August 31, 2019
“My Friend, Move Up”
I am at a banquet, sitting where I belong, in the lowest place. Jesus himself comes and sits next to me. Next thing I know; he invites me to move up.
In the mystery of the Incarnation, out of love for us sinners, the Son of God came to live among us, and be one with us (Philippians 2: 5-8). Through his death on the cross, he takes away our sins and brings us to the higher seats – those of the children of God.
And it is not just a seat at a table in the afterlife. Even now, at the Eucharistic Table, we are already sitting at God’s table!
Image source: www.agnusday.org
August 24, 2019
The Narrow Gate
Jesus continues “making his way to Jerusalem” – to the cross.
Christian discipleship, which is our following of Jesus, always involves the cross. That is “the narrow gate.”
Christian discipleship is not about connections or even membership. It is not enough to claim “We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.”
Jesus surely teaches. But do I listen?
Christian discipleship involves listening to Jesus and living his way. Yet so often, Jesus’ way contradicts our political, cultural, economic, and societal values. There, the narrow gate!
August 17, 2019
“Keep Our Eyes Fixed on Jesus”
Jesus said to his disciples then, and to us today, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing.”
Jesus said these words as he continues his journey toward Jerusalem, where he will complete his mission through his death and resurrection, which he here refers to as the “baptism.”
We all know difficulties and trials in our personal lives and in the life of the Church.
May we not lose sight of the mission that Jesus has shared with us – “to set the earth on fire.”
The Letter to the Hebrews (2nd reading) reminds us of how Jesus did it – by enduring the cross. So we need to “persevere in running the race … while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.”
The saints who form “so great a cloud of witnesses” have done this. They now support us with their examples and prayers for us, and continue to cheer us on.
August 10, 2019
The Father’s Gift
Two Sundays ago, Jesus taught us to pray for to the Father that “Your kingdom come” and “give us each day our daily bread.”
Last week, Jesus told us the parable of a person who is self-centered, ungrateful to God, and has no concerns for others. He only cares about his earthly possessions and the pleasure of this passing life.
Today, Jesus tells us that the Father “is pleased to give you the kingdom.”
We need to live this earthly life knowing that we are already living in God’s kingdom, even though its fullness has not yet been a reality.
August 3, 2019
Prior to today’s Gospel, Jesus was preaching to the crowd. Among the things Jesus said to them were these two verses, “Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12: 6-7)
And here, in the same crowd, a person asks Jesus to be a judge of a family matter over their inheritance.
That context gives us some possible insights to the parable.
It is the land that “produced a bountiful harvest.” In other words, the rich man could hardly take credit for his wealth  .
He does not acknowledge God who has given him the harvest. Nor does he pay attention to the poor people around him, and there were many poor people in Palestine at the time of Jesus.
The rich man’s self-centeredness costs him his sensibility, the purpose of his life, and in fact, life itself.
He has become a fool.