Archive for June, 2016

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 26, 2016

LIVING WITHOUT RESOLUTION

Last week, Jesus asks his disciples a definitive question:  “Who do people say that I am?”  I wonder if you gave this question any thought in your own life? Do your actions and words support your thoughts?

Because today’s Gospel picks up on last week’s question: there are implications for acknowledging Jesus as our savior. In today’s Gospel, the command to follow is complete. For Jesus, the desire to truly follow is all or nothing; and yet we know, we are too often on the fence.

There is no question that Jesus’ requirements for discipleship – for following him, can hit us as a bit harsh. For this reason, I think many of us instinctively say to ourselves that this text is not to be lived as it is heard. After all, Jesus who loves us, would really be so mean. .

But there are in fact serious questions for us to ponder.

  • How do you feel called to follow Jesus?
  • What does it mean to you?
  • What sacrifices must you make?
  • What priorities must you establish?
  • What or who distracts you from your own call to discipleship?

CLICK HERE for the readings for 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time (1 Kings 19:16,19-21, 13:1; Psalm 16; Galatians 5:1,13-18; Luke 9:51-62)

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12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 19, 2016

A HUMANIZING QUESTION

Who do you say that I am? It really is the question, is it not? But it is not the normal question. Most of us would ask questions like what do people thinking of my teachings? Or what impression am I making?

But Jesus asks, Who do you say that I am? Bishop Robert Barron claims that the whole of the Gospel hinges on this question. Jesus compels a choice the way no other religious founder does. “Either you are with me or you are against me,” he says. We either believe he is the Son of God, or we don’t. And if we do, then we must also believe all that he says – we must give our whole life to him – he has to be the centre of our lives.

And if he is not who he says he is, then he is a dangerous, misguided fanatic.

And in an era when we can seem at at times allergic to making a choice; when our preference is to keep our options open as much as possible, Jesus question can be a terrifying one indeed.

CLICK HERE for the readings for 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Zechariah 12:10-11, 13:1; Psalm 63; Galations 3:26-29; Luke 9:18-24)

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11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 12, 2016

DRAMATIC GRACE

What do you believe is necessary for forgiveness?

Is there a contrast between what you are socialized to believe and the scriptures today?

In our first reading, Nathan, on behalf of God, gives this powerful, guilt-inspiring list of everything that has been done for David, and then asks why has God been rejected? Then David, repents. Then God forgives and says David will not die. Notice he did not say there would not be consequences. . .

Then we have the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet – other Gospels say this is Mary Magdalene, but Luke does not.

What is it that she does that is so compelling to Jesus? Anointing with anointment? Wiping his Feet? No, it is her tears. Tears that illustrate great love.

And so I ask again, what do you believe is necessary for forgiveness? Our second reading from Galatians answers this directly: we must first receive the grace of God and then live accordingly – according to the law that God has given us.

CLICK HERE for the readings for 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time (2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13; Psalm 32; Galatians 2:16, 19-21; Luke 7:36-8:3)

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10th Sunday of Ordinary Time

June 5, 2016

INVERSELY 

You know the saying. . . “you had to be there. . .” I think it describes both our first reading and Gospel well. I often laugh to myself how polite we have made the Bible and things concerning God. How serenely we read our readings when they are anything but; how often we say “Thanks be to God” after hearing about trauma and difficulty. . .

In our first reading, we hardly capture the widows grief. . . “Why have you done this to me, O man of God? When actually, it is more like: WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS TO ME, O MAN OF GOD? HAVE YOU COME TO ME TO CALL ATTENTION TO MY GUILT AND TO KILL MY SON?

Elijah could have responded matter of factly, but instead he took the child and stretched himself over the child praying that God respond in compassion for this widow. And God did.

The same kind of moment is found in the Gospel. Like Elijah, Jesus was moved with compassion. He urged the widow not to cry and touched the coffin, bringing life to that which was dead.

CLICK HERE for the readings for 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time (1 Kings 17:17-24; Psalm 30; Galatians 1:11-19; Luke 7:11-17)