You have preached rebellion against the Lord.

18TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME   You have preached rebellion against the Lord.    It’s human nature.   We all want to hope for the best, to see conflict resolved and suffering healed.   That’s what seemed to motivate the prophet Hananiah.   He wanted to see Judah return to the days of prosperity it had enjoyed before the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and took its king into captivity.   But Hananiah missed the point.   Don’t worry, he seemed to be...

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It was the Lord who sent me to prophesy.

SAINT ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (MEMORIAL)   It was the Lord who sent me to prophesy.    Jeremiah had the unenviable task of calling his people out on their rebellion against the Lord.   All in a day’s work for a prophet, right?   Not quite. Confronting people with their sins doesn’t paint the full picture of what it means to be a prophet.   Rather, a prophet’s primary role is to point others to the Lord (and yes,...

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Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?

SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, PRIEST (MEMORIAL)   Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?    Jesus had returned home to Nazareth, to the people who knew him best.   But their familiarity with Jesus biased them; all they saw was the carpenter’s son.   So they missed out on the new life Jesus offered.   How frustrating this must have been for Jesus!   But he didn’t let the unbelief he encountered at home keep him from teaching and...

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He tried again, making of the clay another object.

SAINT PETER CHRYSOLOGUS, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (OPTIONAL MEMORIAL)   He tried again, making of the clay another object.   Israel had wandered from the Lord—not once, but multiple times, over many years.   The people were worshipping false gods, breaking the commandments, and cozying up to foreign enemies.   It was into this state of chaos that God sent Jeremiah to prophesy.   Often, Jeremiah’s words were upbraiding.   But in today’s...

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I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.

SAINT MARTHA (MEMORIAL)   I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.    We often think of St. Martha as an example of what we shouldn’t do.   When she hosted a dinner for Jesus, she was the one serving at table, “anxious and worried about many things” (Luke 10:41).   It was her sister, Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, who had chosen the “better part” (10:42).   Does that really mean that Martha came in second? Well, sort of. ...

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The good seed [is] the children of the Kingdom.

17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME   The good seed [is] the children of the Kingdom.    Today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:36 – 43) is taken from Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of heaven.   He uses examples from everyday experience to shed light on divine mysteries.   In today’s passage (Matthew 13:38), Jesus explains the meaning of his parable about the good seed and the weeds that grow together.   On the one hand, there is the hidden power and...

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