21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

Today we come to the “666 verse” in the Gospel of St. John where Jesus tells the people about eating his flesh and they leave him. What does the number 666 mean? Most people recognize it as the devil’s number, but why is it the devil’s number? In the bible there are numbers that are considered complete, such as 3,7,12 (three for the Trinity; seven for the fullness of a week; and twelve for the fullness of a year). The devil’s number stands for perfect unfulfillment. All of creation was created in six days and then on the seventh day, creation was given its proper direction for that day - the worship of God. The devil looks to the world to satisfy himself and gets more unfulfilled with time. 

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

I am sure everyone can we think of a great meal you’ve had. Someone went out of their way to really say, “I love you and want you to live.”  They put their heart and soul into the meal. As a priest, I am very blessed by the amount of times this has happened to me, great meal after great meal. It can be, for priests, an occupational hazard. When he was leaving, after serving the natives for many years, Fr John Briox pointed to his rotund belly and said, “You did this to me.”

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19th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B

Therefore be imitators of God.

Can you stand yourself? There is a story about Dr. Carl Jung, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, who met a man who was severely depressed.  The man would work fourteen hours a day. Dr. Jung told him, “I want you to spend eight hours at work and then come home and spend time with yourself.”  The man came back a week or so later and said, “Well, it was hard. I spent some time listening to and playing music but it hasn’t really helped me too much.”  Carl Jung said, “You didn’t listen to me.  I told you to go home and spend the time with yourself.”  The man said “That is difficult because I can’t stand myself.” Jung said, “That is the point.  I wanted you to spend time with the person you inflict upon others fourteen hours a day.”

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Today we hear the people complaining that Moses has taken them out into the wilderness to die. Last week I mentioned that the Church is a wilderness, a desert, where we meet God. Today I, too, pronounce with St. Paul that we are here to die, to kill the old man; meaning, of course, our former self.

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