To redeem and to save what was lost

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: August 28, 2011
Jer 20:7-9; Ps 63; Rom 12:1-2; Matt 16:21-27

As we celebrate this Holy Mass today, we all are awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Irene—which will bring strong rains and powerful winds, and will cause a lot of damage, especially along the coast. And we might think back three weeks ago, when we heard the Gospel reading about the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee at night, when a powerful storm came up, with great winds and waves that tossed their boat around and threatened their lives; and Jesus came to them, walking on the water; and then he calmed the storm.

The disciples knew about storms—and not just the storms on that sea. They knew about the great storms that we constantly face in this earthly life: (more…)

Let yourself be founded upon the Rock of Peter

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: August 21, 2011
Isa 22:19-23; Ps 138; Rom 11:33-36; Matt 16:13-20

Surely many religious founders through the millennia have asked their followers how their message was being received. They might have asked: “How are people responding to the way that I am showing them?” Or, “How are people receiving the revelation that I am communicating to them?” These are reasonable questions that we might expect.

But these are not the questions that Jesus asks in today’s Gospel reading. Rather, he asks: “Who do people say that … I am?” He directs their focus, not to his teaching, not to a way to be lived, not to a body of revelation to be believed—but to himself, his being. (more…)

Dios no tiene nietos: abrazar la totalidad de la fe viva

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XX Domingo Ordinario, Año A: 14 Agosto 2011
Isa 56, 1. 6-7; Sal 66; Rom 11, 13-15. 29-32; Mt 15, 21-28

La Iglesia es católica—que significa “universal.” Y esta verdad es una realización del gran plan de Dios para la redención del todo el mundo: que empezó con un hombre, Abraham, nuestro padre en la fe, y su familia; que expandió a los 12 hijos de Jacob, y a los 12 tribus de una nación, el Pueblo de Israel. Y unos de los profetas, especialmente Isaías, profetizaron la expansión del culto del Dios verdadero a todo el mundo. Escribió de todas las naciones confluyendo al monte de la casa del Señor. (more…)

A faith that can weather the storms

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: August 14, 2011
Isa 56:1, 6-7; Ps 67; Rom 11:13-15, 29-32; Matt 15:21-28

When you pray, do you ever get met by—silence? No answer comes to your question; no response to your petition. And it’s not that God isn’t answering anyone; in fact, maybe you see others around you being answered. But not you. Why not? Maybe you begin to feel that God just doesn’t like you very much; that he likes other people much better than you!

If you have ever experienced that, then today’s Gospel passage can speak to you. Because that might be how the Canaanite woman felt when she asked Jesus to heal her daughter; and in response he rebuffed her three times! (more…)

A veces Cristo nos llama a seguirlo dentro de la tempestad

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XIX Domingo Ordinario, Año A: 7 Agosto 2011
1 Re 19, 9. 11-13; Sal 84; Rom 9, 1-5; Mt 14, 22-33

Muchas veces pedimos en la oración, ¿no?, que seamos preservados de las tempestades de la vida. Que nosotros y los que amamos vivan libres del dolor, de las dificultades, del peligro, del cambio.

Pero lo que vemos en las lecturas del hoy es que, en los casos de estos tres santos, no se permitió que permanecieran en sus situaciones cómodas y seguras; sino que fueron dirigidos y llamados a unas sendas del cambio y de la dificultad. (more…)

The safest place in any storm

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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: August 7, 2011
1 Kg 19:9, 11-13; Ps 85; Rom 9:1-5; Matt 14:22-33

Does Peter’s response seem odd to you? In today’s Gospel reading, he says, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Is that what you would say to Jesus if you were in the same situation?

Well, what was that situation? The day had begun with the news that John the Baptist had been beheaded—which surely hit Jesus and many of the disciples hard, since they knew him and valued him. And they tried to withdraw to a deserted place to pray. But the crowd followed them there— (more…)