21st Sunday Ordinary Time – “the gates of Hell/Hades shall not prevail…”

“The gates of hell??”  Didn’t know they were that war-like.  Not even the gates of Mordor came out to battle.  Hmmm. There are a couple keys in this passage that help us a bit, I believe – púle and hades.  Matthew establishes a network between this passage and the following one.  Which gate? Matthew 7:13f   […]

21st Sunday Ordinary Time – “On this rock I will build…”

Jesus proclaims his church to be built on rock.  I offered a view of what “Church” means in this passage yesterday.  Today, let’s look at petra, “rock” and oikodomeo, “to build.”  Here again is our basic text: Matthew 16:18            And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build […]

21st Sunday Ordinary Time – “I will build my Church…”

Most Catholics and bunches of Protestants know that this is the text that the Roman Catholic Church goes to in order to buttress our idea of and practice of having a pope.  That’s what we do. I took a different tack and looked at one line in Matthew chapter 16 in order to at least […]

20th Sunday Ordinary Time – Who are “The Lost Sheep of Israel?”

9:00 am Mass Homily – Back to this again: Hurt people hurt people.  OR, the lost/perishing/murderous sheep of Israel hurt the shepherd and every one else. The key word is ‘apollumi, “to lose, destroy, kill.”  It establishes a network the points to a sub-theme in Matthew’s gospel.  Here’s how and where we find it.  Don’t be surprised to […]

20th Sunday Ordinary Time – Summary & Audio

Quick Summary: 1) The disciples took on a role of “sending people away” from Jesus.  2) The disciples also demonstrate spiritual Alzheimer’s by attempting to silence the Canaanite woman who “kept crying out after us.”  They forgot their own “crying out” after Jesus to save them on the stormy sea. This is the mirror that […]

20th Sunday Ordinary Time – Spiritual Alzheimer’s

Our mom died with Alzheimer’s back in ’89.  Many of us know the cruel nature of the disease.  We watch the person slipping away before our eyes even while the body remains intact, even healthy.  The personhood just goes away, as it were.  Vacant stare.  “Do I know you?”  Damn cruel. It’s an apt metaphor […]

20th Sunday Ordinary Time – Overview…

I do not get Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus in this gospel passage.  Bad hair day?  Ate the wrong food?  Got up on the wrong side of the bed?  I don’t get it.  So, I won’t address that. Nor will I address the persistence of the Canaanite woman.  Let’s call her Shirley. I now believe that […]

19th Sunday Ordinary Time – How did Jesus respond to the disciples’ situation?

So, today, here’s the whole story – Our situation as described implicitly and explicitly by Matthew PLUS Jesus’ response to our situation. Today’s a “share the audio day.”  So, let me know how it all works.  Blessings! –roc,sj  

19th Sunday Ordinary Time – Situated again with the Disciples & Peter

A couple final quotations to complete the picture of discipleship then and today. In the fourth watch of the night Jesus came toward them walking on the water.  Matthew makes a subtle but key connection with another part of his gospel by telling us it was night, nux.  Later, at the last supper, he speaks first […]

19th Sunday Ordinary Time – Situated with the Disciples & Peter

Peter not only steps out of the boat, but into the limelight for the first time, really.  He distinguishes himself as “the bold one,” the one to take the bull by the horns.  And more as we shall see. How does Matthew situate Peter in this story?  How does Matthew locate us with him?  Several […]


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