24th Sunday of the Year

Asking forgiveness and receiving forgiveness are the beautiful themes for this week’s Sunday readings.  The fact that all of us are always in need of mercy on one count or another reminds me of the instructive rhythm of the Church’s Lectionary cycle:  we hear the same messages again and again precisely because we need to […]

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22nd Sunday of the Year

Today’s readings clearly direct our attention to the importance of being generous and charitable to all, especially to the poor. The great sage Jesus ben-Sira (commonly called Sirach) begins this instruction with a reflection on the bond between humility and almsgiving; the Psalmist continues the theme, writing how our own kindness to the poor is […]

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20th Sunday of the Year

I have noted before that in order to establish the readings at each Sunday mass the Gospel passage is chosen first and then the remaining texts are selected to anticipate or complement the message of the Gospel.  Except for this past Easter season when the Gospel of John took center stage, we have been wending […]

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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today the Church marks the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when we recall a solemn article of our Catholic faith; namely, that Mary, “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”  In some ancient western Christian traditions and in many eastern Christian traditions […]

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18th Sunday of the Year

“Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities!  All things are vanity!” (Qoh 1:2).  I am delighted to have a reading this Sunday from the Book of Ecclesiastes, also known as the Book of Qoheleth.  I am pleased first and foremost since this book conveys much wisdom and prudent advice, and it does so in […]

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16th Sunday of the Year

The gist of this Sunday’s scripture readings is evident:  the responsibility to show authentic hospitality to visitors is highlighted through two famous incidents, and a further lesson about the responsibility to exercise a sort of “spiritual hospitality” is drawn from these accounts. First we encounter Abraham and Sarah dwelling by the “terebinth of Mamre,” which […]

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