Always a chance for conversion

Next Sunday is the celebration of the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time. You can read a complete commentary on the Gospel here.

24 He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. 26 When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. 27 The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Continue reading

Deeper Listening

Over the last two weeks you might have noticed that when I have a chance to pause, contemplate and write, my thoughts have turned to the prophets. In part inspired by the daily Mass readings which have included Amos (last week), Hosea (this week just finishing), with the coming weeks bringing Isaiah, Micah and Jeremiah. In all of the writings of these prophets you will come across passages in which the prophet lament/accuses the people about their inability/refusal to listen, to hear. It is easy to just assume that the the prophet is lamenting that they are ignoring him, but the lament is far more reaching in its scope. The prophets has no doubt that he has been heard – the scriptures testify to the persecution they suffer because of the words they have spoken. The auditory capability of the people is not in question. Continue reading

The Prophet Hosea

This week has been a week in which the first readings are from the Prophet Hosea. It seems to me that whenever the first reading is proclaimed the faithful are lost in a pool of unfamiliar names, a message that has been lifted out of its context, and all that makes it a little more challenging for the Word from the prophet to reach the people. So, this week I have been preaching the 1st reading and told folks that I would provide short introduction to the Prophet Hosea and his writings. Continue reading

What do you hear?

Next Sunday is the celebration of the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. You can read a complete commentary on the Gospel here.

1 On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.3 And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.5 Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,6 and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots.7 Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.8 But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.9 Whoever has ears ought to hear.” Continue reading

The Character of God

This week’s we’re looking at the character of God as revealed to Moses in Exodus chapter 34. We see in this passage that though God is first and foremost a loving and merciful God, he will not ignore injustice or evil.  God is willing to put up with a lot of human failures. But our choices matter, and God will maintain a balance between mercy and justice, which at times means handing us over to the consequences of our decisions. As followers of Jesus, we may be wondering what God is going to do in the world in response to this time of deep unrest and upheaval. But the better question may be to ask ourselves, what are we going to do to carry out God’s will in the world? Continue reading

Amos: Prophet to Israel

Last week’s first readings were like an introduction to the Kings and Prophets. This week, the first reading begins to focus, not on the Books of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, but on the individual books of various prophets. Here is the “lineup” of first readings in the week to come:

  • Week of June 29 – Amos
  • Week of July 6 – Hosea
  • Week of July 13 – Isaiah
  • Week of July 20 – Micah & Jeremiah
  • Week of July 27 – Jeremiah

There are some breaks for the celebration of feast days, e.g., July 29, Sts Peter and Paul and July 3rd, St. Thomas the Apostle, but otherwise, it is a deep dive into the works and words of the prophets. Continue reading

Childlike

Next Sunday is the celebration of the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. You can read a complete commentary on the Gospel here.

25 At that time Jesus said in reply, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:25-30) Continue reading

Iniquity

When was the last time you used the word “iniquity?” Admittedly, it is not one of those words that leaps to one’s mind. It sounds somewhat archaic and perhaps reserved to a fire-and-brimstone preacher. Iniquity is not exactly the same as sin. Iniquity describes something as being wicked or immoral in nature or character. It is not an action like sin, but rather the character of the action”. We have a hint of that in the phrase “the iniquity of my sin” (Psalms 32:5). Iniquity can be described as the essence of wrongdoing or evil. Continue reading

Radical Loyalty

Next Sunday is the celebration of the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time. You can read a complete commentary on the Gospel here.

37 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;38 and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.41 Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward.42 And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”  (Mt 10:37-42) Continue reading