Archive for November, 2012

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Solemnity of Christ the King

November 25, 2012

A DIFFICULT FEAST

Christ the King. This solemnity has always been a strange feast for me – not simply because the idea of a King is for me, a foreign idea, but because we have attributed a title to Christ that he never gave himself.

Yet I believe this solemnity is profoundly important for us today because the magnanimity of the title carries with it an uncomfortable absoluteness. At the heart of our readings is a truth-claim: Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah. To know the truth is to know Jesus as the Christ.

But facts are facts: I believe something because I believe it to be right and all else to be wrong, or at best incomplete. And as uncomfortable as this is, I believe this is precisely what Pilate struggles with in our readings today: Just who is this Jesus? The king of the Jews? The Messiah? Just a carpenter? Each answer carries with it serious implications.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Solemnity of Christ the King: (Daniel 7:13-14; Psalm 93; Revelations 1:5-8; John 18:33-37)

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 18, 2012

WE HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE

Every year about this time, when our days begin to get darker and colder, we hear the apocalyptic readings about the end days.  They almost seem to reflect the advancing barrenness of our trees and environment.  The beauty and pageantry of fall has faded and now we prepare ourselves for winter – a season of survival.

Our Gospel reflects our first reading from Daniel and contains all of the attributes of apocalyptic literature:  there are signs of wonder, great military battles, and the gathering of a remnant people.

Pope John XXIII said that history is one of our greatest teachers.  And we can ask what we learn from history?  First, that we have faced such difficulties before and survived them.  Second, we are also reminded that they faced terrible difficulties.  If you sit down with the Bible, you will find that 2/3 of the stories are about loss and exile – and so why would we think that we would be exempt from all of that?

Our path forward as a church will come from looking backward and realizing that God did not abandon them, nor will God abandon us.

CLICK HERE  for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Daniel 12:1-3; Psalm 16; Hebrews 10:11-14,18; Mark 13:24-32)

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32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 11, 2012

THE WILLING GIFT

The imperative for today is for us to give out of our poverty, which sounds as strange at the stories from which the lessons comes. We have a tale of two widows in our readings today.

The first is Zaraphath, whose life is about as low as one can go and is visited by Elijah. We encounter the second widow in the Gospel gave all that she had to the temple.

The lesson is abundance comes from the willing gift. When we are linked to God, who is nothing but giving, we never run out of that which we give.

CLICK HERE  for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Ezekiel 47:1-2,8-9,12; Psalm 46; 1 Corinthians 3:9-11,16-17; John 2:13-22)

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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 5, 2012

LEARNING THE FUNDAMENTALS

Our readings this Sunday center around the Shema – the fundamental statement of Israel that the Lord is God alone and the moral imperative to love the Lord with all our strength, soul and heart. In full, from Deut: 6:4-9, it reads: Hear, O Israel! (notice the first imperative is to listen) The Lord is Our God, the Lord alone Therefore you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.

Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home or abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.

Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.

CLICK HERE  for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Deuteronomy 6:2-6; Psalm 18; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 12:28-34)