Friday, September 08, 2017


God has now reconciled you in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, am a minister. Colossians 1:22-23

"Have you not read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry? How he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering, which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions?" Luke 6:3-4

“Jesus, thank you for all the comforts of this world; help me to discern when they are good for me and when they are not.” (From Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly, p. 160)

The weekday cycle is divided into two years, Year I and Year II. Year I is read in odd-numbered years (2009, 2011, etc.) and Year II is used in even-numbered years (2010, 2012, etc.) The Gospels for both years are the same. During the year, the Gospels are read semi-continuously, beginning with Mark, then moving on to Matthew and Luke. 

Typically, a single book is read semi-continuously (i.e., some passages are not read) until it is finished and then a new book is started. As we enter the last twelve weeks of Ordinary Time, the weekday cycle has finished with the selections from Mark and Matthew. We now focus our study on readings from St. Luke – whom the Mass will follow on most weekdays until the end of the year (except for feast days and memorials).

Luke has us focus back on the social issues of the day. Not unlike the tug-of-war that Matthew recounted between Jesus and the Pharisees, that conflict continues. Today, the issue is two-fold. First is it on meeting the needs of the body of Christ versus meeting the laws of the temple. Jesus always meets the needs of the people – the ecclesia – when they are hungry. Furthermore, he wants us to meet those needs out of love for others even if it means using the sacred bread from the temple and even if it means working on the Sabbath to prepare the meal.
Jesus was a radical. Luke sets out describing Jesus’ public ministry with the Nazareth manifesto and at each step along the way, Jesus reinforces the mission set forth in the temple: to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and to let the oppressed go free.

No matter the situation, Jesus always sides with the powerless over the powerful, the poor over the rich, and the troubled masses over the privileged few. Jesus was not trapped by the notion of the Sabbath or the rule of law when he faced the needs of the people.

Some people ordered their life by the laws. Jesus ordered his life by divine inspiration and radical love no matter what people might think.

Sitting in a warm, dry house is such a luxury today when not only are the regular needs of the rest of the world so immense, but also because so many more are being thrust into fleeing like refugees due to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Juan or due to wildfires out west, or an earthquake in Mexico or wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Being too comfortable, too often, makes us weak in mind, body, and spirit. Think of the strength exhibited by the people in Houston who are coping with the second full week in public shelters and who have lost everything and must rebuild.

What can you give up for them? Can you send some food to Houston or Florida; Montana or Oregon; Puerto Rico or Mexico? Can you support a charity in one of these affected areas? People hunger for what you take for granted in your warm bed tonight. 

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