16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The verse we hear in this Sunday’s Gospel concludes the story Mark began in 6:7-13 in which Jesus sent the Twelve out to minister, two by two. Their ministry saw amazing success; they accomplished through the Lord, what no mere human could apart from God.  When they return Jesus suggests that they go to a deserted place to take time out to rest and eat.  However, by the time they arrive to the “deserted place” the ever-present multitude greeted them with a host of expectations.  From a horizontal, human viewpoint, the mass of people looked like a multitude of burdens.  No doubt a few disciples...

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Between the last line of last week’s Gospel and the first of this week’s, but not included in either proclamation within Mass, is the passage: “And he went about among the villages teaching.” The comment provides a transition from the rejection by Jesus’ family and hometown (last week) to a preaching tour of the surrounding area (this week). This is the first stage of Jesus passing on his power and mission to the Church.  The use of the word “summoned”, in the opening line of this week’s Gospel, recalls the initial “calling” of the Twelve.  The commissioning, of which we hear...

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear of Jesus returning to his hometown.  He arrives accompanied by his disciples that is, he comes as a Rabbi.  It was the custom of Rabbis to move about the country accompanied by their circle of disciples, and so it was as a teacher, with his disciples, that Jesus arrived in Nazareth. When he teaches in the synagogue Jesus is greeted not with wonder but with contempt.  “And they took offense at him.” Familiarity had bred contempt.  “Is he not the carpenter?” Yes, Jesus was a working man.  A man of the people.  For us that...

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Saint Mark’s Gospel which we’re reading this year, is known for its rich detail in describing Jesus’ healing miracles. Today we have two stories which are provocative as well. They teach us how we relate to Christ in our daily lives. In the Gospel, Jesus responds to a synagogue official with a sick daughter, and to a woman suffering from a hemorrhage. In both situations, Christ must deal with very human emotions and complications. The household of the synagogue official is demonstrative in its grieving over the young girl’s death. They even ridicule Jesus for his persistence in offering faith. The woman with the hemorrhage has...

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this Sunday’s Gospel proclamation Jesus tells the disciples to “cross to the other side.” During Ordinary Time we journey with Jesus, crossing from where we are to where he leads. Saints and mystics have described the difficulties of the spiritual life using metaphors such as “a rocky road”, “an arid desert”, and “dark night of the soul”. These, and the image of “storm”, mentioned in the First Reading and Gospel, remind us that even steadfast faith will not spare us from difficulty and challenges in following Jesus. Be anchored in his Word! Click here for this Sunday's Liturgy of the Word Yvonne GillDirector...

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday we return to Ordinary Time and, as we are in Cycle B, most often our Gospel proclamations will be drawn from Mark. In the chapter we hear from, chapter 4, there are two parables of seeds; both are about the Kingdom but the metaphors are decidedly mixed. The parable of the mustard seed, proclaimed this Sunday, is unique to Mark; it is not found in any of the other Gospels. It encourages us to persevere in sharing Christ with others even when we do not see results. The kingdom of God does not always grow the way we think it...

Corpus Christi

“Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” ~Mark 14:22 An old tradition in the Catholic faith is to pray for a “happy” death.  I have been blessed to hear many stories of the passing of loved ones who went peacefully, happily. My own father died while my mother, my brothers, my sister, and I along with our spouses were praying the Our Father with him. A happy death is not uncommon yet there is something wonderful about this message from Mark’s gospel. Jesus knew the pain and suffering ahead of him and still chose to...

The Most Holy Trinity

As a student I found that I learned best when ideas were presented in a story format. I could retain the information through stories because they created for me a visual image of the lesson. One of my favorite ones is the experiment with fleas in a glass jar. The fleas jump out the top as fleas often do. When a lid was placed on the jar they could no longer jump out and after a period of time the lid could be removed and they still would not jump out. (I bet you are itching to find out what...

Pentecost

Veni Sancte Spiritus Whenever I hear this haunting hymn, Come, O Holy Spirit, Come, I can’t help but feel settled and at peace.  Line after line, verse after verse the spirit builds and seems to enter my core bringing with it healing and comfort. “Heal our wounds, our strength renew; On our dryness pour your dew”. On this great feast of Pentecost we celebrate Christ sending to us the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete to guard and direct us. We were promised that we would not be abandoned, and sure enough, God has provided! In John’s gospel Jesus tells his disciples; “I have much...

The Ascension of the Lord

A Commentary by Leo the Great shared by SJV Adult Formation Ministry in today's Liturgy of the Word. The sacred work of our salvation was of such value in the sight of the Creator of the universe that he counted it worth the shedding of his own blood. From the day of his birth until his passion and death this work was carried out in conditions of self-abasement; and although he showed many signs of his divinity even when he bore the form of a slave, yet, strictly speaking, the events of that time were concerned with proving the reality of the...