Archive for September, 2012


26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 30, 2012


Our readings this week offer a message to those in leadership. In both our first reading and the Gospel, disciples and those loyal to Moses and to Jesus are worried because other people, unknown to them, are preaching in their name.

Their intentions are quite good – they want to safeguard the distinct identity and prerogatives of their group. The disciples are not denying that a nonmember can cast out demons or preach prophetically, but they do not want that person doing so using Jesus name.

It is the same thing we see all the day in professional environments today – you cannot use a name or brand without permission. These laws protect the integrity of the work and ensure one has control over it.

But neither Moses or Jesus agree with this. So long as they are not against us, they are for us and free to use the name. This is the remarkable authority we have all been given through Baptism. However, harsh consequences are laid out if you use the name of Jesus to lead others to sin.

So what are the lessons for us today? Tune in to find out.

CLICK HERE  for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Numbers 11:25-39; Psalm 19; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48))


25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 24, 2012


Jesus is on a journey with his disciples talking about how he will die and be resurrected; he is talking about renouncing his very self so that the divine love may flow through him to us.

But the disciples do not understand AND were afraid to question him. And rather than discuss this with Jesus, they start arguing about which of them was the greatest. And so Jesus sits them all down and takes a child and tells them the greatest will be like this little one.

So what is it about children that makes them the example to us today?

Today, we will speak of four aspects: Children live to serve, they have no ambition, they live in the present moment and they have time.

CLICK HERE  for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Wisdom 2:12,17-20; Psalm 54; James 3:16-4:3; Mark 9:30-37)


24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 17, 2012


If you recall last week, we spoke to the tensions of our faith – the irony of dying to live, blindness to see, deafness to hear, last to be first and so on.  This week, the scriptures elaborate on that tension and at the same time, speak out against extremists views concerning faith and works.

Our first reading from Isaiah comes from what scripture scholars call the songs of the suffering servant – today we hear from the third of the four and it speaks of the inner resolve of the servant of God.  Despite the insults, the servant of God retains human dignity, interior strength and confidence in God.

But in our second reading, James speaks of the external works that are necessary – our faith must be lived out – demonstrated.  Indeed, this letter from James is one of the great signals of the differences between Catholicism and many of our Protestant Brothers and Sisters.

Then in the Gospel – Jesus brings these seeming extremes together – the internal and the external realm – the divine and the human.  “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asks Peter – and so too does Jesus ask us.

CLICK HERE for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 50:5-9; Psalm 114; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35)


23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 10, 2012


In our first reading, Isaiah tells us that God will open our blind eyes, clear our deaf ears, strengthen our lame legs and turn the thirsty ground into springs of water.

And in the Gospel, Jesus does these very things.  The people bring the deaf man with a speaking impediment and asked Jesus to heal him.  When he does, they respond that Jesus does all things well.

The question we must ask ourselves:  what are our impediments to seeing and hearing more clearly?

CLICK HERE for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 35:4-7; Psalm 146; James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37)


22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 3, 2012


Our readings this week set up the tension that runs through the Bible and our tradition:  the tension between law and grace.

In the first reading, Moses says very clearly that the Israelites were not to add or subtract from the law, but then in our Gospel, Jesus challenges the Pharisees when they question the obedience of his disciples to the law.

One might be tempted to believe that the grace of Jesus replaces the laws given to Moses, but that is not the case.  Rather, we could not have one without the other.

CLICK HERE for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8; Psalm 15; James 1:17-18,21-22,27; Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23)