6th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

There was a man who was admitted into a monastery. He had a real desire to grow in holiness in order to experience peace. However, there was a problem.  The people around him were not perfect and they disturbed his growth in perfection. He thought that if only he could get away from those imperfect monks, then he could be holy and happy. He therefore asked the abbot if he could become a hermit. The Abbot, however, said no to his request explaining that in order to be a hermit, one must first learn how to live in a community. Nevertheless, the young man persisted and because he was causing such a problem in the community as he blamed all the others for his lack of perfection, the Abbot agreed to allow him to live as a hermit. Joyfully the young man headed up to the hermitage and was singing a happy tune while he placed his merger possessions in his new place. Clumsily, he knocked one of his jars off the shelf and in anger he quickly looked around to see who he could blame.  It was then that he realized that he was the problem for his lack of peace. In humility, he came back to the monastery.

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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

You are the salt of the world. You are the light of the world. I was blessed in the past few weeks to have a few question and answer sessions with some students. They asked some great questions. One thing that came up a few times was the question of why Catholics think that they are right and others are wrong. It is a good question, especially with all that is going on in the world. People think that we believe that we have the right way and all other ways are wrong. First of all, we do have the right way, that is why Christ calls us the light of the world and the salt of the world because the world is meant to be guided by us and preserved and seasoned by us. We would also be very foolish people if we did not believe we were right and staked our lives on that lack of truth. However, it is not true that we believe that everyone else is wrong. They all have truth and those same truths are found also in the Catholic faith. Their truths show that God has inspired them, and that they have also heard truth.  He has evangelized them. What they don’t have though is the fullness of the truth. That is why they are not called the light of the world. When we say we have the fullness of the truth, we are talking about us as the body of Christ, the Church. Many of us individuals do not have the fullness of the truth, nor have we accepted it. Yet, we are called the light of the world. Our lives are meant to be a beacon for others to follow.

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4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

First a short note about the Gospel and a beautiful parallel in the Bible. Today’s reading in the Scripture of the Beatitudes is meant to remind us of another time in Scripture when there was a list of laws or commands. If you were able to read the verse before today’s Gospel reading, you would have noticed that Jesus fasted for forty days and then he gave the Beatitudes. In the book of Exodus, we see the same thing happen - Moses fasts forty days and then God gives them the Ten Commandments. Matthew is trying to show us the similarities between the two figures, that Moses prefigured Jesus. We also see that Jesus goes up the mountain and in Exodus Moses also goes up the mountain to receive the Commandments.

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3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

In the Second Reading today, we hear about Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. The message of this letter is very important to what we face today and especially during the week of Christian unity which we are celebrating. In the letter, Paul complains to the people that they were fragmented and took these names from the physical person that baptized them. This reminds us of our own situation of the great fragmentation of Christians.  We are now broken into over 40,000 different Christian denominations, all fragments created by human weakness and pride. I am not saying that the ones in the different ecclesial communities are there because of pride, as I am sure some are quite holy, but human weakness has fractured us and separated us. When will this all end? 

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