jtemplate.ru - free extensions for joomla

March 12, 2016 - Letting Christ Loose

Second Sunday of Lent

Scripture Readings

Some Catholics are facing a huge conundrum this Lent. St Patricks day falls on a Friday. “How can we not eat bangers and mash?” “Can I have green beer, even if I have given beer for Lent? “OMG! What are we going to do?” Someone sent me an e-mail asking if the archbishop was going to give a general dispensation this year. What do I say? I could say, “Jesus did not transform stones into bread in the desert!” Generally my answer has been, “Its up to you. What does your Lenten abstinence mean for you? What are you trying to accomplish through your Lenten abstinence?” 

Read more...

March 5, 2017 - Why Lenten Penances?

First Sunday of Lent

Scripture Readings 

Each year, we keep aside fourty days out of 352, for fasting, abstinence, penance, and prayer. If we really think about it, it seems strange that an entire people would put themselves through artificial hardships. The rest of the year, we try to make life easier. The rest of the year we strive to avoid hardships, inconveniences and pain. And yet, for fourty days, we freely and willfully submit ourselves to the Lenten penances. Why? Why are we putting ourselves through these hardships? Merely because of tradition? Or is it guilt? Is there a deeper meaning to our personal Lenten penances? 

Read more...

February 26, 2017 - Seek First...

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

We continue with our reflection of the Sermon on the Mount in today’s gospel reading. Jesus has been contrasting the Old Testament Laws with his New Laws. He said, “You have heard that it was said of old… but I say to you….” In the same way, Jesus now contrasts paganism and Christian discipleship. We heard Jesus say last week, “And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?” On the contrary, Jesus asked his disciples to love enemies and pray for those who persecute. And then, when he teaches them how to pray, he asks them not to babble like the pagans. In today’s reading he says, “So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.’ (Mt 6:33). 

Read more...

February 19, 2017 - Breaking the Cycle

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

The text book that I used to teach Religion 101 at the University of Dayton had a Chapter in it entitled, “Breaking the Cycle.” The author, Dr. Dennis Doyle, cites an example of how his eight year old and his six year old got into it one day while playing basketball. The eight year old made his shot, and then, just for fun tossed up a quick practice shot, which he did not make. The six-year old did not see the first shot but saw the practice shot that his brother did not make. The argument led to the older brother hitting the younger one with the ball. The younger one ran into the house screaming. Dr. Doyle was aware of the sibling rivalry that existed between the two. After much talking and conversations and after much going back the forth, aware that he was not making much progress, he finally asked his children this question, “… And who is going to break the cycle?” 

Read more...

February 12, 2017 - The Choice is in Your Hands

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

I was reminded of a parable as I reflected on read this weekend’s readings. There was a little boy who had a nasty habit. He would catch butterflies and hold them in his little fist. He would then go about the village posing a question to people, which they could never get right. Extending his fist toward them he would ask if the butterfly was  dead or alive. If someone said that the butterfly was alive, he would let the butterfly go free; but if someone said that it was alive, he would crush it in his fist and prove them wrong. One day, a wise man visited the village. The boy approached the wise man as if to claim another victim through his nasty game. The boy stretched out his hand toward the old man and said, "Sir, if you are as wise as everyone believes you to be, please tell me whether the butterfly in my hand is dead or alive.” The wise man was unperturbed. He looked calmly into the boy's eyes. “Son,” he said, “the choice is in your hands.” 

Read more...