Parables of the Kingdom I – The Sower and the Seed…

I thought I’d try this:  to publish my three homilies this week on the parables of the Reign of God from chapter thirteen in the gospel of Matthew. Here is the first.  “The Parable of the Sower and its Explanation”  

16th Sunday Ordinary Time – Bear Fruit!

This parable points to the fruit-bearing mission of disciples.  Really, it’s like the Parable of the Sower in a lot of ways.  There, we see fruitful and unfruitful earth.  In this parable, we see wheat (karpós, fruit) and weeds (unfruitful growth).  “Can’t have one without the other,” as the old song goes. So, what kind […]

16th Sunday Ordinary Time – Let’s talk about Enemies, part I

There’s something going on in Matthew’s gospel that has to do with family.  Just sayin’. And it has to do with this major parable.  Of all things!  Take what I offer here today with about a beaker of salt.  It’s exploratory.  Here’s the beginning of the parable: He put before them another parable: “The kingdom […]

16th Sunday Ordinary Time – An Hospitable Beginning

This week’s gospel will challenge gardeners who compulsively pull weeds and perfectionists who obsess about ordering every inch of space.  Killjoy warning: It’s about not pulling up weeds.  So, let’s ease into it all. The Greek verb that introduces the parable of the weeds & wheat (plus two others) literally sets the table for us […]

15th Sunday Ordinary Time – “Sown on the Path…”

The parable of the sower deals with discipleship as it is in terms of gain and loss, ‘win some, lose some’.  On the one hand, this interpretation speaks to the demands of perfectionism – “Get over it.”  On the other, it does not suggest laxity, rather a view of the regular and ongoing challenges to […]

15th Sunday Ordinary Time – “The evil one snatches away…”

Translating Matthew 13:19 opens a can of worms.  How ought we translate the Greek, ponerós?  Here’s what the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) does with it in the context of the Parable of the Sower.  The NRSV translates the word as “evil one” in a couple other places, too.  Yet, ponerós seems to refer to realities other than […]

15th Sunday Ordinary Time – On Getting It…

The Parable of the Sower and its explanation certainly takes up ‘space’ (Matthew 13:1-3) in the first gospel.  The picture of discipleship it offers has taken on a greater prominence during my study of it this past week. Let’s focus first on the transition between Jesus’ parable and Matthew’s application of it to his community […]

14th Sunday Ordinary Time – Seeking & Finding

I was quite surprised to weigh the value of the verb, “to find,” heurisko.  It draws so many themes in Matthew together into a network that adds insight to this passage from Sunday’s gospel. Matthew 11:29            Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle & humble in […]

14th Sunday Ordinary Time – “Come to me, all who are weary…”

I’ll lead into the post of my homily by highlighting two key words that I found just fascinatingly different from what I expected.  Here is the first. “Come to me…” The Greek, deuete, is most often translated, “Come!” There is one exception that seems interesting and that leads into an informed guess… Matthew 4:18f       […]

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