Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Grudges are awful things.  But today’s gospel calls us to a higher standard.  The forgiveness we’ve experienced should motivate us to be free with forgiveness when others wrong us.  We cannot dole out forgiveness in infinitesimal pieces only to those we deem worthy.  Instead, forgiveness ought to be given freely.  We must die to the grudges, slights, rudeness, and other transgressions we’ve suffered and rise to a sense of freedom that comes through forgiving as we’ve been forgiven.  Jesus himself warns us that if we withhold forgiveness, it will be withheld from us.  And the consequences of that are severe indeed.






Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wouldn’t life be so much better if we could all live in peace and happiness?  But relationships are not like that.  Even the most secure and safe nuclear families – individuals raised in the same household, for whom love may be given – have challenges with one another.  The church is the same.  In the face of this, Matthew gives us some practical steps to follow.  Only when we experience the new life of the resurrection will every tear be wiped away, and relationships restored.  Until that time, we doe the best we can, motivated by love and guided by the wisdom of Christ.


Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

A young scholar asked his tailor if he knew the difference between Urim and thummin.  The tailor appropriately answered “lights” and “perfection” describing a device the high priest used to determine the will of God.  The scholarly fellow was dismayed as he was trying to show off.  The tailor continued that he changed a few letters in the two words to USIN’ & THUMBIN’.  Those who familiarize themselves with the scriptures find God’s mind, ways, and will.        ~ Fr. Matt


Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s reading presents another interesting conversation between Jesus and Peter.  Not only is Peter unwilling to go to Jerusalem where suffering awaits, he doesn’t want Jesus to go either.  Jesus has already said that he will endure suffering and death, and now he is prepared to undergo his fate.  This encounter with Peter allows him to teach us what it takes to follow him and what it means for our salvation.  Taking up our cross may not lead to the kind of death and suffering that Jesus endured, but it does mean that whatever our cross might be, it will be the way to gain eternal life with Jesus.


Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Church has long regarded this passage as the foundational moment for the establishment of the ministry of the pope as head of the Church.  The symbol of keys appears in the papal crest, the sign both of governance and of leadership that is rooted in the person of Jesus Christ.  Peter, the rock, symbolizes that the human community that is the Church, rests on the permanence of its divine foundation.  Although Jesus commissions Peter to a ministry of reconciliation, that same mandate is given to all his disciples.  The strength of the Church depends on a communion of love, justice, and mercy.


Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The encounters between Jesus and Peter are always intriguing.  Peter’s humanness appeals to us.  In today’s story, he wants to walk on the water like Jesus, but loses his nerve and begins to sink.  There may be something of Peter in each of us.  Deep in our heart we want to follow the Lord, yet there are moments when we vacillate and wonder if we can believe everything the Lord teaches and everything he asks of us.  In those moments we can lose our nerve, or renew our faith and cry out, “Lord, save me.”  And he always does.