June 10, 2018
Saturday morning was the feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Gospel was from Luke chapter 2 verses 41-51. It recalls an incident in the life of the holy family of Nazareth when Jesus is 12 years old. Mary and Joseph discover that Jesus is not with relatives and friends as they return home from Jerusalem. He remained at the temple listening to the teachers and asking questions. When Mary and Joseph find him they are astonished. Mary says: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety?” Jesus responds: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Together they return home. His parents do not understand. Mary keeps these things in her heart.
Today in our Gospel (according to St. Mark) Jesus now an adult comes home (not to Nazareth but to Capernaum). “When his relatives hear of this they set out to seize him for they say: “He is out of his mind.”
It troubles us that we find this degree of misunderstanding and concern in Jesus’ family about his behavior. But we must have appreciation of the importance of honor and shame in this culture. Scribes from Jerusalem are accusing Jesus of being in league with the prince of demons. These accusations are an embarrassment for his family. How do they come to accept the “power” of Jesus preaching the Kingdom, of Jesus doing marvelous healings, of Jesus expelling demons and of Jesus forgiving sins?
Misunderstandings are true to life. How many people at Mass today have questions and concerns about members of their family? Who ask themselves (and God) if they should say something or intervene or remain silent? Are we willing to accept that we may be wrong? How do we continue loving a family member that is harming him/herself and others?
At the end of our Gospel, Jesus expands the circle of family when his family requests to see him. Jesus asks: “Who are my mother and brothers? Looking at his disciples, Jesus affirms: “For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
Girls and boys – how will you express your love to mom on Mother’s Day and to dad on Father’s Day? Perhaps you will in words or with a card, a hug, flowers from the garden, or maybe by making breakfast? There are many ways we express our love. In the Gospel today (according to St. John) Jesus is spending his last meal or dinner with his disciples. Jesus calls them... READ MORE
Domestic winemaking goes back 6000 years. Techniques have not changed all that much. The vinedresser cuts back the branches growing from the vine to increase the yield of grapes. In Sacred Scripture “the vine” or “vineyard” is a symbol of Israel. In the Gospel according to St. John, Jesus speaks of being “the vine” and “the branches” are all those who enjoy... READ MORE
“He stood in their midst!” But even with the greeting “Peace be with you” the disciples are startled and terrified thinking they are seeing a ghost. He asks “Why are you troubled? Why do questions arise in your hearts?” He invites them to touch him. He is not a ghost! Calmed by his words and what is strangely familiar the disciples, while still incredulous, are... READ MORE
Today is the 2nd Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday. St. Faustina, a Polish nun and mystic, had a vision of Jesus, the Risen Lord, with streams of light emanating from his heart. Her mystical meditations on the mercy of God had an influence on a Polish Pope, St. John Paul II. He promoted Divine Mercy Sunday. Fittingly, Divine Mercy Sunday occurs when the Gospel accord... READ MORE
We know these women by name – not always the case in the Bible – Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James & John and Salome. They are looking on from a distance when Jesus dies on the cross and then they watch when his body is taken down, is given to Joseph of Arimathea and is laid in the tomb. After Sabbath rest, very early in the morning, the women return to the... READ MORE