The Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 19, 2017

Provers 31, 1-13, 19-20, 30-31 + Psalm 128 + 1 Thessalonians 5, 1-6 + Matthew 25, 14-30

This is a sad story even if you look at it from the viewpoint of the two who are praised by the master. I think the sadness comes from the lingering image of a God who still is judged by some to be demanding, fierce, and angry. The consequence of what the third man chooses to do deprives the whole scene and the whole world, for that matter, of the good he could have done with what he was given. It isn’t just a private matter of what each one does with what each one is given, there is a collective sense of goodness and joy that is lost because one of them is afraid. … more »

The Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time November 12, 2017

Wisdom 6, 12-16 + Psalm 63 + 1 Thessalonians 4, 13-18 + Matthew 25, 1-13

                                                        At the end of October, I flew down to Houston for a meeting. On the return, I witnessed something that made me very sad. A woman with three young girls I assumed to be her daughters arrived at the gate just after everyone had boarded a flight going to Denver. There were some anxious looks down the concourse and a frantic conversation with the gate agent. Clearly to me, someone was missing. The agent paged a man’s name, and kept motioning for the woman and the children to board the plane. They refused. I walked over to them and said: “What does he look like? … more »

The Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time at Saint Joseph Church in Norman, Oklahoma

The Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time November 5, 2017

Malachi 1, 14, 2, 8-10 + Psalm 131 + 1 Thessalonians 2, 7-9, 13 + Matthew 23, 1-12

Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Norman, Oklahoma

                                          If a pious Jew had taken seriously and practiced the kind of religion the Pharisees were teaching, they would have had ulcers and time for nothing else in life. Their homes would have been a mess, and they would have been out of a job and completely without friends. That religion enslaved them to a God who was a relentless taskmaster. The Pharisees themselves were trapped in a system that was totally self-focused thinking that what they did was going to save them. Nothing else! … more »

The Solemnity of All Saints at St Joseph Parish in Norman, Oklahoma

The Solemnity of  All Saints 2017

Revelation 7, 2-4, 9-14 + Psalm 24 + 1 John 3, 1-3 + Matthew 5, 1-12
November 1, 2017 at St Joseph Parish in Norman, Oklahoma

Today we sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his instruction. As always,
Jesus is telling us something about God. These Beatitudes reveal our God to
us. They tell us what God is like and therefore, what how God-like people
live.
Hoy nos sentamos a los pies de Jesús y escuchamos sus instrucciones. Como
siempre, Jesús nos está diciendo algo acerca de Dios. Estas Bienaventuranzas
nos revelan a nuestro Dios. Nos dicen cómo es Dios y cómo le gusta a Dios
que vivan sus semejantes.
These holy people we remember today have one thing in common: their need. … more »

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time at Saint Joseph Church in Norman, Oklahoma

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time October 29, 2017

Exodus 22, 20-26 + Psalm 18 + 1 Thessalonians 1, 5-10 + Matthew 22, 34-40

Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Norman, Oklahoma

                                          When you stop to think about it, a command to love seems a bit puzzling and perhaps even difficult if not impossible. If love is spontaneous and free, if it is a gift that we give, we might do well to wonder how it can be commanded. When we begin to do so, we start to dig into what God is asking of us. Contributing to the puzzle is the fact that the word “love” means too much and too little. It stands for just about everything, and it justifies too many things. … more »

The Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time at Saint Joseph Church in Norman, OK

The Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time October 22, 2017

Isaiah 45, 1, 4-6 + Psalm 96 + 1 Thessalonians 1, 1-5 + Matthew 22, 15-21

Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Norman, Oklahoma

                                                      As I was sitting with this passage in reflection and prayer a few weeks back, I decided that it was best understood aloud. In other words, just reading the text was not working. I needed to hear it just as the people “heard” it from the lips of Jesus. So, I read it out loud several times with different emphasis which seemed to shift the focus. When I read it with a long pause between the first part about Caesar and then raised my voice emphatically with the second part, I really think I heard Jesus. … more »

The Twenty=eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time at Saint Joseph Church in Norman, OK

 

The Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time October 15, 2017

Isaiah 25, 6-10 + Psalm 23 + Philippians 4, 12-14, 19-20 + Matthew 22, 1-14

Saint Joseph Church in Norman, Oklahoma

                                        This is now the third and last parable at the end of Matthew’s Gospel after the authority of Jesus has been challenged by the Pharisees in the Temple. There are two parts to this reading which is why in some of your books there is a long version and a short version. The parable which is in included in both long and short versions is, like all parables, about God revealing how much God wants everyone to come into the Heavenly banquet. The longer version adds an allegory, that says something about us. … more »

The Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time at Saint Joseph Parish in Norman, OK

The Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time October 8, 2017

Isaiah 5, 1-7 + Psalm 80 + Philippians 4, 6-9 + Matthew 21, 33-43

Saint Joseph Parish in Norman, Oklahoma

                                          There is a dangerous temptation with this parable to sit back comfortably and use these verses to point a finger at another in a self-righteous distortion of what Jesus has to say. He would not take that any more from us than he would have from his contemporaries, so we must not go there. In times past, this parable has been misused to justify anti-Semitism and a kind of “replacement theology” that is totally outside the lesson. This is not about the Jews being replaced by the Christians. The story is told to encourage repentance and reveal something about God, not to pass judgement on someone else. … more »

The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time at Saint Joseph Church in Norman, OK

The Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time October 1, 2017

Ezekiel 18, 25-28 + Psalm 25 + Philippians 2, 1-11 + Matthew 21, 28-32

St Joseph Catholic Church in Norman, Oklahoma

 The entry into Jerusalem has taken place. Jesus has cleansed the Temple resulting in a serious challenge to his authority by those in charge. He responds by raising the issue of John’s Baptism promising to answer them if they answer his question about the source of John’s authority. They talk about this among themselves, and then tell him that they do not know. So, he refuses to answer their question about his authority, but then poses three parables which indirectly do answer their question. We get the first of the three today, and the others over next two Sundays. … more »

The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Joseph Church in Norman, OK

The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time September 24, 2017

Isaiah 55, 6-9 + Psalm 145 + Philippians 1, 20-24, 27 + Matthew 20, 1-16

St Joseph Church in Norman, Ok

There is a line in this dialogue that ought to leave us stunned in wonder, and it is not the wonder of admiration. Stunned by shame would be more like it. As a people who easily get impatient in the line of a check-out stand or waiting for someone to make right turn with their foot on the break, the culture and society we have created easily leads us to think that out time is worth more than others, that people “in the way” need to get out of our way, and with that, pride looms up and makes angry, impatient, and ugly people out of the best of us. … more »