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Archive for August, 2015

Readings for the Week – September 27, 2015

Monday: Zec 8:1-8; Ps 102:16-21, 29, 22-23; Lk 9:46-50
Tuesday: Dn 7:9-10, 13-14 or Rv 12:7-12a; Ps 138:1-5; Jn 1:47-51
Wednesday: Neh 2:1-8; Ps 137:1-6; Lk 9:57-62
Thursday: Neh 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12; Ps 19:8-11; Lk 10:1-12
Friday: Bar 1:15-22; Ps 79:1b-5, 8-9; Mt 18:1-5, 10
Saturday: Bar 4:5-12, 27-29; Ps 69:33-37; Lk 10:17-24
Sunday: Gn 2:18-24; Ps 128:1-6; Heb 2:9-11; Mk 10:2-16 [2-12]

Readings for the Week – September 20, 2015

Monday: Eph 4:1-7, 11-13; Ps 19:2-5; Mt 9:9-13
Tuesday: Ezr 6:7-8, 12b, 14-20; Ps 122:1-5; Lk 8:19-21
Wednesday: Ezr 9:5-9; Tb:13:2, 3-4abefghn, 7-8; Lk 9:1-6
Thursday: Hg 1:1-8; Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b; Lk 9:7-9
Friday: Hg 2:1-9; Ps 43:1-4; Lk 9:18-22
Saturday: Zec 2:5-9, 14-15a; Jer 31:10-12ab, 13; Lk 9:43b-45
Sunday: Nm 11:25-29; Ps 19:8, 10, 12-14; Jas 5:1-6; Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

Readings for the Week – September 13, 2015

Monday: Nm 21:4b-9; Ps 78:1bc-2, 34-38; Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17
Tuesday: 1 Tm 3:1-13; Ps 101:1b-3ab, 5-6; Jn 19:25-27 or Lk 2:33-35
Wednesday: 1 Tm 3:14-16; Ps 111:1-6; Lk 7:31-35
Thursday: 1 Tm 4:12-16; Ps 111:7-10; Lk 7:36-50
Friday: 1 Tm 6:2c-12; Ps 49:6-10, 17-20; Lk 8:1-3
Saturday: 1 Tm 6:13-16; Ps 100:1b-5; Lk 8:4-15
Sunday: Wis 2:12, 17-20; Ps 54:3-8; Jas 3:16 — 4:3; Mk 9:30-37

Readings for the Week – September 6, 2015

Monday: Col 1:24 — 2:3; Ps 62:6-7, 9; Lk 6:6-11, or, for Labor Day, any readings from the Mass “For the Blessing of Human Labor,” nos. 907-911
Tuesday: Mi 5:1-4a or Rom 8:28-30; Ps 13:6 Mt 1:1-16, 18-23 (18-23)
Wednesday: Col 3:1-11; Ps 145:2-3, 10-13ab; Lk 6:20-26
Thursday: Col 3:12-17; Ps 150:1b-6; Lk 6:27-38
Friday: 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14; Ps 16:1b-2a, 5, 7-8, 11; Lk 6:39-42
Saturday: 1 Tm 1:15-17; Ps 113:1b-7; Lk 6:43-49
Sunday: Is 50:5-9a; Ps 116:1-6, 8-9; Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35

September 27, 2015 – Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

Do you trust your auto mechanic? How about the car body repairman? In the latter case I do, because over the years he has done a fine job removing whatever dents and dings appear on my car, enough to satisfy my fussiness in the matter of its appearance. So at this point he is allowed to kid with me and ask “Do you still have a license?”

However, this whole matter of having a license to do whatever one does is serious business these days. We are all potential victims of charlatans and cheats out there plying their trade with no concern for the damage they do. The worst are the so-called computer hackers and identity thieves. I came very close to being one of their victims myself recently. The upset they cause is often severe. Luckily I escaped the trap set for me. But it let me realize that license requirements may not be such bad things after all.

When Joshua, Moses’ chief aide, reports to his “boss” about two others named Eldad and Medad prophesying in the camp without any authorization (read “license”), Moses essentially tells him to relax. It’s fine with him that God bestows gifts on many people in addition to the leaders.

September 20, 2015 – Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

Teachers will easily recognize this typical classroom dialogue following a lesson:
Teacher: “Are there any questions?”
Students: Total silence.
Teacher: “Anything you don’t understand?”
One student (hesitantly): “Will this be on the test?”

And so it goes. Not necessarily all the time like that, but enough times to make it an easy recall for me after 25 years in teaching. Whatever the dynamic that is at work here, it has to involve a certain fear of the teacher’s reaction mixed in with fear of looking stupid to the class.

Note the similarity to that perennial happening with the reaction of Our Lord’s chosen disciples gathered that long ago day in Peter’s house just after Jesus predicted His passion for the second time. St. Mark tells us: “They did not understand the saying and they were afraid to question Him.”

September 13, 2015 – Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

I invite you to hum the “Jeopardy” theme to yourself and imagine a clue on the deciding category of “Things that are Too Long.” Then imagine yourself nodding as the answer turns out to be “American presidential campaigns.” I thought of this in mid-September Sunday 2015, as we have already been subjected to nine months of TV coverage of candidates and their standings in the polling data. We’re still more than a year away from November 2016! Meanwhile, if I were to ask you to name a candidate who has not downplayed poll results, and you answer correctly before the buzzer sounds, I’ll owe you a prize even Alex Trebeck can’t match.

Jesus was evidently interested in “opinion poll results.” So He surveyed His closest disciples that long ago day as they walked together enroute to Caesarea Phillipi. The men gave Him all the data they had. But then Jesus turns the tables on them and asks, “Who do you say that I am?” What a question! Can’t duck away from it. Yet a person could build a lifetime on the answer. St. Peter, standing in for millions of believing Christians yet to come, gave the best one: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” I say “best” answer because it had definitely been inspired by the Holy Spirit.

September 6, 2015 – Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

She was a sweet old lady visiting the sacristy after morning Mass asking that her simple plastic rosary be blest. She had bought it after a healing service over the weekend led by someone whose name I didn’t recognize. Rather than scandalize her with any of my skeptical thoughts, I stuck with the blessing task and sent her on her way.

I thought of that brief encounter as I reflected on today’s first and third Readings about healing in general and Jesus’ healings in particular. Looking for healing of what ails us is as natural as feeling tired after a long day. “Our natural business lies in escape” said St. Thomas More at a crucial point in the play “A Man for All Seasons.” No doubt about it. We don’t like pain. That’s why we often seek compromise with difficult decisions. Why we consciously delay any visit to the doctor for fear of what he may discover.

While I have to respect their decisions, I remain puzzled about why some believers insist on seeking out faith healers. Not only because doing so is out of step with the ordinary way we seek relief of physical ills, but also because there is an implicit denial of our Catholic understanding that our sufferings are meant to be a share in Christ’s. That would make it a badge of honor. Many saints have believed so, beginning with St. Paul in Colossians 1:24. Perhaps I’ve grown skeptical based on cinematic depictions of the travelling salesman with his wagonload of fake cure-all potions.