30 Jul

Twinning

Dear Parishioners,

The twin parables of the Kingdom of Heaven this Sunday (the treasure buried in the field and the pearl of great price) are ones, I surmise, to be easily dismissed. We are currently living in the Kingdom of God—do we see it as a treasure or a pearl? No. Our lives of faith and our activity in the Church seem rather ordinary, anything but a treasure or a pearl. So, how can we relate to these parables from Matthew on the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time?

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23 Jul

In the Weeds

Dear Parishioners,

Our Lord's parables can be applied not just to the Kingdom of God at large, but to us individually. When we hear about the wheat and the weeds in the Gospel this Sunday (cf. Matt 13:24-30) there is a very personal message.

In the parable, the master tells the slave not to pull up the weeds. “Let them grow together until harvest,” he instructs. Sure, the parable informs us about the nature of the Church. The Church has “weeds”—flaws, sinners, and so forth. No field is perfect, and we should not grow too frustrated when confronted with this imperfection. The Church, though holy, will never be perfect.

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16 Jul

Parables and Divine Mysteries

Dear Parishioners,

“A sower went out to sow...” Our Lord tells us, in arguably his most well-known parable, there are four different types of landing spots for a seed: a path, rocky soil, a thorn bush, and rich soil. The seed, of course, stands for the Word of God and the landing spot is the person. Some of us are rocky soil, where Christ's message and his grace does not take root, while others of us are rich soil, where it does.

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09 Jul

Is Knowledge Power?

Dear Parishioners,

“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones”" (Matt 11:25).

We are arguably the most well-read and knowledgeable people in the history of mankind. Think of how many books exist, how much information there is on health, science, history, the environment, and so on. We watch documentaries and ‘how to’ YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, and read magazines. I don't know about you, but I am constantly reading, constantly researching. Is it out of curiosity that we want to know? Or is it out of desperation, as we subscribe subconsciously to the maxim, "knowledge is power"? Or some other reason we seek wisdom?

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02 Jul

America! America!

Dear Parishioners,

Just because we add something in life does not mean have to subtract from something else. Devotion to Jesus Christ is an addition to our lives, and it does not take away from anything else. In fact, the practice of our faith enhances all other parts of our life.

Jesus says in our Gospel today, “whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 10:39). Is it fair to wonder if some of us are afraid to truly enter into the full experience of Jesus because we are afraid of the demands he might make on us? Are we afraid we might lose something by coming to church every Sunday or praying every day or trying to live a holier life? I would challenge those of us who might have this (subconscious) thought. Remember, Jesus is a good God. He will never hurt you, but only enhance your life. “And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward” (Matt 10:42).

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