The 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]

The Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]
1 Sam 26:2,7-9,12-13,22-23  +  1 Cor 15:45-49  +  Lk 6:27-38
February 24, 2019

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Today’s Scripture passages consider one of the paradoxes about the church that Jesus founded:  its rank and file members are both saints and sinners.  The Church is indeed the Body of Christ, but that body’s members are weak human beings.  In other words, while the Church is a divine institution, it’s also a human institution. Continue reading

February 18-23, 2019

Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Genesis 4:1-15,25  +  Mark 8:11-13
February 18, 2019

He sighed from the depth of His spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign?”

Do we search for heavenly signs as assurance that we are on the right path in life?  Today’s Gospel passage, brief and to the point, ought to make us realize how pointless such a search is.  Jesus’ sigh—”from the depth of His Spirit”—speaks volumes.  His departure from the midst of the Pharisees show his recognition that even His divine words do nothing for one unwilling to listen in to Him in faith.  Christ asks us to dedicate each day to him in faith. Continue reading

The 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]

The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]
Jer 17:5-8  +  1 Cor 15:12,16-20  +  Lk 6:17,20-26
February 17, 2019

“Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!”

It’s hard to confuse the choices presented in today’s Scripture readings.  The sharp contrast between the blessings and maledictions proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah and our Lord Jesus offer only two choices:  life or death, blessing or woe.  Even more important, though, is the fact that the Christian’s choice must be rooted in the divine virtue of hope.  “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord”, we proclaim in today’s Responsorial Psalm. Continue reading

February 11-16, 2019

Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Genesis 1:1-19  +  Mark 6:53-56
February 11, 2019

God saw how good it was.

In today’s First Reading the Church proclaims the first nineteen verses of the Bible.  The Church proclaims the First Reading at weekday Mass from Genesis for almost two weeks during Ordinary Time:  this week and next.  Today and tomorrow the First Readings present the narrative of God’s six days of creation, and His rest on the seventh. Continue reading

The 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]

The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]
Isa 6:1-2,3-8  +  1 Cor 15:1-11 [or 15:3-8,11]  +  Lk 5:1-11
February 10, 2019

“Be not afraid.”

In the year of Our Lord 64, Saint Peter laid down his life for the Church.  Some thirty years after the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, Peter was held prisoner in the city of Rome, as was his fellow apostle Paul.  Both had been taken there in chains, to that city which was the center of the known world.  It was the capital of the greatest empire in existence, and a city which from Jerusalem appeared to be “the ends of the earth”.  Yet it was the center not only of the empire, but also of paganism.  The temples dedicated to Roman gods were numerous, scattered throughout Rome.  In the center of the city was the Pantheon, dedicated to all the pagan gods. Continue reading

February 4-9, 2019

Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Hebrews 11:32-40  +  Mark 5:1-20
February 4, 2019

…they began to beg [Jesus] to leave their district.

Demonic possession is an extremely serious matter.  While some today dismiss it, suggesting that all reported cases of possession are in fact psychological disorders, the Church takes today’s Gospel passage at its word. Continue reading

The 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]

The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]
Jer 1:4-5,17-19  +  1 Cor 12:31—13:13 [or 13:4-13]  +  Lk 4:21-30
February 3, 2019

But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

While the readings of any given Sunday’s Mass generally build up to the passage from the Gospel, this Sunday the Second Reading is more likely to grab our attention.  This passage of Saint Paul, so commonly heard at weddings, has much to teach us, but only if we resist the tendency to interpret it according to our own standards.  Instead, we need to allow it to lead us to the heart of the Gospel, where God’s standard is far greater:  more demanding, but also more fulfilling. Continue reading

January 28-February 2, 2019

St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest & Doctor of the Church
Hebrews 9:15,24-28  +  Mark 3:22-30
January 28, 2019

“And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”

Jesus’ parables most often describe the Kingdom of God.  But today He preaches about the Kingdom by what in theology is called a “via negativa”:  that is, defining someone or something by what he, she or it is not, rather than what he, she or it is.  Jesus today shapes our understanding of what the Kingdom of God is not in rebutting the claims of the scribes. Continue reading