All posts filed under: Ordinary Time

28th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Autumn is a season of thanksgiving, a time of harvest after months of wait. If you’re in the greater Tucson/Marana area, you’d certainly love the weather as it starts to cool down from a nearly hellish temperature. Head to Sabino Canyon on your day off or perhaps, simply step outside in your backyard and appreciate Tucson’s beauty in an extravagant display of nature, lovely hues of falling leaves signaling a change of season. On the west side of Tangerine Road, cotton fields are up for harvest. The first reading tells us the miraculous healing story of Naaman, a pagan army general of the Syrian king and the cured leper, who after being healed of his leprosy, grabbed a piece of earth as a tipping point in his life, went back to Elisha, gave thanks and worshipped God. Similarly, in the Gospel story exclusive only to Luke, although it was kind of heart- breaking that only one out of ten lepers went back to thank Jesus, at least, one remembered and returned, “glorifying God…and he fell …

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The first reading from Isaiah 49:14-15, only two short verses and yet express both a cry of lament and words of comfort that numerous songs have been composed about it. In the midst of chaos and desolation, almost similar to the on-going civil war in present-day Syria and Ukraine, the whole nation feels abandoned and forsaken. Time and again, I’m astonished by the courage of a priest in cassock seen and heard in news report holding a cross hearing confession risking his life in the line of scrimmage. God never forget his love. Towards the end, an amazing comparison is portrayed, the intimate bond between God and his people is shown in the love of a Mother to her child. It says that even if a Mother forgets the child of her flesh, highly unlikely but possible, I will never forget you. Matthew 6:24-34 is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount specifically addressed to the disciples which as in the previous verses takes on the matter of true discipleship. Its purpose is not …

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe

On the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, Holy Mother Church celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe which marks the end of the Church’s liturgical calendar. This weekend too formally concludes (not that our faith will also come to a close) the phenomenal declaration of the year of faith Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI established. This feast (elevated into a Solemnity by Pope John XXIII) was formally instituted by His Holiness Pius XI in his December 11, 1925 Encyclical Quas Primas “that the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies (# 33).” It was a classic response to the rapidly growing disbelief among Catholics in Chris’t saving message enormously influenced by secularism, a belief that decries anything spiritual and religious, a manner of life as if God, the supreme being that inhabits the vast universe: from the largest galaxy to the tiniest sub-atomic particle, doesn’t exist and nothing beyond the physical world. At a time …

Sermon on the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Parable of the Dishonest Steward, a man of questionable character, is a story of an estate manager charged of embezzlement. He was fired on-the-spot when his boss became aware of his misdemeanor. Strange as it may seem in the American setting, no lawsuit, though, was filed in a supposedly criminal offense. He was not even fined or imprisoned. In a contract such as this, while the owner had the lion’s share of the business, the rogue manager, by law, had a commission, as signed by  the parties involved and recorded in the document. After his dismissal, realizing it would almost be impossible to support himself, much less feed a family in a seemingly tough economy, he was shrewdly tempted to do something solely for his own interest. Out for personal gain, he falsified the entries in the books by asking the debtors to agree on reducing the amount owed to lower the payments, before the terrible news of his termination broke out. At the time of reckoning, dramatically shocked at the entire proceedings, the Master …

Sermon on the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

An enormous amount of effort, nowadays, is particularly devoted to welcoming Catholics back in the church after decades of endlessly seeking spiritual renewal/relief provided mostly by the Evangelicals. It’s the sense of belongingness and the search for meaning that are of paramount importance to them. I have read and seen testimonies of former Catholics claiming they’ve never felt as alive and welcomed except in their new found community. A vast number, not into the business of organized religion and its bureaucracy, simply opt to be out of the list, become unaffiliated and who knows what they do on Sunday. There are many factors that have led to this phenomenon: failure to sustain the rapidly growing numbers, lack of manpower, training and proper implementation at the grassroots level. Programs such as CatholicsComeHome, Catholicism Project and parish initiatives help a lot in this huge undertaking of inviting, so to speak, the fallen-away Catholics.The fifteenth chapter of Luke is often called ‘the gospel within the gospel’ as it remarkably contains stories that are essentially, at the core of …

Sermon on the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2009

On the Gospel of Mark 9: 30-37 One of the joys and benefits of spending my first few years in OMOS is the school. It keeps me on my toes. It brings back lots of memories and leads me to imagine, how it feels to sit in with the first graders knowing most of the answers and how might I look wearing those tight shirt and short shorts again. It’s lovely seeing kids wear uniform. It’s a delight watching them carry roller bags and lunch boxes and the way respect is shown to parents before dropping them off is totally admirable, notwithstanding the refreshing smile on their faces as they see me in the school courtyard at least for those who had a good night sleep. On Thursday, I visited few classrooms. Usually, I say hi and hello and volunteer to extend few words of encouragement and blessing and gracefully exit. They liked it and so did I. I normally show up without prior notice almost similar to some of us. Only time and God’s …