Sunday, July 28, 2013

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus teaches us how to pray, especially through his example. How often we have prayed the Lord's Prayer and prayed: "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." What a powerful line of mercy. Do we follow what it says to us? Our Gospel passage that we hear from St. Luke, points to the abundance of God's mercy. The Lord gives us what we need each day for our service to him. As the Lord's Prayer reminds us, we condition our reception of God's mercy on our willingness to forgive others. This phrase of the prayer should give a moment's hesitation to make sure that we really understand what we are asking. Every time we pray that prayer we ask God to forgive us in the same way that we forgive others. It is a pretty tall order. But it does make sure that our own attitude is aligned with God's. In him mercy and forgiveness abound.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The psychiatrist had one patient on the couch and several waiting outside the office. It was going to be another long day. The doctor asked the receptionist if she could stay late. Glaring back at him, she replied, "Sure, I can stay late if you will help me work through my feelings of anger and bitter resentment."

The Martha and Mary story in today's Gospel speaks of Martha's anger and resentment. Poor Martha, stuck in the kitchen all by herself while thoughtless Mary gabs in the living room with Jesus. How many times have we been in the kitchen with Martha? Jesus' message is for all of us. Take time to spend time with Jesus. Today if possible. Tomorrow may never come.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Where do we go when we are looking for God? Do we go to a church? Do we find God there in the silence among the worn pews and the scent of flowers and incense? Perhaps we find God in nature's cathedral - in the quiet forest, or the regal mountains, or by the sea. Some find God in between the notes of a symphony. Others find God in the complexity of the sciences, in biology, chemistry, physics. Still others experience God's presence in the rhythm of a well-tuned phrase or in a majestic hymn. In today's Gospel, Jesus invites us to find the presence of God in one another. Through the parable of the Good Samaritan who proved himself to be good, we are taught to seek out the presence of God not only in those we love, respect and admire, but also - and especially - in the poor and the victimized. When we minister to God's poor ones, we minister to God. Therefore, in our ministering, we must be aware that we are touching the very God who made them and us. Our compassion must be personal so that those we serve do not feel themselves a burden, but know themselves to be blessed. When we do all this we will truly have found God.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Did you notice the person one pew over in church today? Imagine the two of you going out together into the neighborhood around the church knocking on people's doors and bringing them good news. What would you say to someone when they came to the door? What could you tell them that would invite them to be a part of our church? This may seem like a radical thought, maybe even an important action. But this a part of our faith. In today's Gospel, we hear Jesus send out the call for evangelization. It is a call issued to all baptized Christians to bring the good news of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God to the world. Our Gospel story is not just a nice story about Jesus' companions in the past. It is also a commission to us, his followers today.