming water into wine.  In the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the natural is transformed into something supernatural. Continue reading

August 17, 2017

Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Joshua 3:7-10,11,13-17  +  Matthew 18:21—19:1

“‘So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.’”

The home in which we find the deepest sort of forgiveness, a selfless and generous forgiveness that seeks to build up the one who has transgressed:  this is our truest home.  Christ speaks of this authentic forgiveness in today’s Gospel passage, helping us by His words to see what He will show us on Calvary. Continue reading

August 16, 2017

Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Deuteronomy 34:1-12  +  Matthew 18:15-20

“‘…where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’”

Jesus, in today’s Gospel Reading, explains how His followers can keep from having moral punishment fall upon them.  Jesus preaches that His followers must seek reconciliation with each other.  He also calls upon us to point out a wrong that may have been committed, especially one which destroys harmony and peace.  Correcting others in this way is a very hazardous duty.  Like almost no other responsibility that we have as Christians, it calls for the virtues of prudence, courage, and meekness.  Who can manage this without the help of the Holy Spirit? Continue reading

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Rev 11:19;12:1-6,10  +  1 Cor 15:20-27  +  Lk 1:39-56
August 15, 2017

“‘…my spirit rejoices in God my Savior….’”

We all believe that when a person dies, if he is in a state of perfect grace, his soul goes to Heaven, or in another word, that his soul is “assumed” into Heaven.  We may very well know people in our own families who, we’re sure, had their souls taken by God directly into Heaven.  This may very well happen with many people.  The main difference between the end of these persons’ lives and the end of Mary’s life is that both Mary’s soul and her body were assumed into Heaven.

Why was Mary’s body taken into Heaven along with her soul?  Mary is the type of person that all of us were originally supposed to be, but didn’t become because of Original Sin.  If Adam and Eve, and all of us in turn, had never sinned, then every one of us would rise body and soul into Heaven at the end of our lives.  Death as we know it (including the separation of body and soul) only exists because of human sin.

Yet Mary was given a special gift by God, since God knew from eternity that she would accept His calling to be the Mother of Christ.  This gift was the privilege given at the first moment of Mary’s existence:  the privilege of her Immaculate Conception.  That she was conceived by her mother, St. Anne, without Original Sin, meant that her whole life was a special grace from God.  It was still filled with struggles and pain, but at the end of her life on this earth, Mary became a sign of hope for us. Continue reading