Tuesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Tuesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Exodus 14:21—15:1  +  Matthew 12:46-50
July 23, 2019

   “Here are my mother and my brothers.”   

For at least two reasons, today’s Gospel Reading may be used (erroneously) to criticize Catholic beliefs.  The first is that Jesus seems to downplay the significance of His birth mother, Mary.  The second is that Jesus refers to His “brothers”, which seems to contradict the Church’s teaching about Mary’s perpetual virginity.  In replying to both concerns, we can not only help those with misunderstandings, but we can ourselves move closer to the heart of Jesus’ words. Continue reading

Homily for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]
Gen 18:1-10  +  Col 1:24-28  +  Lk 10:38-42
July 21, 2019

“There is need of only one thing.”

Maybe you’ve been out to eat, and as you’re sitting there in the restaurant, you notice a young couple sitting in a booth, across from each other.  But they’re not saying a word to each other, and they’re not even looking at each other.  Maybe it’s a blind date gone wrong, or maybe they’ve been dating for some time and recently had an argument.  Regardless, even though they’re sitting just a few feet from each other, these two persons are in each other’s presence only in terms of physical distance.  In terms of understanding each other, they’re miles apart.

On the other hand, maybe you’ve seen an elderly couple eating together.  They don’t speak to each other—not because they don’t want to—but because they don’t need to.  They understand each other so well, that they can see and hear things about each other without the need for words.  They can comfort, console, and encourage each other simply by being in the other person’s presence. Continue reading

St. Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene
Songs 3:1-4 [or 2 Cor 5:14-17]  +  John 20:1-2,11-18
July 22, 2019

   …while it was still dark….   

Early in the morning on the first day of the week… that is to say, in the beginning… we see Mary Magdalene huddled at the tomb weeping.  We must give her credit for this, since the apostles themselves were not faithful to the Crucified Lord in this way.  For ourselves, we pray for the grace to persevere in the midst of suffering, to allow our souls to thirst for Our Lord and God without despair in the midst of suffering.  We pray for the ability to hope during those times when we cannot see the Lord present before us. Continue reading

The 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]

The 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]
Gen 18:1-10  +  Col 1:24-28  +  Lk 10:38-42
July 21, 2019

   “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”   

Jesus today is in the home of Martha and Mary.  These two sisters—as often is the case with siblings—are very different.  After reflecting upon these two sisters, we have to choose which of their stances to take up.

First, reflect on Martha.  Martha is physically in the same house as Jesus.  But when He speaks, instead of listening to Jesus, Martha is doing her own thing.  Martha is in the presence of Jesus, but she is not present to Him. Continue reading

Saturday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Saturday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Exodus 12:37-42  +  Matthew 12:14-21
July 20, 2019

   “my beloved in whom I delight….”   

The latter half of today’s Gospel passage is a quotation from the Old Testament.  St. Matthew the Evangelist cites Isaiah 42:1-4, a passage which echoes God the Father’s declaration at the Baptism of Jesus.  One way to reflect on these words—“my beloved in whom I delight….”—is to imagine God the Father addressing them to you.  Of course, that is only possible if your life is lived in Christ.  Understanding why God the Father might say these words to you demands reflecting on why the Father naturally says them to God the Son. Continue reading

Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Exodus 11:10—12:14  +  Matthew 12:1-8
July 19, 2019

   “This day shall be a memorial feast for you….”   

During Lent we hear many passages in the Sacred Liturgy about the Exodus of ancient Israel.  During these days of Ordinary Time in which we are hearing of Moses’ vocation, there is more hop-scotching through these narratives.  From yesterday’s to today’s weekday Mass, we jump from Moses in front of the burning bush to the final of the ten plagues by which God forced the hand of Pharaoh. Continue reading

Thursday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Thursday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Exodus 3:13-20  +  Matthew 11:28-30
July 18, 2019

   God replied, “I am who am.”   

We often take for granted the power of names.  Two examples can illustrate this simple truth.  Many of us had the experience when little of our parents calling us by our full name:  first, middle, and last.  This was generally not a good thing.  Secondly, when someone is angry with you, it’s a very powerful expression of anger when that person calls out your name in anger.  Hearing your name called out in anger can easily rattle you. Continue reading

Wednesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Wednesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12  +  Matthew 11:25-27
July 17, 2019

   “Come no nearer!  Remove the sandals from your feet….”   

Both the First Reading and the Gospel Reading today proclaim the power of divine revelation.  Jesus in today’s Gospel Reading makes an exclamation to His Father, something rare in the four Gospel accounts.  During this exclamation, Jesus says, “no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Continue reading

Tuesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Tuesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Exodus 2:1-15  +  Matthew 11:20-24
July 16, 2019

   …she said, “I drew him out of the water.”   

Today’s First Reading gives us the “origin story” of Moses.  The Bible does not tell us the names of Moses’ parents, but the first sentence of today’s passage reveals that both of them were of the house of Levi.  The Levites were the priestly tribe of Israel.  Right off the bat, this foreshadows something important about the role that Moses will play in salvation history. Continue reading