Showing posts from August, 2019

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1, 7-14 Highlight:  "For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." Reflection: To a lot of people, the life Christ calls us to might look bleak. He asks us to let go of our earthly possessions, put others first in everything, and embrace suffering. Meanwhile, what are we supposed to do with all these desires we have? Ignore them? Not quite. God gave us these desires. He doesn't intend for us to ignore them or suppress them, but rather to order them properly. He wants us to point those desires at the right goal - heaven. And that involves patience. Just look at how Jesus delivers the message in the gospel. First he talks about choosing the lowest place at the table, so that the host can later invite you up to a higher position. That reward follows the sacrifice pretty quickly, but the next example requires more patience. When you invite guests to a meal, don't invite those who can pay you back, because - and here's where

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading: Luke 13:22-30 Highlight:  "Then he will say to you, 'I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers.'" Reflection: This week presents another difficult gospel passage. Jesus is asked if only a few people will be saved, and his response seems to indicate that most people will not go to heaven. That contrasts sharply with the modern idea that most people are "good people" with good intentions, and that all "good people" will go to heaven. But that's not Christ's teaching. In fact, Jesus goes so far as to say that there are people who think they will be saved, who will be in for a rude awakening after their deaths. So if being "good" isn't enough, then how can we be saved? Jesus extends the gift of salvation to us through a covenant relationship, just as God did with his chosen people in the Old Testament. For those of us who have heard the gospel, that means we need to do what Jesus told

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading: Luke 12:49-53 Highlight:  "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." Reflection: This gospel passage is a jarring contrast to the popular perception of Jesus and his mission. Especially when you look at non-Christian perceptions of Jesus. I can think of at least two different works of fiction written by atheists or agnostics that claimed the central message of Jesus was to "be nice to each other." I'm sorry, but they don't execute people for telling others to "be nice." So what is Jesus saying here? He's here to disrupt families? Is that because families are inherently a bad thing? We can't conclude that, because it would be contrary to the rest of revelation. So here's my take on it. Jesus calls us to enter into - and remain in - a covenant relationship with God. If our children, or parents, or siblings, or spouses choose to turn away from this invitation, t

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading: Luke 12:32-48 Highlight:  "Your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom." Reflection: God loves us so much that he has prepared a kingdom for us. Heaven will be so much better than anything we can imagine, and certainly better than anything we could earn. The catch is that we can't settle for something less. If we are too greedy, too attached to a "kingdom" in this life, then we give up the infinitely greater kingdom waiting for us in the next life. If it helps, don't think of it as God saying, "Sorry, you messed up. As your consequence, I'm taking this reward away from you." Rather, God is making us an offer. He's telling us that there is something so much better than anything we see in this life. All we have to do is accept that offer. We have to accept God's promise instead of the false promises of the world. Geeky Quote:  "Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom." - Mufasa,  The Lio

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading: Luke 12:13-21 Highlight:  "Though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions." Reflection: This is a message we've all probably heard a thousand times. But are we really living it? Are we really making our relationship with God our highest priority? The things of this world are not evil, but they are only good if they lead us to deeper relationship with Christ. If we ever decide to cut  prayer out of our life - or skip Mass on Sunday - for the sake of something material (like a TV show or a movie, or a football game, or a comic book), then that material thing is not leading us to God. When we die, will it matter that we read that comic book, or saw that movie, or watched that game? Geeky Quote:  Billy: "Oh goodness, look at my wrist. I gotta go." Penny: "But what about your clothes?" Billy: [ checks contents of washer ] "I don't love these." - Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Prayer:  Lord, h