The Solemnity of Christ the King

The Solemnity of Christ the King November 26, 2017

Ezekiel 34, 11-12, 15-17 + Psalm 23 + 1 Corinthians 15, 20-26, 28 + Matthew 25, 31-46

                                          All of a sudden, the Gospel of Matthew concludes with this parable that reaches back to the beginning tying it all together. The last of the parables repeats the last of the Beatitudes: “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” The next verse in Matthew’s Gospel begins the plot to kill Jesus and the story of his passion. … more »

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 »