Archive for August, 2015

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 30, 2015

AN ECOLOGY OF HUMILITY

If you are listening closely to the readings today, you might find yourself in a bit of quandary. . . for the Gospel and the First Reading seem very much at odds.

In our first reading, Moses says quite clearly that the Israelites were not to add or take away from the law, but then in our Gospel, Jesus calls the Pharisees hypocrites when they question Jesus teaching his disciples to do just that.

Now most of the time we reconcile this discrepancy by saying the teachings of Jesus replaced those of Moses, but that is not what we profess. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, not its replacement, so how are we to understand this and other related situations where Jesus seems to contradict older teachings?

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

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 23, 2015

CHANGE EVEN WHEN IT IS DIFFICULT

Our Gospel today brings to conclusion Jesus’ Bread of Life discourses.   Over the past couples of weeks we have considered the differences between believing and knowing. We have recalled how quickly we can forget all that God has done, and focused on giving everything away, so that it will be more than enough.

These are indeed hard lessons – lessons that were perhaps even more difficult for the Apostles than for us, for the implications were all the more pressing. Like those we know, they wanted to leave – some in fact did – but Simon Peter speaks for all of us when he says, “Lord, to whom or where shall we go?”

CLICK HERE for the readings for 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Joshua 24:1-2, 15-17, 18; Psalm 34; Ephesians 5:21-32; John 6:60-69)

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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 9, 2015

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?

In our Gospel today Jesus tells his critics that “everyone will be taught by God.” Though I am sure they had no problem with this concept, they clearly had difficulty believing God would teach them through the young, very well known carpenter.

I wonder who God is using to teach you? I wonder if I were to ask each of you: “What have you learned about God and people?” What would you say?

Among other things, I think I would echo much of what we hear in our first reading.

Our reading picks up just after Elijah caught fire from Heaven and beat the prophets of Baal. Now he is in the desert praying for death – much like the Israelites last week.

And much like the Israelites, an angel comes to Elijah and gives him food and drink.

But here is what I love – upon giving nourishment, the Angel acknowledges the difficulty of the journey, but doesn’t take it away.

CLICK HERE for the readings for 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34; Ephesians 4:30-5:2; John 6:41-52)

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 2, 2015

OUR DAILY BREAD

How quickly we can forget the good things and dwell on the bad! In our first reading from Exodus, we hear the Israelites grumbling about their time in the desert after the Exodus. It seems they have already forgotten all that God just did for them as he lead them out of captivity.

But the Lord continues to provide – raining down bread from heaven, but there is a test as well – a test to see if they will follow the Lord’s instructions or not.

What are those instructions? To take only what you need for the day so that others may have their fill as well; and trust that God will provide for tomorrow.

CLICK HERE for the readings for 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Exodus 16:2-4,12-15; Psalm 78; Ephesians 4:17, 20-24; John 6:24-35)