Monday, August 31, 2009

September 1, 2009

Tuesday of the 22nd week in ordinary time
Readings; Colossians 1: 1-8 Psalm 52: Luke 4: 38-44
Psalm response: " I trust in the mercy of God for ever"

Paul opens his letter to the Colossians with his confirmation of his insistant prayer for them and all persons in the Spirit. Always thinking of his Church communities, Paul recalls all the wonderful spiritual experiences he had with them as he brought the message of Christ.
Upon their first hearing of Christ's death and resurrection, the people of Colossae were just as confused as were most people of the unbelieveable facts as those in other areas of southern Turkey.
"How can this be?", they must have said. Paul was unable to show them his experience but his zeal in telling them of his own conversion by Christ was so inspired, they honored his words as truth beyond understanding but truth none-the-less!
We can have the same faith! If we contemplate the cross and the suffering He went through, so we could be free, it is almost impossible not to believe. Who would go through such human agony to insure our place with Him? Only God could die and be raised again for our salvation. He took our place; once for all!

In Paul's place, the psalmist extols the confidence needed to recognize God in Christ. Paul assuredly thanks God for all He had done for him; therefore, he could hardly be lax in his fervor for Him.

Once He escaped the plot of His hometown plotters, Jesus, still in Gallilee, visited Peter's home where his mother lay sick with a fever. His disciples thought suredly He would releive her suffering.
Christ, compassionate, scolded the demon of fever and it left her immediately to arise from her sick bed to wait on them.
We don't normally rebuke the devil as the cause of illness. Not because we're convinced it's an old wive's tale but we've been primed by the medical and drug community, it's a virus or another illness caused by germs. The underlying fact is we've dicounted the devil and we do not confidently call upon God to relieve us of the illness and rely on the medical 'experts' and drug supplies to alleviate the symptoms.
If we confidently, in Faith, rely instead on God, He will do for us as He did for Peter's mom!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Monday August 31, 2009 of the 22nd week in ordinary time

Readings:1 Thessalonians 4: 13-28 Psalm 96: Luke 4: 16-30
Psalm response" "The Lord comes to judge the earth."

Other Christian traditions which sprung from Catholicism, utilize these verses from
1 Thessalonians to "prove" the concept of "The Rapture". It seems to be the correct interpretation since it states, " Then those who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them(those already risen)to meet the Lord in the air.
How can you mistake the inference of "The Rapture"?
Paul, in his writings, used a form of literature prevelant in Christ's time, hyperbole! An exaggeration to make a point!
The context leading up to this phrase insists they are to be holy, without sin, especially sins of the flesh which was rampant in the pagan society.
Therefore, when the Lord's Day arrives, they who are still alive need not be afraid.The termination of mortal life isn't the end! Those already dead but not in sin will be judged first followed by the Holy Ones, the saints, will be brought before God and their final judgement. All found worthy will enter into everlasting life and be joined with those previously saved and taken into heaven.
So the message to us is, "lead a sinless life"! It's a short stay! Eternal bliss will be our reward!

The psalm introduces us to perpetual prayer. There is only one God therefore we are to worship and adore Him only. That means the aura of riches and success are earthly lures. They last only our short life! eternity is forever.

The journey to His native village was the "good-news/bad news" story of the day. When he came to Nazareth, His hometown, His reknown preceded Him.
In His reading from the scroll of Isaiah and His commentary gave them pause to wonder, "Who is this guy? Isn't He the son of Joseph and Mary our brethren? How about treating us to some of the exploits You performed in other places?"
When He saw their faith was lacking, He was precluded from answering their request for a magic trick.
However, they remembered His boyhood. "Perhaps He was with the gang of ruffians who vandalized the town when he was a kid", they ventured!
Their lack of faith in Him is just like us when we pray for healing and it doesn't come like we want or when we want.
Martthew says, "So, He couldn't do any of the works He did elsewhere"
If we expect God to do our bidding, we'd better become more like Him and depend on the will of the Father, as He did before He went to His death reluctantly!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I thought I was going crazy! I wrote these thoughts on a scrap of paper to write this blog today. However, I placed the paper on our dresser before retiring. When I dressed this morning and sat down before the computer I couldn't find the slip of paper. So, I scoured the area thinking it may have dropped on the floor or elsewhere. I returned to the bedroom to discover the slip in my shirt pocket?

The modern scientific world uses tangible evidence to convince us of the validity their claims.
It is as though they discovered a previously unknown principal or substance. Therefore,personally, deserve the benefits of the discovery.
Formal education?; Inherited genealogical attributes? Observation?
Perhaps one or all of these contributed to their successful enterprise!
No doubt, we all should have a modicum of pride in our accomplishments. However, how many of us credit any of those for our success?
We usually think we are somehow the source! After all hasn't the process evolved from previous failures? You have been the core of the solution. Therefore, you deserve the proceeds from the product.

The story of creation in Holy Scripture is a likely story, you say! We can believe that?
Faith is given every creature by God through the Holy Spirit. Consequently, if the long process of discovery has any order, we must grant, to some essence, the mind, the mythological elements of the story!

The author expresses the process of creation in phenomenological language, not to set out the tenets of belief, but to allow ordinary folk to fathom the depths of God's love for his ultimate creation, man!!
Upon reading the Priestly tradition of Scripture, all plants and animal life began from God. His call to increase and multiply was implied in the nature of plants and animals by the germination of their seed. Whether plant, animal or human being life begins with the seed at germination! Billions of seeds are produced by their source, however , most do not become full grown plants, animals and human beings by God's design.
One only has to look upon an acorn to imagine the massive structure's growth. How could it be? No scientIST, biologIST, or any other "IST", created any source, the seed!
All the machinations of Science have been able to mutate from God's original untold varieties. However, no one has instigated a new, unknown substance from non-existence.
The point is whether we are scientIST, or any other "IST", the ultimate "IST" is CHRIST!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Saturday August 29, 2009 of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Jeremiah 1: 17-19 Psalm 71: Mark 16: 17-29
1Thessalonians 4: 9-11 Psalm 98

Jeremiah's call wasn't in his plans! In fact, as a young teenager, he had the wherewithal to be a spokesman for God and the ability to withstand the onslaught of the leaders of Jerusalem, the Kings, priests and the people.
God called him. Therefore, He told Jeremiah to pull in his gut, gather his courage and if he lacked fortitude, to depend on God for He will be his backup and ward off all his foes.
God's clarion call was and is, "I Am with you"
If we persevere, God will be there in reserve when we falter, if we falter.

The psalmist calls on God to be his refuge in times of trouble. He depends on God and doesn't hesitate to confidently call on Him.

Paul urges his converts in Macedonia to increase their love for one another as a sign of their commitment to the lessons of God taught them by Paul. To show the proper attitude they should have, he designates them brothers and sisters implying the same felicity.

Herod Antipas, had arrested John the Baptist because he, John, had announced Herod's marriage to Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, was invalid.
When Antipas gave himself a birthday party, he invited many notable guests. When Herodias' daughter performed a dance for him, he was so pleased, in front of his guests, he offered her anything she wanted. Conferring with her mother, she was urged to ask for the head of the Baptist. She did what her mother asked! Herod was so embarrassed, having made a vow in front of his guests, Herod complied.

Friday August 28, 2009

Friday 8-28-2009 of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1Thessalonians 4: 1-8 Psalm 97: 1-12 Matthew 25: 1-13
Psalm Response: “ Rejoice in the Lord, you just”

In our society, by its immorality, the teachings of the Church has no basis in Scripture. Or else, they seem to ignore the validity of Scripture!
Therefore, if they read these passages from 1Thessalonians, they do not recognize the nuances of the original Greek, as though they have no meaning. Paul’s language is couched in terms that aren’t graphic as we would find in our ‘literature’, movies and TV.
Some interpreters ( Jerusalem Bible) phrase immortality in plain language; fornication.
Plainly speaking, Paul urges men, if they can’t control their urges, to “acquire a wife in holiness” not just for satisfaction but for God’s purpose.
Subtly, Paul tells his readers, not to engage in prurient practices, using and exploiting their brothers and sisters; implying improper acts such as homosexuality.
How do we control our subhuman appetite?
God imposes His consciousness on us through the Holy Spirit! However, we must apply His principles, not ours!

The psalm instructs us, like Paul, to be just, to rejoice in our holiness. The Lord loves those who disdain evil and loves with a pure heart. So, we can always rejoice in Him!

In this parable, our Lord is inferred as the expected bridegroom.
Half the pure in spirit, were prepared. The other five, not expecting Him, were elsewhere not waiting anxiously, when the Lord arrived. Therefore, they were excluded from the wedding banquet, symbolizing eternal life.
These messages of preparedness should give us pause to be so!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thursday 8-27-2009 of the 21st Week of Ordinary Time

Redaings 2Thessalonians 3: 7-13 Psalm 90: Matthew 24: 42-51
Psalm response; " Fill us with Your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy"

Paul encourges by the steadfast Faith of his Thessalonia Community relative to teaching.
He is chagrined he hasn't been able to visit them in person to witness their fidelity. However,the next best thing he could do was pray to Our Lord to open their eyes and heart to His creation and His sustenance.
Paul has given them the example of love by his love and prayers for them.
In our time, we try too often to rely on sensible evidence of God's love and when we don't see or feel it, we become morassed in the thought God doesn't care.
We must pray for the understanding no matter the sensibility, God never ceases to offer us His love. We must acknowledge His love by making sure ours is always available to others as His is to us.

We are urged, by the psalmist, to remember our time is not God's time. His is infinate, present and does not relate to ours in any recognizable fashion. We may sense our time in days, weeks and years. God's time doesn't accelerate or diminish, it just is!

The Gospel message is simple and straight forward. Be on the alert! Always ready; not for some bonanza of appreciation but ready for His call, all ways.

Wednesday 8-26-09 of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Readings: 1 Thessalonians 2: 9-13 Psalm 139: 7-12 Matthew 23: 27-32
Psalm Response: " You have searched me and You know me"

Paul never shirked his responsibility. He brought the entire message to these people. They knew instinctively of his paternal love for them as no one before or since he came gave of themselves without stint.
Not only did he bring God's message free of charge, he prayed for them unceaseingly, so they could accept the gift of Faith without any strings.
Paul knew his message was true. He personally received it through Christ while he was still was presecuting the Church.
So, when he proclaimed the Gospel, it wasn't a second hand proclaimion but truly a confirmed message of Christ's desire to have everyone become one with Him in Faith and Love!

The Psalmist continues his words of praise to God. He points out the omnipotence of God knowing from the womb, all our attributes and their certainty. God is the light in the darkness and a rescue from the afterlife of Sheol.

Christ rails again at the Scribes and Pharisees who profess they wouldn't have contributed to the death of the ancient prophets. Yet, here they are threatening Him with a capitol offence deserving of death.
They had built memorials to the dead prophets, however they could not or would not believe what they had foretold about God's anointed one.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

8-20-09 to 8-25-09

Thursday 8-20-2009 of the 20th week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Judges 11: 29-38a Psalm 40: Matthew 22: 1-4
Psalm Response: " Here am Lord , I come to do Your will"

This unfortunate occurrence seems strange to us. Jephthah"s vow to offer the sacrifice of whomever greets him in his return from God's sponsored victory was rash and contrary to Jewish Law.( Lev. 8: 21; 20: 2-5; Deut. 12: 31; 18:10;Psalm 106: 37)
In their association with the Amorites, the Israelites took up the practice of human sacrifice as they did in their practice of paganism.
Jephthah's only child dies a virgin! Therefore, there is no prodigy to succeed him as ruler.
Luke 1: 38 picks up on her words to show Mary's obedience when she is requested to be the Mother of Jesus, in spite of her virginity.
" Let it be done to me according to Your word".

Here I am Lord, I come to do Your will. The theme of the Psalm and response is total reliance on God and not idolatry. God doesn't seek offerings, human or animal but rather, a contrite heart.
Herod sorrowfully had John the Baptist beheaded because he made a vow!
Do we offer human sacrifice? WHAT IS ABORTION?

Christ's comparison of the wedding feast to the call to heaven alludes to the invitation to all, 1st the Jews, then the rabble, us!
We are the outsiders; Not knowing God and living disparate lives!
The lack of a "wedding garment" symbolizes the acceptance of the salvation offered; but, lacking the penance to effect it!

Friday 8-21-2009 of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Ruth 1: 1-6, 14a-16, 22 Psalm 146: Matthew 22: 34-40
Response: " Praise the Lord, my soul!"

Famine seems a habit among God's people. Naomi and her husband and her two sons venture to Moab, Israel's traditional enemy to elude starvation. Her male relatives all die; her tow sons had married Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. The famine abated and Orpah returned to her people while Ruth remained with Naomi stating, " Wherever you go I will go, your god will be my God and your people will be my people.
These famous words became the byword of many relationships.
Naomi's age precluded her from the possibility of conceiving from which her daughter could expect another husband.
Widows, especially old widows in the society of the time were considered expendable. Both Naomi and Ruth in returning to Bethlehem had little prospect of protection as would be theirs had their husbands lived. Naomi reluctantly allowed Ruth to join her and her kin.

Separate from the 1st reading, the psalm is an appeal and answer to the needs of orphans and widows in the society which generally lacked compassion on them.
God looks out for them!

Matthew 22: 34-40

Trying their hand at implicating Jesus in a blasphemy, they are thwarted by His answer.
Jesus plucked these two prime commands from the Torah to show His superior knowledge and to confirm the rule of Love superseding all love.
We would do well to emulate Jesus, thereby, dousing the fire of hatred all ways.

Saturday 8-22-2009 of the 20th week in ordinary time
Readings; Ruth 2: 1-3, 8-11; 4; 13-17 Psalm 128: Matthew 23: 1-12
Psalm Response: “ See how the Lord blesses those who fear Him”

When Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem, the famine had been replaced by a bounteous harvest. Ruth gets permission to glean from a field belonging to Boaz, a relation of Naomi’s husband. Boaz noted she was a relative and, therefore, under Levirate tradition he was eligible to pursue Ruth, if he were next in line to be able to claim her.
Suffice to say, after establishing his right, Boaz marries Ruth . She becomes the mother of Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The line of Davidic succession penetrates all the way to Jesus as the son of David, through Joseph and Mary.
In Matthew’s genealogy, Ruth, along with Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba, are gentile women who are responsible for the inclusion of Gentiles in God’s plan of salvation for all people.

‘Fear’ has the connotation of peril in our culture. However, in the Psalmist’s time, it meant ‘awe’, ‘honor’ and ‘adoration’.

In order to establish a line of succession for the Apostles when He had ascended. Jesus equates the Scribes and Pharisees as the successors of Moses; “taken the seat”.
However, the Scribes and the Pharisees laid burdens on the people by their interpretation of the Law while paying lip service to it, themselves.
Our heritage has an unbroken line of Popes from Peter to the present. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can be sure Christ’s gospel is upheld both in Spirit and truth for over 2000 years.

Monday 8-24-2009 of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Revelation 21: 9a-14 Psalm 145: John 1: 45-51
Psalm Response: “ Your friends make known O Lord, the glorious splendor of Your Kingdom”

Since we aren’t too familiar with the Old Testament, allusions to it are lost to us, when the New Testament writers use it to describe visions.
Thus, “The Bride” of the Lord uses the references from Ezekiel Chapters 40-47, as he describes the construction of Jerusalem in terms of its massiveness and its gates and ramparts.
The city of Jerusalem represents all those who believe, repent and are forgiven. They will be welcomed into God’s prepared mansions for them.

The psalmist the way John, God’s friend, will tell of His kindness1 God will welcome those who believe in Him and remain Holy. It will be glorious!

In the Gospel story, Philip, summons Nathaniel (Bartholomew) to meet Jesus of Nazareth . Bart discounts Jesus because He was born a Nazarene a hick town in Galilee. Bart is astounded by Jesus’ acknowledging him from Jesus’ vision of him under the fig tree before he ever met him.
Jesus knows each of us from our conception. Our immortal souls are entwined in Him. If we remain faithful.
Bartholomew went on to proselytize in India and suffered martyrdom for the sake of the Christian message.

Tuesday 8-25-2009 of the 21st Week in Ordinary Tiime
Readings: 1 Thessalonians 2: 1-8 Psalm 139 Matthew 23: 23-26
Psalm Response: “ You have searched me and You know me!”

Paul reminds the Thessalonians of his problems in Philippi where he was brought before the Roman Court because he was teaching of the one God in an area wrought with many pagan gods.
To confirm his sincerity, he refuses remuneration, to which, as an itinerant preacher he was entitled.
Rather he was only interested in their salvation, not personal aggrandizement. He poignantly shows his concern for them by describing himself to be like a nursing mother, concerned for heer baby, not herself.
Paul leaves us with the example of tenderness to emphasize his hope for them. He is willing to forsake personal gain to have them share in the good News.

The psalm is one of my favorites! It depicts the love of God aas caring for individuals as though they were the only one!

Christ is miffed at the Scribes and The Pharisees. Although conceding they were the rightful successors of Moses, they applied the letter of the Law to their constituents while paying only lip service to their own obligations.
When we profess our faith but, by our actions deny its proper application, we are the Scribes and Pharisees of the here and now!
Woe to us, if we do not turn ourselves around and, like Paul, we don’t accept revilement from those who oppose our faith!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Monday August 17, 009 of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Judges 2: 11-19 Psalm 106: 34-40, 43-44 Matthew 19L 16-22
Psalm Response: “ Remember us Lord. As a favor to Your people”

Joshua had hardly been assigned, by God, to shepherd His people when, with itching ears they succumbed to the example of the inhabitants of the land the Lord had given them, and began to imitate them by honoring and adoring their gods.
They offered sacrifices to Baal and Ashtaroth, putting these statues and idols on the same plane as their God.
God had it up to Here!
Therefore, when in the past, they fought against superior numbers, and they were vanquished, they assumed an attitude of vainglory as though they accomplished the task without help.
As a result, God let them have their way and without His intervention, they were always defeated.
We don’t have false gods made of metal, stone and wood so we think we’re immune to idolatry. However, our false gods do not have a physical form. Rather power, prestige and prosperity are our effective gods.
Don’t give in to the love of success. The only success worthy of note, is the attainment of our final goal, our perpetual resting place with Him!

The psalmist reminds the people of their disobedience to God’s commands. They were to put the conquered people to the ban, extermination.
We would think it heinous to do so. However, God’s order is not a suggestion. He was aware the lives of the conquered people are precious in His sight.
Who are we , with our limited vision, to know His plan for them or us!

The young man in the Gospel story probably followed the Law to a fault. He was trying to justify his life by confirming his compliance with the Law. Jesus extends the Law to perfection. “Sell your wealth and distribute the proceeds to the poor. Be perfect as your heavenly Father!”
Crestfallen, the young man couldn’t or wouldn’t comply with God’s request and went away sad because his wealth was vast and he enjoyed his leisure.
God offers us the same alternative to our lives. We may not have untold riches but what we have, time, talents and know-how could be expended to help someone in need.
How? Volunteer!

Tuesday August 18, 2009 of the 20th Week in Ordinary time
Readings: Judges 6: 11-24a Psalm 85: 9, 11-14 Matthew 19: 23-30
Psalm response: “ The Lord speaks peace to His people”

After Joshua until the monarchy was established in Samuel’s time, the tribes of Israel were governed by Judges. There were twelve in all, representing the number sons of Jacob and their tribes.
We may remember Sampson, who was like superman, but the rest of the Judges were not of note.
In this periscope, Gideon, was the judge over Israel. He wasn’t a formidable personage and even considered himself a weak unable leader.
The angel of God,( a synonym of God’s presence) appeared to Gideon and instructed him to attack the Midianites. Gideon was aghast! He protested he wasn’t the one God should use to extricate the Midianites from their land as he was the weakest of all the Israelites.
However, after many protests, God told Gideon, “I will be with you”!
Since Gideon wasn’t too sure of himself, he asked God to be with him always and especially when he returned to the place where he had been instructed to attack.
God assured him and Gideon went ahead and defeated the Midianites despite their superior numbers and his own fraility.
Gideon returned to Ophrah, ( not The Oprah) prostrated himself and offered a sacrifice, built an altar and worshiped God.
We always think we’re too weak to do marvelous acts for God. If we just pull ourselves together and realize God is always with us when we endeavor to be His messenger in charity and love of neighbor, we can become the Gideons of our generation. We will not be called upon to defeat a multitude of the enemy, but, we will have the grace of God with us in our attempts to be Him.

The psalmist harkens to the word of the Lord. He seeks peace, hope, truth and justice. He confidently expects to receive his request for his God has told him he would.

If you’ve ever seen the gate known as the “eye of the needle”, you would recognize Jesus’ reference to it. The entrance is arched in shape and built low to the ground.
Jesus makes the point of the difficulty, not, the impossibility.
When His disciples worried about their lot since they had given up homes, wives and
fortune, for His Kingdom, Jesus assures them, they can’t even imagine the treasure
awaiting them in the eternity He has promised..
We are also the heirs of this Kingdom as He has promised. The worldly treasures will
pale compared to the eternity of happiness with the Lord.
God will not be outdone! We can depend on it.

Wednesday 8-19-2009

Wednesday 8-19-2009 of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Judges 9: 6-15 Psalm 21: 2-7 Matthew: 20: 1-16
Psalm Response: “ Lord in Your strength the king is glad”

The symbol of the myth of the trees asking for the Olive, Fig and Grape Vine being implored to reign over the other less noble trees, Abimelech was the least of the tribesmen of Gideon. Yet, Abimelech was consecrated King over the people and treated them as the Buckthorn tree treated the less honorable trees who selected it over the objection of those who refused.
In other words, they selection of a leader was without the sanction of t God.
When despots and tyrants replace rightful heirs, the people suffer the indignities imposed at their whim.
We should select our leaders based, not on their rhetoric, but on their experience and justice.

The Gospel selection would have been anathema to the Union Leadership of today.
In Jesus’ time, day laborers were hired and offered the usual days wage for their efforts on behalf of the owner.
To pay the first hired the same wage as the last seemed unfair to us whereas the customs of the time allowed the owner to determine the pay.
The point of the story was to place God in the role of the owner. Therefore, those who were always just received the same reward as those who repented in their last breath.
After all God’s prerogative in paramount not ours. We will be adequately rewarded for our actions both good and bad.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sunday August 16, 2009 the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Date: Sunday August 16, 2009, 20th Sunday Ordinary Time
Readings: Proverbs 9:1-6 Psalm 34:2-7
Ephesians 5:15-20 John 6:51-58

Ya' hadda be there!
We've all heard this expression many times. It is used to emphasize the impossibility of really "Knowing" another's sensibility. We can't really know how someone hurts or feels. Even if we experience the same or similar bone fracture or sociological trauma, it's just not the same as the other guys. John is writing toward the end of the first century to his community of 3rd or 4th generation of Christians. They probably weren't too familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures. Therefore, they, like we, needed some commentary. This 6th Chapter of John was written after Mark, Matthew, Luke and 1st Corinthians, all of which has d narratives of the institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. John may have thought it, the Eucharist, should be the focus and fact of the Christian experience. So, he focused on the reasons his community should believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament. Chapter 6 begins with the multiplication of the loaves and the feeding of the 5000. John shows his community, HOW, Jesus Body and Blood could be multiplied. "God said, and so it was!' (Gen.1) Then John has Jesus proclaim the absolute necessity of eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood. John is writing retrospectively about the reaction of the Jews in Jesus time. They responded to His declaration with horror! Eat Human Flesh!!! Drink Blood!!! Both were forbidden by the Law of Moses as sinful! Wisdom, who was there when creation occurred, is telling us in Proverbs, to eat and drink what she has put before is. But, don't stop there! Fill your hearts and minds with the things of God, so you can better understand what Christ asks of us. Eat My Flesh- Drink My Blood indeed!

The Ephesians were enjoined by Paul, "don't be fools, be thoughtful men; make the most of the NOW; learn all you can and avoid the pitfalls of sin. Don't drink! Otherwise your brain gets dulled and you do things you wouldn't normally.

The Psalm implores us to keep God always in our thoughts. If we do, we, then, have to consciously obliterate Him from our thoughts to commit sin. We would then be grievously damaged. However, call out to Him; He will provide the strength we thought we didn't have.

Jesus doesn't back off from His proclamation. The Jews didn't like the idea of His claim to have been sent down from Heaven. "That would make Him God!" They liked it even less, when He told them to eat his Flesh and drink His Blood. In order to make His statement more emphatic, the repeated word, translated "FEEDS", four times. Some translators use the word "eats". But the original Greek has a crude way of expressing His word. "Gnaw or Munch" is a much more graphic translation and, therefore, not easily sloughed off by those who are a bit queasy. Jesus meant what He said and said what He wanted His hearers to hear and understand. Chewing entails having some substance to gnaw or munch on. We must remember the last supper command, "This is My Body, this is My Blood" and, "Do this in remembrance of Me" If Jesus wanted to temper His words," Eat My Flesh Drink My Blood", He could have said," Gee, fellows, I didn't mean My Flesh and My Blood". However, HE DIDN'T and WE SHOULDN'T!

Friday, August 14, 2009

August 15, 2009 The Assumption

Saturday August 15, 2009 The Feast of The assumption of Mary
Readings: Revelation 11: 19; 12: 1-6, 10 Psalm 45: 10-12, 16
1Corinthians 15: 20-26 Luke 1: 39-56
Psalm Response: “ The Queen stands at Your right hand, arrayed in gold!”

1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.

The feast of the Assumption of Mary, the mother of God often is a source of derision by those who demean Jesus’ mother. They assert the Bible, literally, is their guide! Yet they ignore some of the literal explanations, in the Bible, confirming her role in the event of Christ’s salvific actions and His role on her vocation as His mother. There are many passages in the Scripture asserting God is the creator of everything and that He precedes everything He created. He also knew from the beginning what His plan for mankind is and He saw to it nothing inordinate occurred.
Moses wasn’t aware of the final mercy of God. Elijah wrote of the coming of the Lord but he didn’t know how it was to come about. Yet, they were there when Jesus transfigured Himself, Assumed into heaven preceding His mother as the Church has taught since the beginning of Christian History.
If you can read the above scripture passages literally, who else is depicted, also in heaven,. But Mary, the Mother of God?

1Corinthians 15: 20-26
20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the first fruit; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him. 24Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For He must rule until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Paul’s theology explains the origin of our salvation. “Adam”, the first man, through his disobedience is the cause of physical death. Christ, also a man, by His sacrifice of His Body by death, destroys not only the cause of death by the forgiveness of our sins, He, as the first fruit of the Resurrection imparts, to us the necessary seed of our tree of life. Thereby, we become the first fruits of His action on our behalf.

Luke 1: 39-56

Mary Visits Elizabeth
39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
Mary's Song
46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers."
56Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned ho

Imagine the discomfort of Mary, a young maiden, pregnant with the Baby Jesus by the offer of God through the angel Gabriel, traveling about 45 miles, uphill from Nazareth to Judea where Elizabeth lived to offer her services.
There the first instance of the Holy Spirit, after He overcame Mary, was at the house of Elizabeth. Her voice of welcome acknowledged the presence of the Holy Spirit in the form of John’s leaping for joy at the prospect of the presence of so Holy a messenger coming to visit his Mom.
Elizabeth recognized Mary’s Blessedness and told her so!
Mary’s reply, her Magnificat, he praise of God’s providence and favor resounds throughout Christendom when thousands of religious and lay people recite it at the evening prayer of the Liturgy of the Word.
Who would have the effrontery to deny her “favor of Grace” when the Bible clearly titles her so.
As His lowly servant, she took on the joy and the sorrow, because it was the will of God.
He highly favored her. We should too!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thursday August 13, 2009

Thursday August 13, 2009 of the 19th Week in Ordinary time
Readings: Joshua 3: 7-11, 13-17 Psalm 114: 1-6 Matthew 18: 21-19: 1
Psalm Response: “ALLELUIA”

When God separated the Reed Sea to allow the Israelites to pass on dry land, forty years had passed and though the people knew He was with them on their journey, they also thought the separation was a singular event
To indicate the passing of the realm to Joshua, Moses, at God’s direction, placed his hands on Joshua’s shoulder to signify the passing of the authority of God to His servant.
When the survivors reached the shores of the Jordon, perhaps they wondered how they were to transverse the Jordon. None of them had witnessed the Reed Sea separation but they heard the stories from their ancestors.
Lo, an Behold, God spoke to Jordon to affirm his authority by instructing him to have the Ark of the Covenant brought to the river’s edge. When the priests assigned to carry the Ark did what they were told, the river backed up from its flow and formed a wall of water while the Israelites crossed on dry land. Thus they knew God was with them and with Joshua.
We haven’t seen any such magnificent gesture in our life time. However, God is still in charge. He might at any moment, have had it with the “culture of death” and put them to the final test before He proves to them Who’s in charge!

The psalmist recalls the miracles of the ancient tribes and asks us to consider the means at God’s hand to do what He Wills at any time.

Peter wanted to know, since he and the disciples had been given the right to forgive sin, how lenient should they be. Surely seven times should be sufficient?
However, Jesus says seventy times seven! In other words forgiveness is to be limitless!
To further show the mercy He expected of His disciples He stated a parable.
The servant of the King had an infinite debt which no one could repay. The King forgave the whole debt. Then the forgiven came across a debtor of his own who owed him a pittance but was recalcitrant to his debtor, throwing he and his whole family in prison
‘til the debt was paid.
On hearing on the injustice, the King recanted his forgiveness and threw the wicked servant in jail forever.
There are several lessons in the story and parable.
One: forgiveness isn’t to be withheld from the penitent!
Two: we are to forgive as we are forgiven!
Three: God, the Father can withdraw the forgiveness He had given, if we do not forgive as He would.
So don’t think your bedside confession will suffice to get you a free pass. Forgiveness begets forgiveness!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tuesday August 11, 2009

Tuesday August 11, 2009 of the 19th Week of Ordinary Time
Readings: Deuteronomy 31:1-8 Deuteronomy32: 3-4, 7-9, 12 Matthew 18: 1-5, 10, 12-14
Psalm Response: “ The portion of the Lord is His people”

Before Moses went to his reward, he named his successor, Joshua, who would lead the nation of Israel into the land beyond the Jordon, overcoming it by God’s direction and order. Israel was the only nation in the world which honored the monotheistic tradition. The rest of the world served all sorts of gods, made of wood and stone and other materials. They adored them and sacrificed to them as though they breathed and felt and lived. God had deigned they were idolaters, and since they denied Him, He denied them.
Moses had been instructed to name Joshua his successor and before he slept with his ancestors, Moses conferred his authority upon Joshua. This was perhaps a foretelling of the successorship tradition later used by the Apostles to perpetuate the priesthood of Christ.

The psalm proposes the “Rock” as its leader; to be infallible. Paul, in his letters often referred to Christ as the “Rock”. Christ Himself selected Peter, the Rock” to be His Vicar when He was not physically present. Peter, in his turn had several members of the Church as his successor but they allowed the Holy Spirit to make the actual selection down to the present Vicar Pope Benedict XVI.

Christ selects a child as the example of pure faith to indicate who would be the leader or the greatest in His kingdom. The disciples thought He would select someone from their number. They were shocked He would name a child. However, He was using metaphor to indicate the attitude necessary to become a leader among His people. When we are child- like in our actions, that is, trusting and not faithless, we are the example He wants to carry out His work. He depended on His father for His power. We are expected to depend on Him for our direction and purpose!

Monday August 10, 2009

Monday August 10, 2009 of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Deuteronomy 10: 12-22 Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20 Matthew 17: 22-27
Psalm Response: “Praise the Lord, Jerusalem”

Moses begins his dissertation by re-saying the words of previous writings to impress on the people of Israel, their God meant what was said in the beginning of their venture and His continuing providence.
When Jacob (Israel) journeyed to Egypt for grain when famine struck the land, he took with him his sons and their families numbering 70 people. Now, they consist of hundreds of thousands and are the heirs of the land which their God had given them.
Why were they so special? They were the prodigy of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with whom He had made His covenant to remain with them always.
However, a covenant is a two way street! If they had kept up their end of the bargain, perhaps His plan of salvation would have come through Judean Tradition. They rebelled against His Son and we replaced them as the heirs of the Kingdom of God.
If the Jews could be supplanted; who do we think we are? It is up to us to make the rest of the world cognizant of their peril if they do not take His words seriously.
Do your part by imitating Christ in everything as He is the creator of everything.

We can start by taking the words of the psalmist and placing them permanently on our heart.

The request of the toll takers for the tax on foreigners is replied to by Jesus when he has Peter, the fisherman, toss in a line and remove from the first fish a coin worth twice the normal tax. Jesus obviously didn’t want to accelerate His prediction of His death. So not to stir up emotion He had Peter pay the Tax; although as citizens they weren’t really required.
Every Sunday, we attend the celebration of the Eucharist. During The “Offertory” the ushers pass a basket to collect our ‘Offerings’. Do we give generously to support our Church and our Pastor’s work or do we chinch and pay lip service to the tithe God requires?
The measure of our generosity will be determined when we come face to face with the One who judges.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Saturday August 8, 2009

Saturday August 8, 2009 of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Deuteronomy 6: 4-13 Psalm 18: 2-4, 47, 51 Matthew 17: 14-20
Psalm Response: “ I love You Lord, mu\y strength”

The “Schema”, the prayer all Jews pronounce on many occasions is the ‘creed’ of Israel was given them by Moses just before they were to enter into the land God had promised.
Had the Jews put into practice, the tenets of the prayer, God would not have had to send His Son to die for the sins of mankind.
Leviticus 19:17 completes the ordinance from God. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.
Jesus confirmed these two as the greatest commandments of God. All we need do to make a perfect world is put them into practice.

The psalm only reiterates the readings. If we proclaim and practice the simple commands, no need will be found for civil laws, constitutions or governance by any group or organization.

Why weren’t the Apostles able to free the man’s son from Satan’s grasp? Jesus answered them and us. We need an undying Faith. We can’t be weak or willy-nilly. Assert your Faith at every opportunity. You may be, unconsciously, the catalyst needed for some poor soul to come to grips with his Faith and joins us in the only True Church.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sunday August 9, 2009

Date: Sunday August 9, 2009, 19th Sunday Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 Kings 19:4-8 Psalm 34:2-9
Ephesians 4:30-5:2 John 6:41-51

Elijah is downhearted. He had just defeated over 400 prophets of Baal and shown who GOD really was. He was recognized in all Israel (the Northern Kingdom) as the spokesman for God. Still the leaders of the Jews, the royalty and the priests prostituted themselves by also recognizing pagan gods and offering sacrifices to them. So, hungry and thirsty, Elijah laid under a broom tree and waited the death he had asked of God. However, God wasn't finished with him yet. God sent His angel to supply his need for food and water, so, he could complete the task set out for him.
Did you ever want to throw in the towel? Here you are, languishing, in a life, not of your choosing. It must be frustrating! However, like Elijah, God isn't finished with you. Perhaps this is the Rest and Recreation ( R & R) you needed to do His will. Recreation isn't JUST a fun time! It is a time to recreate your heart and mind so it conforms, not to your will, but, to God's.
The Psalmist reminds us who God is! We are to praise Him; Glorify Him. Those who know Him not will notice our devotion and may be moved to imitate us in holiness. God's angels surround us all the time. We can't see them because they are Spirits; however, they are always there as God's messengers feeding us with our needs and God's solutions for our disheartedness.
We can all imagine, when Paul was with the Ephesians forming the Church there, how he was careful teaching them to be imitators of Christ, as he was. Give up the customs of old! Bitterness, anger, unforgiveness are not Godly qualities. Malice brings only invective, causing estrangement from each other. Become like the image of God as we were created. Leave the un-virtues and put on love, compassion and caring. You may say to yourself, "That's work!", or, "I really don't think it'll do much good".
When Christ revealed Himself as the Bread of Life and without which life is nonexistent, His hometown neighbors, knowing Him from His youth and family, figured all His talk was a figment of His crazy imagination. After all, everybody, including His Apostles knew eating human flesh was cannibalism, contrary to the law, and, drinking blood was a strict No-No! (Lv. 6:26-27) So, the conclusion of Jesus' discourse on eating His Flesh and Drinking His Blood didn't go too well with some of His disciples. Some of them split from His Company. Others remained but were at a loss to explain what He meant until their minds were opened in the Resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Our Prayer should be for discernment of His meaning. The consecration of the Bread and Wine into the Body and blood of Christ, by our Priests, is not physical. However, the essence of God is truly present to us who believe. The discernment needed to understand this mystery is acquired by prayer and faith.

Friday August 7, 2009

Friday August 7, 2009 of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Deuteronomy 4: 32-40 Psalm 77: 12-16, 21 Matthew 16: 24-26
Psalm Response: “ I remember the deeds of the Lord”

Moses began his discourse on the past by reminding the people of the great wonder of their God. He wasn’t some statue or an imaginary god; He was God, the Almighty One, and the Savior of the Hebrew Nation.
No other country was able to see and hear of their gods. They were mute and had no ears so they couldn’t hear.
“Our God not only presents Himself to us in the fire and smoke but speaks to us from the fire and smoke to let us know His plans for us and the world.”
No other nation ever heard from their god. None was brought out of the slavery of another country by sheer power of His word; nor, did any other nation, no matter how strong, resist the power of the Hebrew Nation led by their GOD INTO THE LAND WHICH WAS His creation, therefore, He could do what He willed with it.
He is our God also. He hasn’t lost any of His ability to save nor to provide for our welfare no matter the obstacles. We must realize His presence and His purpose. Thank Him all ways, always.

When the psalmist says, ”I remember His deeds”, he not only recalls but puts himself in the picture as though he were there when God performed His marvelous deeds.

Jesus, in His charge to His disciples in a paradox tells them they must save themselves by losing themselves. In a way, the only way is through Christ. He showed us the way by giving up His mortal life to take it up again in three days. Perhaps the three days is symbolic of the term we must wait before we are judged to be eternally brought before God to determine our role at His disposal.
When Jesus says some will not taste death, He is speaking of some of our ancestors who will be present when He comes again to bring them to Himself at the time of the tribulation.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thursady August 6, 2009

Thursday August 6, 2009 of the 18th Week of Ordinary Time
Readings: Numbers 20: 1-13 Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9 Matthew 16: 13-23
Psalm Response: “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts”

After they had rebuked the Lord and Moses by refusing God’s order to attack the Canaanites and possess the land which He had given them, they were relegated to spend the rest of their days in the desert.
They continued their railing against Moses and God because they assumed they would have plenty to eat and drink, although under the thumb of the Egyptians.
God heard their plea of thirst! So, while Moses and Aaron prostrated themselves at the entrance of the meeting tent, God’s presence was made known by the column of smoke appearing thereby.
God then instructed Moses to take the staff he had used to plague the Egyptians and strike the rock nearby. Moses did as God had directed but he struck the rock twice and water sprung from the rock, enough to slake their thirst and all their animals as well.
Because Moses struck the rock twice instead of just once it was taken to mean Moses was the instigator of the water rather than God. Therefore, Moses was not to ever enter into the land promised by God to house the people. Thus Moses also was denied the promise of God to be the tenants of God in the land He had given them.

The pslam and response reminded the sojourners and their ancestral tribes of the action of their ancestors when they railed against Moses and God in the desert. Meribah and Massah became the symbols of disobedience. This psalm therefore, became the constant morning prayer of all religious since the time the Liturgy of the Hours became the norm of prayer for them.

As a prefigure of God’s intent to bring the Gentles into the fold of His chosen people, Jesus took the opportunity, while in Pagan territory to establish His universal Church.
It was here in Caesarea Philippi, Christ asked who the people thought He was. Various titles were given in answer. When He asked His Apostles Who He was, Peter chimed in with, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Christ knew Peter didn’t have the smarts to know this fact of himself, so He recognized the Holy Spirit’s movement in Peter’s statement. Therefore, He named Simon as Kepha, the “Rock”, the solid foundation on which He would build His Church with the authority to bind and loose, to forgive sin, the source of our salvation.
The “Keys of the Kingdom” were the symbol of the authority of Jesus when He was not personally present. Some sects deny Peter was God’s choice. But they are wrong! To deny the Pope’s role in establishing the norms of Faith and Morals is to deny God’ prerogative in everything, therefore limiting His ability to chose whom He will.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday August 3, 2--9

August 3, 2009 Monday
Monday August 3, 2009 of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Numbers 11: 4b-15 Psalm 81: 12-17 Matthew 14: 13-21
Psalm Response: “Sing with joy to God our help”

The Book of Numbers verses we read today are a reiteration of words from the book of Exodus, we read last week. This writer makes Moses like an arbiter with God. After all, he didn’t ask for or want to do God’s work. Now the people are ready to stone him because they have only manna to eat.
So, Moses asks God to relieve him of his task to lead these hard noses into the land God had promised them.
God listened to Moses and in a later episode provided for their hunger for meat. Is it any wonder He gave into their pleas?
Are we like the people of Israel, never satisfied but wanting more than they need? Seems as though no matter what blessings God grants us and our country, our constant cry is for more. Perhaps we should take God’s omnipotence for granted; expect him to provide us with the talent or resources to help ourselves or have Faith enough to allow Him to grant our wishes, when it is for our spiritual welfare.

As a follow-up to the first reading, the Church wisely chose psalm 81 and its response to instruct us in how to do His will. We are not in command! He Is! So, sing to God our help.

The miracle of the loaves and fishes is a foretaste of God’s ability to feed us with the Bread and Wine, His Body and Blood.
Our Church is not a desert place but it is remote from any resource to feed our need. In the same way, our priests raise the Host and the Cup in consecration to allow us to have life as Christ promised. Otherwise, we are starving.
When the source of life is available and we are not satisfied with the provisions of our Church, there is no where else to turn; for otherwise, Christ’s Body and Blood is not available anywhere else.
Pray God will sustain our Church as He sustained the Israelites in the desert and on the grass of the mountainside.

Tuesday Audust 4, 2009

Tuesday August 4, 2009 0f the 18th Week in Ordinary Time
Numbers 12: 1-13 Psalm 51: 3-7, 12-13 Matthew 14: 22-26
Psalm Response: “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned”

Miriam and Aaron, Moses’ brother and sister, showed signs of jealousy at Moses’ ability to speak to God, which they, also of the tribe of Levi, seemed, to them, somewhat prejudiced. They were faithful to God’s commands but Moses had married an Egyptian woman and they thought it was enough to make him unclean while they were sinless.
When they expressed their discontent, God called them aside and rebuked them for their lack of compassion. After all when things didn’t go right with them, the people railed particularly against Moses and God.
God points out to Marion and Aaron although He speaks to His selected prophets in dreams and visions, Moses is special and they converse as you and I would. God’s wrath enveloped Marion with pallor of leprosy. Moses pleaded with God to take this scourge away from his sister.

Psalm 51 is a lament to God for His infinite mercy. It is a logical follow up to the former words of Numbers, just read. It is the prayer of David when he sinned against Uriah, his wife Bathsheba and God by his sneaky plan to have Uriah murdered by putting him in the front lines of battle.

In a demonstration of His Divinity, after He prayed alone on the mountain top, He saw His disciples in peril as the wind and rough seas threatened their lives.
Jesus began to walk toward them on the water. When they spotted Him they thought it was a ghost for men could not walk on water.
When He made them realize it was He, they were relieved but still skeptical. Peter, in order to satisfy his curiosity asked the Lord to allow him to also transverse on top of the water. Everything was going well when Peter realized what he was being permitted to do and his faith sank along with himself.
We do like Peter when we do not allow God to intercede for us in a difficulty, by losing faith or exhibiting a tendency to disbelieve. We need to recognize God’s Divinity and allow Him to act in our lives as we ask. If our faith falters, we are the ones who will suffer unnecessarily.

Wednesday August 5, 2009

Wednesday August 5, 2009 of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time
The feast of St. John Vianney
Readings: Numbers 13: 1-2, 25; 14: 1, 26a-29a, 34-35 Psalm 106: 6-7ab, 13-14, 21-23
Gospel Matthew 15: 21-28
Psalm Response: “Remember us, O Lord, as You favor Your people”

God instructed Moses the land in front of them was filled with milk and honey and He was giving it to them. They were to send in a posse of men, one for each tribe, to look over their prospects.
When they had scanned the layout and the people of the area, they returned and reported to Moses and the people. Most of them scorned the possibility of overtaking the land of Canaanites. They were not only numerous, some of them were giants by comparison. Only Caleb had positive remarks about the Israelites ability to overcome the Canaanites.
God was perturbed about their reticence and lack of Faith. He sentenced them to wander in the desert for forty years, one year for each day they hesitated to remove the Canaanites from the land He had given them.
Every day, God grants us the ability to breathe, walk, eat and pray to Him for His providence. Why do we deny His ability to do what He says?
Our lack of faith may not give us forty years of distress but when we deny Him by our lack of faith, we expose ourselves to eternal grief and possible punishment if we do not turn ourselves around and obey!

The Psalm and response retell the history of the Hebrew people. We are aware of their trials and tribulations because they didn’t always do His will. Don’t imitate them. He loves us and we should return the love without complaining or conditions.

Jesus’ answer to the Canaanite woman, “It’s not right to take the food from the Jews and toss it to dogs” was an idiom of the time. “Dogs” were anyone who wasn’t Jewish. Jews were not to associate with the goyim, let alone have pity on them and their problems. His message was to be taught to Israel and not to the world.
However, in His Divine nature, Jesus recognized the Faith she had which exceeded the Jews and He granted her wish for her daughter.
We often deny Him when one of His little ones begs for faith and we deny them by our exhibition of a lack thereof. Get with the program! God recognizes our attempts to do His will if we try and do it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August 3, 2009 Monday

Monday August 3, 2009 of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Numbers 11: 4b-15 Psalm 81: 12-17 Matthew 14: 13-21
Psalm Response: “Sing with joy to God our help”

The Book of Numbers verses we read today are a reiteration of words from the book of Exodus, we read last week. This writer makes Moses like an arbiter with God. After all, he didn’t ask for or want to do God’s work. Now the people are ready to stone him because they have only manna to eat.
So, Moses asks God to relieve him of his task to lead these hard nose into the land God had promised them.
God listened to Moses and in a later episode provided for their hunger for meat. Is it any wonder He gave into their pleas?
Are we like the people of Israel, never satisfied but wanting more than they need? Seems as though no matter what blessings God grants us and our country, our constant cry is for more. Perhaps we should take God’s omnipotence for granted; expect him to provide us with the talent or resources to help ourselves or have Faith enough to allow Him to grant our wishes, when it is for our spiritual welfare.

As a follow-up to the first reading, the Church wisely chose psalm 81 and its response to instruct us in how to do His will. We are not in command! He Is! So, sing to God our help.

The miracle of the loaves and fishes is a foretast of God’s ability to feed us with the Bread and Wine, His Body and Blood.
Our Church is not a desert place but it is remote from any resource to feed our need. In the same way, our priests raise the Host and the Cup in consecration to allow is to have life as Christ promised. Otherwise, we are starving.
When the source of life is available and we are not satisfied with the provisions of our Church, there is no where else to turn; for otherwise, Christ’s Body and Blood is not available anywhere else.
Pray God will sustain our Church as He sustained the Israelites in the desert and on the grass of the mountainside.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sunday August 2, 2009 The 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday August 2, 2009 of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Exodus 16: 2-4, 12-15 Psalm 78: 3-4, 23-25, 54
Ephesians 4: 17, 20-24 John 6: 24-35
Psalm Response: “The Lord gave them Bread from heaven”

The Israelites were only a few days into the desert, when they started to complain to Moses and Aaron about the miserable food they brought with them when the Lord rescued them from slavery. They recalled the garlic pickles and mutton available to them even though they were slave laborers.
“Why did you bring us out here; to die of starvation and boredom?”
Moses thought they would rise up and bludgeon them so they implored God to do something.
God then sent dew which settled on the sand in the morning and when it evaporated, it left a residue, a bread-like substance for their starving stomachs. He also had flocks of quail land on the sand, which they were able to trap and roast for the meat they so desired.
They therefore, had plenty to eat on their forty years sojourn in the trek to the promised land. Because of their lack of Faith, none of the escapees, except for a faithful few entered into the promised land when God parted the Jordon and they supplanted the Canaanites.

The psalm response sums up God’s action for the people when they were disgusted with their fare. The psalm is a reminder of God’s providence when the going gets rough. He will provide for you too if you will exhibit a Faith in Him the rest of the world disdains.

Paul writes to his community of the Gospel he had taught them. Paul assumes the successors he had appointed remained true to his authorized message. They therefore were being enjoined to not take up their former pagan roles and become not reborn of the flesh but of the Spirit, able to withstand the pressure of the society surrounding them.

Our Lord, had just fed thousands with seven loaves and a few fish. The crowd, naturally
thought this action was the reincarnation of the manna Moses had supplied.
Jesus reminded them God was the supplier of the Manna, not Moses. However, they were enamored of the signs Jesus had worked and they wanted more. So, in spite of His attempt to distance Himself from them, they found a way to locate Him and His disciples.
When they caught up with Him, they bragged of Moses’ action for their ancestors as though His miracle was minor comparatively.
When they asked for the bread Jesus proposed “always”, they didn’t expect His answer that He was the Bread of Life.
We often approach the “Bread of Life “with a blasé attitude; not reverently but with sort of an aplomb we exhibit when we get in line for a buffet.
Wake up people! It is the Creator and Sustainer of life we are about to consume. Without Him, He said, “We have no life in us!”