Archive for January, 2011

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 30, 2011

BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO TRY

Today, we find Jesus in his best teaching moment – the sermon on the mount – the beatitudes.  They are the road map for Christian living; the revelation of God’s justice and Truth; a blueprint for holiness.

But the problem is that many of us have bought into the popular interpretation of attitudes believing these are prescriptions for how we should be.  If we trace “Blessed” back to the original Aramaic that Jesus would have used, the word is “Ashray” from the verb “Yashar”.  Far from a passive attitude, “ashray” means to set yourself on the right way for the right goal.

So if understand the Beatitudes in this way, they are better understood as “Get up, go ahead, do something, move, you who are hungry and thirsty for justice; you who desire peace.  Move, do something, you who desire mercy; you who long to comfort.”

This sermon is about the teacher empowering the students to do more than just be.  This is not a passive lesson, but a demand for action.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Zephaniah 2.3, 3.12-13; 1 Corinthians 1.26-31; Matthew 5.1-12)

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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 23, 2011

IT BEGINS AT HOME

For many of us, the idea of dropping all that we have is irresponsible for we are now dedicated to the support of a family, so what does it mean for us to head the call of the Gospel today?

When Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize, she was asked what we can do to promote peace?  Her answer:  “Go home and love your family”

Recently, I read a book entitled, Whole Community Catechesis by Bill Huebsch.  In that book he spoke about homemaking as a basis for parish life, and wrote that homemaking involves creating a particular atmosphere that bring about a sense of belonging, welcoming, and love.  It doesn’t take a lot of money, but it does take a lot of heart and effort.

Today, we hear of practical suggestions about how our homes can become a basis for parish life and how we can respond to the call of Jesus to drop our usual affairs and announce the Kingdom.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 9.1-4; 1 Corinthians 1.10-13, 17-18; Matthew 4.12-23)

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Reconciliation Service for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 17, 2011

LIVING IN RELATIONSHIP

Most of us have a hard time with relationships because they help us to live up to our potential and often, quite simply, we would rather not.

As we hear about Jesus’ own baptism, we must ask ourselves about the significance of his own baptism as well as ours.

Through Jesus’ baptism, God is not only aware of our own suffering, but participates in it, so that we can participate in his resurrection and glory.

This homily about the forgiveness we must give ourselves if we are to share in that glory.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 49.3, 5-6; 1 Corinthians 1.1-3; John 1.29-34)

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Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 16, 2011

HEROIC HUMILITY

In the Bible, the person who begins the journey or receives the inspiration is almost never (none that I can find) the same one that sees its fulfillment.  Perhaps, this is best embodied by John the Baptist whose role was quite simply to “prepare the way”.  Even Christ, in the Gospel of John tells us that we will do even greater miracles than he.  Last week, we heard in Lumen Gentium that WE continue the mission of Christ.

But here is the lesson exemplified by so many of the Biblical Characters – especially by those we here about today.  As our faith traditions are continued by another, they will change, and it requires a “heroic humility” on our part, because through Revelation, we believe that it will not only change, but that as the next generation carries the faith, it will be closer to the ideal than it was before.

This Sunday, we are invited to consider what we do with our ideas; and challenged to connect them, rather than protect them.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 49.3, 5-6; 1 Corinthians 1.1-3; John 1.29-34)

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Baptism of the Lord

January 9, 2011

PRIEST, PROPHET AND KING

This Sunday, we must all ask ourselves, “what does my baptism mean to me?”

For the best understanding, I recommend reading 1 Peter and Lumen Gentium 10-13, 34-36)

Combined, these readings tell us we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own.   And each in your own way you share the priestly, prophetic and kingly office of Christ and carry on his mission in the world.

That mission, by the way, is holiness – to love God and your neighbor.

So join us as we explore how we are priests, prophets and kings, and be sure to meditate on the readings listed above.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Baptism of the Lord: (Isaiah 42.1-4, 6-7; Acts 10.34-38; Matthew 3.13-17)

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Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

January 3, 2011

HOW THEY SHOWED UP

It has been said that the whole of the spiritual life can be summed up into how we show up, and I think this is often very true.  If you have been following my homilies over the past few weeks, you will know that I have been challenging you to remove the obstacles that prevent you from being surprised by God.  But how do we do this?

We do like the magi.  We go on a journey – we leave our places of comfort in order to follow an inner longing.  You see, we really do not know why these wise men from the east decided to pay Jesus such a tribute – they had nothing to gain for it – no political, economic or capital benefit.

All we know is that they showed up after traveling a great journey with nothing to guide them but a star.

How we show up – how we present ourselves to God is determined by our journey and by the “stars” we follow.  You can see the difference in the characters of Herod and the Magi – and you can see the difference between those who believe they have God figured out and those who realize how little they really know about God.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Epiphany of the Lord: (Isaiah 60.1-6; Ephesians 3.2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2.1-12)