October 27. 2013 Ordinary Time 30

Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church Norman, OK

Sirach 35,12-14 + Psalm 34 + 2 Timothy 4, 6-8, 16-18 + Luke 18, 9-14

For several Sundays we have listened in to Jesus instructing his disciples through various stories and parables in response to their request: “Lord, Teach us to Pray.” Of course, the instruction is for all disciples, and still is. Today is the final instruction, and he places the examples in the Temple. The location itself has something to say. The Pharisee belonged there which is probably why he was up front. That tax collector, because he was working for the Romans and considered a traitor, was not exactly “in” the Temple. He would have had to stay outside in some other courtyard, at some distance. … more »

October 20, 2013 Ordinary Time 29

Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church Norman, OK

Exodus 17, 8-13 + Psalm 121 + 2 Timothy 3, 14-4,2 + Luke 18, 1-8

Luke’s Gospel is easily recognized because of his sensitive and gentle focus on widows. In a bigger picture, the women of Luke’s Gospel are given much more of a place in the work and ministry of Jesus than in the other accounts. This parable is one of nine parables found only in the Gospel of Luke It is perfect example of the way Luke shows the concern of Jesus of widows. He raises the widow’s son from the dead. He complains about the way Scribes take advantage of widows, and he holds widows as models because of their generosity toward others in need. … more »

October 13, 2013 Ordinary Time 28

2 Kings 5, 14-17 + Psalm 98 + 2 Timothy 2, 8-13 + Luke 17, 11-19

An easy lesson on gratitude here; but way more besides. None the less, it’s probably a lesson worth a review now and then in an age when the art of writing a “Thank You” note seems to have passed. An age of privilege rarely expresses thanks except when there the hope of getting more. However, somehow this leprosy has made companions of Jews and a Samaritan. How odd and unexpected. Suffering can often bring together folks who have nothing more in common or folks who are actually (as in this example) quite at odds with one another. But this terrible sickness is not all they have in common: they are outcasts and they all turn to Jesus of Nazareth in hope. … more »

October 6, 2013 Ordinary Time 27

Habakkuk 1,2-3,2,2-4 + Psalm 95 + 2 Timothy 1, 6-8, 13-14 + Luke 17, 5-10

My family lived in a home with a mulberry tree in the front yard. The tree was planted between the sidewalk and the street: a narrow strip about four feet wide. The developer, who obviously knew nothing about mulberry trees, probably planted them because they grow fast. In no time at all the street was a tunnel through mulberry branches; and by that time no one could not walk safely down the sidewalk because the roots of the trees pushed the concrete up and away from the street. It was a mess. As the one who had to mow the grass in that yard, I knew that the roots were everywhere right on the surface, and they were huge. … more »