The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul – June 29, 2014 – Saint Joseph Old Cathedral Oklahoma City

Acts 12, 1-11 + Psalm 34 + 2 Timothy 4, 6-8, 17-18 + Mathew 16, 13-19

A few weeks ago I was reading about this text from Matthew’s Gospel, and a commentator said something that stuck with me for days. He said that you could tell when someone was a real student of music when they heard to Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” and not think of the Lone Ranger. You can also tell when someone is a real student of the scriptures when they read Matthew 16 and do not think of the Papacy. We Catholics have taken these verses and used them to support an ecclesiastical structure that we have created. It is almost impossible for us to hear the words: “You are Peter and upon this Rock I will build my church” without thinking of Vatican City, Miters, Bishops, and the medieval papacy. … more »

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – June 22, 2014

Deuteronomy 8, 2-3, 14-16 + Psalm 147 + 1 Corinthians 10, 16-17 + John 6, 51-58

A few years ago when I was in Haiti visiting Father Marc Boisvert at the ESPWA orphanage in Les Cayes he taught me that when children arrive there,  it is always possible to distinguish those who are malnourished from those who are not. It is not just a matter of a distended stomach that we are sadly accustomed to seeing on TV news reports. Long before that occurs, the color of the children’s hair changes. The fact is, sometimes the stomach is not distended because there has been enough to eat; but what is consumed is not nourishing. It is then that the hair color changes. … more »

The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity June 15, 2014

Exodus 34, 4-6, 8-9 + Psalm Daniel 3, 52-56 + 2 Corinthians 13, 11-13 + John 3, 16-18

There is something completely silly about human beings using language to explain God. In some ways, it is almost an act of pride, for if we can explain in our words the Divine Mystery, then we have somehow captured, control, and now understand God. So, comes the annual observance of “Trinity Sunday” right after Pentecost perhaps to test how completely we have received the Holy Spirit and the gift of “Understanding.” Ridiculous!

I have spent most of my life thinking that this is a Feast for scholars, for those who can stand up and speak coherently about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: Three in One, One in Three, Undivided Unity. … more »

Golden Jubilee Celebration for Sister Sylvia Negrete, CST

1 Kings 17, 7-16 + Psalm 4 + Matthew 5, 3-16

June 10, 2014 + Villa Theresa Convent + Oklahoma City, OK

 The Jewish people at the time of this Gospel’s earliest formation avoided using the name of God. They had all sorts of substitutes, but it seems that the word used by most people was “heaven”. With very few exceptions, this Gospel, so deeply set in the Judaism of its time always speaks of the “Kingdom of Heaven” instead of the “Kingdom of God.” It was the politically correct turn of phrase. It was polite, inoffensive, and respectful. However, a problem begins to arise once you move out of that time and that place because it suggests that the “Kingdom of God” is identical with heaven leading anyone who does not read this Gospel critically to assume that the Kingdom of God is somewhere else, and perhaps for some other time which then makes the work and preaching Jesus Christ quite a bit less immediate and a bit less emphatic since there was hardly any reason to get all worked up about something that would happen somewhere else later. … more »

Pentecost June 7, 2014

Acts 2, 1-11 + Psalm 104 + 1 Corinthians 12, 3-7, 12-13 + John 20, 19-23

It occurred to me while reflecting on this day’s great celebration that in the Apostles Creed there are ten statements about Jesus Christ and only one about the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this is so because everything else proclaimed in the Creed is the consequence of the Holy Spirit. The Creed speaks of God as “Creator of Heaven and Earth”. That work or that act of creation was really the Holy Spirit, the “breath” of God. When it comes to the Creed’s proclamations about Jesus Christ, it is really all about the Holy Spirit from the Conception when the Holy Spirit comes upon the Blessed Mother to the Baptism of Jesus when his work begins as the Son of God. … more »