Wealth and Trust

This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 25th Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.

1 Then he also said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. 2 He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’ 3 The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’ 5 He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ 7 Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ Continue reading

It’s Complicated

The Parable of the Lost Sheep – you’ve heard it countless times before and have taken in just as many homilies. I suspect the “take away” from the parable and the homily was focused on the shepherd – as it should be. I will simply say that indeed Jesus is the Good Shepherd and is relentless in search for and finding us. No matter how far we have strayed or what we have done, Jesus will find us and ever offer to take us up on his shoulders and bring us home.  Always. That my friends, is as good a Good News as you can get. People of God, can I get an “Amen!”

Now there is a “take away” that you can take, consider, pray about, and reflect upon your life. Continue reading

History and Holiness: Being Stewards of Your Own Life

Who are the holy ones of Christianity? Or more pointedly asked, “Who do you consider the holy ones?” In the beginning it was the Apostles, the people who had actually met and lived with Jesus. They saw the miracles, heard the teaching, witnessed the healings, saw the Resurrected Savior, and went to the ends of the earth preaching and baptizing. Surely, they were the holy ones – especially called by Jesus himself! Continue reading

The Lost Sheep

This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 24th Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.

Luke 15 is one of the most unique chapters in the Gospels in that it consists of three memorable parables: the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son. Many commentators locate these three parables (Luke 15) within a larger section of Luke that asks the question “who will participate in the reign of God?” (13:10-17:10). Continue reading

Invited

In this day and age, we receive all manner of evites: to meetings, parties, events and more. Upon receiving the evite are we excited? Were we just hoping for a day or evening off? Does this seem more obligation than interesting? Do we have to rearrange schedules? Are hoping something more exciting comes along? We have choices – delete, never open, don’t answer, answer with regrets, or accept. And then come all the consequences of all those choices we make, intended or no. Does all this seem like a phenomenon of the internet age? Not really. It is as old as time and part of the gospel. Continue reading

Doing what is ours to do

I remember the first time I had to speak to the parish, as pastor, and make a “pitch” for money. It was the 2012 Annual Pastoral Appeal. I think I remarked something akin to: “When I realized I had to make an appeal for money, I knew I had a choice. I could poke my eye out with a flaming stick, or I could make the pitch. It’s not a clear-cut choice.” I really do not like to talk about money or ask for it. Continue reading

Nothing Impossible

This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 23rd Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.

25Great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and addressed them, 26 “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? 29 Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him 30 and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ 31 Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? 32 But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. 33 In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-33) Continue reading

Being Humble

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Not my favorite verse in Scripture because of they way I think we tend to hear the word “humble.” I suspect a lot of people hear “get too arrogant, prideful or presumptuous – you’ll be put in your place and get what’s coming to you.” Merriam Webster defines humility as freedom from pride or arrogance. That seems a little thin; it tells us what humility is not and by implication tells us what not to do in life…but… Continue reading

Thoughts for Labor Day

Jesus was a master of the story form known as parables. One of the most memorable parables can be found in Luke: the story of Lazarus and the Rich man (Luke 16:19-31). The parable starts simply enough: “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores.” Very quickly in the parable the two men die. The unnamed rich man goes to a fiery afterlife of torment while Lazarus rests in the arms of Abraham, awaiting the day when Jesus will open the gates of Heaven for the faithful. Continue reading

The Sign of Peace

Back in 2014, after 9 years of study, the Vatican announced that the sign of peace, currently placed after the consecration and before the recitation of the Agnus Dei in the Roman Rite, will not be moved to another part of the Mass, as had been proposed by some bishops. 9 years? While that may have been a concern of liturgists, bishops, and others, I think the concerns of the average person in the pew lay elsewhere. Continue reading