Our Gospel passage and the Second Reading from the letter of St. James urges us to examine our lives for anything that is keeping us from loving God above all else. Jesus says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off… If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”READ MORE
Sometimes the Sunday readings bring peace and consolation. Other times they come as a swift kick in the pants. Today’s readings definitely fall in the latter category.
In the Gospel from St. Mark, Jesus begins to instruct the Apostles in what was ahead for Him – and for them. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” In Peter’s worldly way of thinking, Jesus should not have to suffer — and for that matter, neither should Peter.READ MORE
Today’s readings offer beautiful illustrations of two of the “Four Pillars of Parish Stewardship” — hospitality and service — and the joy that a life lived for others can bring.
Our second reading, from the letter of St. James, teaches that all are equally worthy of our hospitality. We must welcome and serve everyone who walks through our church’s doors, extending warmth and a dignified greeting to all. The person who wanders in late to Mass, who is not dressed to our personal standards, may be just the person who is most in need of Christ’s love. Sometimes we can offer that love simply with a smile and offer to come and sit next to us in “our” pew.READ MORE
In today’s Gospel from Mark, Jesus instructs us in the best way we can honor Him, teaching us the meaning of true worship. Jesus reveals that the way we truly worship Him is by giving Him our hearts. We also learn in this Gospel passage what our Lord does not want - the pious lip service that the scribes and Pharisees offer.READ MORE
“This is enough, O Lord! Take my life.” Talk about a bad day! Haven’t we all been through this at some point in our stewardship journey, whether in the parish ministry work we are trying to do, at home with our family or in our profession - we get worn out and worn down.READ MORE
In the Gospel from John, Jesus advises us, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” By calling Himself the Bread of Life, Jesus is telling us by what He says, how He acts, and in fact Who He is that He is the Word of God made flesh.READ MORE
Most are familiar with the scriptural quote from Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.” This passage serves as the Responsorial Psalm on this 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time because it supports the other readings with two key ideas: that we must place our trust in the Lord, and that we inherit life from our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.READ MORE
The First Reading from the prophet Ezekiel tells of how Ezekiel was called by God. The Lord speaks to him and says, “Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you.” God knew He was not giving Ezekiel an easy task, but that is part of what being called by the Lord sometimes involves.READ MORE
“Your abundance at the present time should supply their needs, so that their abundance may also supply your needs.” This is the fourth time in 2 Corinthians, chapter 8 that St. Paul addresses the issue of giving. What Paul is trying to explain is that the motivation for giving should be similar to God’s motivation for gifting us. In the passage which constitutes today’s Second Reading Paul says, “As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also.”READ MORE
Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (the Feast Day of the birth of John the Baptist). To say John the Baptist and Jesus were closely related and connected is an understatement.
Both were foretold by prophets, especially Isaiah. The only record of the birth of John the Baptist appears in the Gospel of Luke and it is at the heart of our Gospel Reading today. A key player in this event is, of course, John the Baptist’s father Zechariah. Zechariah was a Jewish priest, but when the Archangel Gabriel revealed to him that he would father a child, Zechariah refused to believe it. As a result, he was rendered speechless until John was born.READ MORE
You could buy a meal for a person who is hungry or for a person who just ate a feast. You could spend time with a lonely person or with someone who has more friends than you. You could step forward to join a parish committee that your experience and knowledge can help, or you can join a ministry where you will constantly struggle to figure out what to do. All of the above actions involve you giving and sharing yourself and your gifts. But not all of these actions will bear good fruit.READ MORE
In today’s First Reading from the Book of Genesis we hear the story of Adam and Eve and their sins, defying God. However, when God was present in the garden, the man and woman hid themselves. Adam responds to God’s question why in part by saying “I was afraid… so I hid myself.” Did he, do any of us really think he could hide from God?READ MORE
We have had three consecutive weeks of significant Solemnities -Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and now the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, better known by the name of Corpus Christi which translates from the Latin as the “Body of Christ.”
Clearly, this is a celebration which brings our focus on the Eucharist, which is at the absolute center of our liturgy, and at the core of our Catholic faith. We have mentioned many times that all revolves around the Eucharist when we receive the real Body and Blood of the Lord.READ MORE