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July 8, 2015

Readings: Am 7:12-15; Ps 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14; Eph 1:3-14; Mk 6:7-13

This Sunday officially falls within "Ordinary Time" on the liturgical calendar. But I suggest that we are living in times that are far from "ordinary"! Indeed, today's readings speak about extraordinary times - of prophetic challenge to moral conversion of heart and actions.

June 25, 2015

Readings: Wis 1:13-15, 2:23-24; Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13; 2 Cor 8:7-9, 13-15; Mk 5:21-43

"Can I interrupt? This will just take a minute." It never does. The question requires a much more complex answer. The grocery line is much longer than anticipated. The holes in the panel you were asked to hold up didn't match up with the screws. It never takes "just a minute." The interruption means more of a commitment than you were originally presented with.

June 10, 2015
Like a Mustard Seed. I once saw a simple pendant the size of a small marble. It was clear plastic and in the middle was a tiny mustard seed. I was, of course, reminded of the parable found in today's Gospel, and I wondered at the possibilities that this tiny speck might hold. But when you think about it, everything comes from some kind of tiny seed, even each one of us did. Cosmologists tell us that the universe itself developed from the tiniest subatomic particle. The marvel of it boggles the mind. Just imagine - all of that potential packed into something that is too small to be detected even with our most powerful instruments. This is precisely what today's readings would have us consider. With great poetic insight, both the reading from the prophet Ezekiel and the passage from the Gospel draw on the seed metaphor to demonstrate the astonishing miracle of natural growth and the equally astonishing mystery of hidden potential.
June 3, 2015

Today's Scripture readings: click here.

May 20, 2015
A Spirit Rally for the Church. So many customs and feasts of our Christian Catholic tradition are rooted in the customs and feasts of the Jews. Pentecost is one such event. In Judaism, Shavuot is the Hebrew word for "weeks" and refers to the Jewish festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai; this feast occurs seven weeks after Passover. Providentially, on the very day that Jews from around the world gathered in Jerusalem to reaffirm their commitment to the covenant with Moses, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples of Jesus to offer the promise of the new covenant to all who will believe (Acts 2:1-42). This new covenant is a matter of the heart, touched by God's Spirit, leading to a life fruitful in the praise of God.
May 13, 2015
When I was a kid, my family often watched the television show Mission Impossible on Saturday evenings. A movie version of this show was made in 1996, starring Tom Cruise and Jon Voight. I always liked the way in which the television show began. Viewers saw Peter Graves, as Mr. Phelps, on his way to some secluded location where he would discover a hidden tape recorder. The extremely serious voice on this recorder spelled out the mission that Mr. Phelps and his intrepid MI team were being asked to assume. It would say, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is ..." Viewers heard just enough of the message to get a sense of the mission, which usually involved thwarting some dastardly plot that would ruin civilization or blow up the world. At the end of the recording, the somber voice would tell us that the tape recorder was going to self-destruct in five seconds. And, sure enough, we would hear a "puff" and see smoke billowing out from the recorder. (I always liked that part!) Then we would see a series of snapshots of the Mission Impossible team springing into action as they prepared for their cosmos-saving endeavor.