Proverbs gives us the example of a very industrious woman and also reminds us that so much of what we think is important passes away with time. The reading uses the example of a woman, but it just as easily applies to men: Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
St. Paul tells us that the master will come unexpectedly; life is serious and we should not waste time. We are all call to exercise a ministry within our community.READ MORE
Who doesn't desire the praise and respect of others? Who doesn't like to be recognized or to be praised? We want others to see us at our best with all of our strengths and achievements, rather than at our worst with all of our faults and shortcomings.
Prophet Malachi in the first reading of today calls the attention of priests who prefer the praise and respect of people rather than giving glory to God. He says "If you do not listen, if you do not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name; says the Lord of hosts. I will send a curse upon you and your blessing I will make a curse." Prophet Malachi condemns the attitude of priests who have abandoned true worship and service of God for self-praise and fame. In the days of the Prophet Malachi, many priests had lost the true meaning in the worship of God.READ MORE
Rendering anything to Caesar gave him some degree of homage. This is one reason many pharisees objected to paying the census tax. Since it was such a sticky issue, they wanted to get Jesus trapped into taking a side on it. Despite Jesus' very straightforward answer, people still get sticky over it today.
Jesus answers his challengers with his own challenge. The pharisees were looking for an "either or" answer, Jesus made clear that a "both and" answer is required. "Render to God whatever belongs to God". The Roman coin bore Caesar's image and inscription. But, we human beings bear the image of God. We must, therefore render ourselves to Him. But how?READ MORE
The banquet is the symbol of the happiness and joy present in the kingdom of God. The first reading tells us of a promise; while the gospel tells us of its actualization. If the banquet has already begun with the coming of the Messiah, why do we still have so much hatred, so many wars and deaths all over the world? Yes, the feast has begun, but the kingdom is still awaiting its full attainment.
The second reading is connected with this theme. We are given the example of the community at Philippi where there is authentic love and where a completely new life has really begun; the help and the gifts sent to Paul are proof of this. The prophet Isaiah would say: this banquet is a type of the heavenly banquet and of the Eucharist by which one is nourished with the Body and Blood of Christ.READ MORE
Ezekiel’s prophesy in the first reading teaches us the possibility of pardon through repentance forone’s accumulated evils. God glories in forgiving those who turn back to him, and he ardently desires the salvation of all, but also the risk of losing all the good one has done by returning to doing evil. In the second reading, Paul writing to Philippians encouraged them to be united andshow their love for each other through humility and service. Christ, who is divine, became man inorder to suffer and die for our salvation. No act of humility on our part can ever rival the humiliation of Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross. Christ willingly took on the role of a servant and allowed himself to be crucified for our sake even though he was innocent of any sin. Then in the gospel of Matthew, the parable teaches us that promises can never take the place ofperformance, and fine words are never a substitute for fine deeds.READ MORE
"Forgive your neighbors injustice, then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven" This quote from today's first reading sounds a lot like "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Sirach goes on to say that the way we treat others, particularly those with whom we are angry, is what we can expect from the Lord. "Can anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the Lord?"
When the forgiven man went to demand payment from his debtor, he heard from him the very same words and actions that he had so recently offered to the king. But the forgiven man did not recognize his own voice in the debtor. He did not see his plight in the debtor's plight. What he did not or would not see brought him to condemn himself with his own words and actions. He only made an inescapable demand on himself when he spoke to the debtor.READ MORE
Dear Parish family,
What is your commitment to Jesus Christ? Let me be clear, I'm not asking what your commitment used to be when you were younger, or what you would like it to be someday in the future, or what you wish it was like if only circumstances were different. The question really is what does my commitment to Jesus Christ look like today, this week, this month, and this year?
Up to this point in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus has been challenging his disciples regularly with hard lessons, dispelling their false ideas with his truth, pointing out weaknesses they didn't know they had, and calling them to mature discipleship. Now Jesus brings them to Caesarea Philippi and asks them for a commitment. "Who do you say that I am?"READ MORE
Mary’s love for Jesus was surpassed by none other. She had a special love for her Son, who is God, that made a claim on her entire being, body and soul. It is no wonder then, that upon her death Mary was taken body and soul into heaven so that she in her totality could dwell forever with her Son. Our celebration gives us the opportunity to ponder what heaven may be like and help us to long, even more fervently, for the fulfillment and joy that only God can eternally provide.READ MORE
“The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” From the beginning, the Eucharist has been a source of controversy. Some people have always found the teaching difficult to accept. But as Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament is at the heart of our worship and our spirituality; we go to Mass to share in the holy sacrifice of Jesus’ body and blood, and we receive spiritual nourishment from partaking of this heavenly food. As Jesus himself tells us in today’s Gospel, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”READ MORE