5th SUN ORD – “Light in the House”

  So far we’ve seen that foolish salt needs to be thrown out (ballo).  And right eyes, right hands, stumbling feet (all that leads to sin), and unfruitful trees also need to be thrown out. Jesus’ continuing instruction (between chapters 5 & 7 and throughout) will teach us about both what unhealthy eyes look like and what healthy eyes look like.  [Literalists, beware!] […]

5th SUN ORD – “One-Eyed Christians???”

The brief selection from Sunday’s gospel creates a web of relationships within the gospel of Matthew itself and ties together significant bits from the Greek Old Testament.  The verb, ballo, “to throw out,” connects to Jesus other teaching about discerning action: Jesus teaches us to take which causes us to sin/be unfruitful/stumble/become foolish and throw it out.  So, […]

5th SUN ORD Time – “Salt of the Earth”

 What the heck does “salt of the earth” mean? Can salt lose it’s taste? Don’t think so, but it can become insipid. And that’s a tad closer to the meaning than what the NAB gave on Sunday. Too colloquial. Matthew 5:13      “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, […]

Roc Homily – Sermon on the Mount 3

Jim Flaherty, SJ, pastor at the Church of the Gesu, in collaboration with the liturgy team, confirmed our notion that it was truly right and just to show the following video from James Martin, SJ, Editor at Large, America Media. So following the conclusion of my 7 minute (!) homily, here it is. We saw this […]

Roc Homily – Sermon on the Mount situates us. (A) 2017

Perhaps we caught a glimpse of what “Poor” looks like in “Poor in Spirit.”  Let’s look at “Spirit” today. The Greek, pneuma, refers to two different realities – the spirit of God and the human spirit.  First, the human spirit (which calls out for conversion)… It ain’t pretty. Numbers 5:13f          …if a spirit of […]

Roc Homily (a) – 4th SUN ORD (A) 2017

Sermon on the Mount: Who made up the crowd Jesus saw before going up the mountain? Wounded people came to him then drawn by the promise of healing. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame […]

Roc Homily (b) – 3rd Sunday Ordinary Time (A) 2017

The significance of the sea in Matthew. A lot happens by the sea, on the sea, or in the sea in Matthew’s gospel.  Sunday’s gospel referred to the sea three times.  Unusual, eh?  Two main themes stand out: Both Matthew and the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament, present the sea as the symbol of everything that is opposed to […]

Roc Homily (e) – 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time (A) 2017

Here’s my first attempt at dealing with the meaning of “atonement.” The Oxford-English Dictionary defines “atone” as “making reparation for a wrong or injury.”  However, the medieval Latin word, adunamentum, means “unity” from an obsolete verb meaning “to unite.”  So, what sounded as a hip dealing with this concept in the 1970’s as “at-one-ment” is actually true […]

Roc Homily (d) – 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time (A) 2017

A few folks asked, “What’s all this about paying a debt?”  Here’s a shot at it before launching into John Calvin… Theologians throughout the ages have grappled with “Why did this happen?  Why did Jesus die?  What does it mean he died for our sins?”  This piece from Isaiah, read on Good Friday, seems to […]

Roc Homily (c) 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time (A) 2017

 St. Thomas Aquinas on Atonement… St. Thomas Aquinas considers the atonement in the Summa Theologiae into what is now the standard Catholic understanding of atonement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_theory_of_atonement For Aquinas, the main obstacle to human salvation lies in sinful human nature, which damns human beings unless it is repaired or restored by the atonement. In his section on […]

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