Archive for February, 2011

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Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 27, 2011

DESIRE THE RIGHT THINGS

Of all the great one liners I have heard from other Basilians, the best is from Fr. Edmund McCorkell who said, ‘The secret to getting what you desire is to desire the right things.’  It is the perfect thesis for our Gospel excerpt today.

Jesus tells us not to worry about our life; about what we will eat or drink; about our body or what we will wear; do not worry about tomorrow, for it will take care of itself.  But seek first the Kingdom of God and all of these things will be given to you.

But the clue as to how we are to interpret this Gospel is in the very beginning:  ‘No one can serve two masters’  This Gospel is not simply about those things that take up so much energy; rather it is about mastery and slavery.  What has your ultimate attention?

Jesus is not telling us that we should be unconcerned with our lives; rather he is telling us those things must come second to God.  Obviously, we need food and clothes and he like – but why do we need them?  What purpose do they serve?

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 49:14-15; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Matthew 6:24-34)

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 20, 2011

THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE

Today we are called to love others as God loves them, even if they are our enemies.  We are called to a heroic love that extends well beyond any action.  God’s love is not interested in a response because it does not require it.  Rather, Love as God, is a simple willing of the good for the other because they are, not because of what they do.

Of course, today it is hard for us to name our “enemies,” but that does not mean we don’t have them.  How many times have we heard Christians in our midst talk about a “war with evil”?   We even sing hymns about the “Christian solider”  We hear rally cries about the need to fight for this or that.

But such mentalities, even as popular as they are, stand in contradiction to today’s Gospel.   When did you hear Jesus talk about a battle between good and evil?  When did you hear him call us to fight – even if it is only done with prayer?

No, Jesus calls us into deeper transformation of our own self, which will lead to the transformation of others.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5.38-48)

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 14, 2011

KNOW ‘EM BEFORE YOU BREAK ‘EM

In case you were not aware, today’s Gospel is actually part of the same sermon on the mount we have been hearing for the past three weeks.  Jesus’ great lesson that begins with the Beatitudes and continued with salt and light continues still (in fact, it goes on for quite some time).

At the risk of oversimplifying, I believe we hear the thesis of this sermon today:  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill”.

In short, Jesus demands more from us and we hear it throughout the Gospel today.  The law is no longer understood by simple external actions, but it now has an internal reality.

Many of us believe that Jesus changed the rules, but he didn’t – he followed them to the letter.  He was a good Jew, keeping the law with devotion.

And it is precisely because he knew the rules that he could take them one step further.

The rules give us the starting place we need in order to understand why they exist.  But here is the things: Jesus tells us this morning:  You can follow all the rules, but they that won’t get you into heaven.  We have to do much more for there is always more that can be done.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Sirach 15.15-20; 1 Corinthians 2.6-10; Matthew 5.17-37)

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 6, 2011

WE ARE THE SALT & LIGHT OF THE WORLD

How many of you have ever tried a salt-free diet?  (Yuck.  Because salt is what gives food flavor.  It is what makes food taste good)

We are the salt of the world – we make the world good.  Now, I recognize that most people don’t think of Christian living this way.  A lot of people look at Christians and say, “how boring”

As salt of the earth, we are meant to bring flavor to what we see around us.  We are meant to preserve the goodness of this earth.  It is your example, your good word, you love that will preserve and increase the goodness that is already around us.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 58:7-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16)