The Sign of the Feeding of the Five Thousand (first in a series on John chapter 6)

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: July 26, 2009
2 Kgs 4:42-44; Ps 145:10-11, 15-18; Eph 4:1-6; John 6:1-15

This past year, my assignment as a transitional deacon was at the Catholic Student Center at the University of Maryland, up in College Park. And one thing I learned is that, if you are going to hold any campus ministry activity and have students come to it, there is one essential element food. Up at Maryland they have their big Wednesday night dinners every week, and at committee meetings they have pizza, and on a weekend retreat they have a big table of cookies and chips and soda that they eat over the course of the weekend. And somehow they never gain a pound!

But it isn’t only campus ministries. Parents and those who teach children know how important their snacks are. And food is important in the life of an ordinary parish. (more…)

Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 6:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Priests: Shepherds after Christ’s own heart

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time: July 19, 2009
Jer 23:1-6; Ps 23:1-6; Eph 2:13-16; Mark 6:30-34

The world keeps looking for a shepherd. This is true on an individual level, where self-help books continue to be popular; and people may look to different talk show hosts or, more recently, seek out “life coaches.” And it is all true on a collective level. In the United States we see this every four years, during the presidential campaign: for in the president, far more than in other public offices, Americans look for a shepherd. And every four years, I find myself thinking of what I read in Plato’s Republic in college classes—because, in this longer dialogue written about 2500 years ago, Plato captured very well the challenges that every nation faces when it seeks a good leader, a good shepherd. (more…)

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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