Archive for September, 2010

h1

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 26, 2010

HOW THE RICH ARE SAVED BY THE POOR

There is a basic question that this Gospel should cause us to ask:  “Why does God permit me to have this wealth?

That is to say, this Gospel does not condemn the wealthy; rather, it challenges those of us who have, to consider why God has allowed such wealth.

Too often, we think of helping the poor in terms of checks and donations – and while all those things are important, I wonder what it really teaches our children about what it means to live in this world and their responsibility to improve it?

I believe the sin of the rich man was not that he passed by Lazarus without giving him aid, but that he passed by Lazarus without seeing God in him; without recognizing his dignity.

We are saved by our ability to enter into relationship – we are saved by desiring to see God in all things and in every person.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Amos 6:1, 4-7; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16: 19-31 )

h1

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 19, 2010

JUSTICE OUTSIDE THE BOX

Today’s Gospel is not only confusing, but potentially misleading.  Only through a careful study of Luke’s intentions do we understand that Jesus is saying much more than we might first believe.

Jesus is not encouraging us to be shrewd in our affairs on this earth in order to benefit the common good.  No, because this is not consistent with the rest of Jesus’ teachings.

Others have said that the connection of this story to the audience of Jesus as the time is the need to act decisively; and while this is an important point, I believe Jesus suggesting that the normal standards of justice are denied in the Kingdom of God.

That is to say Jesus is painting a picture of a society that operates entirely different than anything we have ever known.

In the heavenly Kingdom, justice and power are not the same – there is no getting even; there is no retribution.

In a world were no one is the perfect example, we are challenged to think outside the box.  All human structures and people will ultimately fail you, so let God be your compass.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Amos 8:4-7; Timothy 2: 1-7; Luke 16: 1-13 )

h1

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 13, 2010

THE SECOND CHALLENGE OF DISCIPLESHIP:  LOVING OURSEVLES

Last week, we dealt with our need to control – the temptation to compartmentalize our faith as one of the many aspects of our lives, rather than allowing it to permeate every aspect.

This week we are dealing with the second cost and challenge to discipleship:  loving ourselves; seeing ourselves as God sees us; recognizing that we are not only worthy to be a disciple; but beloved by God.

What will it take for you to understand that you are beloved?  When you will be able to look in the mirror and not compare yourself to the people you see in magazines?  When will you stop listening to the stories that other people tell about you?  When will you see yourself as loved?

Today you are challenged to listen to the voice inside you that calls you beloved.  There is nothing you need to do to prove yourself; rather if you can recognize your own worth, you will do amazing things not because you are trying to prove something, but because it is the most natural desire to respond to love with love.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Exodus 32.7-11, 13-14; 1 Timothy 1.12-17; Luke 15.1-32)

h1

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 5, 2010

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

How many of you want to be a disciple of Jesus?

Really?  Are you ready to give up your own ambitions, a regular connection to the family and friends you know now?  Are you ready to change your field of expertise, or area of study?  Are you ready to give up control of your own life and subject to the decisions of another – even when you disagree with that decision?  Are you ready to live a life without answers or stability?

Because the Gospel is quite clear – if you are going to really be a disciple – then most of these things are not just possible – they are probable.

And why do we do all these things?  Because only God satisfies, only God provides real hope, only God provides meaning to suffering – even those who don’t believe in God know that humanity will ultimately disappoint.

Today Jesus tells us we have to choose.  It does not mean we will execute perfectly – no saint was ever perfect – but they were very good and getting up the next morning and starting all over again.

Cardinal Pell told us at WYD 2008, “Don’t spend your life sitting on the fence, keeping your options open, because only commitments bring fulfillment. Happiness comes from meeting our obligations, doing our duty, especially in small matters and regularly, so we can rise to meet the harder challenges.  One mission is better than a thousand options.”

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Wisdom 9:13-18; Philemon 9-10, 12-17; Luke 14:25-33)