September 15, 2018

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows The principal biblical references to Mary’s sorrows are in Luke 2:35 and John 19:26-27; both are suggested readings for this Mass. The Lucan passage is Simeon’s prediction about a sword piercing Mary’s soul; the Johannine passage relates Jesus’ words from the cross to Mary and to the beloved disciple. […]

September 8, 2018

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary The readings today are somewhat confusing. They tell us nothing directly about Mary’s birth. The gospel passage tells us more about the character of Joseph than it does about Mary. Matthew’s genealogy that is part of the gospel chosen for this feast simply tells us that Jesus came from […]

September 1, 2018

“You wicked, lazy servant!” Thus did the master address the one-talent man. There are more one-talent people in the world than those with two or five talents. A talent was a huge sum of money in Jesus’ day. But such is the force of this parable that its transliteration into English has come to mean […]

August 25, 2018

The gospel passage today details another of Jesus’ criticisms of the Pharisees. He scores particularly their interpretation of the law and their love of titles and ostentatious display. It is doubtful that Jesus said exactly what Matthew gives us here. Most Pharisees did practice what they preached. In their zeal to observe the biblical laws, […]

August 18, 2018

“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” We are told that the disciples tried to prevent people from bringing their children to Jesus to have him bless them. I like Mark’s version of this story better. He tells us that when […]

August 11, 2018

“Why could we not drive it out?” The apostles were referring to their inability to cure the epileptic child (a better translation than “lunatic”). Jesus says that it is because of our lack of fath. Jesus goes on to state that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed, we could work wonders. […]

August 4, 2018

There is almost nothing inspiring in the life of Herod. And could there be a sharper contrast between two men than we have between Herod and John the Baptist? In John we see true courage and integrity. He was not afraid to speak to power, even though he knew the danger of confronting someone like […]

July 28, 2018

The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field.” Thus does Jesus begin another parable of the kingdom. What is confronted here is the problem of evil. Why is there evil in our world, in our own hearts, even in the church? I’m not sure that we […]

July 21, 2018

“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight…” Matthew here gives us an editorial comment regarding Jesus. He refers to the suffering servant song in Isaiah 53. Despite the opposition of the Pharisees, Jesus responds with patient gentleness. The hardness of heart of the Pharisees was prompted by Jesus healing […]

July 14, 2018

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” Three times in this passage we are told not to be afraid. There is a profound psychology in this plea not to fear. Jesus requires his disciples to face their fears, even in the face of persecution, torture or death. […]