13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 26, 2022

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 26, 2022

13C22.   1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21.   The Lord Yahweh orders the prophet Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor.  Elijah throws his cloak over Elisha as a way of symbolizing that he is putting Elisha under his domain as an apprentice to him.  Owning so many oxen indicates that Elisha was quite wealthy and successful.  Nonetheless, Elisha definitively and drastically terminated his former livelihood and way of life to belong utterly to God’s will for him.

Luke 9:51-62.  This Sunday’s gospel reading presents a number of incidents from Jesus’ ministry.  Jesus acts in each incident with a firmness of purpose.  He calls people to follow him but they have to be properly motivated and willing to be fully committed.  The Samaritans rejected anyone who was willing to deal with the Jerusalem Jews whom they regarded as their enemies.  The first individual wanted to follow Jesus but had no idea that he would have to leave behind all the comforts of home.  The second wanted to go back to bury his father but Jesus knew that his family would demand that he stay with them to replace the father.  Yet a third wanted to say farewell to his family but Jesus knew that was where his heart was.  Following Jesus demands that one is willing to die to many of the emotions that have been for so long a part of who we were.

Galatians 5:1, 13-18.  “Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”  Our bodily desires and the worldly emotions and ways of thinking and behaving of the people around us can control us.  The Holy Spirit breathes into us a spiritual life with its ways of thinking and feeling that are at complete odds with the ways of this world.  Psalm 16:11 speaks to the Holy Spirit saying for us: “You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.”  Life in the Spirit demands some sacrifices but has far greater rewards.



13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2019

13C19.   1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21.   As a prophet, Elijah is the spokesperson and messenger of God.  God tells Elijah to anoint Elisha. That anointing is not recorded here but rather Elijah invests Elisha with the power to be a prophet by throwing his own special cloak of one who is a prophet over Elisha, as our priests who are to receive Holy Orders are invested with the priests’ chasuble and stole.  According to the commentaries I have read, Elisha drove one yoke of oxen while eleven servants drove the other eleven.  In those times the prophets were readily recognized, though not always obeyed.  When Elisha kisses his parents goodbye, they would have recognized the seriousness of his calling and not have tried to interfere with it.  By slaughtering the oxen and giving the meat to his people to eat, Elisha was terminating his means and future in farming as a way of finalizing his goodbye, completing the fullness of his acceptance of God’s calling.

Luke 9:51-62.  “When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.”  As with Elisha, Jesus had already declared that he had left his family in Nazareth to proclaim the kingdom of God, when in Luke 8:21b, he said, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” I believe that the words at the beginning of this reading that say, “When the days  for his being taken up were fulfilled,” means that he had accomplished what he want to do outside of Jerusalem and now must make his way to Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecy he had just made earlier in Luke 9:22 when, “He said, ‘ the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.’”

The Jews in Jerusalem and those in Samaria had rejected one another’s claims to being Jews and reviled one another as being charlatans or fake Jews.  Jesus rejected the disciples request for vengeance because he had come to invite and not force people to follow him.  When someone said that he wanted to follow Jesus, Jesus responded that, in following him, one must accept days a homeless, nomadic life style that Jesus was living in those days.  To another, when Jesus told him to follow him, he requested permission to bury his father.  Jesus knew that his family would demand that he stay to replace his father who had just died.  Custom and tradition would require him to take the place of his father.  To another who wanted to say farewell, Jesus said to him that he could not have his heart in two places.  Choose Jesus or your family at home.

Galatians 5:1, 13-18.  Again the call is to serve one or the other. Here it is the Spirit or the flesh.  To serve the Spirit gives us the freedom to serve what is for our eternal joy; to serve the flesh makes us slaves to our destruction.  Paul calls the Galatians to love one another because, as he writes to them, “if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another.”  If we live by the Spirit and not the flesh we gain the glorious inheritance that belongs to the children of God.

Psalm 16.   “You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.”

Corpus Christi – June 19, 2022

CorpChristiC22. Genesis 14:18-20. Through the ages Melchizedek has been seen as the prototype for what it means to be a priest. His offering of bread and wine has been traditionally viewed as a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. God is the giver of all good things.

Luke 9:11b-17. Here the goodness of God provides for the needs of his people. “They all ate and were satisfied.” That this feeding was clearly a miraculous act of God is shown by the fact that, not only were the five thousand fed, but more is left over than there was had to start with. Jesus, “looking up to heaven,” said the blessing over the loaves and fish, “broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.” Jesus here gives something of a preview of what he was to do at the institution of the Eucharist.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Paul passes on the words of the institution of the Eucharist that had come down from Jesus. Jesus had said that the Eucharist is his body and his blood, which means that, when we receive the Eucharist, we receive Jesus himself. In John 6:56, Jesus said: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” The very person of Jesus dwells or lives in us and we, in him. The essence of our faith is Jesus living in us. Secondly, Jesus demands or mandates that we have the Eucharist in remembrance of him. Since the Eucharist is the celebration of his offering up of himself, he wants us to receive that offering,

i.e. to receive him, as often as possible. Jesus died only once but rises endlessly in us in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Corpus Christi – 2019

CorpChristiC19. Genesis 14:18-20. Abram had just returned from a great victory against his enemies. He recovered his nephew “Lot and his possessions, along with the women and the other captives. (Genesis 14:16b) In celebration of the great victory God had given Abram, “Melchizedek, King of Salem, brought out bread and wine and being a priest of God Most High” and also said, “blessed be God Most High, who delivered your foes into your hand.” This prefigures the Eucharist which is liturgy of thanksgiving celebrating the work of God.

Luke 9:11b-17. “Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God.” He was helping to establish that kingdom, not a worldly one but a spiritual, heavenly one, by curing the sick and feeding the five thousand men plus women and children. These miracles testified not only to the veracity of his message but also to his divinity.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26. In the study of the historical development of Christianity from the time of Christ on, it has been found that the earliest writings of Christianity were the epistles of Paul. Here Paul is writing to the Corinthian Christians concerning their practice of the liturgy of the Eucharist. When Jesus took the bread and broke it, he said, “This is my body,” and of the cup of wine, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” He handed to his Apostles what was the bread and the cup of wine to eat and drink but now is his body and blood. In John 6:54, Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” The bread and wine still appear to be as they were, but because he is the infinitely almighty God, whatever he says is done, is done. After first changing the bread into his body and then the wine into his blood, each time he says, “Do this in remembrance of me. This Jesus repeats twice. We obey Jesus’ command when we celebrate the liturgy of the Eucharist. Proclaiming

the death of the Lord is to proclaim his sacrificing of himself to God the Father which gained for us forgiveness of our sins which, in turn, opened the Gates of Heaven to us and gives us eternal life.

Most Holy Trinity – June 12, 2022

TrinityC22. Proverbs 8:22-31. Here God’s wisdom is portrayed as a co-worker, attribute or child of God that has a life of its own that works in conjunction with or united to God. God’s wisdom delighted in and greatly enjoyed seeing the results of its craftsmanship in fashioning the human race and working in the human race. As viewed here, Wisdom seems to reflect something of the person and working of the Holy Spirit.

John 16:12-15.Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.’” My understanding of what Jesus means when he says “you cannot bear it now” is that at that point in their faith or religious development they were not prepared to grasp emotionally and intellectually additional aspects of the fullness of what God wanted to reveal to them. As lessons are given to students in a gradated way through the many years they are in school, so too development in what God wants to grow or mature in us requires an ongoing gradual building process.

Then Jesus says, “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” To be guided by the Spirit requires that we make it a daily habit to be in touch and in communion with the Spirit; that is, we ought to be people of prayer. Notice also that the possession of truth by the Godhead is something that is shared from the Father to the Son and then to the Holy Spirit, belonging to each Person of the Trinity separately and to whole Godhead as one.

Romans 5:1-5. “The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Daily the Spirit fills us with the love of God that enables us to live a spiritual life that is infinitely beyond just a physical animal bodily life. Because of the spiritual life in him, Paul was able to turn the many afflictions he endured into that spiritual character of life called holiness. In union with the Spirit we can all grow in the Lord no matter what difficulties befall us in daily life.

Most Holy Trinity – 2019

TrinityC19. Proverbs 8:22-31. Here ’wisdom’ is personified, as if it were a divine person whom God employed, to help him create the world. I believe that this passage was put here this Sunday as way of prefiguring Jesus’ work and presence in the Holy Trinity.

John 16:12-15. “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now now.’” As eighth grade material is not taught to a student who is on the fourth grade level, likewise Jesus’ disciples need to be taught by the Spirit in steps. That is true of us too. “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” Jesus gives us the divine teacher, the Holy Spirit, who uses the bible, the Church, the priests and other ministers and whatever else he desires, to teach us the truth or genuine reality of all that is forever. The Holy Spirit, along with other members of the Trinity, the One God, because of his divinity, is the only one who knows the fullness of what is the truth or reality. The Spirit teaches not as a person separate from the oneness of God but from the wholeness that is the three Persons who is the One God. He does not just teach us facts about God but gradually reveals God himself to us so that we may have eternal life. Jesus prays to the Father as the disciples listen in John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”

Romans 5:1-5. Paul had been brought to Rome as a prisoner in chains. He says we can “even boast of our afflictions” because he himself is now afflicted with imprisonment. The Spirit helps to develop our holiness through our afflictions as faith grows because we can no longer remain in Christ on our own but only with the strength of the Spirit. Faith gives us access to the grace we need to remain firm in Christ because it roots us in Christ. We are a people of hope because we know from past

experiences that the love of our God for us never lets us down. “The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

Pentecost Sunday – June 5, 2022

PentC22.   Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11.   There was “a noise like a strong driving wind.” “Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.  And they were filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Without the Holy Spirit who breathes into us spiritual life, we are just earthly animals among vast multitudes ofoly SpiritHoly Spirit we are justHoly spirit we arHHHHHHHHHH other earthly animals.  With the Holy Spirit we are capable of going beyond this world to heaven.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can choose to live spiritually in this earthly world.

John 14:15-16, 23b-26.   “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”  God’s will or ‘word’ is God’s expression of love for us.  When we live in obedience or union with God’s will, we make God’s love for us our life-giving blood.  Then God dwells within us because we have God as our life.  “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”  The Holy Spirit enables us to discern or know God’s will or what God wants of us.  God’s personal presence in us gives us not only the knowledge of what his love desires of us but also the strength and will to DO what he wants of us.

Romans 8:8-17.   “You are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.” “We are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”  We live by the Spirit when we make the breathe of the Spirit our life.  We die, as all flesh eventually dies, when we let our bodies tell us what to do, say and think.

Pentecost Sunday – 2019

PentC19.   Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11.  Here the account is of the astounding scene of Pentecost and the events that flowed from it.  “They were all filled with Holy Spirit.” That gave them the gift to proclaim “the mighty acts of God” and those who were listening heard them in their own tongue which were many.  The almighty God demonstrated his might with filling the room with “a noise like a strong driving wind” and the Holy Spirit “appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.”  In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist says that the Messiah will baptize with the Holy Spirit and a fire that will burn up the chaff, i.e. those who refuse to repent.  In this Pentecost passage, however, I think that the fire that Holy Spirit brings to the Apostles and Mary will be an intensity of enthusiasm to preach the good news of Jesus Christ, an intensity that this world cannot quench.  Genesis 1:2b relates “a mighty wind that swept over the waters.  I think that in that passage as well as the one for Pentecost the mighty wind signals the entry of the almighty God on to the scene.

1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13.   This passage begins, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”  As I understand it, Paul is virtually saying the same thing Jesus says in John 15:5c, “Without me you can do nothing” (good).  The Spirit uses us as his visible instruments to do his good works in this world, each of us in various and sundry ways.  “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”  In doing our assigned part together we build the one church through the work of the Spirit in us, who enables us to function as one coordinated entity for good of all, unity in diversity.  Jesus says in John 17:22: “I have given then the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one.”

Romans 8:8-17.    “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”  According to biology, human beings are classified as the animal homo sapiens.  Animal life has a beginning and an end where it rots and the remains go back into the soil.  Spiritual life has a beginning but no end.  For each one of us, our lives are a journey from the beginning to the end either by choosing to live the animal life by pleasing our bodies, i.e. to live according to the flesh and rejecting what God wants of us, or to choose to live the spiritual life by pleasing only God.  Those who daily choose to have the Spirit dwell in them receive the spiritual life from him and are led by him to become children of God through the power of the Spirit.  As children of God, we become “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”  By choosing Christ we alienate ourselves from the world, which will reject and even punish us for making that decision.

John 20:19-23.  After the resurrection, Jesus appears to the disciples to commission them to preach the gospel, saying, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Then “he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’”  First he gives them Holy Spirit and then the power to forgive sins.  When they went out to preach the gospel, they brought with them the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Forgiving sins was a power that only God could exercise prior to this. Now the Holy Spirit makes them the instruments of his forgiveness so that the converts to Christianity could have the Spirit dwell within them.

John 14:15-16, 23b-26.  Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give another Advocate to be with you always.”  To have God as our God we must love him with the love he gives us and obey his Will because his Will is love.  Jesus said, “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”  The Apostles and all of us who teach the faith throughout the ages will be informed and guided by the Holy Spirit so that we will not stray from the truth.  The Catholic Church and its officials, the Bible, the holy buildings and books, the sacraments are instruments of the Spirit to move us day by day on the road to the heaven.  We have God the Holy Spirit as the insurance from God the Father and Son to keep faithful and enriched for the work that God wants accomplished on earth.

Ascension – May 29, 2022

AscenC22.   Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11.   “When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  The apostles were still thinking in worldly terms, asking when Jesus would drive out the Roman conquerors and restore control of Israel to the Jews.  Instead Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  The kingdom that they were to establish was to “make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28: 19a)  Although the Apostles knew Jesus personally and so felt the power of his presence, experienced his multitudinous miracles, and heard the life-giving words he spoke, they still thought in worldly, non-spiritual ways. Jesus was to send the Spirit to change that. Then “he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.”  “Two men dressed in white garments” (angels delivering a message) then said to them, “This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”  This was the promise of Jesus’ second coming at the end of the world and universe.

Luke 24:46-53.  “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations.’” Promising them the Holy Spirit Jesus says, “Stay in the city (Jerusalem) until you are clothed with power from on high.”  The power this world uses is to physically overwhelm a person or to produce physical, material irrefutable evidence or proof that forces us to accept what is said.  On the other hand, the power that the Holy Spirit gives is move our hearts and minds to accept the Savior that we cannot see or audibly hear.

Ephesians 1:17-23.  “Brothers and sisters: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him.”  The Spirit reveals to us that we are deeply loved by Jesus and that that love is so powerful that it can give us a love that is our life for all eternity.  Jesus is the head of the church and we are the church, “his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.” The Spirit breathes into us the spiritual life that is Jesus.

Ascension – 2019

AscC19.   Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11.  “Jesus presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”  Jesus proved to his followers that he not only died to redeem us from our sins but also conquered sin and death, the fruit of sin, by his resurrection from the dead.  Then Jesus says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  In turn with the imminent arrival of the Spirit, Jesus departed from this world in his physical, bodily state, ascending up to heaven.  He will return again someday at the end of the universe.

Luke 24:46-53.  Jesus asserts his own prophetic calling to suffer and rise from the dead in order to bring all people to himself through the forgiveness of sins.  Jesus ascends to heaven to make way for the Spirit.

Ephesians 1:17-23.  May “the eyes of your hearts” see the hope for the riches of your glorious inheritance in all eternity that “the surpassing greatness of his power” has worked “for us who believe.”  God’s power has raised Jesus from the dead and then taken him up into heaven to be at his right hand. “And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.”  Jesus ascended gloriously into heaven to have us follow him there.

Hebrew 9:24-28; 1019-23.  Jesus, the unique high priest who offered himself on the cross “once to take away the sins of many,” “will appear a second time,” coming back down from heaven “to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.” “Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trust worthy.”

Psalm 47.    “God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the Lord, amid trumpet blasts.” “Sing hymns of praise.  God reigns over the nation.” The One who is gloriously almighty  loves each one of us dearly.