The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

28 January 2018 At Saint Francis of Assisi in Castle Rock, Colorado

Deuteronomy 18, 15-20 + Psalm 95 + 1 Corinthians 7, 32-35 + Mark 1, 21-28

It is easy to become distracted by the sensational in these verses. Shouting demons and man in convulsions in the middle of the synagogue is all it takes for us to get off track with what is going on here. If that happened in here today, I can guarantee you that this homily would be the last thing you remembered about Mass today! The whole contest between Jesus and evil spirits is just a preview of a theme that will continue throughout Mark’s Gospel. What really matters is what is happening between Jesus and the others who are present. … more »

The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

21 January 2018 At St. Peter and St. William Churches in Naples, FL

Jonah 3, 1-5, 10 + Psalm 25 + 1 Corinthians 7, 29-31 + Mark 1, 14-20

At the time of Jesus, it was customary for most people to choose a rabbi and become a disciple in order to learn the law. The disciples did the choosing. With these Gospel verses, there is something happening that is out of the ordinary. Instead of these men choosing Jesus as their rabbi and becoming one of his disciples, Jesus does the choosing. He chose them. They do not choose him. There is something unique going on here, and we might pay attention to it.

Before retiring, when I helped with the formation of couples in preparation for marriage, I would often remind them that even though they thought they had chosen each other for marriage, it was not so. … more »

The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – 14 January 2018

1 Samuel 3, 3-10, 19 + Psalm 40 + 1 Corinthians 6, 13-15 + John 1, 35-42

Even though we are now beginning the year of Mark, the Gospel today comes from John respecting an old liturgical theme of celebrating different manifestations of Jesus. John’s whole Gospel is a gradual manifestation of who Jesus is from this announcement of John the Baptist to Martha’s announcement at the raising of her brother, Lazarus.  So, only 35 verses into the Gospel two people reveal who Jesus is: John the Baptist and that first-called apostle, Andrew who says: “We have found the Messiah.” Late this coming summer, we will return to John’s Gospel and spend several weeks reflecting upon how Jesus is manifested in the Bread of Life. … more »

The Epiphany of the Lord

7 January 2018 at Saint Peter and Saint William Churches in Naples. FL

Isaiah 60, 1-6 + Psalm 72 + Ephesians 3, 2-3, 5-6 + Matthew 2, 1-12

Some careless misreading of this Gospel has led to a rather unfortunate idea about what was going on here. While that carelessness has provided us with another nice romantic story to tell in the Christmas season, it does not touch the reality that has a lot more to say to us than what we are given. Matthew never says that these wise men, astrologers, or kings whatever another translator will choose to call them followed a star. It says that they observed a star “as it rose”.  It says nothing about the star guiding them. … more »