Archive for July, 2013

h1

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 27, 2013

WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR?

Our readings today are all about prayer.  In our Gospel, we are instructed to pray the Our Father.  In the first reading from Genesis, Abraham prays, and even bargains, with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah.  Our second reading from Colossians seems to call the necessity of prayer into question, highlighting that we are saved by Christ without any interference on our part.

But regardless of its known importance and the instruction we have received, perhaps the only confident statement most of us would make about prayer is that we don’t feel like we pray well or often enough.   My hope is that today we begin to remedy this.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Genesis 18:20-32; Psalm 138; Collisions 2:12-14; Luke 11:1-13)

h1

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 21, 2013

ACTION WITHOUT ADEQUATE CONTEMPLATION

It is tempting to look at our readings as a statement about action versus contemplation; but that would mistake the message.  Our Gospel highlights the familiar story about Mary and Martha – Martha the active; Mary the contemplative.  It seems that Jesus prefers the contemplative saying that it is the better part.

However, the story is more nuanced and when understood in the context of our first reading, it is clear that both action and contemplation have value. For in our first reading Abraham and Sarah go out of their way to help three travellers and receive praise for their actions.

For us, this Sunday we are asked to consider what we are contemplating and what action results from it.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Genesis 18:1-10; Psalm 15; Collisions 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42)

h1

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 14, 2013

COMPASSION THAT LEADS TO CONVERSION

In our first reading, Moses tells the people that the voice of God is not simply written in a book, but on their hearts. God is not distant, but indeed very near. But in order for God to be known, Jesus challenges us with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

This parable is not really about our neighbor; rather about those least like our neighbor. In Jesus’ day, it was a given that care for those in our local community; thus our “neighbor” meant something different.

The story is undoubtedly one which illustrates divinely inspired compassion. The ability to see, not with our own eyes, but with the eye’s of the other. But the lesson is more than simple compassion or justice. If you look deeper, you will see that compassion leads us to conversion.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Psalm 69; Collisions 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37)

h1

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 7, 2013

POTENTIALLY, TIMES HAVE CHANGED

A few years ago, I read a book entitled, What Should I Do with My Life?  I highly recommend it as it weaves a narrative with the stories of 900 people who discovered their calling.  It is not a Catholic or religious book, but the lessons apply wonderfully.

One of the realizes that the author concluded is that  “Most people don’t want to accept their potential.  It hints of an accompanying responsibility to live up to that potential.  Acknowledging your potential is setting yourself up to be criticized for being willing to stand out, and nobody want to be laughed at.  That fear holds us back for a long time.” 

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that we have been given the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions.  Even demons will be subjected to us because of Christ dwelling within us.

I am quite sure that very few of us understand the power we have by virtue of our baptism (Read Lumen Gentium 30-38).  Not that the power is ours; rather we are conduits of grace.  The power to love, to forgive, to teach, to lead, to create – that power is given to us as a gift.  It is only ours because we have accepted it from God.

So to understand our potential, I believe it is necessary to understand ourselves in the context of the Church, especially because the context has changed fairly recently (as a result of Vatican II).

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20)