Monday of the Twenty-second Week of Ordinary Time 

Today Jesus tussles not with the scribes and Pharisees as he often does, but instead with the people of his own home town. They are amazed at his words and speak highly of him, right up until the time when he begins to challenge them. Then they have no more use for him. They become… Continue reading Monday of the Twenty-second Week of Ordinary Time 

The Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings So often, when someone thanks us for something, we might say, “It’s the least I could do.” As if it were some kind of badge of achievement to do the least thing possible. I think it’s human nature to try to do as little as possible, without being perceived as lazy or something.… Continue reading The Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Today’s readings (Mass for the school children.) “You made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” This is one of the most famous lines from Saint Augustine’s writings. We celebrate his feast day today, and it is somewhat of a miracle that we celebrate his feast at… Continue reading Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Saint Monica

Today’s readings The kind of persistent prayer for those who were important to Saint Paul, as he speaks about in today’s first reading from his second letter to the Thessalonians, was something that Saint Monica practiced every day of her life. This was a woman in love with God and the Church, and her family,… Continue reading Saint Monica

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

Today’s readings What tradition tells us about St. Bartholomew is that he is often identified with Nathanael in the Gospel.  That explains why Nathanael is prominent in the Gospel reading for today.  Nathanael – or Bartholomew, take your pick – is picked out of the crowd by Jesus.  Nathanael is surprised at what Jesus says… Continue reading Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

The Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings In every homily there is, or should be, a “so what” moment. That’s the moment, very often toward the end of the preaching, where the Word that was preached is related to the people who heard it. I try to make every homily answer the question, “So what?” in some way. Maybe it’s… Continue reading The Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot and doctor of the Church

Learning to follow the path of perfection is the most important goal of the spiritual life. How do we get our relationship with God right so that we can live with him forever in heaven? That was certainly the goal of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, whose feast we celebrate today. In the year 1111, at… Continue reading Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot and doctor of the Church

Monday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time 

So the question today is, what is it that holds us back? The rich young man seemed to have it all together: he acknowledged Jesus as the good teacher, so he must have been familiar with what Jesus said and did. He says he kept all the commandments, so he certainly had a religious upbringing… Continue reading Monday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time 

The Transfiguration of the Lord 

Sometimes I think that, because of the limitedness of our minds, we accept a rather small view of Jesus. We think of him as a friend and brother, which is okay, but he is also our Lord and God. The disciples had this problem too, although they had a good excuse: they didn’t have two… Continue reading The Transfiguration of the Lord 

Monday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings What I think the folks in our first reading need to learn – and maybe us too – is that the spiritual life is always about the big picture.  The Israelites in today’s reading have completely rejected the God of their salvation.  God had taken them from abject slavery in Egypt, in which… Continue reading Monday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time