September 28, 2013

26th Sunday - C

Luke 16: 19-31

The Friend “Lying at the Door”

Last week, Jesus told us to “make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (16: 9)

Today’s Gospel parable is also taken from the same Chapter 16 in Luke, separated from that command by 10 verses, with Jesus’ brief teachings on some other topics.

Unfortunately, the rich man in today’s parable fails to make friends with his earthly wealth. 

The opportunity was there.  Lazarus was found “lying at his door.”  He even knows Lazarus by name.  For sure he knew the man because now, though being separated from Lazarus by that “great chasm,” he could still recognize Lazarus. 

Yet, he did nothing! 

The parable is quite clear on who we should make friends with.

26th Sunday - C (September 29, 2013)


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September 20, 2013

25th Sunday - C


What Belongs to Another?

“If you are trustworthy in what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?” (16:12) is a confusing question. 

One way of interpreting Jesus’ question is to break it down and ask, “What belongs to another?”

But first, who is this “another?”

Earlier in Chapter 12, Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool, with the warning that nobody has control over one’s own life.  Thus the warning, "You fool, this night, your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?” (12:16-21)

Looking at the question of 16:12 this way, this “another” can be a reference to God, to whom all things belong.

God has given us life, and everything else.  And it is up to us to make friends with what belongs to God  so that when all fails, “you will be welcome into eternal dwellings” (16:9).

25th Sunday - C (September 22, 2013)


September 14, 2013

24th Sunday - C

Luke 15: 1-32

“My Son”

The younger son first wants to be away from his father.  He does not want to be a son.  He gives up his sonship for material possessions.

When he returns, he is willing to trade his sonship for food and becomes a hired worker.

To the father, however, no matter what the younger son has done, he is always a son. Speaking to the servants, who for sure know what the boy has done, the father refers to him as “this son of mine.”

Interestingly, the younger son still addresses his father as father.  Yet, in the parable, the father never speaks directly to him.

The older son, on the other hand, does not address the father as “father.”  He begins his complaint with the disrespectful command, “Look.”   And he sees himself as a slave in his own house. 

The father speaks directly to him, the son who is actually more distant from him than the younger brother.  And he begins with the endearing expression “my son.” [1]

In our relationship with God, at times, even often, we see ourselves as slaves, hired workers, or whatever else.  But with God, we are always “my child, my son, my daughter.” 

And isn’t Jesus telling those who question the mercy of God that the more distant we are from God, the dearer we are to the loving Father?


[1] In the original Greek, the word used here is the endearing (“affectionate”) “τέκνον,” translated in the English version as “my son.”  In other places throughout the parable, when the word “son” appears, it is the generic noun “υἱὸς.” This word “υἱὸς” is used even when the younger son says to his father upon his return, “I no longer deserve to be called your son”  (verses 19 & 21). (;

24th Sunday - C (September 15, 2013)


September 7, 2013


Carry the Cross

“Great crowds were traveling with Jesus.”

And here, by this time in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem.

His message, his mission, and his life are not easy.

The fact is at the foot of the cross, there won’t be too many of these “great crowds.”

The cross is never easy.  Nor does it make any sense without love.

The condition of being a disciple is to carry the cross and follow Jesus, who carried his cross out of love. 

Pope Francis put it best, preaching on Peter, who, a moment after professing his faith in Jesus as the Messiah, tried to talk Jesus out of the cross.  The Pope said“The same Peter who professed Jesus Christ, now says to him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. That has nothing to do with it. I will follow you on other terms, but without the Cross. When we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord.” [1]
[1] Pope Francis, First homily as Pope on March 14, 2013

23rd Sunday - C (September 8, 2013)


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