Faith: PSA or Fire Within?

33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: Matthew 25:14-30

Submitted for our consideration this week is a parable of Jesus known as “The Parable of the Talents”. Because we use the word “talent” to refer to a personal gift or ability one of us may have, it’s easy to assume that this is what Jesus is talking about in this parable. Jesus, in this interpretation, is telling us to discover and use our talents as best we can.  Continue reading “Faith: PSA or Fire Within?”

Like A Weaned Child

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (A): Psalm 131

Psalm 131

O Lord, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.

Nay, rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord,
both now and forever. 

In you, Lord, I have found my peace. (Psalm response)

Continue reading “Like A Weaned Child”

No Anxiety At All?

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Philippians 4:6-9

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

“Paranoia strikes deep; into your life it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid. Step out of line, the man come, and take you away” – from the song For What It’s Worth by Stephen Stills

“And any time you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain; Don’t carry the world upon your shoulder. For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder.” – from the song Hey Jude by John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Anxiety.

Do a little research, and you may be surprised at how many people struggle with anxieties in their lives. It is estimated that three out of ten Americans have some form of anxiety disorder. In one survey, 41% of all employees from a variety of industries reported high levels of anxiety in the workplace. Another survey showed that over half of all college students have sought help for their anxiety challenges. 43% of Americans take mood-altering prescriptions on a daily basis. That last statistic doesn’t include the many and varied ways that people try to self-medicate for anxiety: alcohol, other drugs, food, exercise, sex, meditation techniques, and so on. Besides this, intense anxieties tend to close people in on themselves and make them less willing to trust others. This affects not only individuals, but also families and communities of all kinds, and our nation as a whole. Anxiety, and the issues that flow from it, has become a significant epidemic in our culture.   Continue reading “No Anxiety At All?”

Whose Life Is It, Anyway?

24th Sunday of Ordinary Time (A): Romans 14:7-9

“It’s my life, and I’ll do what I want.” – The Animals, 1965

“Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” – Romans 14:8

Growing up is an interesting experience.

As children, we have some sense of ourselves as individuals. Our identity, however, is closely tied to our parents, siblings, other relatives, and friends. We tend to absorb the attitudes we find around us, even as we ask “Why?” about many things.  Continue reading “Whose Life Is It, Anyway?”

Gift and Mission

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time (A): Matthew 16:13-20

Catholic teaching points to this passage in Matthew’s Gospel as the moment when Jesus designates Peter as the primary witness of the Church’s faith in Jesus, as the head of the Apostles and thus as the first Pope. Most contemporary Scripture scholars (Protestant as well as Catholic) agree that Peter is being given a central role as the first of the Apostles, though not all agree on the implications of this role. However, Catholics believe that the mission given to Peter must endure as the Church has endured, and therefore this mission remains as that of Peter’s successors, the Popes. The Pope remains the primary witness of the Church’s faith in Jesus. Just as Jesus told Peter at the Last Supper that, after he had recovered his faith, he must strengthen his brethren, so too, the Pope is called upon to strengthen the faith of all who believe.  Continue reading “Gift and Mission”