Daily Homilies — January 9-14, 2023

Daily Homilies

Daily Homilies

Daily Homilies

Daily Homilies

Daily Homilies
MONDAY 9TUESDAY 10WEDNESDAY 11THURSDAY 12FRIDAY 13SATURDAY 14

JANUARY

MONDAY


9

Is 42:1-4, 6-7
Mt 3:13-17

Divine
Office

About

Invitatory

Office of Readings

Morning Prayer

Midmorning Prayer

Midday Prayer

Midafternoon Prayer

Evening Prayer

Night Prayer

Intercessory Prayers

Thoughts
on Today’s
Gospel

Courtesy of EVANGELI.NET
  • “Christ appeared in the world, and, bringing beauty out of disarray, gave it luster and joy. He bore the world’s sins and crushed the world’s enemy. He sanctified the fountains of waters and enlightened the minds of men.” (Saint Proclus of Constantinople)
  • “Before ascending to Heaven, Jesus told us to go into all the world to baptize. And from that day forward up until today, this has been an uninterrupted chain: they baptized their children, and their children their own, and those children… And also today this chain continues.” (Francis)
  • “Jesus’ public life begins with his baptism by John in the Jordan. John preaches ‘a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins’ (…). ‘Then Jesus appears’ (…) and receives baptism. Then the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes upon Jesus and a voice from heaven proclaims, ‘This is my beloved Son’ (Mt 3,13:17) This is the manifestation (“Epiphany”) of Jesus as Messiah of Israel and Son of God.” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 535)

THIS WEEK’S LITURGICAL CALENDAR

  • 9 Mon The Baptism of the Lord white Feast Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Acts 10:34-38/Mt 3:13-17 (21) Pss Prop
  • 10 Tue Weekday (First Week in Ordinary Time) green Heb 2:5-12/Mk 1:21-28 (306) or Heb 1:1-6 (305) and 2:5-12 (306)/Mk 1:14-20 (305) and 1:21-28 (306) Pss I
  • 11 Wed Weekday green Heb 2:14-18/Mk 1:29-39 (307) 15
  • 12 Thu Weekday green Heb 3:7-14/Mk 1:40-45 (308)
  • 13 Fri Weekday green/white [Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Heb 4:1-5, 11/Mk 2:1-12 (309)
  • 14 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Heb 4:12-16/Mk 2:13-17 (310)
YouTube player


Father Thomas Domurat preaches about the Baptism of Jesus and spreading the Good News of God’s love in a homily given on January 9, 2017.

SOURCE: The CatholicTV Network

The Baptism of the Lord

FR. TONY'S GOSPEL COMMENTARY

Context

The Baptism of the Lord is the great event celebrated by the Eastern churches on the feast of Epiphany because it is the occasion of the first public revelation of all the Three Persons in the Holy Trinity, and the official revelation of Jesus as the Son of God to the world by God the Father.  Hence, it is described by all four Gospels. It marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.

The turning point: His baptism by John was a very important event in the life of Jesus. First it was a moment of identification with us sinners. Sinless, Jesus received the baptism of repentance to identify himself with his people who realized for the first time that they were sinners.  [St. Damien, St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), Gandhi, and Mandela identified with the people whom they served.] Second, it was a moment of conviction about His identity and mission: that He is the Son of God and that His mission was  both to preach the Good News of God’s love and salvation, and to atone for our sins by becoming the “suffering servant.” The  Father’s words, “This is my beloved Son,” taken from Psalm 2:17, gave Jesus the identity of God’s Son, and the words “with whom I am well pleased,” from Isaiah 42:1 (referring to the suffering servant“), pointed to Jesus’ mission of atoning for the sins of the world by His suffering and death on the cross. Third, it was a moment of equipment and empowerment.  The Holy Spirit equipped and empowered Jesus by descending on him in the form of dove, and giving him the power of preaching and healing. Fourth, it was a moment of decision to begin his public ministry at the most opportune time after receiving the approval of his Heavenly Father as His beloved Son.

Life Messages

(1) The baptism of Jesus reminds us of our identity. It reminds us of who we are and Whose we are.  By Baptism we become sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, members of his Church, heirs of heaven and temples of the Holy Spirit.

(2) Jesus’ baptism reminds us also of our mission:  a) to experience the presence of God within us, to acknowledge our own dignity as God’s children, and to appreciate the Divine Presence in others by honoring them, loving them, and serving them in all humility; b) to live as the children of God in thought, word, and action. c) to lead a holy and transparent Christian life and not to desecrate  our bodies (the temples of the Holy Spirit and members of Jesus’ Body), by impurity, injustice, intolerance, jealousy, or hatred; d) to accept both the good and the bad experiences of life as the gifts of a loving Heavenly Father for our growth in holiness; e) to grow daily in intimacy with God by personal and family prayers, by meditative reading of the Word of God, by participating in the Holy Mass, and by frequenting the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

 (3) It is a day to thank God for the graces we have received in Baptism, to renew our Baptismal promises, and to preach Christ’s ‘Good News’ by our transparent Christian lives of love, mercy, service and forgiveness.

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homilies
CARMELITE COMMENTARY
  • Mt 13: 13 The adult Jesus After John “appears” on the scene (13: 1), Jesus of Nazareth, where he spent his childhood and early youth (Mt 12: 23), goes to the river Jordan. As a good Israelite, he watches the authentic religious movements that spring up among the people. He shows that he approves of the work of John and decides to be baptized with water, not, of course, to receive forgiveness for sins, but to unite himself and share fully in the expectations and hopes of all men and women. It is not humankind that goes to Him, but He who goes towards humankind, according to the logic of the incarnation. 31
  • Mt 13: 14-15 the dialogue of John with Jesus John’s attempt to prevent the baptism of Jesus is his acknowledgement of the difference between the two and an awareness of the new (the New Covenant) making its appearance.“The one who followsme… willbaptise you withthe Holy Spirit and fire… his winnowing-fan is in his hand… will clear… will gather… will burn…” (vv. 11- 12). Jesus’ attitude is still one of submitting to God’s saving plan (in this way, do all that righteousness demands), respecting the manner (in humility-kenosis) and the times (the time-kairos). We also see the difference between the two from their families of origin (priestly for John), from the places (Jerusalem for John, Nazareth for Jesus) from the manner of conception (a proclamation to the father, Zachary, in the old style; a proclamation to the mother, Mary), the parents’ ages (those of John old). Everything points to the passage from the old to the new. Matthew prepares the readers for the newness of the Christ: “you have heard it said, but I say to you” (Mt 5).
  • Mt 13: 16-17 the presentation of God the Father and the Holy Spirit In Matthew’s Gospel we have the solemn “adoration of the Magi” in acknowledgement of the royalty and divinity of Jesus. Luke also adds the acknowledgement of Elisabeth (Lk 1:42-43), of the angels (Lk 2:13-14) of the shepherds (Lk 2:20), and of the old Simeon and Anna (Lk 2:30; 28). All the Evangelists record the proclamation of the divine identity of Jesus by God the Father and the Holy Spirit present in the form of a dove. Matthew says clearly “This is” not “you are” my Son, the Beloved. Jesus is divine by nature and also the new Adam, the beginning of a new humanity reconciled with God as well as nature reconciled with God by means of Christ’s immersion in the waters. The heavens are reopened after being closed for such a long time by sin, and earth is blessed. The descent of Christ into the waters prefigures his descent into hell and the words of the Psalmist come true (Ps 74: 13-14), he crushes the head of the foe. The Baptism not only prefigures but inaugurates and anticipates Satan’s defeat and the liberation of Adam. However, it will not be easy to recognize the Messiah in his weakness. John himself has some doubts when in prison, and he sends his disciples to ask “are you the one who is to come or have we got to wait for someone else?” (Mt 11: 3).
SOURCE: Carmelite Lectio Divina

Baptism of Christ

Painted by Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488) and Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519),
Painted between 1472-1475,
Oil on wood
© Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Our painting depicting the Baptism of Christ, was painted between 1472-1475 in the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio, with the help of his pupil Leonardo da Vinci. The angel to the far left is painted by the youthful Leonardo. If you look up close, you will notice the face is painted by a different hand from the rest of the painting. The fact that Leonardo painted that angel has given rise to so much special comment and mythology over the years that the importance and value of the picture as a whole and within the œuvre of Verrocchio is often overlooked.

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SOURCE: CHRIStiAN ART

Daily Homilies

Epiphany vs. Baptism of the Lord

Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations….

by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

My PhotoIf you ask me — and no one has — this feast should take precedence over the Epiphany. I know that the Epiphany is more charming with its melancholy hymn (We three kings…) and the miniature magi finally arriving at the creche before the whole thing is dismantled until next year; and I understand that the Eastern Churches celebrate today as their “christmas” and, in the everlasting effort to reunite the Church we should honor the feast. But, given that the western Epiphany is but a shadow, an overdue echo of Christmas, I would prefer to celebrate the Baptism of the Lord on Sunday. And I would use all three readings, even on this Monday.

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SOURCE: DAILY HOMLIIES by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

Daily Homilies

Begin with Baptism

“…beginning in Galilee with the baptism…” —Acts 10:37

PRESENTATION MINISTRIES INC - GuideStar ProfileJesus’ Baptism is narrated in all four Gospels, indicating how important it is (Mt 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-22; Jn 1:29-34). Jesus voluntarily submitted Himself to St. John’s baptism of repentance, even though He had no need to repent of any sin. He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness (Mt 3:15). This is why Jesus came to earth. Jesus submitted to Baptism for each one of us. His Baptism is a manifestation of His self-emptying (see Phil 2:7). Jesus’ entire ministry is one of giving Himself completely, to the last breath and the last drop of His blood. In this way, Jesus released humanity from its bondage to sin.

“After His resurrection, Christ gives this mission to His apostles: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…teaching them…’ ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1223). In Baptism we are made righteous again, through the blood of Christ.

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SOURCE: Presentation Ministries

Daily Homilies

JANUARY

TUESDAY


10

Heb 2:5-12
Mk 1:21-28

Divine
Office

Invitatory

Office of Readings

Morning Prayer

Midmorning Prayer

Midday Prayer

Midafternoon Prayer

Evening Prayer

Night Prayer

Intercessory Prayers

Thoughts
on Today’s
Gospel

Courtesy of EVANGELI.NET
  • “Love for God cannot be taught. Knowledge of the love of God does not come from outside. But in the same time when man was composed, a seminal was deposited in us, which possesses from its own the causes of appropriating love.” (Saint Basil the Great)
  • “The novelty of Jesus is that he brings the Word of God, the God’s love for each of us. Jesus look into people’s hearts. And he seek to bring God close to people and people close to God.” (Francis)
  • “His works and words will manifest him as ‘the Holy One of God’ (Mk 1:24).” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 438)

THIS WEEK’S LITURGICAL CALENDAR

  • 9 Mon The Baptism of the Lord white Feast Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Acts 10:34-38/Mt 3:13-17 (21) Pss Prop
  • 10 Tue Weekday (First Week in Ordinary Time) green Heb 2:5-12/Mk 1:21-28 (306) or Heb 1:1-6 (305) and 2:5-12 (306)/Mk 1:14-20 (305) and 1:21-28 (306) Pss I
  • 11 Wed Weekday green Heb 2:14-18/Mk 1:29-39 (307) 15
  • 12 Thu Weekday green Heb 3:7-14/Mk 1:40-45 (308)
  • 13 Fri Weekday green/white [Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Heb 4:1-5, 11/Mk 2:1-12 (309)
  • 14 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Heb 4:12-16/Mk 2:13-17 (310)
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Father Paul Ring preaches about Jesus being fully human and fully divine. January 10, 2017

SOURCE: The CatholicTV Network

Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

FR. TONY'S GOSPEL COMMENTARY

Context

Jesus made the city of Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (the center of the fishing business), his headquarters. There he started his preaching, teaching, and healing ministry. The people were impressed by the authority of his teaching. The Old Testament prophets had taught using God’s delegated authority, and the scribes and Pharisees taught quoting Moses, the prophets, and the great rabbis. But Jesus taught using his own authority and knowledge as God. Perfect knowledge of God, perfect accomplishment of God’s will, and absolute confidence in God were the sources of Jesus’ authority.

The second part of today’s Gospel describes a healing by exorcism which Jesus performed in the synagogue. We are told how Jesus, using his authority as God, cast out the devil by just one command: “Be silent, and come out of him!” In first-century Palestine, most sicknesses, especially mental illness, were considered to be the result of demonic possession, and both Jewish and pagan exorcists used lengthy procedures and physical force in their exorcisms. When Jesus commanded the Evil One to depart, it did so at once, and in its rush to depart, convulsed the man. Thus, Jesus demonstrated that he is the Messiah, the Savior, more powerful than the demon.

Life Messages

1) Our Faith is based on the Divinity of Christ, which is proved by his miracles; these, in turn, give authority and validity to his teaching and promises. Hence, let us accept Jesus’ teachings even if some of them are mysteries beyond our reach.

2)  Let us read the authoritative word of God every day and assimilate it into our lives.

3) In our illnesses, let us confidently approach Jesus, the healer, with trusting Faith and then go to the doctors who serve as the current instruments of Jesus’ healing ministry in our midst.

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homilies
CARMELITE COMMENTARY
  • Sequence of the Gospels of the days of this week. Yesterday’s Gospel informed us concerning the first activity of Jesus: he called four persons to form the community with them (Mk 1, 16-10). Today’s Gospel describes the admiration of people before the teaching of Jesus (Mt 1, 21-22) and the first miracle when he expels the devil (Mk 1, 23- 28). The Gospel of tomorrow narrates the cure of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mk 1, 29- 31), the healing of many sick persons (Mk 1, 32-34) and the prayer of Jesus in an isolated place (Mk 1, 35-39). Mark gathers all these episodes which had been transmitted orally in the communities and he joins them together like bricks of one only wall. In the years 70’s, the year in which he writes, the Communities needed orientation. By describing how Jesus began his activity, Mark indicates what they should do and how, to announce the Good News. Mark gives them a catechesis, by telling the Communities the events of the life of Jesus.
  • Jesus teaches with authority, differently from the way the Scribes do it. The first thing that the people perceive is the diverse way in which Jesus teaches. It is not so much the content, but rather the way in which he teaches that impresses the people. For this reason, by his different way, Jesus creates a critical conscience in people concerning the religious authority of that time. The people perceive, they compare and says: He teaches with authority, in a way different from the way the Scribes do it. The Scribes of that time taught quoting the authority. Jesus does not quote any authority, but he speaks beginning with his experience of God and of his life. His word is rooted in the heart.
  • You have come to destroy us! In Mark, the first miracle is the expulsion of the devil. Jesus struggles and expels the power of evil which takes possession of persons andalienated them from themselves. The man possessed by the devil shouts: “I know who you are: You are the Holy One of God!” The man repeated the official teaching which presented the Messiah as the “Holy One of God”, that is as a High Priest, or like a King, Judge, Doctor or General. Even today also, many people live alienated from themselves, deceived by the power of mass media, means of communication, by propaganda of business. They repeat what they hear others say. They live as slaves of consumerism, oppressed by the power of money, threatened by debtors. Many think that their life is not as it shouldbe if they cannotbuy what the propaganda announces and recommends.
  • Jesus rebuked the evil spirit: “Be quiet! Come out of him!” The spirit threw the man into convulsions, and with a loud cry went out of him. Jesus restores the person to himself. He gives him back his conscience and his liberty. He makes the person recover his complete judgment (cf. Mk 5, 15). Then it was not easy, it was not easy yesterday, it is not easy today to do in such a way that a person begins to think and to act in a way diverse from the official ideology.
  • A new teaching! He commands even the evil spirits. The first two signs of the Good News are these: his different way of teaching the things of God, and his power over evil spirits. Jesus opens a new road in order that people can attain purity. At that time, a person who was declared impure could not present himself/herself before God to 34 pray and to receive the blessing promised by God to Abraham. He/she should first purify himself/herself. These and many other laws and norms made the life of people very difficult and marginalized many persons who were considered impure, far from God. Now, purified by the contact with Jesus, persons could present themselves before God. This was for them a great Good News!
SOURCE: Carmelite Lectio Divina

Unlike the scribes, Jesus taught them with authority

Three Miracles of Saint Zenobius,
Painted by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510),
Painted circa 1500,
Tempera on wood
© National Gallery, London

Mark writes that Jesus taught with authority. Jesus wasn’t just interpreting the laws but  was teaching with authority. This was different from the scribes, whose teaching was dependent on what others had said or written before them. Jesus however was teaching with authority. Mark is writing these words, alongside the performance of an exorcism as he wants to set the tone and make the point that Jesus came to heal as well as teach. Jesus, from the very start of his ministry revealed how the gift of Christ’s power is to be revealed: not in dominance but in healing! Casting out devils is part of this healing. The exorcisms are a witness to the final victory of the Kingdom of God over evil and death.

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SOURCE: CHRIStiAN ART

Daily Homilies

Authority

by Fr. Carmen Mele, O.P.

Karl Rahner was one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century.  His ideas provided a synthesis of Thomas Aquinas and contemporary philosophers like Martin Heidegger.  Interestingly, Rahner’s books contain few footnotes.  Evidently he did not feel the need to validate his ideas by referring to his sources.  They were accepted on his own authority.  In today’s gospel Jesus is likewise credited for this kind of teaching.

The passage compares Jesus’ teaching with that of the scribes.  Where the scribes have to cite many passages to make their case, Jesus’ commentary on Scripture is simple and clear.  It impresses the people who can judge authentic wisdom from mere sophistry.  Jesus’ outstanding ability is indicated by the passage’s stating twice that he teaches with “authority.”

But we accept Jesus’ teaching for more reason than the fact that he speaks with authority.  After all charlatans can move people by their conviction.  Jesus’ teaching rings true in the recesses of the human heart.  We know deep down that we must love even those who hate us if we are to come close to God.  In the Eucharist Jesus draws so close to us that we not only have his truth but feel his strength.  He enables us to live with complete integrity.

RELATED: Dominican Friars – Province of St. Martin de Porres

Daily Homilies

Amazement

All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

My PhotoOn this tenth day of the new year, entering the less turbulent waters of “ordinary time,” the Gospel invites us to amazement.

That’s a good place to begin each day. Some people would call it gratitude and I don’t disagree. But gratitude must include an ingredient of amazement.

Isn’t it wonderful what God has done?

Isn’t it wonderful that God has sent his only Son to be our Savior and Lord?

In retrospect we know we could not be saved in any other way. All the good advice in the world doesn’t help. All the good intentions we can muster don’t amount to a hill of beans.

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SOURCE: DAILY HOMLIIES by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

Daily Homilies

Jesus Fights Evil

“There appeared in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit that shrieked.” —Mark 1:23

PRESENTATION MINISTRIES INC - GuideStar ProfileAs we begin “ordinary” time, we are already reading about Jesus driving out demons (Mk 1:25-26). Throughout the year, we will hear reading after reading about the Lord’s victory over the evil one. We will meet St. Michael the archangel and several saints, who were each victorious over the evil one. At the Masses on Easter Sunday, in every Catholic church in the world, the Church will invite us to publicly renounce Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises.

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SOURCE: Presentation Ministries

Daily Homilies

JANUARY

WEDNESDAY


11

Heb 2:14-18
Mk 1:29-39

Divine
Office

Invitatory

Office of Readings

Morning Prayer

Midmorning Prayer

Midday Prayer

Midafternoon Prayer

Evening Prayer

Night Prayer

Intercessory Prayers

Thoughts
on Today’s
Gospel

Courtesy of EVANGELI.NET
  • “Take heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to God, and show forth His praise. For when you assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Satan are destroyed, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith.” (Saint Ignatius of Antioch)
  • “‘Beautiful love’ is learned above all by praying. Prayer brings always some kind of secluded retreat with Christ in God. The Holy Spirit only acts in such ‘secluded retreat’.” (Saint John Paul II)
  • “One does not undertake contemplative prayer only when one has the time: one makes time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and dryness one may encounter.” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 2710)

THIS WEEK’S LITURGICAL CALENDAR

  • 9 Mon The Baptism of the Lord white Feast Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Acts 10:34-38/Mt 3:13-17 (21) Pss Prop
  • 10 Tue Weekday (First Week in Ordinary Time) green Heb 2:5-12/Mk 1:21-28 (306) or Heb 1:1-6 (305) and 2:5-12 (306)/Mk 1:14-20 (305) and 1:21-28 (306) Pss I
  • 11 Wed Weekday green Heb 2:14-18/Mk 1:29-39 (307) 15
  • 12 Thu Weekday green Heb 3:7-14/Mk 1:40-45 (308)
  • 13 Fri Weekday green/white [Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Heb 4:1-5, 11/Mk 2:1-12 (309)
  • 14 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Heb 4:12-16/Mk 2:13-17 (310)
YouTube player


Father Gerald Souza preaches about how Jesus gives us access to God the Father. January 11, 2017

SOURCE: The CatholicTV Network

Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

FR. TONY'S GOSPEL COMMENTARY

Context

Today’s Gospel tells us that preaching the Good News of  God’s love, mercy, and salvation and healing the sick were the means Jesus used to enable his listeners to do the will of God and thus to build up the Kingdom of God, allowing God to take control of their lives.  We are also told that Jesus recharged his spiritual batteries by talking with and listening to his Heavenly Father. Thus, preaching, healing,  and recharging spiritual power by prayer were the three key points of Jesus’ public ministry.

Healing mission: Jesus was never tired of healing the sick, thus demonstrating the mercy and compassion of his Heavenly Father to every sick person who approached him with trusting Faith. As soon as he had finished the day’s preaching in the synagogue on one Sabbath, Jesus went to Simon’s home and healed Simon’s mother-in-law of a fever. In the evening when the Sabbath rest was over, people brought all their sick dear ones to Jesus for healing and exorcism, and he healed them all.  Jesus began the next day very early, spending time in prayer in a lonely place.

Life Messages

1) We are called to continue Jesus’ preaching mission primarily by bearing witness to Christ through our day-to-day lives, as we radiate Christ’s mercy, love, forgiveness, and spirit of humble service to all around us.

2) We can participate in Jesus’ healing mission by praying for the sick, by visiting them, and by helping and encouraging the sick and shut-ins. 3) But in order to continue Jesus’ preaching and healing mission, we, too, need to have our spiritual batteries recharged every day by prayer as Jesus did.

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homilies
CARMELITE COMMENTARY
  •  Jesus restores life for the service. After having participated in the celebration of Saturday in the Synagogue, Jesus went to Peter’s house and cured his mother-inlaw. Once healed, she gets up and, with her health restored and having recovered her dignity, she begins to serve the persons. Jesus does not only heal the person, but he does it in such a way that she begins to serve life.
  • Jesus accepts the marginalized. When it begins to get dark, in the afternoon, at the end of Saturday when the first star shines in the sky, Jesus accepts and cures the sick and those possessed whom people had brought to him. The sick and those possessed were the most marginalized persons of that time. They had nobody to whom to have recourse. They depended on public charity. Besides this, religion considered them impure. They could not participate in the community, it was as if God rejected and excluded them. Therefore, it can very clearly be seen in what the Good News of God consists and that which he wants to do in the life of people: to accept the marginalized and the excluded, and to insert them again to live together in the community.
  • To remain united to the Father, in prayer. Jesus is presented to us while he prays. He makes a great effort to have the time and the adequate environment to pray. He rises before the others and goes to a deserted place, to be able to be alone with God. Many times the Gospels speak to us about the prayer of Jesus, in silence (Mt 14: 22- 23); Mk 1: 35; Lk 5: 15-16; 3: 21-22). Through prayer he maintains alive the awareness of his mission.
  • To maintain alive the awareness of the mission and not to close oneself up in the results already obtained. Jesus is known. Everybody follows him. This publicity pleases the disciples. They go to look for Jesus to take him back to the people who were seeking for him, and they tell him: All are looking for you. They thought that Jesus would go to the banquet. They were disillusioned! Jesus does not pay attention and tells them: Let us go elsewhere. It is precisely for this that I have come! Surely, they must have been surprised! Jesus was not like what they had imagined him to be. Jesus had a very clear conscience of the mission and wants to transmit this to the disciples. He does not want them to close up themselves in the results already obtained. They should not look back. But, like Jesus, they should maintain alive the conscience of their mission. It is the mission received from the Father, which has to orientate their decisions.
  • It is precisely for this that I have come! This was the first misunderstanding between Jesus and his disciples. At present, it is only a question of a small divergence. Later on, in the Gospel of Mark, this misunderstanding, in spite of the many advertences of Jesus, will grow and will practically become almost a break between Jesus and the disciples (cf. Mk 8: 14-21, 32-33; 9: 32; 14: 27). Today also, there are some misunderstandings on the way of the proclamation of the Good News. Mark helps one to be attentive to the divergences so as not to allow them to grow until they produce a break.
SOURCE: Carmelite Lectio Divina

Long before dawn Jesus went off to a lonely place to pray

Christ in the Desert,
Painted by Ivan Kramskoi (1837-1887),
Oil on canvas,
Painted in 1872
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Today’s Gospel reading tells us a lot about the way Jesus did his ministry. The disciples say to him, ‘‘Everybody is looking for you’. With a long line of people waiting outside to be healed, what does Jesus do? He wants to move on to another place. He preaches, heals and moves on, and does so over and over again… Jesus thus demonstrates that we can’t do everything when we help to spread his word. We can’t reach everyone. Or even if we were to reach everyone, not everyone would listen. So we have to keep moving and go where the Spirit is sending us, even if it means that people are still going to be in need in the place we have left behind…

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SOURCE: CHRIStiAN ART

Daily Homilies

The Way of Victory Over Death

by Fr. Carmen Mele, O.P., 2019

People were talking about the burdens of old age.  One participant of the conversation asked, “Ninety-four years – who would want to live that long?”  An elderly sister answered, “Maybe someone who is ninety-three.”  Few people with reasonable health want to die.  Most hope to keep enjoying family and friends, food and entertainment.  The readings today assure that Jesus understands human desires.  He aims to assist us with our natural needs.

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Suffering

by Fr. Carmen Mele, O.P., 2017

Theologians often think of suffering as a test.  In this way they avoid liking God to a harsh judge much less to a capricious ogre.  If God tests humans through suffering, He arouses their natural desire to do well.  Eternal life then becomes a prize for which humans are proved worthy.  The gifted theologian who composed the Letter to the Hebrews certainly considered suffering in this way. What is truly remarkable about the Letter to the Hebrews, however, is its balanced way of seeing Christ.  He is both human and divine who comes to help his siblings in need.  He realizes that some will struggle mightily to endure suffering. So he prays his Father God will show them mercy.

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RELATED: Dominican Friars – Province of St. Martin de Porres

Daily Homilies

Opinion of Experts vs. Divine Grace

Since the children share in blood and Flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.

by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

My PhotoA very dear friend of mine, a brilliant and well-educated man, had a habit of preaching about “this idea of hope.” He really wasn’t speaking about an idea; he was talking about hope. But, educated like me, he could not seem to break the ties between an idea, which is a human invention, and the reality, which is God’s grace. When I pointed this out to him he denied that he ever talked like that. It was not his intention.

Saint Francis of Assisi had the peculiar advantage over my friend and me of not being well-educated. A brilliant, creative mind, he could barely read or write; and yet he retained huge portions of the scriptures. He listened intently whenever he heard a reading, like a cinemaphile who can recite every line of every film he’s ever seen. And, to promote that simile into metaphor, he would not notice the difference between the actor and the role. Dorothy would always be Dorothy and never Judy Garland. Salvation, love, hope, faith: these were never ideas about how one should live one’s life to Saint Francis. They were powers that enabled one to act freely in the joy of God’s children.

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SOURCE: DAILY HOMLIIES by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

Daily Homilies

Give Him the Key to the City

“Before long the whole town was gathered outside the door.” —Mark 1:33

PRESENTATION MINISTRIES INC - GuideStar ProfileCapernaum was like most towns. Many of its people “through fear of death had been slaves their whole life long” (Heb 2:15). Of course, there were many “who were variously afflicted” (Mk 1:34), including Simon’s mother-in-law who “lay ill with a fever” (Mk 1:30). Also, demons had oppressed the people of Capernaum for as long as anyone could remember (see Mk 1:34).

However, this day was going to be different. Jesus came to town and demons, sickness, and fear left town. This was the best day in Capernaum’s history.

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SOURCE: Presentation Ministries

Daily Homilies

JANUARY

THURSDAY


12

Heb 3:7-14
Mk 1:40-45

Divine
Office

Invitatory

Office of Readings

Morning Prayer

Midmorning Prayer

Midday Prayer

Midafternoon Prayer

Evening Prayer

Night Prayer

Intercessory Prayers

Thoughts
on Today’s
Gospel

Courtesy of EVANGELI.NET
  • “Especially through His lifestyle and through His actions, Jesus revealed that love is present in the world in which we live. This [merciful God’s] love makes itself particularly noticed in contact with suffering, injustice and poverty.” (Saint John Paul II)
  • “We live in this world, where God is not so manifest as tangible things are, but can be sought and found only when the heart sets out and recognize that we do not live by bread alone, but first and foremost by obedience to God’s word.” (Benedict XVI)
  • “Though often unconscious collaborators with God’s will, they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions, their prayers and their sufferings (Cf. Col 1:24). They then fully become ‘God’s fellow workers and co-workers for his kingdom’ (I Cor 3:9).” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 307)

THIS WEEK’S LITURGICAL CALENDAR

  • 9 Mon The Baptism of the Lord white Feast Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Acts 10:34-38/Mt 3:13-17 (21) Pss Prop
  • 10 Tue Weekday (First Week in Ordinary Time) green Heb 2:5-12/Mk 1:21-28 (306) or Heb 1:1-6 (305) and 2:5-12 (306)/Mk 1:14-20 (305) and 1:21-28 (306) Pss I
  • 11 Wed Weekday green Heb 2:14-18/Mk 1:29-39 (307) 15
  • 12 Thu Weekday green Heb 3:7-14/Mk 1:40-45 (308)
  • 13 Fri Weekday green/white [Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Heb 4:1-5, 11/Mk 2:1-12 (309)
  • 14 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Heb 4:12-16/Mk 2:13-17 (310)
YouTube player


Father Charles Connolly preaches about keeping your heart open to meet Jesus in the events of daily life. January 12, 2017

SOURCE: The CatholicTV Network

Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

FR. TONY'S GOSPEL COMMENTARY

Context

Today’s Gospel describes Jesus touching a man sick with a severe case of leprosy and healing him instantly. In this miracle we have all the essentials for any miracle, says, Rev. Dr. L. Parker. We have a) a leper; b) a disease, leprosy; c) recognition of the disease by the man who has it; d) the presence of Jesus; e) Faith; f) trust, and g) humility enough  for the sick man to ask for help from Jesus. Biblical “leprosy” rarely indicated Hansen’s disease (leprosy proper). Mostly, the term referred to skin diseases like ringworm, psoriasis, leukoderma, skin cancer, and vitiligo. The suffering of lepers in Biblical times was chiefly due to the way they were treated by the religious society of the day (Interpreters Bible).  They were deemed unclean, unfit to be counted among a people who considered themselves “a kingdom of priests, a holy nation” (Ex 19:6).    In addition, lepers were treated as sinners who were being punished by God with this contagious disease.  The leprosy given by God as punishment to Miriam, the complaining sister of Moses (Nm 12: 1-3, 9-13) , to Gehazi, the greedy servant of the prophet Elisha (2 Kgs 5:22-27), and to the proud king Uzziah of Judah,  also called Azariah (2 Kgs 15:3-5), supported the Jewish belief that leprosy was God’s punishment for sins. Finally, “leprosy” was considered a contagious disease, and, hence, its victims were separated from their families and society. The Mosaic Law, as given in Leviticus, demanded that the priest declare the leper unclean and that the leper a) keep his garments rent and his head bare, b) muffle his beard, c) cry out, “Unclean, unclean,” and d) dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp.  As a general rule, when a Jewish leper was healed, he had to go to the local priest for confirmation that he was now clean and was permitted to mix with the general public. Here the healed leper started evangelizing everyone he met by sharing the Good News of God’s activity in his life and allowing the Holy Spirit to touch the lives of others. 

Life Messages

1) The strong Faith of the sick man prompted him to violate the Mosaic Law prohibiting him from joining a crowd and approaching Jesus. The sympathy and mercy of Jesus prompted Jesus to violate the Mosaic Law which forbade anyone to touch an untouchable leper. Thus, Jesus teaches the lesson that the essence of Christianity is to touch the untouchable, to love the unlovable, and to forgive the unforgivable.

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homilies
CARMELITE COMMENTARY
  • Accepting and curing the leper, Jesus reveals a new face of God. A leper came near Jesus. He was an excluded, an impure person. He should be far away. Anybody who touched him, would also become impure! But that leper had great courage. He transgresses the norms of religion to be able to get near Jesus. And he calls out: If you want, you can heal me. You need not touch me! It suffices that you want, and I will be healed! This phrase reveals two evils: a) the evil of leprosy which made him impure; b) the evil of solitude to which he was condemned by society and by religion. It also reveals the great faith of the man in the power of Jesus. And Jesus profoundly moved, cures both evils. In the first place, in order to cure solitude, he touches the leper. It is as if he said:“Forme, you are not an excluded one. I accept you as a brother!” And then he cures the leper saying: I want it! Be cured! The leper, to enter into contact with Jesus, had transgressed the norms of the Law. Jesus also, to be able to help that excluded person and therefore, reveal a new face of God, transgresses the norms of his religion and touches the leper. At that time, whoever touched a leper became impure according to the religious authority and by the law of that time.
  • He integrated anew the excluded person in the fraternal living together. Jesus, not only cures, but also wants the cured person to be able to live with the others. He once 37 again inserts the person in society to live with others. At that time for a leper to be accepted again in the community, it was necessary to get a certificate from the priest that he had been cured. It is like today. A sick person leaves the hospital with a document signed by the doctor of the department where he had been hospitalized. Jesus obliges the person to look for that document, in such a way that he will be able to live normally with others. He obliges the authority to recognize that this man has been cured.
  • The leper announces the good that Jesus has done to him and Jesus becomes an excluded person. Jesus forbids the leper to speak about the cure. The Gospel of Mark informs that this prohibition does not serve. The leper, walking away, began to diffuse the fact, to the point that Jesus could no longer enter publicly into a city, but remained outside, in a deserted place (Mk 1, 45). Why? Because Jesus had touched the leper. Because of this, according to the opinion of the religion of that time, now he himself was impure and should live far away from all others. He could no longer enter the city. And Mark says that people did not care about these official norms, in fact, people came to him from everywhere (Mk 1, 45). Total subversion!
  • Summarizing. In the year 70, when Mark wrote, as well as today, the time in which we live, it was and continues to be important to have before our eyes models of how to live and how to proclaim the Good News of God and of how to evaluate our mission. In verses 16 to 45 of the first chapter of his Gospel, Mark describes the mission of the community and presents eight criteria in order that the communities of his time could evaluate their mission.
SOURCE: Carmelite Lectio Divina

Feeling sorry for him, Jesus touched the leper and cured him

Christ Healing the Leper, from The Story of Christ,
Engraving by Georg Pencz (1500–1550),
Issued 1534–35,
Engraving on paper
© The Metropolitan Museum, New York

One of the first words we notice when reading today’s Gospel is that ‘Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him’. Jesus was filled with compassion. He wasn’t just healing people out of a sense of obligation or so that they would listen to what he had to say… Jesus had genuine compassion for people. He cared for people and their needs. When the leper approached him, he was genuinely moved and upset at the situation. Jesus didn’t hesitate for one second to heal. He says, ‘Of course I want to heal you’ and then touched the man.

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SOURCE: CHRIStiAN ART

Daily Homilies

Becoming an Untouchable in Caring for Untouchables

by Fr. Carmen Mele, O.P.

Kent Brantley is the American missionary-doctor who contracted the Ebola virus while treating patients in Africa. He survived but had to spend almost three weeks in isolation to treat the disease.  Much like Jesus in today’s gospel, Dr. Brantley became an untouchable in caring for untouchables.

The passage reflects dramatically the Christian message. Jesus, the Son of God, became human to {heal] humans from deadly sinfulness.  In the process he delivers himself up to death.  This trajectory is anticipated in the gospel reading.  Jesus cures a leper by touching him.  Whether or not he contracts the disease, he goes into isolation as commanded by the Mosaic Law.  But this retreat does not stop people from flocking to him with their problems.

We need not hesitate to go to Jesus as well.  He is here to help us.  Countless testimonies have been given of how he has cured diseases.  His teaching guides us to a just and honorable life. Most significantly, Jesus has won for us the Father’s favor.  He has gained special privileges so that we have access to eternal life.

RELATED: Dominican Friars – Province of St. Martin de Porres

Daily Homilies

Harden Not Your Hearts

Oh, that today you would hear his voice,
“Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion
in the day of testing in the desert,
where your ancestors tested and tried me
and saw my works for forty years.
Because of this I was provoked with that generation
and I said, ‘They have always been of erring heart,
and they do not know my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter into my rest.

by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

My PhotoThe Letter to the Hebrews today gives us one of the longest direct quotes from the Old Testament; this is a section from Psalm 95. The Church from ancient times has used this passage, which both encourages and threatens, as the “Invitatory Psalm” of the day. There are alternative psalms if anyone so chooses, but this is the default.
I have read it each morning for many years.

In it we hear the voice of our God, loving, endearing, demanding, jealous, threatening, questioning, “Why do you turn away from me?”

It’s a question we cannot answer with any kind of logic.

Coming to our senses periodically, we too wonder, “Why have I doubted God’s love? What was I thinking?” or “What were we thinking?”

There’s always the blame game, too: “I was right with God but they weren’t!” or “…you weren’t!” Which is another, most regrettable sin.

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SOURCE: DAILY HOMLIIES by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

Daily Homilies

Socially Acceptable?

“ ‘Not a word to anyone, now,’ He said. ‘Go off and present yourself to the priest.’ ” —Mark 1:44

PRESENTATION MINISTRIES INC - GuideStar ProfileThe leper in today’s Gospel wanted social acceptance. Jesus offered this social acceptance by commanding him to show himself to the priests (Mk 1:44). Thus healed by Jesus and pronounced clean by the priests, the leper could fully and officially integrate himself back into Jewish society. Yet he apparently wanted to establish his own social acceptance, and so he disobeyed Jesus’ command by publicizing “the whole matter” and “making the story public” (Mk 1:45).

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SOURCE: Presentation Ministries

Daily Homilies

JANUARY

FRIDAY


13

Heb 4:1-5, 11
Mk 2:1-12

Divine
Office

Invitatory

Office of Readings

Morning Prayer

Midmorning Prayer

Midday Prayer

Midafternoon Prayer

Evening Prayer

Night Prayer

Intercessory Prayers

Thoughts
on Today’s
Gospel

Courtesy of EVANGELI.NET
  • “By remitting sins, He did indeed heal man, while He also manifested Himself who He was. He was Himself the Word of God made the Son of man, receiving from the Father the power of remission of sins. Since as man He suffered for us, so as God He might have compassion on us, and forgive us our debts.” (Saint Irenaeus)
  • “The Gospel presents Christ who triumphs over the paralysis of humanity. It portrays the power of divine mercy which forgives and wipes away every sin when it encounters authentic faith. Christ’s command ‘Rise and walk!’ can reverse the situation.” (Francis)
  • “The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two sacraments of healing: the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº1421)

THIS WEEK’S LITURGICAL CALENDAR

  • 9 Mon The Baptism of the Lord white Feast Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Acts 10:34-38/Mt 3:13-17 (21) Pss Prop
  • 10 Tue Weekday (First Week in Ordinary Time) green Heb 2:5-12/Mk 1:21-28 (306) or Heb 1:1-6 (305) and 2:5-12 (306)/Mk 1:14-20 (305) and 1:21-28 (306) Pss I
  • 11 Wed Weekday green Heb 2:14-18/Mk 1:29-39 (307) 15
  • 12 Thu Weekday green Heb 3:7-14/Mk 1:40-45 (308)
  • 13 Fri Weekday green/white [Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Heb 4:1-5, 11/Mk 2:1-12 (309)
  • 14 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Heb 4:12-16/Mk 2:13-17 (310)
YouTube player


Father Eric Cadin preaches about seeing out Jesus as the answer to every question. January 13, 2017

SOURCE: The CatholicTV Network

Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

FR. TONY'S GOSPEL COMMENTARY

Context

Today’s Gospel presents the last in a series of five healing stories.  This one demonstrates the power of Faith, and in this particular case we learn what others can do for us if they are persons of Faith. As soon as Jesus got back to Capernaum after a preaching tour of Galilee, the crowds gathered in and around the house where he was staying, so that there was no room to get in or out.  Four men, carrying their paralyzed friend, tried in vain to get to the house through the crowd.  Here is the wonderful picture of a man who was saved by the Faith of his friends.  His friends were men who had trusting Faith in the healing power of Jesus, and they were men with initiative, tenacity, and creativity.  So they carried their friend to the flat roof of the house  and removed a number of  roof tiles sufficient to open an area wide enough and long enough to allow them to lower the man on his mat, and place him right in front of Jesus.  Luke tells us that there were in the crowd Pharisees and Doctors of the Law from Galilee, Judea,  and Jerusalem sent to check out Jesus, the new preacher, and to report back to the Sanhedrin.

The sick man’s paralysis was seen by the people around as a punishment for some serious sin in his own life or the lives  of his parents.  It was a common belief that no major sickness could be cured until sin was forgiven.  For that reason, Jesus began the young man’s healing by audibly forgiving his sins, so that he might feel no longer estranged from God. Then the young man was able to receive the physical healing he and his friends desired for him.  But the Pharisees judged that, in forgiving sin, Jesus had insulted God by blasphemy, because forgiving sin is the exclusive prerogative of God.  Jesus insisted that if he healed the man, then his enemies must recognize his authority to forgive sin, and consequently his Divinity. He then healed the young man with a single command, but we do not know whether any of the objectors responded by believing in Jesus.

Life Messages

We are called to intercede for others and to bring them to Christ.

1) In the Old Testament, it is Moses who constantly begs God’s mercy and forgiveness for the Israelites’ sins. Later, we find the prophets interceding for the unfaithful Israelites.

2) In the New Testament, the dramatic role played by the friends of the paralyzed man in the healing story reminds us of the continuing need for, and power of, intercession for/by others. The text gives us encouragement to intercede for those who are ill or in special need.  When we pray and invite God into the situation, healing takes place.

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homilies
CARMELITE COMMENTARY
  • In Mark 1: 1-15, Mark shows how the Good News of God should be prepared and spread. In Mark 1: 16-45, he indicates which is the objective of the Good News and which is the mission of the community. Now, in Mk 2: 1-3, 6 there is the effect of the proclamationof the Good News. A community faithful tothe Gospel lives values which are in contrast with the interests of the society which surrounds it. This is why one of the effects of the proclamation of the Good News, is the conflict with those who defend the interests of society. Mark gathers together five conflicts which the proclamation of the Good News brought to Jesus.
  • In the year 70, the time when he wrote his Gospel, there were many conflicts in the life of the communities, but they did not always know how to behave before the accusations which they received from the Roman authorities and from the Jewish leaders. This series of five conflicts found in Mk 2: 1-3, 6 served as a guide to orientate the communities, those of the past as well as those of today. Because the conflict is not an incident of the road, even if it forms part of the journey.
  • The following is the outline of the five conflicts which Mark presents in his Gospel: Texts conflict: • 1st conflict: Mk 2: 1-12 • 2nd conflict: Mk 2: 13-17 • 3rd conflict: Mk 2: 18-22 • 4th conflict: Mk 2: 23-28 • 5th conflict: Mk 3: 1-6 • The Pharisees and the Herodians Cause of the conflict: • Forgiveness of sins • To eat with sinners • The practice of fasting • Observance of Saturday • To cure on Saturday • The solidarity of the friends obtains for the paralytic the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is returning to Capernaum. Many people gather before the door of the house. He accepts everybody and begins to teach them. To teach, to speak of God, was what Jesus did the most. A paralytic, carried by four persons, arrived. Jesus is their only hope. They do not doubt to go up and make an opening in the roof over the place where Jesus was. It must have been a poor house, the roof, mud covered with leaves. They lowered the stretcher with the man, before Jesus. Jesus, seeing their faith, says to the paralytic: seeing their faith, says to the paralytic: your sins are forgiven you. At that time people thought that physical defects (paralytic) were a punishment from God for any sin that had been committed. The Doctors of the Law taught that the person remained impure and therefore, incapable of getting close to God. For this reason, the sick, the poor, the paralytics, felt that they were rejected by God! But Jesus did not think this way. Such a great faith was an evident sign of the fact that the 40 paralytic was accepted by God. And for this reason, he declares: “Your sins are forgiven you!” With this affirmation Jesus denies that the paralysis was a punishment due to the sin of the man.
  • Jesus is accused of blasphemy by those who held power. The affirmation of Jesus was contrary to the catechism of the time. It was not in accordance with the idea that they had of God. And because of this they react against and accuse Jesus: he blasphemes! According to them only God could forgive sins. And only the priest could declare someone forgiven and purified. How could it be that Jesus, a man without studies, a lay person, a simple carpenter, could declare persons forgiven and purified of their sins? And there was also another reason which pushed them to criticize Jesus. They had thought: “If it is true what Jesus says, we will lose our power! We will lose our source of income.”
  • By curing, Jesus shows that he also has the power to forgive sins. Jesus perceives the criticism. This is why he asks: “Which of these is easier to say to the paralytic: Your sins are forgiven you, or to say, Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk!? It is easier to say: “Your sins are forgiven you”. Because nobody can verify if truly the sins have been forgiven or not. But if I tell him: “Get up and walk!” there, all can see if I have or not the power to heal. And in order to show that he had the power to forgive sins, in the name of God, Jesus says to the paralytic: Get up, take up your stretcher and go off home! He cures the man! And thus, through a miracle he taught that the paralysis of the man was not a punishment from God, and he showed that the faith of the poor is a proof that God accepts them in his love.
  • The message of the miracle and the reaction of people. The paralytic gets up, he takes his stretcher, and begins to walk, and all say: “We have never seen anything like this!” This miracle reveals three very important things: o a) The sicknesses of persons are not a punishment for sins. o b) Jesus opens a new way to reach God. What the system called impurity was no more an obstacle for persons to get close to God. o c) The face of God revealedthroughtheattitudeof Jesuswasdifferent from the severe face of God revealed by the attitude of the Doctors.
  • This reminds us of what a drug addict said once he had recovered and who is now a member of a community in Curitiba, Brazil: “I grew up in the Catholic religion. I abandoned it. My parents were good practicing Catholics and wanted us, their children to be like them. People were obliged always to go to Church, every Sunday and every feast day. And when one did not go, they would say: “God will punish you.” I went because this was imposed upon me, and when I became an adult, I no longer went to Mass. I did not like the God of my parents. I could not understand that God, the Creator of the world, could extend over me, a small child, threatening me with the punishment of hell. I liked much more the God of my uncle who never went to Church, but who every day, and I repeat, every day, bought twice as much bread than what he ate, in order to give to the poor!”

SOURCE: Carmelite Lectio Divina

Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk

Achilles Scrapes Rust from His Spear into the Wound of Telephus,
1st century B.C.,
by an unknown artist,
marble relief,
© House of the Telephus Relief, Herculaneum, Italy

We have all felt paralysed at times, without the strength to face a situation, or without the courage to act, because of some personal failure, or feeling inferior, or being fearful, or not wanting to face criticism… Our Gospel reading today is showing the value of our friendships. If we surround ourselves with good friends, they can be like the four stretcher-bearers to us. They can bring us to a point where they will get us back on our feet… and together with Christ, they can encourage us to ‘Get up and Walk’ again.

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SOURCE: CHRIStiAN ART

Daily Homilies

The Meaning of Forgiveness

by Fr. Carmen Mele, O.P., 2019

The man was having a hard time.  He moved out of his parents’ house to marry a divorced woman.  When the marriage didn’t work out, he came back to his parents but slept on a bed in the basement.  He seemed to feel unworthy of the dignity of having his own room.  Some would say that he could not forgive himself for marrying outside the Church.  But is it not more the case that he refused to accept God’s forgiveness?  Today’s gospel offers some insight into the dynamic.

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Do Not Judge by Appearances

by Fr. Carmen Mele, O.P., 2017

Time magazine once interviewed the celebrated atheist Richard Dawkins.  The interviewer posed the possibility of an ultimate being that gave rise to the forces producing the universe.  Dawkins admitted that the question intrigued him but quickly distanced himself from belief in a personal God.  In today’s gospel Mark gives glimpses of Jesus who does precisely what Dawkins finds incredible.

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RELATED: Dominican Friars – Province of St. Martin de Porres

Daily Homilies

Be On Guard

Let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. For in fact we have received the Good News just as our ancestors did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened.

by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

My PhotoOur faith offers both assurance and challenge. We should “strive to enter through the narrow gate” and “be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains.” The Christmas seasons teaches us much about that, especially as it’s played out in our frenetic world. This past season we had a full 28-day Advent with all the scripture readings that we might contemplate the promises of God. The Holy Day and its octave came with more readings and hymns and images and gestures — “all the smells and bells” of the Season — to give us a sense of our longings satisfied.

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SOURCE: DAILY HOMLIIES by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

Daily Homilies

A Hellicopter Approach

“They began to gather in great numbers. There was no longer any room for them, even around the door.” —Mark 2:2

PRESENTATION MINISTRIES INC - GuideStar ProfileIn the Gospels, especially in Mark’s Gospel, we read about Jesus being surrounded by such large crowds that it was almost impossible to approach Him. Consequently, some people thought up various ways to get through, around, or over the crowds. They stepped on one another (Lk 12:1), pushed each other (Mk 3:10), climbed a tree (Lk 19:4), and even made a hole in the roof of the house where Jesus was staying (Mk 2:4).

READ MORE

SOURCE: Presentation Ministries

Daily Homilies

JANUARY

SATURDAY


14

Heb 4:12-16
Mk 2:13-17

Divine
Office

Invitatory

Office of Readings

Morning Prayer

Midmorning Prayer

Midday Prayer

Midafternoon Prayer

Evening Prayer

Night Prayer

Intercessory Prayers

Thoughts
on Today’s
Gospel

Courtesy of EVANGELI.NET
  • “Woe is me! Lord, have pity on me. Woe is me! Lo, I hide not my wounds; You are the Physician, I the sick; Thou merciful, I miserable.” (Saint Augustine)
  • “Those who seem to be the farthest from holiness can even become a model of the acceptance of God’s mercy and offer a glimpse of its marvelous effects.” (Benedicto XVI)
  • “Christ invited people to faith and conversion, but never coerced them (…).” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº160)

THIS WEEK’S LITURGICAL CALENDAR

  • 9 Mon The Baptism of the Lord white Feast Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Acts 10:34-38/Mt 3:13-17 (21) Pss Prop
  • 10 Tue Weekday (First Week in Ordinary Time) green Heb 2:5-12/Mk 1:21-28 (306) or Heb 1:1-6 (305) and 2:5-12 (306)/Mk 1:14-20 (305) and 1:21-28 (306) Pss I
  • 11 Wed Weekday green Heb 2:14-18/Mk 1:29-39 (307) 15
  • 12 Thu Weekday green Heb 3:7-14/Mk 1:40-45 (308)
  • 13 Fri Weekday green/white [Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Heb 4:1-5, 11/Mk 2:1-12 (309)
  • 14 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Heb 4:12-16/Mk 2:13-17 (310)

Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

FR. TONY'S GOSPEL COMMENTARY

Context

Today’s Gospel episode, telling of Matthew’s call as Jesus’ Apostle, reminds us of God’s love and mercy for sinners and challenges us to practice this same love and mercy in our relations with others.

The call and the response: Jesus went to the tax collector’s station to invite Matthew to become his disciple. Since tax collectors worked for a foreign power and extorted more tax money from the people than the area owed, they were hated and despised as traitors by the Jewish people and considered public sinners by the Pharisees.   Jesus could see in Matthew a person who needed Divine love and grace. While everyone hated Matthew, Jesus was ready to offer him undeserved love, mercy,  and forgiveness. Hence, Matthew abandoned his lucrative job, because for Matthew, Christ’s call to follow Him was a promise of salvation, fellowship, guidance, and protection.

Scandalous partying with sinners. It was altogether natural for Matthew to celebrate his new calling by holding a feast for his friends. But Jesus’ dining with outcasts in the house of a traitor scandalized the Pharisees for whom ritual purity and table fellowship were important religious practices. Hence, they asked the disciples, “Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  In answer to their question, Jesus stressed his ministry as healer: “Those who are well do not need a physician; the sick do.” Then, in Matthew’s own account of his conversion, Jesus challenged the Pharisees, quoting Hosea, “Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ (Hosea 6:6).”  Finally, Jesus clarified his position, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Life Messages

1) Jesus calls you and me for a purpose: Jesus has called us through our Baptism, forgiven our sins, and welcomed us as members of the Kingdom. Further, He calls us daily through the Word and through His Church, to be His disciples, and to turn away from all the things that distract us and draw us away from God.

2) Just as Jesus did for us and for Matthew, we are to reach out to the unwanted and the marginalized in society with God’s own love, mercy and compassion.

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homilies

CARMELITE COMMENTARY
  • In yesterday’s Gospel, we have seen the first conflict which arose concerning the forgiveness of sins (Mk 2: 1-12). In today’s Gospel we meditate on the second conflict which arose when Jesus sat at table with the sinners (Mk 2: 13-17). In the years 70’s, the time when Mark wrote, in the communities there was a conflict between Christians who had been converted from Paganism and those from Judaism. Those from Judaism found great difficult to enter into the house of converted Pagans and to sit with them around the same table (cf. Acts 10: 28; 11: 3). In describing how Jesus faces this conflict, Mark orientates the community to solve the problem.
  • Jesus taught, and the people were happy to listen to him. Jesus goes out again to go near the sea. People arrive and he begins to teach them. He transmits the Word of God. In Mark’s Gospel, the beginning of the activity of Jesus is characterized by much teaching and much acceptance on the part of the people (Mk 1: 14, 21, 38-39; 2: 2, 13), in spite of the conflicts with religious authority. What did Jesus teach? Jesus proclaimed the Good News of God (Mk 1, 14). He spoke about God, but he spoke in a new way, different. He spoke starting from his experience, of the experience which he himself had of God and of Life. Jesus lived in God. And surely he had touched the heart of the people who liked to listen to him (Mk 1: 22, 27). God, instead of being a severe Jew who threatens from far, at a distance, with punishment and hell, becomes once again, a friendly presence, a Good News for the people. 42
  • Jesus calls a sinner to be a disciple and invites him to eat in his house. Jesus calls Levi, a tax collector, and he, immediately, leaves everything and follows Jesus. He begins to be part of the group of the disciples. Immediately, the text says literally: While Jesus was at table in his house. Some think that in his house means the house of Levi. But the most probable translation is that it was a question of the house of Jesus. It is Jesus who invites all to eat in his house: sinners and tax collectors, together with the disciples.
  • Jesus has come not for the just, but for sinners. This gesture or act of Jesus causes the religious authority to get very angry. It was forbidden to sit at table with tax collectors and sinners, because to sit at table with someone meant that he was considered a brother! Instead of speaking directly with Jesus, the Scribes of the Pharisees speak with the disciples: How is it that he eats and drinks together with tax collectors and sinners? Jesus responds: “It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I came to call not the upright, but sinners! As before with the disciples (Mk 1: 38), now also, it is the conscience of his mission which helps Jesus to find the response and to indicate the way for the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus.
SOURCE: Carmelite Lectio Divina

Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?

The Calling of Saint Matthew,
Painted by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610),
Oil on canvas,
Painted circa 1599,
© Rome, San Luigi dei Francesi, Contarelli Chapel

Our painting by Caravaggio, shows the moment that Jesus is calling Matthew. This painting is over three meters in height and hangs in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome. The scene takes place in an interior, dramatically lit by natural light coming from a door behind Christ. Matthew and his companions are busy counting the money they have collected. At the centre of the table are an inkstand, with a pen dipped into the inkwell, a ledger and a bag of coins. Matthew would discreetly also have lended some tax-payers the money they owed to the Roman administration, with a high interest rate… Christ on the right is almost completely hidden by the figure of Saint Peter. Christ is firmly pointing to Matthew; there is no room for doubt. Matthew is traditionally depicted as bearded middle-age man. He is pointing to himself with his finger, asking for a confirmation of Christ’s gesture. The light strikes him in the face… a symbol for Grace leading to salvation…

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SOURCE: CHRIStiAN ART

Daily Homilies

Jesus as Great High Priest

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,  Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

My PhotoSoon after the original documents of our New Testament were written, but before they were compiled into a single canon, the Church began to speak of her bishops and presbyters as priests. The idea had not come to the letter writers (Paul, James, Peter et al.) nor to the evangelists. They didn’t think of Jesus as a priest.

Only the later authors, especially anonymous writer of Hebrews and John of Patmos (Revelation) thought of Jesus as a priest. Hebrews, fully aware that he was of Davidic (royal) descent rather than Levitic, insisted he was “of the line of Melchizedek,” an insight both astonishing and brilliant.

Centuries later, Protestants ministers disavowed the title, but it made sense to the early church that the “president of the assembly” should be called a priest. Our ritual of the Mass is not so unlike the one we imagine as Jesus enters the Heavenly Sanctuary through the “veil” of his passion and death. As the priest holds the body and blood of Jesus, so does the Anointed Christ bear his broken body into the Presence of God. As the congregation holds fast to its confession of faith, so does the whole church offer this sweet-smelling sacrifice in the Heavenly Temple.

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SOURCE: DAILY HOMLIIES by Fr. Ken Bartsch, OFM Conv

Daily Homilies

The Cutting-Edge Word

“God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword.” —Hebrews 4:12

PRESENTATION MINISTRIES INC - GuideStar ProfileLike a surgeon’s scalpel, the Word of God cuts to the center of our heart and hits the correct spot. Jesus is the Word (Jn 1:1), and “nothing is concealed from Him; all lies bare and exposed to the eyes of Him to Whom we must render an account” (Heb 4:13). God’s Word is a scalpel and a sword (see Eph 6:17).

We trust ourselves to the care of expert surgeons, to wield their scalpels precisely and effectively. Will we trust ourselves to the scalpel of Jesus, the Living Word? To determine if you trust Jesus the Surgeon, read His Word every day. Let the Word of God operate on you — with major surgery, minor surgery, and cosmetic surgery. “God’s word is living and effective” (Heb 4:12). Yet God’s powerful, mighty Word is a Person, Jesus, Who is sharp as a scalpel and gentle as a Lamb.

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SOURCE: Presentation Ministries

Daily Homilies