The Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 20, 7-9 + Psalm 63 + Romans 12, 1-2 + Matthew 16, 2127

Peter talks, but his words and ideas reflect the thinking of everyone of those disciples. Nothing in their history, in their religious tradition, or in their wildest dreams could have prepared them for what they were hearing from this one they have just acknowledged as the “Christ”, the “Messiah.” That anointed and long awaited one was going to wreck havoc, suffering, and death upon all enemies and all the evil-doers within Israel. Jesus has it all wrong thinks Peter who speaks up in protest to what he is hearing but not understanding. So it will take Matthew two more predictions of what is to come before the understanding sinks in.  … more »

The Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time

Isaiah 22, 15, 19-23 + Psalm 138 + Romans 11, 33-36 + Matthew 16, 13-20

We have moved now further into Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus is still at Capernaum, but in the verse following the end of today’s reading we get the first passion announcement. So the movement from Galilee to crucifixion in Jerusalem has begun. In this part of the Gospel now there is no public instruction, and only one healing story. The focus is now on the training of the Twelve, but we must not read or study these verses like spectators who are eavesdropping on this training session. We must count ourselves among the twelve and let the Word train us as well. The concern of Jesus is for the future of his “movement” between his death and the final resurrection of the dead. … more »

The Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time – August 17, 2014 – Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Castle Rock, Colorado

Isaiah 56, 1, 6-7 + Psalm 67 + Romans 11, 13-15, 29-32 + Matthew 15, 21-28

Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Castle Rock, Colorado 

 A unique miracle story today ties together what has been revealed in the three previous stories. It is unique because Jesus never sees, touches, or speaks to the one who is healed. In fact we know nothing of the daughter that is healed except that she is “troubled by a demon.” Because we know nothing of her and because there is no contact between her and Jesus, the miracle of her healing, which we can only presume because Matthew reports it is not the issue. There are two elements to this story: one about Jesus and one about the apostolic church. … more »

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – August 15, 2014 – Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, Castle Rock, Colorado

Revelations 11, 19: 12, 1-6, 10 + Psalm 45 + 1 Corinthians 15, 20-26 + Luke 1, 39-56

Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Castle Rock, Colorado

The scriptures give her very few words. She is there one minute and gone the next. The first impression we get is that she was rather quiet and serene, just full of faith and trust. Yet, when you look more closely, this is a woman of action. She is on the move all the time, and in that time and place when most women people probably never moved more than ten miles away from the place of their birth, she is exceptional. Her whole life was a journey, and today we celebrate the end of that journey. … more »

The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 10, 2014 – Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Castle Rock, Colorado

1 Kings 19, 9, 11-13 + Psalm 85 + Romans 9, 1-5 + Matthew 14, 22-33

 Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Castle Rock, Colorado

 It’s a miracle story again, just like last week. Miracles in the Bible are incomprehensible, unexpected and shocking. They amaze and explode the ordinary to lift people out of indifference and cause them to turn to God. They are signs that happen where there is faith, and they can strengthen weak faith and attract others to believe. I said that last week when I spoke about the miracle of the loaves and fish. Both stories are a challenge to modern Christians who always want to explain away the miraculous. We like to think that those simple people two thousand years ago could easily be persuaded that the laws of nature could be suspended by supernatural intervention. … more »

The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time + August 3, 2014 + Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Castle Rock, Colorado

Isaiah 55, 1-3 + Psalm 135 + Romans 8, 35, 37-39 + Matthew 14, 13-21

Saint France of Assisi Parish, Castle Rock, Colorado

This story is so important to followers of Jesus that it is found in every one of the four Gospels. It is a miracle story, and the experience and consequence of a miracle is lost by efforts to explain it away. The idea that this is really just a “spiritual” feeding or that everyone had hidden some food for themselves and suddenly decided to put all together to have enough trivializes the miracle. In the Bible, a miracle is something unusual, inexplicable, incomprehensible, disturbing, unexpected, and shocking. It is something that amazes and explodes the ordinary into something by which God lifts people out of their indifference and causes them to turn to God. … more »