October 26, 2020

  The Latin of the Roman Mass calls the first Jewish man, Abraham, our Patriarch, while another devout Jewish holy man is God, our Lord Jesus Christ.   Luke 13:10-17 for Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time.   In today’s Gospel we are with Christ in a synagogue on the Sabbath. Two years ago this past weekend, the people of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue saw a gunman enter and kill eleven sons and daughters of Abraham. Sons… Read more

October 24, 2020

  Volunteer, anyone?   Matthew 22:34-40 for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.   Today’s Gospel bothers to tell us the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees. The Sadducees were doctrinal enemies of the Pharisees. So, the Pharisees went to test the doctrine of Jesus. It seems the Pharisees did not want only to defeat Jesus, but also to show themselves better than their doctrinal enemies, the Sadducees. The Pharisee question was not hard. Teacher, which commandment in… Read more

October 22, 2020

  Luke 12:49-53 for Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time   There is an archaic Latin word, fanum, meaning “temple.” It is the root for another Latin word, fanaticus, “fanatic,” describing someone worked up, frenzied or raving in a temple. When Christ took up a whip to drive the buyers and sellers out of the temple, he was a fanatic down to the very root of the word. In today’s Gospel reading, he spoke like a fanatic. I have come… Read more

October 17, 2020

  For the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isaiah 45:1,4-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b; Matthew 22:15-21.   In the Word and Gospel of the Lord today it could seem the Lord practices strange politics. First, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, the Lord speaks to a pagan, the Emperor Cyrus. The Lord calls the pagan his anointed, which is the meaning of the Hebrew messiah. Even though Cyrus the pagan emperor did not know the Lord, the Lord anointed him,… Read more

October 16, 2020

Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid.   Luke 12:1-7 for Friday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time   Five times in this Gospel reading, Christ spoke of fear or being afraid. Twice out of the five, he told us NOT to fear. THREE times he told us to BE afraid indeed. In the middle of all this, he spoke of the one who has power to kill and also to cast… Read more

October 13, 2020

  Racism from Catholic priests? Yes! Catholic priests perpetrated the three most “right-into-my-personal-face” experiences of racism in my life.   This was the second part of a double post I did here in June. Memories of these incidents came up because of my own reactions to the bad news of the Louisiana priest who hired prostitutes so he could film himself having sex at the altar of his parish church. One wonders at the psychopathological, stupid, evil things priests can perpetrate… Read more

October 10, 2020

  Matthew 22:1-14 for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time.   The King’s invitation to his son’s wedding feast is all grace, graciousness and gratis. The invitation is to all, bad or good, but all must come dressed worthily for a wedding. Openness, but also conditionality: the same contrast and tension were present when Christ first began to preach in public. Openness: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Conditionality: Repent and believe in the Gospel! The kingdom of heaven… Read more

October 10, 2020

  Luke 11:27-28 for Saturday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time.   While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AND OBSERVE IT.” In its first pages, this Gospel shows that Mary the mother of Christ was a BLESSED hearer and observer of the word of… Read more

October 3, 2020

Matthew 21:33-43 for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time.   In today’s Gospel Christ again challenged his people’s understanding of the history of salvation. He also CAREFULLY, even THEATRICALLY, set up for challenging his people. You and I are also his people. Let this Gospel challenge OUR understanding of OUR salvation. Today in the Gospel was the day after Palm Sunday, falling within the Passover festival in springtime. For Palm Sunday Christ saw to it that he would ride a… Read more

September 26, 2020

  For the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to Matthew [21:28-32].   Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘ but afterwards changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the… Read more

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