17th Week, Friday, Jul 31

Jeremiah 26:1-9 / Matthew 13:54-58 
Jeremiah prophesies trouble:The people threatened Jeremiah.

When Samuel Morse explained his plans for telegraph communication in 1842, some people ridiculed him. When Bell Telephone applied for a patent in 1876, some communication experts dismissed the telephone idea as a toy. When Thomas Edison outlined his plans for an incandescent light in 1878, the British Parliament laughed at the idea. Something like that happened to Jeremiah in today's reading. He was not only ridiculed but threatened with death for speaking out in God's name.

18 Sunday A - Liturgical Prayers

Greeting  (See First Reading)

The Lord invites us:
Listen to me
and you will have good things to eat
and rich food to enjoy.
May the Lord nourish you with his body
and may he always be with you. 
Introduction by the Celebrant (Two Options)

St. Martha - Jul 29

St. Martha

Martha was born of noble and wealthy parents, but she is still more illustrious for the hospitality she gave to Christ our Lord. After His Ascension into heaven, she was seized by the Jews, together with her brother and sister, Marcella her handmaid, and Maximin, one of the seventy-two disciples of our Lord, who had baptized the whole family, and many other Christians. They were put on board a ship without sails or oars, and left helpless on the open sea, exposed to certain shipwreck. But God guided the ship, and they all arrived safely at Marseilles.

17th Week: July 27- August 1 - Reflections

July 27 Monday: Mt 13:31-35: 31 Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” 33 He told them another parable.

17th Week, Monday, Jul 27

Jeremiah 13:1-11 / Matthew 13:31-35
God talks about his people: "I made them cling to me closely."

One approach to prayer is to get in touch with ourselves before trying to get in touch with God. For example, we sit in a chair and relax. We become aware of our clothes gripping our shoulders, legs, arms. We feel the chair gripping our body, shoes gripping our feet. When we are in touch with ourselves, we then try getting in touch with God. For example, we pray to God like this:

17 Sunday A - Liturgical Prayers

Greeting  (See Second Reading)

God chose us specially long ago
and destined us to become true images of his Son,
so that Jesus might be the eldest
of many brothers and sisters.
May our brother Jesus be always with you.

17 Sunday A: The Hidden Treasure - Parables of the KOG

There is a price for relationship - Treasure Hidden Rabindra Nath Tagore, the mystic poet of India, tells a memorable story from his own life which illustrates the truth of what Jesus teaches in today’s gospel, namely, that there is a price we have to pay in order to be in his kingdom, to keep a relationship with him.

A Shrinking Church?

16th Week: July 20-25: - Reflections

July 20 Monday:

 (St. Apollinaris, Bishop, Martyr)
Mt 12:38-42: 38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  41 The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the Wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. USCCB video reflections:

16th Sunday: WHEAT & WEEDS: Notes on the Video

16th Sunday: WHEAT and WEEDS: Mt 13:24-43:

The Lord in Mathew’s “Kingdom of God” discourse speaks about the seeds, soil, weeds, treasure and food for all (Eucharist) for four Sundays. That is the Word of God despite many oppositions, resistances, disturbances, persecutions would become food for the soul. Our sowing is o feed the spiritual hunger or the nourishment of the world. 

15th Week, Saturday, Jul 18

Micah 2:1-5 / Matthew 12:14-21
Micah warns Judah: “What you take will be taken from you.”

Micah bears a striking resemblance to Amos. He preached around 700 B.C., just before Assyria destroyed Israel in the north. Like Amos, who lived some 50 years before him, he came from the vicinity of Bethlehem. Micah also spoke out in the same blunt, unpolished way as did Amos. But where Amos preached to Israel, Micah preached to Judah in the south.

15th Week, Friday, Jul 17

Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8 / Matthew 12:1-8
Hezekiah prays to God: God answered his prayer.

Alexis Carrel was a French physician who did much of his work in the United States. He eventually won the Nobel prize for his contributions to the field of medicine. After a period of religious doubt and skepticism, Carrel underwent a profound conversion.

16th Sunday: Wheat and Weeds - Video Reflection

16 Sunday A: Wheat and Weeds - Stories & Reflection

Gospel text: Matthew 13:24-3

Michel DeVerteuil 
General Comments

15th Week, Thursday, Jul 16

Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19 / Matthew 11:28-30 
Isaiah holds out hope: Those sleeping in their graves will wake up.

After the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, a newspaper carried two pictures side by side. The first picture showed the ship’s side ripped open by the huge iceberg. Under it was printed: “The weakness of man, the supremacy of nature.” The second picture showed a passenger giving his place in a lifeboat to a woman with a child in her arms. Under it was printed: “The weakness of nature, the supremacy of man.” Isaiah sees the southern kingdom in similar terms. By itself, it appears doomed and without hope. With God’s help, however, it can rise from the grave and live again.

17th Week, Tuesday, July 26

 17th Week, Tuesday, July 26

Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28 / Matthew 13:36-43

Moses communicates with God; He talked to God as to another Person.

15th Week, Wednesday, Jul 15

Isaiah 10:5-7, 13-16 / Matthew 11:25-27 
Isaiah rebukes Assyria: “Can an ax be greater than its user?”

The nation of Assyria destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel. Now it threatened to destroy the southern kingdom of Judah, as well. Isaiah portrays Assyria as an ax in the hand of a woodsman (God) who was grubbing out the undergrowth from his vineyard (Judah). God was using Assyria to purify Judah. Meanwhile, Assyria grew arrogant, thinking that it alone was responsible for its power and its victories. This led Isaiah to remind Assyria that without the power of the woodsman’s arms the ax is useless.

15th Week: July 13-18: Reflections

July 13 Monday 
(St. Henry): Mt 10:34–11:1: 34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. 37 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.

15th Week, Tuesday, Jul 14

Isaiah 7:1-9 / Matthew 11:20-24 
God speaks through Isaiah: “If your faith is firm, you’ll be firm.”

Tennessee Williams wrote a play called The Night of the Iguana. In one scene Hannah Jelkes is talking to Mr. Shannon, who seems to have a drinking problem. Hannah says, “Liquor isn’t your problem, Mr. Shannon.” And, of course, Mr. Shannon says to Hannah, “Then what is my problem?” Hannah says, “The oldest one in the world—the need to believe in something or in someone—almost anyone— almost anything . . . something.”

15TH Week, Monday, Jul 1

 15th Week, Monday, July 11

Isaiah 1:10-17 / Matthew 10:34-11:1 

Isaiah calls for reform: “Stop all this evil.”

Wild Life and Railway Tracks in India

German Church - Catholics Leaving

A "Francis bishop" in Germany says Church is becoming irrelevant

Bishop Heiner Wilmer says Catholicism must find alternative ways to 'radiate presence and charisma'

Bishop Heiner Wilmer of Hildesheim. (Photo by Moritz Frankenberg/dpa/MaxPPP)
Catholics in Germany formally left the Church in record numbers last year. The exact figure was 272,771 – a statistic recently confirmed by the national episcopal conference.

French Catholics issue call for Church reform

Prominent French Catholics issue call for Church reform

Michel Camdessus, former Vatican policymaker and IMF director, is editor of new e-book calling for a change in Catholicism according to the vision of Pope Francis

14th Week, Tuesday, July 5th

14th Week, Tuesday, July 5th

Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13 / Matthew 9:32-38 

Hosea warns Israel: “Sow the wind; reap a storm.”

15th Sunday A: The Sower, the Seeds and Growth

 Gospel text: Matthew 13:1-23
sower1Michel DeVerteuil 
General Comments

On this and the next two Sundays we have parables of Jesus for our meditation so it would be good to remember the special characteristics of parabolic teaching.
1. Parables are wisdom teaching.  By reading them we get a new insight into life – e.g. parenting, friendship, leadership, spiritual guidance, etc.

14th Week Year 2: July 6-11:

July 6 Monday (St. Maria Goretti, Virgin, Martyr): Mt 9:18-26: 18 While he was thus speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay your  hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. 20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment; 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well.”

13th Week, Saturday, Jul 4th

Amos 9:11-15 / Matthew 9:14-17
Amos holds out hope to Israel: God said, “I will rescue my people.”

If we refuse to breathe, the air doesn’t punish or suffocate us. We punish or suffocate ourselves. If we beat our fist against a brick wall, the brick wall doesn’t punish our fist by making it bleed. We punish or bloody it ourselves. This may help us understand better the situation between Israel and God.

14th Sunday A : Come to me all who are Burdened

“Do you have any idea who I am?" 
The Los Angeles Times published the story of a commercial airline flight cancellation which resulted in a long line of travelers trying to get bookings on another flight. One man in the line grew increasingly impatient with the slow-moving line.  At last, he pushed his way to the front and angrily demanded a first-class ticket on the next available flight. "I’m sorry," said the ticket agent, “First I’ll have to take care of the people who were ahead of you in the line." The irate man then pounded his fist on the ticket counter, saying, "Do you have any idea who I am?" Whereupon, the ticket agent picked up the public address microphone and said, "Attention, please! There is a gentleman at the ticket counter who does not know who he is. If there is anyone in the airport who can identify him, please come to the counter." Hearing this, the man retreated, and the people waiting in line burst into applause.   We are like this man. We have forgotten how to wait patiently. In today’s gospel, Jesus invites us to learn his meekness and humility. (Tony Kadavil)

St. Thomas Feast - Jul 3rd: Liturgy

The gospel has some beautiful texts about St. Thomas. Not only the “My Lord and my God” after his doubt and hesitation to believe, but also “Let us too go and die with him,” and the question “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How could we know the way?” And the  Lord’s, “Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Tradition has him go as far as Persia and the Malabar region in India, where the Christians are still called “the Christians of St. Thomas.”