Archive for August, 2016

h1

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 28, 2016

THE HUMILITY OF GOD

Last week, we considered what it means to be saved. We said that we are insomuch as we trust in God’s love for us. But love always humbles us. Love is what makes us vulnerable and exposes the illusions we carry about ourselves. It demands surrender because ultimately we have to realize that we cannot save ourselves – that we are not our own saviours.

But also remember that what you have received is not simply for you. It is a gift to be shared; a grace to strengthen you so that you may be that same bread for the world. As a result of this gift – of your ability to receive the invitation – you are no longer defined by your sinfulness. No, simply by your ability to receive, you are now holy for God dwells within you.

CLICK HERE for the readings for 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Sirach 3:17-18, 20,28-29; Psalm 68; Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24; Luke 14:1, 7-14)

h1

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 20, 2016

WHERE SALVATION LIES

Our readings today, when heard and reflected on as a collection offer a great deal for us to consider: First, we hear in Isaiah that every person on earth is going to see the glory of God – even those that do not know God. Everyone will proclaim the glory of God – in one way or another.

Then we hear in Hebrews that the Lord disciplines those who the Lord loves. It is an echo of our message last week – that for the sake of joy, Christ endured the cross. For today we hear: At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.

So it seems that God is going to bring people together and then they will endure a particular discipline. That the people who will give glory to God will do so as a result of the training they receive.

Which is why the question asked to Jesus in the Gospel is not so strange after all: will only a few be saved? How many will actually endure this training?

But notice Jesus does not answer the question; rather, he says don’t worry about the end result, strive to enter the narrow gate. Your salvation lies there – in the struggle, in the attempt.

CLICK HERE for the readings for 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Isaiah 66:18-21; Psalm 117; Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13; Luke 13:22-30)

h1

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 14, 2016

FOR THE SAKE OF JOY

Our readings this week are challenging. They speak of the difficulties that arise once we trust God with our heart. The division in our Gospel is not because God wants us to be odds with one another; rather it is the natural consequence that occurs when we decide to make a change in our lives – when we make a choice for a love that doesn’t start with our own efforts.

What once worked no longer does. What used to be peaceful is now unsettling.

But alongside these dramatic words and even more dramatic images is a hope-filled invitation. The letter from Hebrews in our second reading helps us to focus lest the difficulties become too great a distraction.

Keep your eyes and heart fixed on Jesus. He is the way. He is the example. This is what you heard: For the sake the joy that laid before him, he endured the cross. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

For the sake of joy. . .  What are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of joy? What are you willing to endure?

CLICK HERE for the readings for 20th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10; Psalm 40; Hebrews 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53)

 

h1

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 7, 2016

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TESTING AND TRUSTING

For where you treasure is, there also will your heart be.

But here is the thing about treasure. . . it is usually not in plain sight, it can hard to find, and when we finally find it, our temptation is to keep it safe – to hide it from others.

Indeed, I think our hearts are very much like treasure. Their secrets take a lifetime for us to discover. We search to understand what it wants, but the heart can be so very evasive. Too often, it is buried underneath layers and layers which, quite unknowingly, created as a result of our own fears.

And how often do those same fears convince us to keep hidden – to protect – that which we have found? Do we prefer to keep our heart hidden rather than let it be truly seen. . . or even more so. . .to let it be truly shared?

CLICK HERE for the readings for 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalm 33; Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19; Luke 12:32-48)