Thursday, November 16, 2017

Faithfulness in the Little Things: The 33rd Sunday in OT


St. Josemaría Escrivà, the founder of the personal prelature
Opus Dei, has often been called the “saint of the ordinary” for the emphasis he placed on achieving holiness in every-day living.


In fact, one of his most famous sermons was entitled “The Richness of Ordinary Life.”

St. Josemaría once said he could tell a great deal about a man’s interior life by looking in his closet.  Good order in one’s soul is often reflected by good order in one’s lifestyle.  A man who is sloppy or inattentive in the care of his personal effects will often likewise be careless in his life of prayer.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Parable of the Talents (The Mass Readings Explained)

My latest video is now out for this Sunday's Readings...


...And the final days are here to save over 20% on Year B's series (on the Gospel of Mark) at Catholic Productions.  Sign up now before the new series begins.


Thursday, November 09, 2017

Waiting for the Party to Start: 32nd Sunday in OT




Many years ago I worked in a cafeteria in northern Virginia with a large group of people who mostly knew each other and lived in the same neighborhood.  Around the 4th of July, they all decided to have a party, and out of politeness invited me, even though I was a bit of a stranger.  They told me the party would start at “six” and I dutifully showed up at six sharp with a dish to pass.  Little did I know that, in the local culture, things tended to start about two hours after the stated time.  It was a lot like what we used to call “Hawaiian time” when I lived on Oahu.  Anyhow, I was the only one there at 6pm, and by 7:30 I had eaten my own dish and was hanging around with still just 2 or 3 other people.  I ended up going home before the party ever really got going.

In the Gospel Reading for this Lord’s Day, we have five young women who, like me, weren’t prepared to wait for the party to start.  The Readings are full of images of the wise person who is prepared for the “long haul”—that is, to endure to the end and to stand upright before God at the final judgment.

1. Our First Reading is taken from the Book of Wisdom:

Monday, November 06, 2017

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Good Leaders for God's People: 31st Sunday in OT



Some years ago at Franciscan University, we had Alexandre Havard on campus to speak about virtuous leadership.  His fine talk is on You Tube here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf36I-n752w

We've also been blessed with visits by Andreas Widmer, another leadership expert, based on his experiences as a Swiss Guard during the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II.  He has an excellent book, The Pope and the CEO.

These men of leadership came to my mind this week as I pondered the Sunday Readings, because virtuous leadership for the people of God is the unifying theme of these Scriptures.

Our First Reading comes from the prophet Malachi, who prophesied to the people of Judah during the post-exilic period, after they had returned from the Babylonian exile.  Although restored to their land, the people of Israel were forbidden to establish their hereditary king of the line of David.  They were still ruled politically by the Persian emperor or his representatives.  In this situation, the priesthood seems to have come to the fore once more, and taken a more active role in governing the people, as it had done in earlier times in Israel’s history, and as the Law of Moses had intended.

Unfortunately, the priests in post-exilic Judah were abusing their authority, as we see in this reading: