Thursday of the Twenty-first Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings When I was little, I often remember my grandmother saying “thank God for small favors!” Now that’s a holy and pious thought, and I’ll have you know my grandmother was certainly holy and pious. But when she said it, it was usually because someone had just done the least they could possibly do,… Continue reading Thursday of the Twenty-first Week of Ordinary Time

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

Today’s readings Saint Bartholomew was one of Jesus’ apostles, but it’s hard to get a handle on him.  That’s because he is often identified as Nathanael in the Gospel.  So today’s Gospel reading gives us a little insight about Saint Bartholomew, or Nathanael, take your pick! Nathanel is picked out of the crowd by Jesus… Continue reading Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

Monday of the Twenty-first Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings What is truly holy?  What makes a thing or a person holy?  Or, more precisely, who does those things?  Well, God, of course.  Today’s gospel has Jesus taking the Scribes and Pharisees to task for forgetting what is really holy and treating things as sacred while ignoring God who is holiness itself.  Apparently,… Continue reading Monday of the Twenty-first Week of Ordinary Time

Friday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time [Mass of the Holy Spirit]

Today’s readings (Mass for the school children.) I can’t think of any better way to celebrate the beginning of the school year than by giving a teacher a pop quiz!  You can all relax: I’m not really going to do that.  But that’s what is going on in the Gospel reading today.  The Pharisees are a group of… Continue reading Friday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time [Mass of the Holy Spirit]

Thursday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings I’m not going to sugar-coat this: the truth is that the story we have in our first reading is a horrible story.  Why  on earth would we worship a God who accept such a vow from Jephthah (or anyone else for that matter), or hold him to it? Well, let’s not get ahead… Continue reading Thursday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings Today’s Gospel reading follows picks up where yesterday’s reading left off.  As you remember, the rich young man went away sad, not knowing how he could attain eternal life, because he had many possessions.  Today, Jesus explains to his disciples what was going on.   “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one… Continue reading Tuesday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today’s readings In every age of the world, people have needed hope.  Because in every age of the world, there has been unbelievable hardship.  There has always been war, and disease, and poverty, and oppression, and alienation, and all the rest.  There has always been sin, and broken relationships, and impure desires and that feeling… Continue reading The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

Maximilian Kolbe became a Franciscan novice at the age of 16. Earlier in life he had a vision of the Blessed Virgin offering him two crowns, a white one of purity, and a red one of martyrdom. Maximilian said “I choose both.” The Blessed Virgin smiled and departed from him. Maximilian devoted his life to… Continue reading Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

Today’s readings St. Lawrence was a deacon of the early Church, who was charged with the care of the goods of the Church.  Legend has it that he was called in by the Prefect of Rome, who had just killed Pope Sixtus II, whose memorial was last week.  The Prefect told Lawrence that he wanted… Continue reading Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

The Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time: Bread of Life Discourse III

Today’s readings You may have heard of Viaticum, which we generally think of as one’s last Communion. Indeed, the Church encourages us by precept of the Church to receive Holy Communion in our last moments, if at all possible.  The word viaticum is Latin for “bread for the journey.”  So in our last moments, when… Continue reading The Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time: Bread of Life Discourse III