St. Luke the Evangelist and What “Is Written”

We are in the season of reading Luke’s gospel, and will remember that great evangelist this coming Wednesday, on October 18. So much could be said about this remarkable evangelist and the witness that he has left to “all that Jesus began to do and teach” (Acts 1:1), those things “delivered to us by eyewitnesses and ministers,” as well as those things concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in the early…

Daring to be Different: Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Second of Luke, and feast day of the Apostle Ananias.

Readings: 2 Corinthians 6:16-18, 7:1; Luke 6:31-36; Exodus 29:36-46; Isaiah 52:9-11; Ezekiel 36:25-28; 37:26-28 Our readings for this second Sunday of Luke (the seventeenth after Pentecost) bring us face-to-face with an uncomfortable part of our faith: we are to be different. The passage from 2 Corinthians is part of a slightly longer section in which the apostle Paul enjoins the Corinthians to be holy. Now we know already from his letter to…

Ashamed of God? Sunday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross

1 Samuel (Kingdoms) 21; Psalm 33/34; Gal. 2: 16-20; Mark 8:34-9:1 King David was not a stranger to shame. His times were wild and wooly—and most particularly, the times before he actually became king of Israel. Everyone remembers how Saul turned against David, and sought his life, even though David had been loyal to him. Though once favored by the king, David had to run for his life, with his band of…

O LORD, Look Down Upon this Vineyard! Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Thirteenth of Matthew

1 Cor. 16:13-24; Matthew 21:33-42; Isaiah 5:1-7; 27:1-13; 2 Peter 1: 3-12 And so we come again to the beginning of the ecclesiastical (and school!) year. In some parishes, schoolbags, children and teachers have been blessed; and on September 1, we remembered the entry of the Hebrews into the Promised Land, and the inaugural sermon that our LORD Jesus gave in the synagogue in Nazareth. It is a new beginning for us.…

Samuel the Prophet: Messenger of Justice and Forgiveness

1 Corinthians 9:1-12, Matthew 18:23-25; 1 Samuel/Kingdoms 12:3-25; 1 Samuel/1 Kingdoms 28; Psalm 99:6-9; Sirach 46:13-20 Our readings for the eleventh Sunday of Matthew happily correspond this year with our remembrance of the Holy Prophet and last of the Judges of Israel, Samuel. The themes of both the epistle and the gospel reading lead us to think about the special characteristics of this righteous leader from the early years of Israel. It…

Falling on our Faces: the Feast of the Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1-13; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Exodus 24 and 34; Daniel 10:5-10; 1 Kings 19; Malachi 4. St. Matthew tells us that when the disciples heard the voice of the Father, directing them to Jesus His Son, they “fell on their faces and were filled with awe.” All three synoptic gospels relate this event of Jesus’ transfiguration, with some difference in details and focus. But it is St. Matthew whom…

“Written For Our Instruction”: Seventh Sunday of Matthew

Romans 15:1-7, Matt 9:27-35; Psalm 69 (LXX 68) “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Our God is the God of steadfastness and encouragement. We see this clearly as Christians, for the Father has reached into our world, as St. Irenaeus puts it, by His two hands of the Son (who steadfastly endured…