October 14, 2017

Saturday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Joel 4:12-21  +  Luke 11:27-28

The heavens and the earth quake, but the Lord is a refuge to His people….

Today’s First Reading from the Book of Joel is taken from its final chapter.  The second half of Joel concerns the judgment of the Lord at some unspecified future time.  This “day of the Lord” is described in apocalyptic terms that are much more sweeping than the prophecies Joel makes in the first half of the book. Continue reading

October 13, 2017

Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Joel 1:13-15;2:1-2  +  Luke 11:15-26

Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!

For just two weekdays our First Reading at Holy Mass comes from the Old Testament Book of Joel.  Joel is one of the twelve minor prophets.  These twelve can be divided into three historical groups:  those serving before the fall of the Kingdom of Israel, those serving between the fall of Israel and the Babylonian exile, and finally those serving after the return from the Babylonian exile.  Joel falls into the last of these three groups. Continue reading

October 12, 2017

Thursday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Malachi 3:13-20  +  Luke 11:5-13

“…how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit…?”

As Saint Luke the Evangelist continues to set before us Jesus’ teachings about prayer, we hear a lot about the prayer of petition.  Petition is one of the four chief types of prayer that human beings voice to God.  The four types are easily remembered by the acronym “P-A-C-T”:  this word reminds each of us of the pact, or covenant, that each of us entered at the moment of baptism. Continue reading

October 11, 2017

Wednesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Jonah 4:1-11  +  Luke 11:1-4

“Father, hallowed by your Name, your Kingdom come.”

Every Christian knows by heart the ‘Our Father’:  the only prayer that Jesus taught to His followers.  But the ‘Our Father’ that we know in our hearts—which we pray at every Mass before receiving Holy Communion, and which we pray several times throughout the course of a rosary—is not exactly the ‘Our Father’ that we hear Jesus teach in today’s Gospel passage. Continue reading

The 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time [A]

The Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time [A]
Isa 5:1-7  +  Phil 4:6-9  +  Mt 21:33-43
October 8, 2017

The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.

We hear a strange lack of logic within Jesus’ parable.  The landowner symbolizes God the Father.  In the words of our Psalm refrain, the vineyard is the house of Israel.  The tenants—whom we might just as easily call the “stewards” of the vineyard—are those whom God had entrusted with the care of the vineyard.  They symbolize the “officialdom” of Israel in Jesus’ day, a group that included the chief priests and the elders, to whom Jesus addressed this parable.

The tenants’ actions demonstrate the delusion in their minds.  They believe they are the masters, rather than stewards.  This illogical belief justifies (in their own hearts, at least) their illogical actions and words.  When the true master demands his rightful harvest, the tenants beat, kill and stone his messengers.  They’re defending their right to be deluded.  When the vineyard owner sends his own beloved son, he logically thinks, “They will respect my son.”  Unfortunately, he fails to realize that you cannot reason with those who have turned reason on its head.  He fails to realize that you cannot reason with servants who reign within their minds as masters.  Unfortunately, the price of his failure is his beloved son.

This son, of course, represents God the Son.  Jesus is proclaiming His own future murder at the hands of those whom His Father had entrusted with the care of the house of Israel.  But the Gospel includes this parable, and the Church proclaims this parable to you, so that you can reflect on whether and how you might be modern-day tenants.  The modern vineyard is the Church, or if you prefer, your own life within the Church. Continue reading

Our Lady of the Rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary
Baruch 4:5-12,27-29  +  Luke 10:17-24
October 7, 2017

… I have seen the captivity that the Eternal God has brought upon my sons and daughters.

Saturday is dedicated by the Church to our Blessed Mother.  From the many persons and places in the Old Testament which foreshadow Mary, today’s First Reading presents one:  the city Jerusalem.  We might wonder how a city can represent a person, or vice versa.  In this case, one link between the two is that both are mothers. Continue reading

October 6, 2017

Friday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Baruch 1:15-22  +  Luke 10:13-16

“Woe to you, Chorazin!  Woe to you, Bethsaida!”

Jesus never says, “Woe is me!”  Not once in the four accounts of the Gospel does Jesus ever say such a thing.  However, more than a few times Jesus expresses woe.  He expresses these woes regarding those who do not listen, and do not follow, the Word of God. Continue reading