From Galilee towards Jerusalem

This coming Sunday the readings return to “Ordinary Time” and reading from the Gospel of Luke. We begin with the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time. In case you were wondering, the last time we celebrated a Sunday in Ordinary Time was February 27, 2022. It was the 8th Sunday and the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. The gospel that Sunday was from Luke 6; our gospel this coming Sunday is from Luke 9. Both are with a section of Luke labeled as “The Ministry in Galilee” (4:14–9:50). It is a lot to cover so I will post an outline following this posting. Continue reading

What the heck – part 2

In yesterday’s post, we recounted the story of the Queen of Judah, Athaliah, and the murderous manner is which she captured the Throne of King David. She reigned for seven years and profaned the Temple with worship of other gods. Eventually her grandson Joash (or Jehoash), the only one to escape her murderous escapades, emerged from hiding and became, at age 7, the light of rebellion and restoration of right worship in the Temple. Continue reading

What the heck?

The first reading for today is from the 2nd Book of Kings. I think “what the heck….” is a good first response once you have completed your read. I wonder if I commissioned a poll in which the average person on the street heard the reading and then asked its source, given two choices, which they’d pick? My poll would offer (a) Games of Thrones and (b) The Book of Kings. I am guessing Games of Thrones would win because only the hard core fans remember the names and most people would wonder if the Book of Kings was a real thing…. I mean the names did not sound as though from the English monarchy. Continue reading

Feeding the people

This coming Sunday the Church celebrates The Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In yesterday’s post we find the apostles hesitating and falling back on the ways of the world when faced with the enormity of feeding more than 5,000 people.

The feeding of the five thousand had a meaning for the early church in the responsibility of the leaders to feed the flock, particularly with preaching and the Eucharist. This is the one miracle, apart from the resurrection, recounted in all four Gospels. Luke shares the story with the other gospel writers, but does not include Mark’s mention of the compassion of Jesus for the people or the messianic allusion (Mark 6:34). However, the abundance of good stands as a two-fold lesson to the Twelve: abundance is found not in the power to purchase with money, but in the power of the Lord; and, those who give receive back even more extravagantly. Both lessons reinforce what they have learned on their own journey. Continue reading

Our faith and the enormity of the problem faced

This coming Sunday the Church celebrates The Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In yesterday’s post we find the apostles hesitating and falling back on the ways of the world. When faced with the enormity of feeding more than 5,000 they fall back on sensible courses of action. 13 He said to them, ‘Give them some food yourselves.’ They replied, ‘Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.’ Continue reading

The Mantle Passes

In the first reading today we witness the passing of the mantle (אַדֶּרֶת addreth in Hebrew) from Elijah to Elisha. What is a mantle? Although there are variations of the meaning of mantle in the Bible, the main idea is that of a covering such as a cloak or covering as outerwear appearing in the OT (e.g. Joshua 7:21) and NT (e.g. Hebrews 1:12, in the Greek). In biblical times, a mantle was typically a large, loosely fitting garment made of animal skin, probably sheepskin. Several people are mentioned as wearing a mantle, including Job (Job 1:20) and Ezra (Ezra 9:5). The mantle served the practical purpose of keeping people warm and protecting them from the elements. It also served a symbolic purpose, in the case of the prophets, showing they were wrapped in God’s authority – a sign of their calling from God (1 Kings 19:13). Continue reading

A lesson of mission forgotten?

This coming Sunday the Church celebrates The Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In yesterday’s post we catch a glimpse of a moment of respite for the apostles after their mission that gives way to crowds of people

12 As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, ‘Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.’ 13 He said to them, ‘Give them some food yourselves.’ They replied, ‘Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.’ 14 Now the men there numbered about five thousand.

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The Call to Ministry

This coming Sunday the Church celebrates The Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In yesterday’s post we set the stage for a transition from the very public ministry of Jesus establishing his identity and mission to Israel – to one in which the disciples will more deeply explore Jesus’ identity in order to discover their part in his divine mission. We pick up the account as the apostles return from their first mission. Continue reading

Setting the Stage

This coming Sunday the Church celebrates The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, popularly known by its truncated Latin name of Corpus Christi. Each year on this solemnity the gospel is taken from one of the miraculous feeding of the multitudes. This year the reading is from the Gospel of Luke 9:10-17 when five loaves and two fish become the starting point for feeding more than 5,000 people. Continue reading

Moving towards Wisdom

This coming Sunday is Holy Trinity Sunday. The selection of the first reading from the Book of Proverbs can be seen as a celebration of Wisdom even in the primordial moment of creation. It is as though the scribes are saying, “Look, we are celebrating in our day, what the Lord has provided for us since the dawn of creation.” The dawn when the Spirit hovered over the chaos. Continue reading