10/20/17 First Reading: Romans 4:1-8 – Some thoughts on Justification by Faith

Next Tuesday, October 31st, the world will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation.  It’s important for us as Catholics to attend to it. As I understand it, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk and scripture scholar, suffered terribly from scruples.  I’ve heard it said he went to confession every day, sometimes for […]

Special Report: What Can Catholics learn from the Reformation about the Human Quest for God?

Some of my good friends are Protestant. One of my sisters married one.  When I was studied theology in Berkeley, CA, we Jesuits hung out with the Lutherans.  Not so much the Franciscans or Dominicans.  Pretty much every Wednesday, we would gather at the Chesire Cat just north of the CAL campus for pizza and beer and […]

28th Sunday Ordinary Time – “Not Worthy…”

I didn’t believe it when I discovered that there are two Greek words used in the Bible for “worthy.”  Go figure.  The one we are most familiar with is hikanos.  Luke uses it 27 times in the gospel and Acts. Luke 3:16             John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize […]

28th Sunday Ordinary Time – “Called to the Marriage…”

“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.  He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come…” Matthew 22:1f The king called the guests to come to the marriage of his son.  This intro is laden with theological ramifications… Given […]

27th Sunday Ordinary Time – “It is Marvelous in our Eyes!”

Hypothesis: We really have only one way of relating to God, self, and others.  We employ our patterned responses to everything and everyone.  Thus, “the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone…” tells us that whatever and whomever we reject for whatever personal reason mirrors what we reject in Christ and in ourselves. Seems to […]

27th Sunday Ordinary Time – Something’s Changing…

It seems to me that this homily both revealed to me and confirmed in me the changes going on in me.  For about forty years, I have referred to myself as an Irish-Existentialist. And I am.  No two ways about it. I have borne that mantle with an edge these decades.  Yep. Grace is doing something new […]

27th Sunday Ordinary Time – Punchline

Everyone and Everything we reject becomes our cornerstone.  It is the Lord’s handiwork.  It is marvelous in our eyes! Jesus is The Intruder.  Here, he pokes his finger into the chests of the chief priests, the scribes, elders, and Pharisees when he cites Psalm 118.  God takes what has been rejected, despised, disdained, and makes […]

27th Sunday Ordinary Time – “Not in Our House!”

The game and corporate industry of football gives us an insight into what Jesus is doing in this gospel.  The home team protects its field, their turf, from intrusion by a foreign power.  It’s fans dress up to honor their heroes.  They wears their colors.  One mind.  One heart.  One intent: Victory.  You don’t come […]

26th Sunday Ordinary Time – Audio Reflections

One final, brief word study to offer a lovely image. Matthew makes this amazing connection with this passage and another key part of the gospel through the choice of the verb, proago, “to go into, to go before.” Matthew 21:31            Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, […]

26th Sunday Ordinary Time – “I Will Not Go… I Will Go…” Part Deux

Here is the most revealing mis-translation I have yet to find… ever.  The NRSV translates it thus: Matthew 21:29f           29 He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; […]

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