The 1st reading tells us to observe the letter of the law, while the Gospel emphasizes the "spirit" of the law. Jesus cites the hypocrisy of the Pharisees for insisting on human tradition while neglecting the more important demands of the "spirit" of the law. The 2nd reading, by chance, also fits in: A command to be doers of the Will of God, walking our talk.READ MORE
Today is the last Sunday of Jn. 6 that speaks of Jesus as the Bread of life. The people following Jesus and many disciples left scandalized by His claims that He is the bread that comes from heaven much more when He tells them that this bread is His flesh, and they should eat it. The bread He offers is the bread that comes down from heaven. The bread of life is the bread for eternal life. Among His disciples, only the 12 Apostles took a stand and did not leave Jesus, “Master to who shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.” (Jn. 6:68) In a way, the Israelites at Shechem took the stand for Yahweh and the covenant. (1st reading)READ MORE
The readings for this glorious feast, The Assumption of the Blessed Mother, gives us a peek back into salvation history to an event in the life of Mary, the 2nd Joyful mystery, the Visitation of Elizabeth by Mary. In the 1st reading, Rev. 11, 12 describes the sign in the sky, leading to the 2nd reading describing the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. In a way, these readings are signs which direct the readers to their journey of salvation. The Assumption of the Mother of God into heaven reminds us of God’s plan for His people, a glimpse of the future glory of man, and the joy of the promised eternal life. “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (Jn. 11:25—26)READ MORE
WWJD bracelets were all the rage about 25 years ago in Christian circles. I’ve always wondered if a WWMD bracelet might not make just as much sense, and maybe more. What Would Mary Do?
I would argue that Mary was the most exemplary steward who ever lived. Her answer was always “Yes.” Yes, Lord, I am Your handmaiden. Yes, I will visit Elizabeth, and help her in the last difficult months of pregnancy. Yes, I will bring my son up in the Mosaic law and present him at the Temple of Jerusalem. Yes, I will give him to the crowds and to public ministry. Yes, I will offer him on this Cross, if it is Your will.READ MORE
A line from a song says: Bread from heaven, Jesus, it’s you. Your way of loving makes us all like you. He becomes the bread of life by dying for us on the cross. The bread that provides us our provisions for our journey of life just as Elijah survives the pilgrimage to Mt. Horeb with the miraculous bread. Forty days Elijah lived with only this bread at Mt Horeb identical with Mt. Sinai. God establishes the covenant on Mt. Sinai with Moses. Elijah is the second Moses, upholds that covenant at Mt. Horeb. The hearth cake of Elijah is the equivalent of the Holy Eucharist, which is our provision in our journey of life. Nourished by the Eucharist, we shall reach our final destiny, eternal life.READ MORE
“Get up and eat, or the journey will be too much for you.” I’ve been to a lot of meetings in my years of work in the Church, and you can take my word for it: the ones with snacks just seem to go better.
I don’t know what it is exactly. Maybe it’s just that people are in a more agreeable mood if you show up with donuts. Or maybe it’s about the very real sense of community and camaraderie that is created at a table where people are engaging in that most human of tasks eating beside one another. I think a big part of it comes down to the simple fact that we’re all just nicer people when we’re fed.READ MORE
Many of the Jews of the Exodus were stubborn, grumbling, and complaining people. They grumbled and complained to Moses, and God enacted several miracles to show His providential care for the people of Israel in their journey in the wilderness. One of the five miracles that stand out is the provision of bread (manna) and the quails sent by God when Israel complained about the lack of food. The famous manna word derived from the Hebrew expression: What is it? (manhu) (Ex. 16:15) There were attempts to reduce the symbolism of the manna as a congealed sap of a desert shrub. But Scriptures clearly say that the manna was a supernatural phenomenon. And its appearance is limited to the forty years when Israel was in the wilderness (Ex. 16:35). Thus, there is only one possible explanation: God performs the miracle (Hebrew niphloth) in the deliverance of the people of Israel.READ MORE
Looking back over my journey of parenthood, I know there were days when I traveled the extra mile for my children. I made their toast the way they like it, let them play in the park an extra ten minutes, or let them go to the movies with their friends and I finished up the chores on my own. And then, it happened: the attitude. The request for the smallest thing from one of them is met with disdain or bewilderment.READ MORE