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 »
We have all heard this this instruction of Jesus many times over the years, and the challenge of forgiveness remains with us always. I have given and you have heard as many homilies on this text as there years of its repetition in the cycle of our readings. But, as I sat with it a few weeks ago, a verse emerged that I had passed over. It’s that part about those fellow servants who, as the Gospel says, “saw what had happened, were badly shaken, and went to their master to report the whole incident.” I would like to suggest that perhaps God’s Word is giving us more than an instruction on forgiveness here. … more »
These are the readings being proclaimed throughout the world in churches that share the Common Lectionary on Monday of the 23rd week of the year. That is today. In 2001, these readings were proclaimed on September 10, the day before the attack, and I can’t help but wonder how many us may have been prepared by these words of scripture for what was to come the next morning.
Paul writes words of encouragement that we still need to hear in the face of every tragedy and disaster. Speaking about a suffering and struggling community he says: “I wish their hearts to be strengthened and themselves to be closely united in love.” At the center of the readings from the Bible that day and still today are those verses from Psalm 5 we have just heard reminding us that God takes no delight in wickedness with the promise that all who take refuge in God will be glad and exalt forever. … more »
St Peter the Apostle & St William Churches in Naples, FL
In listening to and understanding these verses, it is absolutely necessary to know that the verses immediately before these instructions in Chapter 18 tell the story of the lost sheep with that heartfelt description of the shepherd who goes looking. That story begins with these words: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones.” With that introduction, Jesus goes on to tell about the man with 100 sheep who leaves 99 to find 1 that has wandered off, and then describe what joy there is when he returns with the lost one. … more »
at St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL
I am, and no matter where I live, I will always be an Oklahoma priest. Twenty days from today something will happen in Oklahoma City that has only happened once before in the United States. The ceremony of Beatification will take place in my home town. It will be the first time a person born in America will be declared a martyr in the process of being canonized a Saint. There are other American born Saints, but none of them died as a martyr for the faith. … more »