Ordinary Time 17

July 28, 2019 onboard the MS Amsterdam

Genesis 18, 20-32 + Psalm 138 + Colossians 2, 12-14  + Luke 11, 1-13

There are three possible answers to prayer. Take my word for it. I’ve been at it a long time. I want to tell you about this because, every now and then I have met someone who is upset and disappointed. Sometimes they are actually angry with God, which I don’t think is, in itself, a problem. It’s hard to ignore someone you are angry with. It’s just that they don’t understand that besides “yes” and “no” there is a third answer, and I learned it from my mother. That third answer is not however, “because”, which was the answer I would sometimes get when I asked “why”? … more »

Ordinary Time 16

July 21, 2019 onboard the MS Amsterdam

Genesis 18, 1-10 + Psalm 15 + Colossians 1, 24-28 + Luke 10, 38-42

This is a story about God coming to stay with us. A story about Jesus in the home of Martha and Mary is told to illustrate a much more profound and personal experience, and out of the story Luke teaches us a lesson. This is our story. We are Martha and Mary, two sides of the same person. I am convinced of this not because of some scripture scholar or some divine revelation, but because I spend time in the confessional. What is confessed and shared by most of those who seek the comfort and grace of the Sacrament is expressed in different ways, but it is always the same. … more »

Ordinary Time 15

July 14, 2019 onboard the MS Amsterdam

Deuteronomy 30, 10-14 + Psalm 69 + Colossians 1, 15-20  + Luke 10, 2-37

Luke, among the four Evangelists is the great dramatist. All of his stories can ignite the imagination, and we can really see the drama being played out. The risk with this style is that all of the characters are life-like, and we could spend a lot of time reflecting on them all. They all have something to teach us. Yet the center of this episode is the lawyer, and he is really the focus for Jesus with the most to teach us. The dialogue between them is what this is all about. The scene with the others on the road and at the inn is just background illustration. … more »

Ordinary Time 14

July 7, 2019 onboard the MS Amsterdam

Isaiah 66, 10-14 + Psalm 66 + Galatians 6, 14-18 + Luke 10, 1-10, 17-20

Just in case you have wondered about the number 72, let’s get started by understanding that in the tenth chapter of Genesis, 72 is the number of nations in the world. Luke’s point is that the mission involves the whole world. Earlier in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus sent out “The Twelve” representing Israel’s 12 nations. Now the mission of Jesus and his disciples is bigger than just Israel.

The instructions are very clear: take nothing. The sharing of the Gospel, our mission which we call today Evangelization is a ministry of presence. That’s all there is to it. Jesus did not give them a Handbook, a Catechism, Canon Law, a Map, a set of CDs, or a Power Point Presentation. … more »