Thursday, September 29, 2016

Living by Faith: The 27th Sunday of OT

By accident in the past few weeks I stumbled on an interview with Rev. T.D. Jakes, one of the nations most prominent African-American megachurch pastors.  The interview concerned the recent canonization of St. Theresa of Calcutta, and the interviewer was questioning Rev. Jakes about the revelation that Mother Theresa suffered interior darkness and even temptations against faith. Rev. Jakes gave an excellent reply, explaining how true faith can be compatible with experiencing doubt and struggling against darkness.  In fact, his discussions reminded me of passages from Benedict XVI on the relationship of faith and doubt.  

Our readings this week take up the theme of faith, both Israel’s faith under the old covenant and the faith to which we are called in the new.  Jesus urges us not to despair even if we feel our faith is pitiful.  God can work wonders using small material.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lazarus & the Realm of the Dead: Mass Readings Explained (The 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Check out my latest video on this Sunday's Mass readings.  I hope it's helpful to you.

Thanks and please Like and Share!

Does it Matter How We Treat Others? The 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Does it matter how we treat others?  What does my neighbor’s suffering have to do with me?  Can I continue living in comfort while bypassing those around me who are in misery?  These are questions that the Readings for this Sunday raise, and to which they provide uncomfortable answers.  Let’s read and let the Holy Spirit move us outside our comfort zone.

1.  The First Reading is Am 6:1a, 4-7:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

God and Mammon: The 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

(Sorry I posted the Year A reading earlier!)

As Jesus continues his “death march” to Jerusalem in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 9–19), he challenges us this Sunday to choose, in a clear and conscious way, our goal in life: God or money.  The First Reading reminds us that wealth was a seductive trap for the people of God throughout salvation history.

1. The First Reading is Amos 8:4-7:

Friday, September 09, 2016

Lost Sheep, Lost Coin & Lost Son: Mass Readings Explained (The 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

My latest video on the Sunday Mass readings is out -- I hope it helps you!

Thanks, and if you would, please Like and Share!  I appreciate it!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Prodigal Son Sunday: 24th Sunday in OT

This upcoming Sunday marks one of only two times in the main lectionary cycle that we hear the Parable of the Prodigal Son proclaimed (the other being the 4th Sunday of Lent [C]).  The Readings are marked by the theme of repentance and forgiveness. 

1. Our First Reading is Ex 32:7-11, 13-14:

Friday, September 02, 2016

The Cost of Discipleship: 23rd Sunday in OT

Dietric von Bonhoeffer as a young man
One of the most famous German opponents of Adolf Hitler and Nazism was the Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whom the Nazis executed by hanging in April 1945 for his involvement in a plot against Hitler himself.  Bonhoeffer’s most famous work was a meditation on the Sermon on the Mount entitled (in English) The Cost of Discipleship.  In it, Bonhoeffer parted ways with a Protestantism that understood “salvation by faith alone” as some kind of easy road to heaven.  Bonhoeffer criticized “easy-believism” as “cheap grace”: