Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Encyclopedia Britannica defines law as a discipline and profession concerned with customs, practices, and rules of a community that are recognized as binding by the community. Jesus presumes the observance of Ten Commandments as a minimum requirement. Today we celebrate his messianic presence among us are reminded of how much he has graced us and of the more to which we are called. ~ Fr. Matt

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus follows the teaching on the Beatitudes with a number of sayings that begin, “You have heard it said…but I say to you.” In these statement Jesus teaches us that there is more to being disciples than just keeping the letter of the law. Jesus asks us to go beyond the words of the law and be attentive to any word or deed that can do harm to another. His examples are ordinary situations in life, but his teaching is rooted in kingdom thinking, not human concepts.

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus uses two domestic images, salt and light, to teach the disciples how important they are in sharing his mission.  Notice that Jesus uses an emphatic phrasing: “You are…” Not,  you can be, or you might be, or maybe your will be.  No, he is very direct in naming them as salt and light, they are change agents.  Just as salt adds flavor to food and light dispels the darkness, so will they transform the world by their witness and their good deeds.    In accepting this identity we bring glory to God.

 

The Presentation of the Lord

To fulfill the law of Moses, Jesus’ parents present their son to the Lord.  When they meet Simeon and Anna, it is an encounter between the past and the future.  Simeon and Anna represent the long awaited hope of the Jewish people; Jesus is the fulfillment of that hope.  As Jesus’ mission unfolds, a mission that will be accepted and rejected.  Simeon’s words come true.  In our time we also live in the hope that Jesus’ mission will be kept alive by faithful disciples and that his teachings even those that are hard to bear, will one day be fulfilled.

 

The Presentation of the Lord

As human beings there is a perennial appeal for independence, self rule, determining ones own direction, goals, and priorities.  The readings today encourage us not to glory in our own self reliance but a dependence on God.  The Divine is creator, redeemer, and sanctifier.  We are sinners in need of redemption and renewal.             ~ Fr. Matt

 

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus’ call of the first disciples marks a significant point in his mission.  Matthew presents this incident as an indication that Jesus’ mission will require others to help him spread the good news of the Kingdom.  What is even more astounding is that these ordinary men leave their occupation and their equipment and follow Jesus.  The response of Peter and the others is striking.  Matthew would have us believe that Jesus’ mission is so attractive that it cannot be ignored.  How willing are we to do the same?  What would it cost us to follow the Lord with such abandon?

 

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Pope has established this Sunday as raising up the scriptures.  Scripture has been used to justify misogyny, racism, homophobia and violence.  The list goes on and on.  We need a hopeful and Cosmic interpretation of scripture.  Jesus read between the lines to find and follow God’s mercy, inclusion, and compassionate justice.  Relationship and transformation are the pillars of Jesus’ viewpoint.    ~ Fr. Matt