July 21-28, 2014Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), Aug. 3, 2014
The Guardian newspaper reported on June 19 that according to a U.N. report, “the number of people forced to flee their homes across the world has exceeded 50 million for the first time since the second world war, an exponential rise that is stretching host countries and aid organisations to breaking point.... Half the world’s refugees are children, many travelling alone or in groups in a desperate quest for sanctuary, and often falling into the...
July 21-28, 2014Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), July 27, 2014
Here is a desire new and old: ask for anything in the world and it will be yours! Usually, in fairy tales and legends, three wishes are granted. Then, after poor choices (or ambiguously worded requests), the truth is discovered about what really matters. Lessons are learned the hard way. The First Book of Kings presents us with a somewhat similar scenario, but with the storied wisdom of young king Solomon on display. God “appeared to Solomon in a dream by...
July 7-14, 2014Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), July 13, 2014
Why did Jesus speak to people in parables? Scholars are agreed beyond doubt that Jesus taught in parables. The parable is a type of speech act in which the speaker attempts to draw comparisons between one thing and another. In fact, the Greek word parabolē might best be translated “comparison.” A parable may be encased in a narrative or in similitudes, by which something is said to be “like” something else.
July 7-14, 2014Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), July 20, 2014
The parable of the weeds among the wheat is found only in Matthew, and it is an eschatological parable, a parable about the Final Judgment. For gardeners, it evokes memories of hours in the garden, distinguishing between weeds and desirable plants, which is harder to do than one might think, at least for novice gardeners. It raises another question: What constitutes a weed?
June 23-30, 2014Saints Peter and Paul (A), June 29, 2014
The question for the disciples came from Jesus himself, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The problem for Christians today in answering this question might be how to make sense of Jesus’ humanity in the context of his true divinity. For Jesus’ apostles, standing face to face with the flesh and blood of their friend and teacher, the relevant issue seems not to have been was Jesus God, but what sort of man has God sent to us in Jesus.
June 23-30, 2014Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), July 6, 2014
How quickly should we move from the literal to the allegorical, figurative or spiritual meaning of words in the Bible? There is no one answer, for in reading the Bible sometimes the literal meaning of a word or a passage is indeed the spiritual meaning itself; at other times, the literal reading grounds a separate spiritual or allegorical meaning; and at still other times, both a literal and figurative meaning exist together.
June 9-16, 2014Body and Blood of Christ (A), June 22, 2014
Bodies need nourishing, whether it is an individual body, a corporate body or a spiritual body. We need to be fed with the food that sustains, that is most appropriate to each body. Historically we see the corporate body of Israel fed by God in the wilderness with the material stuff of manna, necessary for life, and the subsequent entry of the people into a land of physical abundance.
June 9-16, 2014Holy Trinity (A), June 15, 2014
The apostle Paul would not have been able to define the Trinity, yet he was able with ease to describe the activity and presence of the three persons of the Trinity. While propositions about God are significant, it is the experience of God that led to the nascent formulations of Trinitarian thought.
May 26-June 2, 2014Pentecost (A), June 8, 2014
The Acts of the Apostles presents a reverse Babel at Pentecost, when the confusion of tongues described in Gn 11:1–9 is transformed into understanding among the earliest disciples of Jesus, who find themselves speaking “other languages.” The confusion of tongues at Babel gives to us an ancient etiology for the separation of peoples into linguistic groups, but Acts twice says that bewildered onlookers heard Jesus’ disciples “speaking in the native language of...
May 26-June 2, 2014Ascension (A), June 1, 2014
One of the overlooked aspects of Jesus’ ascension has to do not with the continuing materiality of the risen Lord or the “whereness” of Jesus’ glorified body but with the earthly implications of the ascension for the church.