Archive for January, 2012


Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 30, 2012


To understand the magnitude of this Gospel, it is helpful to know that anytime a rabbi or scribe taught during the days of Jesus, they would have referenced another, most likely their teacher.  Likewise, their teachers would have referenced teachers before them, so that a line of teachers and teaching could eventually be traced to the original teacher – Moses, who received his instruction from God directly.

But Jesus did not reference his teachers and so the astonishment came from the implication that Jesus was teaching something entirely new.  And if that wasn’t shocking enough, he did so with an authority that even the unclean spirits recognized.

A new teaching with authority – exactly as the Lord promised to us through Moses in the first reading.  Exactly what we are told in the first reading that the people wanted:  a prophet like you from among your kin.

Exactly what we asked for . . . just not the way we thought we would get it – how many times does that happen to us?

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 95; I Corinthians 7:32-35; Mark 1:21-28)


Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 22, 2012


Today we have a tale of two responses to the same request.  God calls Jonah just as Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James and John.  Jonah runs away and Peter and the Four drop everything and follow Jesus.

Two responses and one simple lesson:  if God is calling you – you can run, but it won’t be pleasant.  Biblically speaking – the central tragedy of human life is to refuse the call of God.

Here is what I can assure you of:  most struggle comes from a refusal to align our will with the will of God.

So how do we know the will of God?  To this question, there are many answers, but it begins with an understanding of what you value.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Jonah 3:1-5,10; Psalm 25; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20)


Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 15, 2012


There is a very clear message in our readings this Sunday:  we only come to know hope and the things of God through the encounter with a person – the person of Christ, with whom we encounter through our family and friends.

In our lives today, we are the Eli to Samuel; the John to Andrew; and the Andrew to Simon Peter.

Of course, most of us doubt our ability our credentials to perform this role.  Most of us feel that we are too sinful and too unfamiliar with God and God’s ways to ever show God to others; and so we must learn to be comfortable with ourselves as saints and sinners.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: (1 Samuel 3:3-10,19; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 6:13-15,17-20; John 1:35-42)


The Epiphany of the Lord

January 9, 2012


Today, as we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord, we celebrate the majesty of our faith. These words of Isaiah – in fact the whole reading – reminds us that substance of our belief has captured the imagination of the world for centuries. What do these three kings represent? Why is their role in this story so important? It is not just that they brought gifts, but that they symbolize the peoples of all the world celebrating the God with whom we know intimately.

Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to embark on a journey to rediscover the celebration of the Church. We are going to relearn what the three kings have already told us – that what Christ has done is not just for us, but for the entire world.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Epiphany of the Lord: (Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72, Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6, Matthew 2:1-12)