Ordinary Time 20

August 18, 2019 at Oklahoma City, OK

 Jeremiah 38, 4-10 + Psalm 40 + Hebrews 12, 1-4 + Luke 12, 49-53

It does not take much time to look at the world today and think that Jesus was very successful. There is division everywhere. Where there is not actual fire, there is fiery language of retaliation, revenge, and threats with missiles and weapons that can obliterate any opposition with fire. However, sometimes these Gospel images given today are used to justify all sorts of behavior Jesus would abhor, and I am puzzled by people who cause trouble and justify it with pious and religious excuses. These words from the mouth of Jesus are not given to us as a go-ahead for divisive behavior and causes that need not cause hurt and division. … more »

Ordinary Time 19

August 11, 2019 at Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Castle Rock, Colorado

 Wisdom 18, 6-9 + Psalm 33 + Hebrews 11, 1-2, 8-12 + Luke 12, 32-48

St. Francis of Assisi Castle Rock,CO 5:30pm Sunday

We spend a lot of time waiting in this culture. We wait in line at the grocery, and if you go to Costco where I live, you might as well have dinner, because the check-out line so long! We wait in the doctor office, we wait at the airport either to leave to meet someone, we wait for babies to be born, we wait to get out of the parking lot of this church! Someday, I’m going to track how much time is spent every day just waiting. … more »

Ordinary Time 18

August 4, 2019 at Saint Peter and Saint William Parishes in Naples, FL

 Ecclesiastes 1,2 & 2, 21-23  + Psalm 90 + Colossians 3, 1-5 & 9-11  + Luke 12, 13-21

8:00am Saint Peter the Apostle, Naples, FL

The situation that prompts the parable today is not really unusual. In those days and in that culture, a wise Rabbi was often sought out to settle disputes. There were no attorneys or civil courts. Someone known to be wise and impartial would often be asked to help as the man does who comes up to Jesus. Obviously, there is a dispute between brothers, and that disturbs Jesus. While the story he tells could be interpreted as a lesson on greed, there is more to it than that. … more »

Ordinary Time 17

July 28, 2019 onboard the MS Amsterdam

Genesis 18, 20-32 + Psalm 138 + Colossians 2, 12-14  + Luke 11, 1-13

There are three possible answers to prayer. Take my word for it. I’ve been at it a long time. I want to tell you about this because, every now and then I have met someone who is upset and disappointed. Sometimes they are actually angry with God, which I don’t think is, in itself, a problem. It’s hard to ignore someone you are angry with. It’s just that they don’t understand that besides “yes” and “no” there is a third answer, and I learned it from my mother. That third answer is not however, “because”, which was the answer I would sometimes get when I asked “why”? … more »

Ordinary Time 16

July 21, 2019 onboard the MS Amsterdam

Genesis 18, 1-10 + Psalm 15 + Colossians 1, 24-28 + Luke 10, 38-42

This is a story about God coming to stay with us. A story about Jesus in the home of Martha and Mary is told to illustrate a much more profound and personal experience, and out of the story Luke teaches us a lesson. This is our story. We are Martha and Mary, two sides of the same person. I am convinced of this not because of some scripture scholar or some divine revelation, but because I spend time in the confessional. What is confessed and shared by most of those who seek the comfort and grace of the Sacrament is expressed in different ways, but it is always the same. … more »

Ordinary Time 15

July 14, 2019 onboard the MS Amsterdam

Deuteronomy 30, 10-14 + Psalm 69 + Colossians 1, 15-20  + Luke 10, 2-37

Luke, among the four Evangelists is the great dramatist. All of his stories can ignite the imagination, and we can really see the drama being played out. The risk with this style is that all of the characters are life-like, and we could spend a lot of time reflecting on them all. They all have something to teach us. Yet the center of this episode is the lawyer, and he is really the focus for Jesus with the most to teach us. The dialogue between them is what this is all about. The scene with the others on the road and at the inn is just background illustration. … more »

Ordinary Time 14

July 7, 2019 onboard the MS Amsterdam

Isaiah 66, 10-14 + Psalm 66 + Galatians 6, 14-18 + Luke 10, 1-10, 17-20

Just in case you have wondered about the number 72, let’s get started by understanding that in the tenth chapter of Genesis, 72 is the number of nations in the world. Luke’s point is that the mission involves the whole world. Earlier in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus sent out “The Twelve” representing Israel’s 12 nations. Now the mission of Jesus and his disciples is bigger than just Israel.

The instructions are very clear: take nothing. The sharing of the Gospel, our mission which we call today Evangelization is a ministry of presence. That’s all there is to it. Jesus did not give them a Handbook, a Catechism, Canon Law, a Map, a set of CDs, or a Power Point Presentation. … more »

Ordinary Time 13

June 30, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

1 Kings 19, 16-21 + Psalm 16 + Galatians 5, 1, 13-18 + Luke 9, 51-62

8:00am Sunday Mass St. Peter the Apostle

Now begins the “Journey to Jerusalem” for Jesus and those of us who would be his companions. It is not just a journey for Jesus. It is a journey for every one of us who have begun to call Jesus our brother, our teacher, and our savior. Before he has even spent a day on the road, he casts out the demon of violence from among us. There will be no “fire from heaven” to consume those who oppose or are hostile to his presence. … more »

The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

June 23, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Genesis 14, 18-20 = Psalm 110 + 1 Corinthians 11, 23-26 + Luke 9, 11-17

5:30pm Mass Saturday at Saint Peter Parish

“Do this in remembrance of me.” We shall hear those words again in just about ten minutes, but before we repeat that command, it might be a good idea to think about and reconsider that “this” is. What is it we are commanded to do in memory of Jesus? Some might like to think that “this” refers to consecrating bread and wine and receiving communion. If that is all there is to it, if that’s all Jesus Christ asks us to in his memory, there sure isn’t much to this faith, and there isn’t much to do that would require much faith, take time or ask much of us. … more »

Trinity Sunday

June 16, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Proverbs 8, 22-31 + Psalm 8 + Romans 5, 1-5 + John 16, 12-15

4:30 pm Saturday St. William Church, Naples, FL

I have never cared for the custom of calling the Sunday after Pentecost, “Trinity Sunday.” In more recent years someone decided that the title for the Sunday after Pentecost is the “Most Holy Trinity” as though there was a “Least Holy Trinity” or a “More Holy Trinity”. Too many words! When God puts me in charge, we will call the Sunday after Pentecost “Love Sunday”, because that gets to the heart of the matter, and doesn’t seem nearly as complicated the “Trinity.” My friends, Trinity is the destiny of our lives, because Trinity is Love, the love of God, the love God has for us, revealed in the love God has for Jesus Christ. … more »