Ordinary Time 22

September 1, 2019 onboard MS Zaandam

 Sirach 3, 17-18, 20, 28-29 + Psalm 68 + Hebrews 12, 18, 19, 22-24 + Luke 14, 1, 7-14

Banquets, dinners, and parties are all frequent themes in Luke’s Gospel, and he uses these themes to give us a glimpse of what will be in the Kingdom of Heaven. In these verses today, we get a clear instruction about the heavenly banquet to which we hope to be invited. What we discover here is that hospitality and humility are essential virtues for those who expect to have a place at the banquet in heaven.

The reality of this vision of the banquet in God’s kingdom is that people are going to be there we might never think of inviting into our homes, because the Divine host is nothing like this guy who invites people from whom he expects to get something in return. … more »

Ordinary Time 21

August 25, 2019 onboard MS Zaandam

 Isaiah 66, 18-21 + Psalm 117 + Hebrews 12, 5-13 + Luke 13, 22-30

The question that starts this episode in Luke’s Gospel is asked by people who already feel very certain that they are among the few. They are hoping Jesus will say, “Yes”, securing their self-satisfied position. Jesus was not about to be trapped into playing their game of exclusion. In response, he uses a parable to confuse their rigid attitudes.

Jesus knew very well the writings of the Prophets, and so did they, because they were the religious elite. With this parable he reminds them quite subtly of how the Book of Isaiah concludes. It is a nightmare for nationalists and clerical elites as Isaiah has God gathering all kinds of people to share with them the secrets of divine glory. … more »

Ordinary Time 20

August 18, 2019 at Oklahoma City, OK

 Jeremiah 38, 4-10 + Psalm 40 + Hebrews 12, 1-4 + Luke 12, 49-53

It does not take much time to look at the world today and think that Jesus was very successful. There is division everywhere. Where there is not actual fire, there is fiery language of retaliation, revenge, and threats with missiles and weapons that can obliterate any opposition with fire. However, sometimes these Gospel images given today are used to justify all sorts of behavior Jesus would abhor, and I am puzzled by people who cause trouble and justify it with pious and religious excuses. These words from the mouth of Jesus are not given to us as a go-ahead for divisive behavior and causes that need not cause hurt and division. … more »

Ordinary Time 19

August 11, 2019 at Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Castle Rock, Colorado

 Wisdom 18, 6-9 + Psalm 33 + Hebrews 11, 1-2, 8-12 + Luke 12, 32-48

St. Francis of Assisi Castle Rock,CO 5:30pm Sunday

We spend a lot of time waiting in this culture. We wait in line at the grocery, and if you go to Costco where I live, you might as well have dinner, because the check-out line so long! We wait in the doctor office, we wait at the airport either to leave to meet someone, we wait for babies to be born, we wait to get out of the parking lot of this church! Someday, I’m going to track how much time is spent every day just waiting. … more »

Ordinary Time 18

August 4, 2019 at Saint Peter and Saint William Parishes in Naples, FL

 Ecclesiastes 1,2 & 2, 21-23  + Psalm 90 + Colossians 3, 1-5 & 9-11  + Luke 12, 13-21

8:00am Saint Peter the Apostle, Naples, FL

The situation that prompts the parable today is not really unusual. In those days and in that culture, a wise Rabbi was often sought out to settle disputes. There were no attorneys or civil courts. Someone known to be wise and impartial would often be asked to help as the man does who comes up to Jesus. Obviously, there is a dispute between brothers, and that disturbs Jesus. While the story he tells could be interpreted as a lesson on greed, there is more to it than that. … more »