This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 18th Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 14 He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 15 Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 17 He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ 18 And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods 19 and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ 21 Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” (Luke 12:13-21) Continue reading →
Today is the feast of St. Martha, a woman who listened to what Jesus said to her and corrected herself. We know St. Martha as the distracted host who complained to Jesus that no one was helping her. We met Martha just recently when she and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters, had Jesus over to dinner. Mary sat at the feet of the Lord listening to him speak, while Martha did all the work. She couldn’t help but be annoyed, and she couldn’t stop herself from complaining about it. “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do the serving?” she asks. “Tell her to help me.” Jesus’ reply is famous: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. … Mary has chosen the better part.” Continue reading →
There are some who are encouraged by the words of today’s Gospels. All we have to do is ask and it will be given; knock and doors open. Be persistent, keep knocking. And some folks are able to testify to miraculous cures, a marriage now strengthened, a financial situation turned around, a job offer, and more. In some corners of American Christianity this is the core Gospel, a gospel of prosperity. The good things in life are a reward for their faith, their persistence, their prayers to their personal Lord and Savior. Pray that a child is accepted into a premier university and so it happens. Pray for a parking spot and one will be provided. Sometimes their testimonies about the power of prayer makes me wonder if God is expected to act in the role of valet or concierge in which prayers are the currency by which this divine transaction operates. Continue reading →
Think about each time we pray the Our Father. We renew our baptismal covenant vows to God and this Christian life: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In the Greek, the language used is a tense used for orders or commands. In other words, we are “ordering” God to forgive us only to the degree we forgive others. Yikes! When I think about it, I am soooo… tempted to pray, “Forgive me my trespasses a lot more than I seem to be able to forgive others” – and I will use the subjective mood indicating a plea or request. Otherwise, consider what might ensue if God in his mercy chose to forgive me only as fully as I have forgiven others. Continue reading →
This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 17th Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.
1 He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread 4 and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.” Continue reading →
In one episode of the “Brady Bunch,” middle sister Jan gets fed up with center-of-attention oldest sister Marsha. “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” Jan cries in irritation. I can’t remember the problem or how it was resolved, but I do remember Jan’s tone: total exasperation. And thanks to the similarity in the sound of the names (Marsha and Martha), for years this same exasperation echoed through my mind every time I read the story of Mary and Martha in the gospel. It is as though Martha comes out of the kitchen and with the same exasperation says (in so many words): Mary, Mary, Mary. And then finds herself on the carpet, so-to-speak, in front of Jesus and whole room. Continue reading →
As you no doubt are aware, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I certainly remember where I was on July 20, 1969. Amazing does not do justice to the feeling of that moment. We had just arrived at the front door of the universe. Who knew what was to follow? Yet, it is 50 years later, and we have time, experience, and perspective. Continue reading →
This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 16th Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.
38 As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. 39 She had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. 40 Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” 41 The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 42 There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
Continue reading →
Today marks the Feast Day of one of the great figures in Franciscan history – St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio – as well as the 14th anniversary of our Franciscan presence in this historic downtown parish. St. Bonaventure is a good model of what it means to be a Franciscan while at the same time being a priest in leadership positions in a parish. Bonaventure reminded the friars of his day that our first vocation is as “brother.” At the core of our charism, we are a fraternity in mission to the People of God striving to continue our Order’s 800-year-old mission: bringing the Gospel into the everyday experience of men and women through our life in fraternity and compassionate service to all. Continue reading →
I am away from the parish celebrating the baptism of a college classmate’s first grandchild. I thought it good to leave you with some words from another time reflecting on our Sunday readings.
“Go and do likewise.” This seems like a pretty clear command from Jesus. You just heard the parable of the Good Samaritan, so what is it that you are to go and do likewise? Clearly the context for the parable is Jesus’ effort to tease out the scholar of the law what it means to love God and to love one’s neighbor – that’s the theory of it, but what are practical elements of the divine command? The scholar of the law never gets to that “because he wished to justify himself.” He asks Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” And that is where the proverbial rubber hits the road. Even if the scholar figures out who his neighbor is, there are the practical matters of “doing.” Jesus words punctuate the ending: “Go and do likewise.” Continue reading →