No sooner was the glory of the hour of the Baptism over than there came the battle of the temptations. It was the Spirit who thrust Jesus out into the wilderness for the testing time. The very Spirit who came upon him at his Baptism now drove him out for the test.
Friends, Leprosy is scary. True leprosy, what we now know of as Hansen’s disease, is a horrible disease that used to take anywhere for 7 to 30 years to kill its victims. In our day it can be treated but not cured, and many of the symptoms can be controlled through medication.
Every parent with more than one child has had the experience of turning to one of the children and saying, “Go get your brother for dinner”; and the child, without taking a step, turns and yells, “Tommy! Dinnertime!” And every parent always says the same thing: “Well, I could have done that!”
Jesus was about 4 months into his public life when the incident described in today’s gospel took place. By this time he had gathered his first disciples around him. He moved with them from Jerusalem (it was already dangerous for him there), through the alien land of Samaria, into Galilee.
As the Christmas and holiday seasons close, all of us, in some form or another, are trying to get back on track. Back to routines, resolutions, packing things away, and resume life as usual. It is a time to begin a new year and to renew resolutions and make new promises in the hopes to make this year different.
The Christmas season is over and now the children are back to school. We are getting back to normal, back to the ordinary life. The Church is also once again back to Ordinary Time; however, there is nothing ordinary about this season as it covers the whole of salvation history.
When we see a Nativity set we can immediately identify the key players: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds with their sheep as well as the obligatory cow oblivious to what is going on. We also encounter the three strangely over-dressed visitors who seem so out of place for such a humble spot. The song we sing calls them three kings yet that misses the mark.
When was the last time someone promised you something that was never fulfilled? … Or how many times have you made promises that you never kept? It seems to me that the readings during these days speak to us about promises… but promises that have been fulfilled!
“Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.” The Church proclaims these words in the refrain of the Responsorial Psalm for the Night Mass of Christmas. We hear these words each year and we are invited once again to ponder the mystery of God becoming one with us in Jesus.
What is time? Immediately, we understand time as cyclical. After the 59th second, it goes back to zero. After the 59th minute, it goes back to zero. After the 12th hour, it goes back to 1. After winter is spring, then summer, then fall, then back to winter and so on and so forth.
Rejoice always! Surely there are moments when rejoicing is very appropriate and comes to us spontaneously and naturally. But “always”? What kind of a world did Paul live in that he could say such a thing...
Do you personally like change? If asked, many people would probably answer “no” or “it all depends on what was changing.” That’s fair enough of an answer. But in all honesty we must admit that it is often the case that people, for whatever reason, generally do not like change. It often meets with mild to strong opposition...
Today, my nephew graduates from the Police Academy. A career as a police officer has been part of his dream since he chose to major in Criminal Justice in college… Coincidently, his graduation ceremony falls on the First Sunday of Advent and for us Christians this day marks a new beginning.
Today we celebrate the conclusion of another liturgical year. We have systematically celebrated the gift of God’s self-giving love to us humans, restoring us to a state wherein we can achieve the original Divine design for us … participation in God’s life of love.
The Gospel today has a play on words in English. A talent in Jesus’ time was a unit of coin of a large amount. A talent for us in English is of course the special gifts that God gives to each one of us.
The readings today provide an antonym between the Gospel’s message of rejoicing and the Second Reading’s message about grieving. Both are part of life and can be very close to each other. Today I may attend a solemn profession, tomorrow a funeral.
A quick glance at today’s first reading and gospel could lead us to declare this Sunday: Clergy Depreciation Day.
These readings offer profiles of ministry. Not all of these profiles are for our imitation, as you probably noticed. They are more a listing of what not to do, how not to act.
After silencing the disingenuous questions of the Sadducees, Jesus addresses the Pharisees whose question about the law was equally insincere. Although it is not expressed here, the follow-up of his response about loving God and neighbor is a warning to his hearers not to follow the example of the religious leaders, but to listen to the spirit of the law...
Flattery is excessive praise, usually employed to lower someone’s guard and make him vulnerable to being used or attacked. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is being set-up by a hostile group who hope to trap him in a maze of conflicting allegiances.
The reign of God is not so much about the menu as it about the guest list. Who can argue with the menu of juicy, rich foods and pure, choice wines? The first reading from the prophet Isaiah is a description of God’s great dream and hope...