February 7th, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Ordinary Time” is that time of the Church Year that is neither Lent and Easter nor Advent and Christmas. It is time which is “devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects”.*
In our culture, the word “ordinary” has connotations of “nothing special”, “so-so”, or “humdrum”. In that sense of the word, nothing could be further from the truth! No part of a believing Christian’s life can ever be “ordinary”.
We enter this mystery at our Baptism, and continue to live it out for the rest of our lives. If we fail to do this, we are missing the point for which we are living. So, each year, the Church presents us with the “Liturgical Year” which puts before our minds the complete mystery of our Salvation, beginning with the prophets of the Old Testament during Advent, and continuing to the feast of Christ the King in November.
If, each year, we are faithful to celebrating the Mass each week and listening to the readings, how can we fail to become more familiar with this mystery of Jesus and our Salvation? Consider how well you would know the story of a book if you read it as many times as your adult years! Do you know the story of Jesus and Salvation that well?
*General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar
January 31st, 2016
What Makes the Difference?
Today is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In this day’s second reading we hear St. Paul’s digression on “love”. First he speaks of the necessity of love, and then lists some of the virtues that flow from love. This is a well known and well loved passage. (1 Corinthians 12:13-13:13)
But what is love? This is a difficult, if not impossible question for us humans to answer. Recently some of us heard a homily in which the homilist insisted that God loved each person exactly the same - loved me as much as he loved his mother! My immediate response was “no way!” But as I thought this over I remembered St. John’s statement that “God is love”. I realized that since God is infinitely simple, he can only have one love, and that is himself. We are all loved in that one love. Therefore, it is our response to that love that makes all the difference!
January 24th, 2016
“Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength”
Today’s first reading and psalm remind us that God’s commands are not meant to be a burden, but a road map to happiness and joy.
In the second reading, St. Paul continues his theme of last week, expressing diversity of gifts in one unified body. “In one Spirit, we are all baptized into one body.” I cannot find any better words to say this than St. Paul used, so I suggest you reread this passage. (1 Corinthians 12:12-30)
I urge you to enter into this sentiment by joining in our Communion song:
“One bread, one body, one Lord of all,
One cup of blessing which we bless,
And we, though many, throughout the earth,
We are one body in this one Lord.”
In today’s second reading, St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that the Spirit gives all of us many spiritual gifts, but we each receive different gifts. Perhaps a good thing to do today after listening to this reading would be to take a mental survey of all the good things that happen in our parish, and then to consider the gifts of all those who make these things happen. Then look at your own gifts and reflect on how you are using them. Is there any gift you have and could further use to bring help, gladness, or joy to others?