16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

I would like to tell you of three people:  Tiny, Terry and Shelly. Tiny grew up in a troubled home and got into a lot of trouble early on. His life consisted of crime and brushes with the law.  In one of his encounters with the law he shot and seriously wounded a police officer.  The partner of this officer had him in the crosshair and for some reason he could not pull the trigger. Tiny laughed at the police officer for being such a coward and he ended up in jail.  Terry grew up in a more decent family with strong Christian roots.  Nonetheless he went astray and joined a motorcycle gang, sold drugs and did what went along with being a gang member. Shelly was a beautiful teenage girl who had been abused at a young age.  She started being promiscuous and at the ripe age of sixteen she sold herself for $45 to some man for the first time. She worked as an underage prostitute and then became a porn star, living the life that porn stars lead. Here we have some pretty sad stories and not only that but people we may consider weeds of society. People that we may feel that society could easily do without.  People that corrupt our youth and use up valuable resources. However, something happened in all these people’s lives that changed their weed ridden lives into a life of grace and brought the faith to others.

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15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Today we have a unique situation in the Gospel. The unique situation is that Jesus explains a parable. Usually we get the story and sometimes that meaning is obvious, but most times the meaning is far removed and we might struggle to understand it, except by grace or study. Yet today He does something different and gives the meaning for the people and how they are affected by the Word.

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14th Sunday In Ordinary Time Year A

What is a yoke? A yoke is an apparatus used to harness someone in order to do work. For animals, it is placed on two of them and the plow is in the middle. Usually a farmer would place an older animal with a younger one and that would help temper and train the younger animal. This understanding of the yoke makes more sense for the Gospel today when we think of the yoke as shared by the Lord, that He is pulling on the other side and we, the young animal, is tempered and guided by the Lord through our daily work.

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Once again as Catholics we encounter the hard saying of Jesus:  Whoever loves father or mother than me is not worthy of me.”  I remember when I was a missionary and was talking with my parish priest.  We ran into a fellow and in talking the priest mentioned that he hadn’t see him for awhile and the guy said, “I have been so busy lately that I just spend Sunday with my family.  Family must be most important, right Father?”  I found this to be an interesting question which many people would struggle to answer. The priest himself was caught off guard and simply didn’t address the question.  But it is a good point to reflect on. Questions such as, “Can a mother or father miss Mass to look after their sick child?”   The Church says yes because your vocation is how you live out your love of Christ. But is it right to miss Mass  simply to be with your family?  No, it is not, it happens to be serious matter for Confession. The order of our life is God first, spouse second, children third, family and friends after that. These sayings are hard, why would we follow them?  Well, according to God, it is the reward that we are looking for. They say serving God doesn’t pay much but the retirement package is out of this world. But for us as Christians, it is not just about heaven, it is also about living now in freedom and joy.

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