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Geeky Catholic Sunday: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 6:17,20-26

Highlight: "Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied."

Reflection: There are a couple of levels on which we can take this verse. On the one hand, Jesus was talking to people who were physically hungry. But more broadly, he was talking about all of the desires we experience in this life. Our faith tells us that these desires are, at their core, supposed to lead us towards heaven. The desires are not bad, as long as they are ordered properly. Once we stop trying to satisfy our infinite desires with the finite things of this world, we realize that only God has what we're looking for.

Geeky Quote: "Organize a press conference. I want a press conference and I want an American cheeseburger. Hogan, drive. Cheeseburger first." - Tony Stark, Iron Man

Prayer: God, only you can satisfy my deepest longings. Don't let me get lost chasing after money and pleasure, but lead me to yourself. Amen.

To get these short reflecti…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 5:1-11

Highlight: "When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing."

Reflection: Once Simon Peter got over his pride and submitted to Jesus, he was met with overwhelming results. For someone whose livelihood had always depended on catching a lot of fish, I have to imagine that Peter was both excited and a little terrified. After all, if the nets tore, they would not only lose that day's haul, but they would also lose the equipment they needed to catch any more fish. God has great plans for us. Sometimes, while he is accomplishing these plans through us, we experience "tearing." Maybe it is the fracturing of relationships with people who refuse to follow Christ. Or perhaps it is the fear that comes with stepping outside our comfort zones. But if we keep Jesus in our boat, he will make sure we get through it all. And then we will be able to enjoy the fruits of our (but mostly God's) labor!

Geeky Quote:…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 4:21-30

Highlight: "'No prophet is accepted in his own native place.' . . . Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away."

Reflection: Most people have someone in their lives whom they wish would come back to the faith. A son or daughter, a sibling, parent, etc. But it seems like no matter what you say to them, they don't listen to you. In situations like this, sometimes you have to accept that perhaps you are not the "prophet" that God will use to reach your loved one. If that's the case, you will have to move on. It doesn't mean you should stop evangelizing. Jesus didn't stop evangelizing when the people tried to throw him off a cliff; he just went somewhere else to preach the Gospel. Similarly, you might have to focus your evangelization message elsewhere, and back off a bit on your efforts to bring your friends or family members back into the fold. Keep praying for them, though, and trust that God will send ano…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Third Sunday of Ordinary Time 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

Highlight: "The eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him."

Reflection: Notice the content of Jesus's message at each stage of this story, and the corresponding actions of the people. The first message Jesus proclaims is a passage from the Scriptures. All the people had to do was show up to the synagogue to hear that. But the message was nothing they hadn't heard before, and it did not have direct personal significance to them. But Jesus's next message - about the Scripture being fulfilled in their hearing - required something more from the people. They were looking intently at Him. Jesus waited until he had their attention before he continued. They had to be open to Jesus's words in order to be able to understand how the Scripture applied to their lives. The more we open our hearts to Jesus, the more directly he will speak to us. We have to do more than just show up to Mass. (Not that showing up is insignificant; a…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Second Sunday of Ordinary Time 2019

Gospel Reading: John 2:1-11

Highlight: "His mother said to the servers, 'Do whatever he tells you.'"

Reflection: Here we have on display one of the clearest Scriptural examples of the intercessory power of the Virgin Mary. We might think it unnecessary to go through Mary, because we have personal relationships with Jesus. The only reason the servers at the wedding at Cana went to Mary with their problem was that they didn't know Jesus; Mary knew him better. Mary knew him better. And that is the reason we go to Mary.

Geeky Quote: "I didn't do it for him." - Loki, Thor: The Dark World (the implication being that Loki helped Thor for their mother)

Prayer: Mother Mary, bring me closer to your Son. Amen.

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Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Baptism of the Lord 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

Highlight: "And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'"

Reflection: The first thing that comes to my mind when I read the above verse is the contrast with God the Father's words at the Transfiguration. "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." The difference is in whom God is addressing. He may be telling those gathered indirectly that He is pleased with Jesus. But he is directly speaking to Jesus. Why? Doesn't Jesus already know that the Father loves him? Surely he doesn't need these words of affirmation. But love isn't just about giving another person what they need, or even what they deserve. My wife knows that I love her, even when I'm not actively saying it or showing it. But that is no reason for me to stop saying it or showing it. The relationship between the Persons of the Trinity is one of a constant exchange of love. So we should never cease showing our l…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Epiphany of the Lord 2019

Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:1-12

Highlight: "We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage."

Reflection: The magi, even with know direct knowledge of God's revelation, were able to find Him through his creation and their human reasoning. I'm reminded of the Greek philosophers, who - before the coming of Christ and with little to no exposure to the Israelites - broke away from the polytheistic and hedonistic traditions of their culture and described One God who desired us to live virtuous lives. The magi made their connection with God at the Epiphany. The Greek philosophers may never have personally made a connection with the God of Abraham, their teachings were united and incorporated with Christianity by great minds such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. In today's world, there are many people trying to live good lives, without realizing that the best way to do that is in the Catholic faith. We have hope that they will eventually make that conn…