A Question for You…

  October 31, 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. Wikipedia describes it thus: “On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther wrote to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, protesting against the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power […]

Roc Homily (FIN) – Thirtieth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

Exalt?  Humble?  Whaaa…?   How can we bear to be humbled?  To discover self-idolatry and then hand it over?  OUCH!   To exalt        Characteristics of self-exaltation: 1) forgetting God, forgetting one’s former state of humiliation because one has become self-sufficient;  2) self-idolatry, denying one’s vulnerability & mortality. Deuteronomy 8:13f — 13 and when […]

Roc Homily (c) – Thirtieth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

Can we endure being found out? This is one scary proposition. The Pharisee couldn’t look behind his own curtain to see that he damned others of the things he was hiding.  In his woundedness, he projected a pure, high-minded, righteous image: “Look, I am innocent, not like this unrighteous guy here.”  However, Luke tells us that […]

Roc Homily (b) – Thirtieth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

How does the gospel of Luke characterize the Pharisee? Better, what is there about the Pharisee that can help me see myself in order to help me pray with less pretense? Luke 18:9 (NRSV) — 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt… 11 […]

Roc Homily (a) – Thirtieth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

The Pharisee & the Publican: We sang the psalm, “The Lord hears the cry of the poor…” What happens to our prayer when we spend our lives trying not to be poor? This scene from “The Wizard of Oz” came back to me as I studied this gospel passage: “Pay no attention to that man […]

Roc Homily (c) – Twenty-Ninth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

A Parable for Today: God’s will for us to pray always There is one prayer, it seems to me.  It is “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”  In other words, we pray for repentance.  That would mean me and you praying for repentance in the midst of contemporary “scorched earth policy” made manifest in these […]

Roc Homily (b) – Twenty-Ninth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

Two Unsavory Characters It seemed to me that Luke’s choice and use of certain words reveal a surprising subtext – neither the judge nor the widow are models for us (!)  Here’s a look at just a few of the terms: The Widow: To pray = proseuchomai             Luke 6:28f  28 bless […]

Roc Homily (a) – Twenty-Ninth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

Intro: “the need to pray always…” The wordplay at work beneath the surface of the text in this parable opens our eyes to new horizons of interpretations… Luke 18:1f Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart – This shows that prayer has an edge to it as seen […]

Roc Homily – Twenty-Eighth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

The Ten Lepers & their drama Leper = alienated Leprous men = capable of betrayal & murder They approached him from afar = “from exile” / from alienation Samaritan leper was doubly alienated / outcast He gave thanks = eucharisteo (Jesus gave thanks for cup & bread at Last Supper) The one who was doubly alienated gave thanks […]

Roc Homily Part Deux – Twenty-Seventh Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

Unprofitable servants?!?! Wha the…!!! What was your reaction to being reduced from “Special” status? This is the passage from Luke I love to hate.  It uncovers my tried and true sense of entitlement.  “Look, I’m a St. Louis Jesuit for goodness’ sake.  What do you mean, ‘unprofitable servant’!  Don’t you realize how much I’ve done […]


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