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 […]

The Place & the Case – Audio Homily for Transfiguration

  [Three booths at the base of Denali, 2013 – Roc O’Connor, SJ photographer] This first homily summarizes broadly what you saw here Monday & Wednesday – the place and the case.  How cool is that! Tomorrow I will post homily #2 which deals with The Face and The Case. Blessings today! –roc,sj  

The Transfiguration – The Case, The Place, & The Face I

I never thought I’d come up with a catchy title for a homily, but there it is.  The Case has to do with Peter, James, John, you, and me.  The Place is the mountain.  The Face… well, you get that. The Case:  Peter, James, & John are a case.  Yep.  Why did Jesus take them […]

The Parables of the Kingdom II – The Weeds and Wheat

Punch line: “How do we pray in a divided world in a divided country with divided hearts?”  Another way to put it is, “Why don’t ‘they’ resist the gospel?”  Better, “Why do we hesitate to receive the gospel fully? Why do we hold back?” This parable in chapter thirteen of Matthew deals with all these […]

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 – “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 […]

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