The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Joseph Church in Norman, OK

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 30, 2017

1 Kings 3, 5, 7-12 + Psalm 119 + Romans 8, 28-30 + Matthew 13, 44-52

St Joseph Parish, Norman, OK

“Have you understood all of this?” It’s a good question. If this Gospel is the living Word of God spoken in every age, it is being addressed to us today. “Have you understood all of this?” Matthew says that the apostles said, “Yes.” I don’t believe them. I can remember my father standing over me the first time I drove off in his car at age 16. There had been some serious instructions, warnings, and disguised threats. “Do you understand me?” he concluded. I wouldn’t be standing here today if I had said, “No.” In all honesty, when it comes to that example, I’ll never really understand because I’ve never had a 16-year-old son, but I am beginning to understand a few things about the Kingdom of Heaven, and with that understanding has come some changes in my life. … more »

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Joseph Church in Norman, OK

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 23, 2017

Wisdom 12, 13, 16-19 + Psalm 86 + Romans 8, 26-27 + Matthew 13, 24-43

St Joseph Parish, Norman, OK

One of the punishments I suffered as a child was pulling weeds out of the garden at our home. Mom had roses. Dad had vegetables. They both of their gardens had weeds.  While down on my hands and knees in anything but a prayerful mood, I would wonder if there weeds in the Garden of Eden.  I would think: if everything God made was good, what are these weeds, and why am I doing this? Then I would remember the offence that put there, and I would get all confused and just jerk off the tops leaving the roots. … more »

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Joseph Church in Norman, OK

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 16, 2017

Isaiah 55, 10-11 + Psalm 65 + Romans 8, 18-23 + Matthew 13, 1-23

St Joseph Parish, Norman, OK

Jesus told this parable to reveal something about the Father’s extravagant generosity since his mission was ultimately about the revelation of God. Matthew probably included this parable urging the church of his time to examine how they had received the seed or the “Word” of God. Moving around within the parable to examine each of the elements is a good way to open our hearts to the power of God’s Word in the scriptures. We could examine what kind of ground we are like the church of Saint Matthew. In other words, how receptive we have been to what has been sown in us. … more »

The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time at St Joseph Church in Norman, OK

The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 9, 2017

Zechariah 9, 9-10 + Psalm 145 + Romans 8, 9, 11-13 + Matthew 11, 25-30

St Joseph Parish, Norman, OK

It’s time for a little Greek lesson today, because there is a word in this Gospel passage that Matthew uses only twice. It was used earlier in the Beatitudes, and now it comes up again. The word in Greek is Praus. It is a strong word that is used to describe the taming or the domesticating of a powerful animal. Horses or oxen had to be “meeked”, and so it means strength under control, and so when Jesus says that he is “meek and humble of heart” he is really talking about his strength and his power. … more »