No complacency: Strive!

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Aug. 21, 2016
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Christ’s Ascension: reconciling us to the Father, advancing the Kingdom

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Ascension of the Lord, Year C: May 8, 2016
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Living in strange times

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Nov. 15, 2015
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The economics of the Kingdom of God

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32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Nov. 8, 2015
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Such treasure, such joy!

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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: July 27, 2014
1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12; Ps 119; Rom 8:28-30; Matt 13:44-52 (more…)

Destinados a dar mucho fruto

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XV Domingo Ordinario, Año A: 13 Julio 2014
Is 55, 10-11; Sal 64; Rom 8, 18-23; Mt 13, 1-23 (more…)

What kind of king is Jesus?

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Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year B: Nov. 25, 2012
Dan 7:13-14; Ps 93; Rev 1:5-8; John 18:33-37

In our Gospel reading today, it is the morning of Good Friday. Jesus had been captured and questioned during the night by the Jewish authorities—but, because they are not authorized to carry out the death penalty, they have brought him to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, seeking his execution. And so we hear Pilate’s initial questioning of Jesus.

He begins by asking, “Are you the king of the Jews?” And do you notice that Jesus does not answer this question directly? Instead, he asks Pilate a question: “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” Who is questioning, and who is being questioned, has been reversed. Now it is Jesus examining Pilate: his heart, his thoughts, his intentions, his identity. How ready is Pilate to accept Jesus as king? (more…)

Witnesses to joy

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Nov. 18, 2012
Dan 12:1-3; Ps 16; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mark 13:24-32

For the Secular Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) at their semiannual Profession Mass.

As we approach the end of this liturgical year, our Gospel reading today comes from the 13th chapter of the Gospel according to Mark—a chapter sometimes known as the “Little Apocalypse,” for in it our Lord Jesus prepares his disciples for what would be coming. Some of it would be coming just 40 years later, when Jerusalem would be conquered and the Temple destroyed by the Roman Empire, while some of the generation of his time were still living. Some would come beyond that, in the future; indeed, even now it has yet to come. (more…)

Rejoice! Jesus is coming soon!

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Nov. 18, 2012
Dan 12:1-3; Ps 16; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mark 13:24-32

At this time of year, the days are getting darker, the weather is getting colder; and our liturgical year is coming to its end. Today is the second-last Sunday of the liturgical year, and the last one in which we will hear from the Gospel according to Mark in this Year B of the lectionary cycle. And today we hear a portion of Chapter 13 of that Gospel, in which Jesus is telling his disciples what to expect in the future—so that this chapter is sometimes known as the “Little Apocalypse.”

And we notice that he cautions them: “Of that day or hour, no one knows.” (more…)

The child, the rich young man, and the eye of the needle

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28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 14, 2012
Wis 7:7-11; Ps 90; Heb 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30

“How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!” our Lord Jesus declares in our Gospel reading today. “How hard!” You didn’t think that it would be easy, and that everyone would automatically be entering heaven, did you? Because that is not Jesus’ message. As he says in a different passage:

“The gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matt 7:13-14)

And yet, in last week’s reading, immediately before this week’s passage starts, he welcomes the little children and says, “Do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” These form an interesting pair: the children and the rich young man in today’s passage. What is the lesson here? What does it mean to accept the kingdom of God like a child? (more…)