Fr. Andrew M. Greeley
Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
July 8, 2012
The passage today is advice to the early Christian followers of Jesus to travel light, to keep a distance between themselves and their material possessions. It is undoubtedly based on advice Jesus gave his followers during his public life when he sent them forth to prepare the way in the towns and cities he was planning to visit. It was not meant to be taken literally, but it was not meant to be dismissed as rhetoric either.
Jesus and his band had a treasury, we know, because Judas the treasurer was a thief and stole from it. The apostles appointed deacons to handle administration.
The church today has enormous goods at its disposal, which generally are used well. Yet there is a terrible danger that financial administration will be confused with religious leadership – from the parish society on up to the Vatican.
Once upon a time a mommy and a daddy were preparing to take their two children for two weeks vacation in the country. They had, as do most mommies and daddies these days, a sports utility vehicle (SUV). They figured that they would travel light. For two weeks you don’t have to bring the whole house, do you?
Since the SUV was big, it was easy to pile things into it. First of all, they packed clothes. Because you can never tell what you might have to do or where you might have to go at the Lake or what the weather will be like, they didn’t really pack any more things then they would need for, let us say, a trip to Paris. Moreover they wanted their kids to look their best. So they packed comprehensive wardrobes for them too. You can never tell what might happen on a vacation, can you? Then there was the matter of toys and similar stuff. The weather might be bad so they had to pack enough toys to keep the kids happy if they were imprisoned in a cottage for two weeks. But the weather might be good, so they had to pack enough toys that the kids wouldn’t be bored on the beach. Then each of the kids had their favorite toys without which they could not survive. Did I forget the family dog?
Eventually the SUV was fully loaded and there was room for everyone except the mommy and the daddy. So they rearranged things. There hardly was room to breathe in SUV. When they got to the lake, they had to unpack all their stuff. When their vacation was over (as alas vacations tend to be) they repacked everything to drive home. Then when they arrived home they had to unpack everything. No one was talking to one another for three days.
A Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
July 8, 2012
Over the last two Sundays, the gospel of Mark has been making it abundantly clear that Jesus is indeed God Almighty, ruler of the world and lord over life and death.
But this week we come to a story that leaves us scratching our heads. Jesus goes to his own native place, and receives less than a jubilant reception. “They found him too much for them.” That may not be so surprising to those of us accustomed to family life. But what does come as a shock are these words: “He could work no miracle there . . . so much did their lack of faith distress him.”
Fourteenth Sunday: A Prophet Among Them
“You can’t handle the truth,” Jack Nicholson’s character, Colonel Nathan R. Jessep, shouted in court in the 1992 classic movie, A Few Good Men. “They can’t handle the truth,” is really what the Spirit is telling Ezekiel in this Sunday’s first reading from the beginning of this prophetic book. But that didn’t stop the fact that they would know there is a prophet among them.
The saint who refused point blank to accept the Resurrection
Thomas, who initially refused point blank to accept the fact of the Resurrection, is very much a saint for our time.
With St Peter, he appears as the most human of the Apostles. In fact the two of them resemble each other in several ways: in their spontaneously generous enthusiasm, in their failures of understanding, and in the final, enduring triumph of their faith.
Know Thyself: 10 Reflections from St. Teresa of Avila on the Spiritual Life
Listers, St. Teresa of Avila, one of the great doctors of the Church, wrote some of the most beautiful and animated descriptions of the intricacies of the spiritual life. Although some of her ideas and descriptions appear to be strange to the modern mind, her words still have something to give to this present age, an age of narcissism and selfishness. For example, I attended an evangelical school and always snarkily spoke of such-and-such girl who was “married to Jesus.” Little did I know that such an accusation was really a compliment. If only I read St. Teresa of Avila
Five Steps to Better Mental Health – According to St. Paul
We tend in modern times to link our notions of happiness and inner well-being to circumstances and happenstance. And thus happiness will be found when the things of this world are arranged in the way and quantity we like. If we just get enough money and creature comforts, we will be happy and have a better sense of mental well being.
And yet, it remains true that many can endure difficult external circumstances and yet remain inwardly content, happy and optimistic. Further, many who have much are still not content and are beset with great mental anguish, anxiety and unhappiness. Ultimately happiness is not about happenstance or circumstances, it is an inside job.
The Four Sins that Cry to Heaven (America Has Failed Four for Four)
According to the Holy Spirit speaking through the Holy Scriptures, there are four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance.
From the Douay Catholic Catechism of 1649
CHAPTER XX – The sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance
Q. 925. HOW many such sins are there?
Q. 926. What is the first of them?
A. Wilful murder, which is a voluntary and unjust taking away another’s life.?
No More Lights Under a Bushel Basket
The federal government demands that you to be a Christian for just one hour a week on Sundays and the rest of the time that light must be hidden under a bushel basket. That didn’t just happen. The government has come to believe they can get away with this. And I believe it’s because we let them.
In Sunday’s gospel, many mocked Jesus for saying a woman wasn’t dead, just sleeping. “Arise,” He said. And she did.
Showing how little things change, many today say the Church is dead. They mock and jeer Christians. But it’s time to arise.
Casting out into the Deep
When John Paul II invited the Church to cast out into the deep, he was inviting all of us to enter into the depths of prayer. Entering into the depths to discover the face of Christ, this is the great solution to the spiritual immaturity that undermines so many important efforts in the world today. In order to enter these depths requires first of all that we humbly acknowledge that we have not gone there often enough in our prayer, that we have avoided gazing on the Lord who gazes on us in love. Deep prayer is about searching for the presence of the Lord even in the face of our hostility to Him and in finding Him, surrendering everything to Him, trusting that His mercy is greater than our misery. He waits for us to do this.
5 Benefits to Praying for Your Enemies
Everyone has enemies. Batman has the Joker. Superman has Lex Luther. The Star Wars series has George Lucas. My favorite example though of the relationship between enemies is that of Frodo and Gollum. Throughout the LOTR trilogy, Frodo and Gollum have several meetings, and even travel together for a time. Gollum’s duplicitous motives caused him to attempt and commit harm against Frodo because of his weakness for his “precious”. Frodo experienced the lure of temptation, and was moved with compassion for Gollum. That relationship always stuck out in my mind of how I should think of my own enemies.
Absolution at Gettysburg: Father William Corby, C.S.C.
On the hot afternoon of July 2, 1863, the Union Army’s Irish Brigade, a unit composed predominantly of Catholic immigrants, waited for the order to go into action. It was the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, a three-day conflagration that saw over 50,000 casualties between both sides. The previous day, Robert E. Lee’s Confederates had driven the Union troops through the town of Gettysburg onto a hill called Cemetery Ridge. Now, Lee strove to dislodge them from their stronghold and destroy the Union Army.
Remember this, you who never think of God. A Meditation in the Wake of a Storm
The title of this Post is the refrain of the responsorial Psalm of Mass for Monday of this week. It is a provocative antiphon to say the least.
Given the difficulties that continue on the East Coast and the Midwest in the aftermath of Friday night’s remarkable storm (a mini hurricane, really), the readings of Monday’s Mass really spoke to how forgetful we can be regarding our fragility. Millions remain “powerless” in the midst of sweltering heat and electric companies say it may be the end of the week before power is restored. Yes, human “power” (aka electricity) is sorely lacking and all the kings horses and all the kings men are currently unable to deliver help.
India’s “impossible” miracles
Unexpected cases of healing are being witnessed in the Diocese of Itangar. Meanwhile, Catholic presence has increased by 40%
Strange things are going on in the Indian diocese of Itangar and Mgr. John Kattrukudiyl spoke about them during a visit to Germany for the periodic meeting organised by Aid to the Church in Need, the international organisation that deals with churches and Christians in countries where they face the greatest difficulties.
Joy In Suffering – The Kiss of Jesus
Hi! I’m Hannah, and I’m guest-blogging today for my dad. Today, I want to share with you part of my story, even though you may have already read some of it in the post An Overdue Letter To My Children In Heaven. I was born fourteen years ago as a three pound, fourteen ounce baby. My mom had to deal with numerous complications when she was pregnant with me, and she delivered me on her birthday. I have three siblings in Heaven, and I know my parents have wondered many times why they experienced the miscarriages of Clare, Hope, and Therese. They had to endure suffering while waiting for God to fulfill His plan.
Healing through the Divine Mercy
I know what your problem is. In fact, I know what everyone’s problem is. Furthermore, I not only know the problem, I have the solution.
Maybe your problem is that your are greedy or selfish or lustful. Maybe you are insecure or you are arrogant (which is another way to be insecure). Maybe you are confused or bereaved or lonely. Maybe you are sick and suffering, unemployed, discouraged and depressed. Maybe you think you are too fat or too thin, too poor or too rich. Maybe you have an addiction: you are an alcoholic or a sex addict or a drug addict or a fat cat financier addicted to money, status and power. Or maybe you are an adulterer or a thief or maybe you are just a comfortable middle class suburbanite who is utterly, crashingly fed up and bored. Maybe you have one of these problems or one or many more.
Exposing the Zach Walls Myth
The pampered poodles of war have been unleashed upon a social scientist who dared to mine the social science data to determine something we used to know as easily as falling out of bed: Children raised in irregular households, particularly those in sexually perverse households, do not do as well in life as children raised as nature intended.
Make no mistake, poodles can be vicious. They can tear flesh from bone. They can kill.
How Should We Evangelize?
Several of you had asked whether we would be recording the live Shameless Popery series. We did (well, some parishioners did: Frank Moley did the video, while the Marian Mantle group prepared an audio version of the talks). Here’s “Act One” of the first talk, on how to evangelize. Put differently, what should, and shouldn’t, apologetics look like?