The choice of faith

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Aug. 26, 2012
Josh 24:1-2, 15-17, 18; Ps 34; Eph 5:2, 25-32; John 6:51-58

This is our fifth and final week in Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, and we have come to the time of decision. Our Lord Jesus has done much and said much; and now it is time for his disciples to respond, to choose. Just as we heard in the first reading that Joshua had said to the People of Israel some 1400 years earlier, “Choose you this day whom you will serve”—so our Lord’s disciples had a choice to make.

The chapter began the day before, when our Lord Jesus miraculously fed the crowd of 5000 with just five loaves and two fish. And then, the next day, the crowd came looking for him. (more…)

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Recibir el amor de tal don

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XX Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 19 Agosto 2012
Pr 9, 1-6; Sal 33; Ef 5, 15-20; Jn 6, 51-58

Hace un siglo, el escritor Ernest Thompson Seton publicó un libro que incluyó una historia que vino de hace unas décadas. En la zona del Ártico, en un invierno, un grupo de indios algonquinos murieron de hambre—todos, menos una mujer y su bebé. Llevando a su bebé, ella empezó a caminar hacia un lugar donde podrían recibir ayuda. Llegaron en un lago, y allí encontró equipo, incluyendo un sedal; y hubo peces en el lago; pero no tuvo cebo. Y estaban muriendo de hambre. Por lo tanto, usando un cuchillo, la mujer cortó de su propio muslo una tira de carne, y puso su propia carne como cebo en el anzuelo, para coger el primer pescado. Y así ellos sobrevivieron—y siempre después la mujer tuvo una cicatriz en su muslo de donde había sacado su propia carne. (more…)

“My flesh for the life of the world”

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Aug. 19, 2012
Prov 9:1-6; Ps 34; Eph 5:15-20; John 6:51-58

100 years ago, the author Ernest Thompson Seton published a book that included a story from a few decades earlier. Up in the Arctic, one winter a group of Algonquin Indians all starved to death—except for one woman and her baby. She took her baby and set out to reach a place where they could find help. They made it as far as a lake, where she found some equipment, including a fishing line; and there were fish in the lake; but no bait. They were starving. So the woman took a knife and cut a strip of flesh from her own thigh, and used her own flesh to bait that hook and catch the first fish. And they survived—and ever after the woman always had a scar on her thigh from where she had cut out her own flesh.

This is a striking story. And don’t we instantly understand just how great a love that woman had for her baby? And how remarkable it would be to give your own flesh to feed someone you love? Or to be the recipient of that kind of love? (more…)

La vida verdadera y la respuesta audaz de Cristo

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XIX Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 12 Agosto 2012
1 Re 19, 4-8; Sal 33; Ef 4, 30–5, 2; Jn 6, 41-51

Cuando considero la lectura del Evangelio de hoy, veo una semejanza entre el intercambio de nuestro Señor Jesucristo con sus oyentes, y la situación del protagonista de una película norteamericana reciente que se llama “Moneyball,” o, en unos países hispanohablantes, “El juego de la fortuna.”

En esa película, el protagonista es el director general de un equipo de béisbol profesional. En el principio, pierde tres de sus jugadores mejores, y tiene solo una cantidad muy limitada de dinero para reclutar reemplazos. En esa situación difícil, está dispuesto a considerar e implementar un enfoque totalmente nuevo de reclutar y edificar un equipo ganador. Encuentra la resistencia de muchos, que piensan que es loco. Y, después de unas semanas de la temporada, cuando no pasa todo bien y muchos hablan de si él perderá su empleo, este director debe decidir: ¿Irá atrás a métodos más convencionales? ¿O implementará más plenamente estos métodos nuevos y radicales? ¿Cuál es el camino correcto para realizar sus propósitos? (more…)

Where is true life to be found?

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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Aug. 12, 2012
1 Kgs 19:4-8; Ps 34; Eph 4:30–5:2; John 6:41-51

What do you consider essential for living a life that is full and rich and the way that life is really meant to be? What makes you feel firmly founded; well supplied with what you need; and headed in the right direction? Or, if someone were to come to you and tell you that they are struggling; that they feel confused, directionless, hungry, cut off, dissatisfied, unhappy; and they ask you for advice: what would you counsel them? Where is true life to be found?

We can imagine a variety of answers that could be given to these questions. (more…)

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Ven al Pan de la Vida

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XVIII Domingo Ordinario, Año B: 5 Agosto 2012
Ex 16, 2-4.12-15; Sal 77; Ef 4, 17.20-24; Jn 6, 24-35

¿Por qué vienes a Misa esta tarde? Como la muchedumbre en la lectura del Evangelio, cada uno has viajado a este lugar—no por barca, como ellos, sino por coche, o quizá por andar. Y, ¿por qué has venido? ¿Buscas a Jesús, como buscaron ellos? ¿Dónde esperas encontrarlo? Y ¿qué esperas recibir de él?

En la semana pasada, oímos que Jesús alimentó milagrosamente a esta muchedumbre de 5000 hombres, sin contar las mujeres y los niños, con cinco panes y dos pescados, hasta que se saciaron. (more…)

Looking for Jesus

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Aug. 5, 2012
Exod 16:2-4, 12-15; Ps 78; Eph 4:17, 20-24; John 6:24-35

What brings you to Mass today? Like the crowd in the Gospel reading, each of you has traveled to this place—not by boat, but mostly by car, perhaps a few on foot. And why have you come? Are you looking for Jesus, as they were? If so, where do you expect to find him? And what do you hope to receive from him?

Last week, we heard about Jesus miraculously feeding this crowd of 5000 men, plus women and children—multiplying five loaves and two fish so that they could all have as much as they wanted. (more…)