"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also."
News in Homilies
The first is the parable of the sower. Seed is thrown out on a footpath, where the birds eat it up, on rocky ground where it had no deep roots, among thorns where it was choked, and finally on good soil where it yielded the abundant harvest. The message of the parable is clear and simple: Be good soil.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” What do these words tell us about the Lord? What do they mean for us? They tell us something about God that is very different than the images of God we might have.
The Trinity feast goes back to 12th century England and St Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Historians say the great Thomas celebrated a Liturgy in honor of the Trinity in his cathedral. So was born the observance. In the 14th century, the feast came to be observed by the universal Church
The Feast of the Ascension has got to be one of the most dramatic in the liturgical year. Not perhaps very dramatic in its liturgy which is the same as any other Sunday; but dramatic in what it is all about: the lifting up of the Risen Jesus to his place in heaven.
Here is that reversal of the Kingdom, celebrated in Mary’s Magnificat: where the ‘yes’ is an act of subjection or subservice, but a self-gift of loving service which lives in the transcendence of God’s own self-gift; it is the way in which we choose to live beyond ourselves, not for ourselves, ‘but for him.’
The Fourth Sunday of Easter is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday because on this Sunday we hear the Gospel in which Jesus teaches us about the Good Shepherd. In addition to the Good Shepherd I see two other images that can be looked at, the Lamb of God and the Good Sheep.
Those disciples on the road to Emmaus in today’s Gospel reading, did not understand the significance of Jesus Christ as they walked down that road. They were upset over what had happened in Jerusalem that weekend. They had been followers of Jesus of Nazareth, and had thought that he would be the one who would redeem Israel.
Thomas alone had said "Let us all go that we may die with Him." Thomas was courageous, but he was a pessimist. The bottom line was doom and gloom. His faith told him it would be better to die with Jesus than live without Him. His unbelief told him that once Christ died, He would remain a rotting corpse like Thomas himself.
There are many scenes in the Passion account from the Gospel of Matthew which we have just proclaimed. This year, a particular scene keeps recurring to me. The scene is not on Golgotha, but in Jerusalem, in the Temple. The time in at 3 in the afternoon at the moment that Jesus dies.
Jesus is the God of life and not of death. He came to do battle with death and vanquish it. Ezekiel today tells us this welcome message from God. "I will open your graves and have you rise..." If we comprehend the Lord with another mind-frame, then we are stuck with a faux Jesus. The genuine Christ longs for the hour when death will go belly up for each of us.
Jesus had just healed a blind man, "to let God's work shine forth." But by doing this he threatened the comfortable ordered life of the Jewish leaders. How could God possibly be working through someone other than them? If people were to claim God's work outside of their structure, then their authority was being threatened. They missed the fact that God was indeed working.
The long gospel of the woman at the well, the fourth chapter of John, is a wonderful drama of sin and forgiveness. Jesus had promised her living water. She received it. She received forgiveness. And she went into town exuberant, full of life, full of love and full of hope.
This Sunday all three readings follow the same thought that, perhaps, can be expressed in this way: faith is a journey we are all on, a journey of joy, a journey that demands sacrifice, and a journey that leads to glory.
Even Christians are “a chosen people” (1 P 2:9). “We remember brothers and sisters, the circumstances of your being called” declares Paul to the Thessalonians (1 Thes 1:4). Truly I realize that God—as Peter says—”does not show partiality” (Acts 10:34), so what is the point of talking about election? he choices of God do not follow human criteria.
A pilgrim asked Mother Teresa, "What's wrong with the Church?" She replied, "You and I, for we are the Church." Reflect this Lent that there is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan. While Satan is out of style, he is not out of business. (CS Lewis)
Don’t be anxious, the Lord says. Tomorrow will bring new joys and new graces. Yes it will have its burdens, but it will also have the grace to conquer them. When grace is considered the burdens of tomorrow will be no heavier than those of today. Each day has its own toil, its own cross and its own joy.
Perhaps the most difficult of all of Christ's commands are those which are expounded in today's gospel, from the Sermon on the Mount. "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer.
Matthew's gospel was written primarily for Christians who had first been Jews. These were Christians who were grounded in the scripture and traditions of the ancient Hebrews. The gospel also addressed Jews who were considering becoming Christians as well as all who wanted to learn more about this New Way, as our faith was first called.