14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

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Rev. Andrew Fisher (Pastor, St. Ambrose Parish in Annandale, Virginia) preaching homily for 14th Sunday in Ordinary time on July 8, 2018 in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington DC.

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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Cardinal Tagle
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Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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In our world today many people call themselves prophets. Though they lack the proper spiritual preparation for such a daunting ministry, they prowl around deceiving God’s people. Some even go to the extent of calling themselves “fortune-teller” prophets because they predict the future. In today’s first reading, however, Ezekiel gives a kind of mission statement and litmus test for all prophets. From the Hebrew standpoint, prophets are simply God-inspired humans who give good and bad messages to God’s people. We know they are inspired because Ezekiel explains it this way, “The spirit came into me and made me stand up, and I heard the Lord speaking to me”. We can therefore deduce that prophets are receptacles for the Holy Spirit. They do not preach from their own minds and imaginations, but directly from God. These messages are neither intellectually seasoned, nor do they have hidden agendas. From the statement, “Son of man, I am sending you…” we learn that prophets are sent. They are not just given a message and told to keep quiet. They are sent to pass on messages to very challenging groups as epitomised in the story of Moses sent to liberate the Israelites from Egypt amid Pharaoh’s great persecutions. Jonah was also sent on a difficult mission to Nineveh to non-believers and foreign conquerors.

In most cases, they are persecuted, insulted and even rejected. This is why in his Second Letter to the Corinthians St. Paul says he is content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints for Christ’s sake. St. Paul sees that it is often in human weakness that we can be the strongest in our spiritual lives. Whether prophets are listened to or not, whether they are persecuted or not, God assures them that “this set of rebels shall know there is a prophet among them”.

At the Beginning of His public ministry, Jesus made it clear to His listeners that he was a receptacle of the Holy Spirit and that He had been sent (cf. Luke 4:18). Like other prophets, from the beginning of His ministry Jesus encountered opposition to His preaching and activities. Like the Old Testament prophets, Jesus communicated and revealed God’s message to the people; a message which was often unpopular and rejected, not only by the elite and religious leaders who had their interests to protect, but also by ordinary people, even, as seen in today’s gospel, Jesus’ own family members.

Jesus’s family members found it difficult to accept His popularity in Galilee in so short a time. So they therefore rejected Him altogether. The few who knew Him were too used to His family to believe in Him. Today’s text is also a challenge to our faith. Is it not possible that after many years in the church we have lost reverence for God? What is your personal experience? Has your familiarity with God or the things of God become a barrier in recognising His divinity? Be careful!

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
Please pray for me

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John Michael Talbot
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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Fr. Vincent Hawkswell

Like the rebellious Israelites, the world asks how a human Pope can be infallible, writes Father Hawkswell. We trust Pope Francis “not because of his origin, his environment, or his learning, but because of Jesus’ promise.”  (CNS photo/Vatican Media))


B.C. CATHOLIC | 2021

Like the prophet Ezekiel in this Sunday’s First Reading, the Pope says, “Thus says the Lord God.” Like the rebellious Israelites, the world asks, “How can a human Pope be infallible?” and jeers at those who accept his authority.

Jesus is fully man, but also fully God. The Catholic Church has a divine head, who is perfect, but human members, who are sinful. Her sacraments are “outward signs” of “inward grace.” Human beings are God’s co-workers….

That is why we trust Pope Francis: not because of his origin, his environment, or his learning, but because of Jesus’ promise. That is why we hold “that the Pope cannot err when, as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.”

We believe that, like Jesus, the Pope could say to the world, “So you know me, and you know my origins? The truth is, I have not come of myself.”

Click on title to read entire homily.
Fr. Michael CHUA



“Familiarity breeds contempt.” It is a well-known maxim that goes all the way back to Publius the Syrian, who lived in 2 BC. The entire caption reads, “Familiarity breeds contempt … while rarity wins admiration.” Not to be upstaged, the ever witty Mark Twain once wrote, “familiarity breeds contempt … and children.”

In the gospel we are told that our Lord’s reputation for attracting large crowds, His dynamic preaching, His astounding miracles had little effect on His own townspeople – they were not impressed. Rather, they began to mumble about the improbability of this since He was just an ordinary home boy, and He was certainly no better than anyone else in town. “This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too are they not here with us?” This led them to be contemptuous of His claims. To them, the Lord was a little more than an upstart. They had expected at least a rabbi, professionally trained for years in Scripture, to preach.  They hardly expected a sermon from a mere carpenter, who could have given them a lesson in woodwork, but certainly, not one qualified to speak to them about loftier subjects. So they closed their hearts to His message and to the possibility that God was indeed working in and through Him.  Yes, Jesus is truly and fully man. But He is also fully God. The Incarnation does not efface or render useless or outmoded the notion of the sacred.  On the contrary, the Incarnation makes the mundane sacred, holy and divine.

Click on title to read entire homily.

Related Homilies by Fr. Michael Chua

Losing Sight of the Sacred (2015)
Truth and the Word (2012)

Fr. Austin Fleming



So… what does it take to convince these folks from Nazareth? Their “taking offense at Jesus, their rejection of him is all the more remarkable when you understand it follows four miracles Jesus worked including healings and calming a storm on the Sea of Galilee.

And it’s not that the hometown folks didn’t know about these events. This discussion takes place in the synagogue – these folks are the Jewish equivalent of regulars at Sunday Mass. They acknowledge the “mighty deeds are wrought by Jesus’ hands.” But because he was only a carpenter’s son, because they weren’t sure of the source of his knowledge and wisdom, and because they weren’t altogether comfortable with his teachings — they took offense at him.

There’s a kind of elitism at work here: he’s just a tradesman’s son; a snobbish attitude: what school did he go to?; a culture of suspicion: I heard him preach he’s teaching new and different things: don’t trust him!

Of course, Jesus’ hometown isn’t limited to Nazareth: every town is Jesus’ hometown – including Concord.

Click on title to read entire homily.

Related Homilies by Fr. Fleming

A Thorn in the Flesh… (2015)

Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr



There are times and situations where we are in a hurry to see the fruits of our labour. Other times too, we wonder: when will this person change? When don’t see the fruit or when the person doesn’t change as soon as we expect, we are frustrated. How do this Sunday’s readings assure us? What can we learn from the patience of organic farming?.

It’s common to find in some farm shops foodstuffs labelled “organic”. What they want to show is that those products have been produced in the manner that respects the environment: no chemicals and no manipulations. Often, such organic products take relatively long time to grow, involving a prolonged period of work. Then you understand why they are likely to be a bit expensive. Behind the label “organic” isn’t there something godly and evangelic?

Looking at myself, others and the world we live in I can imagine the mark that God has stamped on us: “It’s organic”. His patience for Adam and Eve who distanced themselves from his love, and for Israel who broke the covenant many times just show that those practising organic farming, probably, they copied it from God.

Fr. Chama’s homily is divided into the following sections:

  • It’s Organic
  • Organic farming, the practice of his son too!
  • But not everyone acted like him!
  • Gospel of love and patience
Click on title to read entire homily.
Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino



They didn’t recognize God working in Ezekiel. He was too much of a fanatic for them.  A bit of a kook. Paul wasn’t all that some thought he would be.  He was a little guy probably with a high squeaky voice, certainly not a great orator.  They didn’t recognize that Jesus was the Word of God among them.  They had watched him grow up.  Today’s readings present what I would call three Ad Hominem disasters.

            First of all, an Ad Hominem argument is an attack on a person instead of an argument based on what the person is presenting.  It basically says that because a person has this or that foible, or limitation, or even failing, we shouldn’t listen to him or her no matter what he or she says.  For example, someone says that it is wrong for a nation to steal land from another nation like Russia did in the Ukraine regarding Crimea.  The person with the opposite viewpoint instead of countering with something like, “Russia owned this land 120 years ago,” says, “Well, you don’t have the education to argue with me, and besides, your fat and fat people don’t know what they are talking about.  And your mother dresses you funny.”  An Ad Hominem argument is the weakest of all arguments because it does not consider the facts, and just attacks the person presenting the opposite opinion.

Click on title to read entire homily.

Related Homilies by Msgr. Pellegrino

On Being An American Catholic (2018)
Power Made Perfect in Weakness (2015)
A Prophet Among Them (2012)
His Power is Made Perfect in Our Weakness (2009)
Accepting Prophets, Accepting Ourselves (2006) – PDF

Fr. George Smiga



Today’s Gospel is strangely disturbing, but it also carries a thread of consolation. This passage from Mark’s gospel is the only passage in the gospels where Jesus is said to be unable to act. The text is very clear about this. It says that Jesus was unable to perform any deed of power, so distressed was he by lack of faith. We believe that Jesus has the power of God, so how is it possible that he is rendered helpless?

Although we could spend hours discussing why Jesus was unable to act, it is more useful to ask what does this strange impotence of Jesus have to do with us? For we believe that all the passages of the scriptures not only tell us about Jesus, but also apply to our lives. So what does Jesus’ inability to act mean to us? The answer to that question can be found when we realize where it is that this scene takes place. It was in Jesus’ own hometown. He had no problem doing deeds of power in Capernaum or at the Sea of Galilee, but when he came to Nazareth he was helpless. He could wow the crowds in Jerusalem, but when he came to his own town, he was too local to be taken seriously. This rejection of Jesus in Nazareth points to a truth in our lives: sometimes it is the people who are closest to us who do not understand us and will not support us.

This painful truth is a part of the human condition. It is proverbial. In fact, Jesus cites a proverb in the gospel. He says, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their own hometown, among their own kin, and in their own house.” How painful it is to have our gifts and talents accepted by many, but not accepted by those who are closest to us. How hurtful it is to wait for the approval of a mother, father, or grandparent; to wait for the acceptance of a brother or sister, and yet, never have that acceptance or that approval come. How debilitating it is when we find that those we are related to by blood or by marriage do not accept us. Instead they are jealous of us, dismissive of us, or even manipulate us. We usually can overcome rejection by a stranger or by those with whom we only have a business relationship. But when it comes to rejection by family that rejection cuts deep.

Click on title to read entire homily.

Related Homilies by Fr. Smiga

Strength in Weakness (2003)
Negativity and Thankfulness (2009)
About Jesus’ Brothers (2015)
Persistent Hope (2018)




Tonight we are going to focus on what does that mean to be a prophet and how to be a prophet. Now one of the greatest prophets of our own time of course is Pope Francis and Francis speaks God’s word to us and just as Jesus made people uncomfortable, right, it says a prophet is without honor in his own place and they found offense at Him. So too, does our Holy Father, Pope Francis, speak God’s word, and people find offense at him and they say stuff like, you know, you shouldn’t pay attention to other things, don’t worry about the environment, pay attention to other things, you just tell people they can’t get you know, just follow God’s law, don’t tell them about divorce, remarried people, you want to accept them, you want to reach out to all these people, tell them no, they’re no good.

Click on title to read entire homily.
Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ



Most of us know the old definition of an “expert”: anyone who comes from more than fifty miles away. By now, the requirement must be five hundred miles. We seem to have a problem with closeness, with the ordinary, with the everyday.

Expertise is most respected when it comes from a distance. Prophetic gifts as well. Prophets are best when they are far away and long ago. Here and now is a different story. “Surely she cannot be a prophet. I went to school with her.” “He cannot prophesy; I know his mother.” “That guy cannot be a source of grace and joy to others; I’ve been with him in community for years. He tells terrible jokes and wears cufflinks.” Is this why no one is a hero to one’s own valet?

Click on title to read entire homily.

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Bishop Robert Barron

This Sunday Podcasts


by Bishop Robert Barron . July 8, 2018

This week’s Scriptures illuminate the identity and mission of a prophet—a calling that belongs to all the baptized by virtue of our Baptism. God appoints the prophets to a specific mission. This mission is to speak God’s word of truth. God’s word of truth is not a private or personal opinion, but the Word of God communicated through human words. The prophet speaks God’s word of truth to those within and those outside the Church. Prophets do not seek to proclaim a message that is easy to be accepted, but seek to speak God’s word of truth, no matter how hard it might be to hear and accept. Christ is the paradigmatic example of the identity and mission of the prophet.


by Bishop Robert Barron . July 8, 2012

Saint Paul conveys a unique and powerful perspective on suffering. What he called a “thorn in the flesh,” was a suffering so great that it burdened him, prompted him to beg God for relief. But it is in this sort of suffering that we most acutely understand God’s love. When all falls away, we have him, we cling to him and we are saved. And when we bear suffering leveled by others and offer it to Christ, we absorb it, we take it out of circulation, and ease the burden for others.


by Bishop Robert Barron . July 9, 2006

Every baptized person is conformed to Christ: King, Priest, and Prophet. Thus speaking the divine truth (prophecy) is not the concern of priests and bishops alone, but of all members of the church. From Ezekiel and Mark, we can discern a number of qualities of the prophetic office. First, the prophet does not speak his own word, but God’s. Second, the prophet is given a difficult assignment. And third, the prophet is summoned, not to success, but faithfulness.


by Bishop Robert Barron . July 6, 2003

Another homily from Fr. Robert Barron and Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Father Frank Pavone
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The readings today invite us to reflect on what it means to be a prophet, and how we can be “content with…insults…and persecutions.”

At our baptism, we were declared to be “Priest, Prophet, and King,” like the Lord Jesus into whose Body and mission we were baptized. A “prophet’ does not primarily tell the future; rather, a prophet tells the present, declaring to the people what the Word of the Lord says about our current circumstances, culture, and lifestyle. The prophet declares the next good step for God’s people to take on their constant road of repentance and growth in holiness. As the People of Life living amidst a culture of death, we are all prophets regarding the sanctity of life; we are prophets who declare that the only appropriate response to life at all stages, especially when most vulnerable, is a generous and loving “Yes.” We are prophets as we teach our children about the dignity of life; we are prophets when we share the pro-life message with friends and co-workers, with the community through letters to the local papers or over the internet.   We are prophets when we enter the voting booth, as we have the obligation to do at each election, and elect candidates who are committed to protect the unborn.

Because a prophetic stance calls us to change and to repent of sin, the prophet will often be rejected. The readings tell us that this is par for the course. It is easy to think that the rejection or persecution that accompany the prophetic role mean we need to go back to the drawing board or perhaps hire a public relations firm to refine our message. But in fact it doesn’t mean that at all. We are called to be faithful, as Mother Teresa noted, whether or not we are successful. “They shall know that a prophet has been among them.”

This is also what Paul means by being “content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints.” Sometimes this passage is related only to moral weaknesses. But he clearly also means persecutions and insults – the very things that we try too hard to avoid.


General Intercessions

Celebrant: Nourished by the Word of God, we place our prayers and petitions before him, who loves us beyond measure.


That the Church may continue to serve the spiritual and physical needs of the people of God, we pray to the Lord…

That Church leaders may have the courage to stand firm in the teachings of Christ and preach the true freedom that he brings, we pray to the Lord…

That public officials may constantly work to protect the welfare of the weak and the dignity of all people, we pray to the Lord…

That as our nation observes Independence Day, we may give thanks for our freedom and use it in the service of life and of God, we pray to the Lord…

For those who speak up for the sanctity of life, but find ridicule and rejection in return, that they may have the blessings that belong to the prophets, we pray to the Lord…

That those trapped by poverty or poor health may be strengthened by God’s saving love and by caring people who help them, we pray to the Lord…

That those who have died may know the peace of the risen Christ, we pray to the Lord…

Celebrant:  God our Father, as you answer the prayers we have presented to you today, grant us the strength and courage to answer your call to holiness. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

SOURCE: Priests for Life

Life Issues Homilies

Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

Rejected by his own

Al Carino

Pride was what led to the rejection of Jesus by the people of Nazareth. So that this will not befall us, let us learn not only to see but also to accept the good qualities of others instead of considering them as threats to our self-esteem.

I say to you, arise!

Frank Enderle

The Bible tells us that true Christians are easily recognized. They are the generous ones, the ones who support their neighbor, no matter what the nationality of their neighbor may be. And Jesus tells us that we have to decide: are we or are we not true Christians?


Antonio P. Pueyo

Even if the truth hurts, it has to be told. Somebody has to tell the truth. This is the role of prophets. The prophets are truthtellers.

Never Let Them See You Sweat

Jeremiah R. Grosse

Each of us having some thorn in our flesh; however, few, in any of us, would brag about this thorn as though it was a badge of honor. I cannot imagine any teenager saying, “I rejoice in the fact that I have attention deficit disorder” or someone saying, “My weight has been a problem all of my life and I am so thrilled about that.” In fact, people who would boast about these things would be looked at rather strangely. These are the types of things that most people would keep hidden from others for various reasons, including the fact that they might not be accepted by others if anyone else knew what they were going through.

The Prophet

Antonio P. Pueyo

St. Paul himself experienced personal difficulties in preaching God’s word. Inhis letters he mentioned being beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, and robbed in the course of his journeys. Beside these externally-imposed hardships, he had to deal with a personal weakness which he described as a “thorn in the flesh”.

Darkness or light. Without the one we do not know the other.

Tom Bartolomeo

Let our daily crosses be our war against the culture of death, Saint John Paul II, fought against — the dark stain on human life — contraception, abortion and abandonment of spouses and children.

Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


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