Archives for the month of: August, 2017

In the Gospel for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Peter confesses his faith in Jesus as the Christ.  Jesus commissions Peter.  “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”  (Matthew 16: 19).  Jesus promises Peter that God shall bind and loose what he binds and looses.  Jesus confers authority to him in making decisions for the disciples.  By virtue of Baptism, Christians share in this authority to make decisions.  Every day I am authorized by God to love myself and others as Jesus loves us.  I have to decide to do the loving thing.  Dismiss the reports of natural disasters as news coverage?  Or pray for those who are devastated?  Ignore an addicted family member?  Or show some care?  Retaliate when criticized?  Or respond with honesty and compassion?  Christ wants us to decide for the common good.  When have you bound and loosed for love of God?  When have you not?

 

 

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In the Gospel for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus heals the possessed daughter of a Canaanite woman.  Since the woman is not a Jew, he is reluctant to heal her daughter.  ” ‘It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.’  [She persists.].  ‘Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.’  Then Jesus said to her in reply,  ‘O woman, great is your faith!   Let it be done for you as you wish.’  And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour” (Matthew 15: 26-28).  The Canaanite woman believed without a doubt in God’s generous and merciful love for everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike.  She knew God had enough love to go around for everyone.  She refused to accept that she and her daughter were unworthy of God’s love.  She inspires my confidence in God’s unconditional love for me.  She reminds me that God loves others I may consider unworthy.  How have you experienced God’s unconditional love?  How have you shared this love with others?

In the Gospel for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus walks on the Sea of Galilee.  “Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.  During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea.  When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.  ‘It is a ghost,’  they said, and they cried out in fear.   At once Jesus spoke to them, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid’ ” (Matthew 14: 23b-27).  “Walking on the sea” can be a metaphor for life.  Like the disciples, we encounter storms in our lives.  We do our best to deal with life’s challenges.  Like Peter, we too loose our footing.  We may sink into depression from a chronic illness, despair over a lost job, loneliness from the death of a close friend, alienation from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or even frustration over a bad day.  As he reached out a helping hand to Peter, Jesus accompanies us through the storms of our lives.   How has God walked with you through a storm in your life?  How have you walked with others?

In the Gospel for the Feast of the Transfiguration, Jesus appears to his disciples with Moses and Elijah.  “Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.  And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him”.  (Matthew 17: 1-3).  Like Moses on Mt Sinai, the face of Jesus shone with the glory of God.  Jesus radiated the presence of God.  This light of Christ we receive at Baptism glows in us.   We radiate the love of Christ for others.   We shine with the glory of God when we greet a store clerk with a smile,  visit a neighbor recuperating from surgery, reassure an anxious friend, uphold the dignity of every person no matter their race, color, or gender.  How have you shone with the love of Christ for those in need?