Archive for January, 2014


Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 26, 2014


Over Christmas, I started watching the series, Once Upon a Time, now in its third season.  It is a television series about a time when all the fairy tale characters we know come to live in our present day world, only they do not know who they are.  Though I am not a huge fan of fairy tales, I have been captivated by the imagination and brilliance of the storyline.

The Bible is about keeping a conversation alive about a different kind of reality – not a reality centered around magic like our fairy tales, but indeed a world of imagination enhanced by a Holy power.

As much as I appreciate technology, I think it helps us to forget that such miracles are possible.  The kind of miracles that are not ultimately dependent on us; that are not about achieving an end, but about enjoying the time it takes to wrap our collective consciousness around something beyond our imagination.

God comes to us in our every day lives.  When we start to realize this, then we will realize that this world is not so sad, but indeed quite magical.

CLICK HERE for the readings of the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Isaiah 8:23-9:3; Psalm 27; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13-17; Matthew 4:12-23).


Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 19, 2014


In our readings today, we have three different servants:  the Suffering Servant in Isaiah, Paul himself in our Letter to the Corinthians; and John the Baptist in the Gospel.

But if we are to understand these servants and our readings today, we have to first go back to last week.  Because it is with our Baptism that our own call to service begins.

We are called to be an Apostle, which is quite different than being a Disciple.  To understand the difference, we must consider the three servants we hear about today.

CLICK HERE for the readings of the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Isaiah 49:3, 5-6; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34).


The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

January 12, 2014


Our first reading from Isaiah speaks about two people:  the servant, which we could interpret as Christ.  And You, which is Israel – the people of God.  In other words, You are called to be a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind and free the prisoners.

Luke tells us in our second readings that this responsibility is open to anyone who recognizes the Lord and acts uprightly.

And the Gospel recalls Christ’s baptism, which opened the door for our own adoption into the Kingdom.

And so today, we will open the doors to our own understanding about our baptism. . .

CLICK HERE for the readings of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-38; Matthew 3:13-17).


The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

January 5, 2014


As we reflect on 2013, many have called it the Year of Pope Francis.  In the past few weeks, he has captured many of the year’s top titles including “Man of the Year” and “Best Dressed Man of the Year”.

Pope Francis is reminding us of a message that began with the arrival of the Magi:  that the world is longing to see and hear God, even if they don’t always use the same name.

This Sunday, I would like to challenge the notion that the world is against us, as a Christian community.  While there are reasons to disagree, my prayer is that we take a moment to pause and consider the message of the “foreigner” to each of us.

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


The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

January 1, 2014


Today we continue our Octave of Christmas as we celebrate into the New Year.  Today we encounter Mary, with the shepherds gathering around her.  We hear that she pondered all these things in her heart.

But what was she pondering?  More importantly, what are we pondering?  Or better yet, what brings us wonder?

Next time you walk down the street, take notice of how many people are plugged in.  I am betting that you will see 8 out of 10 people on their phones or with earbuds in their ears.  More information. . . more sound. . . more things to keep us from wonder.  More things to keep us from self-reflection; to keep us from ourselves.  More things to keep us from pondering like Mary.

But this is not bad, for there is a solution. . .