Reflection for the Solemnity of Christ the King 2015

23 November 2015 - By


We do have a

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, ” says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”

We have a bit of a problem as Christians.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is before Pilate. Jesus stands His ground and tells Pilate about His kingdom. He tells Pilate the purpose of His coming – “to testify to the truth.

Our “bit of a problem” is that when we describe Jesus as our King we often times, both in words and visually, describe Him as a humble King. His head is bowed, He looks meek and frankly – weak.

This image can be compounded further because our Church has a democratic tradition in its management. We also live in a democratic society and take our liberties seriously. We tend to prefer our King to be meek and weak.

To help us fully appreciate the Kingship of Jesus – His formal and official Office as our King – the Holy Church gives us this Solemnity. We need to take this opportunity to fix our perspective, to adjust our vision to see Jesus as the One who has absolute authority to rule and reign over us. The Magi and Pilate called Him King. Jesus comes to Jerusalem as the gentle and humble King riding on a donkey – a symbol of a king arriving in peace. In the days to come, with the arrival of the fullness of His Kingdom, He will come astride a white horse. The King astride a horse is a symbol of a king arriving in power to judge and wage war.

The “Kingdom of God” is noted at least sixty-six times in the New Testament, most of the references are in the Gospels. Jesus proclaims: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come . . .

We should have no doubt, Jesus is our King and we owe Him total loyalty, obedience, worship, and adoration. While the time is here we need to greet Him as the King who came in peace to free us and accept His forgiveness and His Lordship. We need to receive Him in awe and reverence for LORD! We are not worthy. It is time for us to recognize that we need to give Him the Lordship and power over our lives – for “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!”

Reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2015

13 November 2015 - By


What are we holding

“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Terror! On Friday evening, our time, we learned of horrible terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Earlier the same day there were similar attacks in Beirut, Lebanon. There are insurgent wars and terrorism across the globe. Those with power and money accumulate more – some through a subtle terrorism and violence that slowly whittles away at the lives of those without. The night of the terrorist attack in Paris also marked a major earthquake off the coast of southern Japan.

Many members of the early Church (1st Century) expected Jesus to return within a generation of His Ascension. In the New Testament, the word Parousia, meaning arrival or official visit is used at least seventeen times to refer to the Second Coming of Christ, except the one case in which it refers to the coming of the “Day of the Lord.

The Church has always looked forward to the Parousia, the second coming of Christ. Of course as time passed, and as certain Churches grew rich and powerful, those Churches did not make such a big deal out of it.

The early Church prayed Maranatha (Come, Lord!). They longed for the Lord’s return because they knew the glory that was to be realized by those who put their faith in Him. They didn’t care for worldly wealth and power for, as St. Paul reflected, “I consider our present sufferings insignificant compared to the glory that will soon be revealed to us.” Somewhere along the line a good chunk of the faithful lost track of that desire.

We must not assume that we know the day and hour of the Lord. That is pride, and a time only the Father knows. “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” What we do know is that terror will come, earthquakes will happen, earthly death will go on, Christians will be persecuted, beheaded, crucified, and subject to the derision of the worldly.

We, as Christians, need to reconnect to that longing, the desire for the Parousia. When we pray the Creed we need to wholeheartedly proclaim: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” We need to really look forward to “the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” We need to cry out “Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!” If we cannot do that, then we must be holding onto something so much more important than His glory.

Reflection for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2015

7 November 2015 - By


Riches out of our

He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

It is the thought that counts! We might hear that saying in a couple of instances. One is the more traditional meaning – as Oxford tells us: “Used to indicate that it is the kindness behind an act that matters, however imperfect or insignificant the act may be.” The other is slightly more sarcastic. It might also be used when someone receives a gift that isn’t quite wanted – a re-gift of an unwanted gift, something not quite attractive or necessarily wanted. Well, it was the thought that counts.

There was more than just Jesus and His disciples observing the day’s giving at the Temple treasury. We know from some of the other observations Jesus made that many of those who gave did so just to be noticed and praised: “So when you give to the poor, don’t announce it with trumpet fanfare. This is what hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets in order to be praised by people.” Jesus also told a man who had invited Him to dinner to “invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you.” Living in community obviously allowed many to see and make judgments.

So there is the widow putting in her two mites, all she had. Most were probably not thinking – ‘Well, it was the thought that counts.’ She was an embarrassment to them; that widow, that poor woman. The Old Testament is filled with legislation that attempted to provide for the widow. The legislation acknowledged the fact that they were vulnerable and victimized. People probably did not treat this widow as they should, and there she was. The fact she had next to nothing to give accused the observers.

Jesus was not thinking: ‘Well, it was the thought that counts’ either. The widow’s act of giving was neither imperfect nor insignificant nor was it something received and unwanted. Jesus knew that this widow knew the joy of love and the anguish of loss. Yet she continued to give her all. This act of giving represents what Jesus intended to do in giving of Himself totally. This is what he asks us, His disciples, to do. Jesus saw her giving as perfect, significant, and wanted. Jesus points to her so that we too – from love and loss will chose correctly and give our all.

Reflection for the Solemnity of All Saints 2015

31 October 2015 - By


We need a

After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”

Many of our fellow Christians get worked up over the dangers of Halloween. They see it as a glorification and perpetuation of evil. Setting aside the fact that or little Batman, Disney Princess, and movie character is a lot more interested in candy than in evil, Halloween does give us a really good lesson to reflect on as we come to church today on the Solemnity of All Saints and as we remember all our dearly departed throughout the month of November.

Part of the danger we face these days is that we think that the evil of evil isn’t real. Some romanticize evil and ignore its real dangers. A few are so paranoid of evil that they give it power over their lives – like those who try to ban Halloween altogether. Sadly too, there are those who delight in evil and immerse themselves in it. They become numb to what evil is – hatred and the power of death.

If we have watched old horror movies or have read the universe of good stories with their villains and heroes we confront the fact that these stories, based in the experience of their writers, reflect the fact that evil is real. We learn that vampires, werewolves, and mummies shouldn’t be let in the door. We know that these creatures, like evil, are deceptive and dangerous. We also knew that in the end good will prevail. Evil is overcome by great and even unlikely heroes.

So the Holy Church teaches us. First and foremost, the power of our Lord and Savior has overcome all evil. At His death, Jesus crushed Hell beneath His feet. His Precious Blood is the sure remedy that eliminates sin and death. He is on the Heavenly Throne. We, those who have preceded us in holy death, and the glorious band of saints and martyrs will be and are: “… the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

We should not diminish the evils of the world, or their real danger to us. At the same time we should have confidence that evil holds no power over us if we are in Jesus.

Our power and confidence come from the fact that we are children of God, people of the Light. We have a glorious band of heroes who we should model ourselves after – and like those great saints, let us all find in Jesus the example we are to follow, the way we are to go, and the attitudes we are to live. Then we will indeed be heroes and the blessed of God.

Reflection for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2015

24 October 2015 - By

This is how I respond.

He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
The restoration of Bartimae’us sight appears to be a rather ordinary. [...]Read More

Reflection for the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2015

15 October 2015 - By

Our Lord gets us.

...let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
Today our Holy Church calls us to confidence. This call comes directly from scripture. We start [...]Read More

Reflection for the Solemnity of the Christian Family 2015

11 October 2015 - By

What if things aren't so great?

And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, [...]Read More

Reflection for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2015

4 October 2015 - By

Are our hearts hard?

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him. He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?" They replied, "Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her." But Jesus told them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment.
This is the day – the set of readings [...]Read More

Reflection for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time and First Holy Communion 2015

27 September 2015 - By

Great gifts and promises.

“Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"
Today we celebrate a very special day in the life of our parish and the Holy Church. Two young people will receive from the Table of the Lord for the first time. Our readings and Gospel discuss the importance of receiving from the Lord. God is so gracious to us [...]Read More

Reflection for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2015

19 September 2015 - By

Where is victory?

Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training… With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience.
Today’s readings and gospel offer an interesting juxtaposition pointing to victory. In Wisdom we [...]Read More



…and the rest

November 2015
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