July 29, 2017

17th Sunday - A (July 30, 2017)

The Image of Jesus Christ

In politics, people often split camps by what they consider conservative and liberal values. 

In recent years, so much talk and ink (and keystrokes) seem to have deepen the chasm between the traditional and progressive camps also in religions, including Christianity.

Jesus’ words today urge us to learn to appreciate and make use of “both the new and the old.”

We trust in the promised the Risen Christ made, “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).  We believe that the Holy Spirit, the gift from the Father, constantly guides the Church.  Therefore, the Church is always renewed.  At the same time, She constantly draws from Her rich storeroom.  That is why we say the Church is always alive. 

At the same time, the Holy Spirit guides each of us toward the goal of the Christian life.  This goal is not about being traditional or progressive, conservative or liberal. 
We are called to become more and more “conformed to the image of Christ.” (Second Reading).

May we have the courage of Solomon to pray for the wisdom to discern and to become more like Jesus Christ (First Reading).

Image source:  http://bfcnaz.com

July 22, 2017

16th Sunday - A (July 23, 2017)


Small Seeds of Goodness

Throughout human history, people have made (and continue to make) various attempts to explain the confounding question of good and evil.  It takes place in philosophy, ethics, literature, theology, arts, … and over a cup of coffee or a glass of beer.

In today’s first parable, Jesus tells us that good and evil will always coexist.  At times, it is not easy to separate them.  In fact, we know well that both good and evil exist in each one of us.

We will always have to live with this confusing dichotomy. 

One thing is clear, however.  Both good and evil can begin with a tiny seed. 

While in this life, we cannot always totally uproot evil.  However, we can plant the seeds of goodness.  And as Jesus tells us in the first parable, the weed cannot choke out the wheat.  It still bears good fruit. [1] 

Small seeds, with God’s grace, will become “the largest of plants.”  

[1] www.progressiveinvolvement.com
Image source:  www.agnusday.org 

July 15, 2017

15th Sunday - A (July 16, 2017)


A Path, Rocky Ground, Thorny Ground, or Rich Soil

This parable has three elements: the sower, the seed, and the ground.

The sower is the focus of the parable.  In fact, Jesus entitles it “the parable of the sower.” [1]  The outstanding and ever peculiar quality of the sower is that he sows generously and indiscriminately of the kinds of ground.  This is not typical behavior of farmers.  What does Jesus tell us here about the way God sows the seed of God’s word?

The seed is small, and may appear insignificant [2].  Yet, the genetic code for a plant or a large shrub is all there in that small seed.  The seed of God’s word has all the potential “to bear fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” 

Then there is the ground.  That’s me!

God sows the seed of God’s word generously.  The seed has all that is needed to bear fruit.

What kind of soil my ground is for the seed is up to me.  

[1] & [2]  http://www.progressiveinvolvement.com
Image source:  www.agnusday.org 

July 8, 2017

14th Sunday - A (July 9. 2017)


Revelation to the Little Ones

We might be fascinated with superheroes.  World affairs are in the hands of the powerful.  Yet, the Father reveals to the little ones the greatest wisdom – God’s love for humanity.

Superheroes are in movies.  World affairs, at times, do not seem too encouraging.  Those with power do not always improve the lives of others.

May we learn the way of Jesus’ “meek and humble” heart and lighten the burden on the shoulders of God’s children. 
Image source:  www.agnusday.org

July 1, 2017

13th Sunday - A (July 2, 2017)


Three Identifications of a Disciple

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus lists three identifications of a disciple
-       one who is sent
-       a prophet
-       a righteous person.

The one who is sent can never be greater than the Sender.

A prophet delivers God’s message, not of one’s own. 

And the message should be that of a life striving for righteousness, becoming more and more the image and reflection of the one who sends us. 

 Image source:  www.agnusday.org