Ordinary Time 22 September 1, 2013

Sirach 3, 17-18, 20, 28-29 + Psalm 68 + Hebrews 12, 18-19, 22-24 + Luke 14, 1, 7-14

It would be very easy to sit back and think that this episode in Luke’s Gospel is all about pride and humility. There is plenty here to reflect upon in that regard, but there is a lot more about this story that addresses our lives and behavior these days than pride and humility. As I was sitting with this text and imagining the dinner, my mind wandered to the very popular British Series: “Downton Abbey” where many events of the day and much of the lives and values of the characters are revealed over grand sumptuous meals. Somehow those meals reveal a great deal about those times, the people, their values, and their sense of self. … more »

Ordinary Time 21 August 25, 2013

Isaiah 66, 18-21 + Psalm 117 + Hebrews 12, 5-7, 11-13 + Luke 13, 22-30

Understanding the question in light of the times is not difficult. It was a very measured world. There was only so much to go around, and when it ran out, that was all there was. It worked that way with food and everything else, and there was never really a “lot” of anything for those people. So the question brought to Jesus is not unusual for someone who was trying to figure out how this message of Jesus was going to work out.

If you look at the long history of our faith, most of the great spiritual writers were of the opinion that few would be saved. … more »

Planes

If either of them could write, I would have my two grand-nephews review “Planes.” There are other ways of communicating however with which they are familiar thereby reviewing by their behavior the movie: “Planes”. They had been begging to see “Planes” since they saw its previews three weeks earlier at our viewing of the film “Turbo.” For the first 15 minutes in the theater, they were glued to the screen along with about 600 other children between 4 and 10 years of age. I was the oldest person in the theater! It was the preview time however, and I was amazed at how many animated moves will soon be available for them to see. (What ever happened to real human actors?) As the previews went on and on, the murmuring in the audience increased. … more »

Ordinary Time 20 August 18, 2013

Jeremiah 38, 4-6,  8-10 + Psalm 40 + Hebrews 12, 1-4 + Luke 12, 49-53

The other day I was in the car with my sister and her two grandchildren who are 7 and 5 years of age. They had been arguing, and the noise of their conflict was beginning to get on the nerves of those of us in the front seat. My sister declared a time of silence that was to last until we reached their home. We had to stop for her to pick up something along the way. I remained in the car with the boys, and as soon as she was in the store, the silence was broken. We laughed and talked, teased, and giggled until she reappeared at the car door, and silence resumed. … more »

Elysium

When I looked at my watch, I had been sitting there for about 90 minutes. If I look at my watch during a movie, it is a bad sign. I had forgotten to check the running time for this film before I sat down, but I knew that I was running out of more than time and that this film was running out of everything. After about thirty minutes of percussion I noticed that there was no music, just a lot of percussive sounds coming from an orchestra whose musicians must have been more bored than I was. There was a lot of noise, and I knew I would not go home with any tunes running through my head. But after all, it’s an action film right? … more »

Ordinary Time 19 August 11, 2013

Wisdom 18, 6-9 + Psalm 33 + Hebrews 11, 1-2, 8-19 + Luke 12, 32-48

Often when people comment to me about a particular homily saying that they feel as though I was speaking directly to them, I think to myself (and have sometimes said aloud), “That’s because I’m really always speaking to myself.” With this Gospel today, it occurs to me that the same thing may be happening with Jesus. When Peter asks that question, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” I wonder if Jesus was not thinking: “I’m talking about myself here. If you want to follow me, pay attention.”

Let’s remember that this parable in Luke’s Gospel is set during the Journey to Jerusalem during which Jesus has spoken of what is to come there. … more »

Ordinary Time 18 August 4, 2013

Ecclesiastes 1,2 – 2.23-33 + Psalm 95 + Colossians 3, 1-5, 9-11 + Luke 12, 13-21

 Two questions raise a couple of troubling human issues in this scene from Luke’s Gospel:

  1. Who appointed me a judge or arbiter between you?”
  2. Who will get what you have prepared for yourself?

The man shouting out from the crowd pulls us into a very real human conflict that all of us have probably seen, and some may have actually experienced: the fighting over money and resources within a family when there is a lot to go around. “Tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” There is a little cultural issue here we ought to keep in mind: the first son got everything. … more »