Archive for October, 2011


31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 31, 2011


Where do you turn for inspiration?  For your models of holiness?

Your relationships.  I know I have said it over and over again – but our faith is all about relationships.

Our readings offer a contrast between two types of priesthood.  Malachi and Matthew both offer stern criticisms of priests who do not follow the way of the Lord.  In contrast, Paul speaks of the beauty of relational ministry.

In many respects, today’s readings are a statement about priesthood lived well and what happens when priest’s own ego, ambition and greed gets in the way.  Up until about 15 years ago, it was hard for many of you to believe priests were capable of such things, but now we know all too well, that priests are susceptible to the same sins and temptations as you.

So how do any of us avoid getting lost in our own ego, ambition and greed?  How do we live with the humility of Paul in this letter?

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Malachi 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10; Psalm 131:1, 2, 3; I Thessalonians 2:7b-9, 13; Matthew 23:1-12)


Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board Parent Conference

October 29, 2011


Parents expect a lot from their children’s school, especially if it is a Catholic School.  Good Catholic Schools are to form a foundation beyond the temptations of skill development for purely utilitarian ends.  Specifically, Catholic schools are to help form the human person – preparing children for a life lived fully and imparting in them, wisdom.

But what about the home?

The challenge all parents accept upon the baptism of their children is the education of the child in the Catholic faith.  In every way, the home is the most important set of classrooms a child will ever know.  It is the living room, dining room, bedroom and kitchens of our homes that are the primary classrooms.  In these rooms, a child will learn the application of what the knowledge they obtain in schools and churches.

Together, let us explore the curriculum, expectations and modern challenges of these great classrooms of Catholic Education.


30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 23, 2011


This past week, a friend of mine posted a quote advocating that life is more about defence than anything else.  I can see why he posted that – we do live in a world obsessed with protection and security.

We are motivated by fear.  However, this is not what the Gospel commands.  Rather, we are to be motivated by love – of God and our neighbour

But  why should we love a God that allows for so much suffering?  And should we love neighbours that often offend us so?

Tune in to find out.

(Linked here is the reference to The Agenda episode referenced in the homily on gratitude)

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Exodus 22:20-26; Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51; 1 Thessalonians 1:5C-10; and Matthew 22:34-40)


29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 16, 2011


There are two lessons on our Gospel today:  1)  The message of Jesus in regards to the distinction of church and state; and 2)  the mean-ness of the Pharisees and us when the current model of church is found lacking or limited.

“Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”  It is perhaps one of Jesus’ best known one-liners.

Briefly, I will you that what the Pharisees and Jesus were discussing was a particular head tax that had become symbolic political issue concerning the Zionist nationalist opposition to the occupying power of Rome.

For Jesus, supporting the tax meant offending his followers who believed he was advocating something more than subservience to Rome.  Speaking against the tax would have given Rome good reason to consider Jesus dangerous.

Of course, Jesus sees through the question to the intention behind the question – that is the hatred of the Pharisees as they try to trap Jesus so as to discredit him.  Nevertheless, his answer is a perplexing one – precisely because, where government and religion are concerned, things are never so simple.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 45:1, 4-6; Psalm 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b; Matthew 22:15-21)


28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 9, 2011


Today’s Gospel continues the theme we have been hearing for the past few weeks; actually, it continues the judgment on the chief priests and the elders.

We have a parable about a king who invites guests to a wedding, but they refuse.  Bad things happen and eventually, the king opens up the invitation to everyone.

But then the king throws out one of these men out because he wasn’t dressed appropriately.  But didn’t he just come off the street?

The metaphors and symbols are important in this story.  The right garment is not simply a garment, but a symbol of the attitude within.

Thus we must not only respond to the invitation God extends to us, but we must respond appropriately.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 25:6-10A; Psalm 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6; Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20; Matthew 22:1-14)


27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 3, 2011


The first reading from Isaiah and the Gospel both tell the story of a landowner and his tenants.

As you listen to the Gospel, place yourself in the story:

The Vineyard is the Kingdom of God on Earth; the landowner is God; we are the tenants; and the servants are those God has sent to us to help us care for the Earth.

The problem:  the world too often believes that by getting rid of God, humanity will have control of the Earth.  However, as tenants this can never be the case.

This Sunday, we must ask ourselves:

1.  Who are the “servants” God is sending us today?

2.  What is their message for us?

3.  And how do we respond to that message?

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 5:1-7; Philippians 4:6-9; and Matthew 21:33-43)