Saint James the Apostle: Treasure in a Clay Jar

Saint James the Apostle: Treasure in a Clay Jar

The reading for mass today begins by saying, “We hold this treasure in earthen vessels.”  That actually fits right in with today’s gospel when the mother of James and John had the audacity to ask Jesus to,”Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in […]

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You Shall Indeed Hear But Not Understand

You Shall Indeed Hear But Not Understand

Jesus was speaking in parables to the crowd in today’s gospel when he said: “This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.”  These words were in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall […]

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Cooperation With God’s Grace

Cooperation With God’s Grace

In the first reading for Mass today, from the book of Jeremiah, the prophet Jeremiah at first did not want to serve God.  He tried to get out of it by saying, “I know not how to speak; I am too young.”  But the Lord answered him, “Say not, I am too young. To whomever […]

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The Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene

The Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene

Whoever thinks the bible is boring and old fashioned, probably hasn’t read very much of the bible. Today’s first reading for Mass from the Song of Songs is pretty racy: “The bride says: On my bed at night I sought him whom my heart loves – I sought him but I did not find him. […]

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Walk Humbly With Your God

Walk Humbly With Your God

“O my people, what have I done to you, or how have I wearied you?  Answer me!”  God sounds just like a best friend with hurt feelings in today’s first reading for Mass, or a parent who feels abandoned by their children.  Parents work and worry and sacrifice for their children their whole lives sometimes, […]

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The Weeds in the Wheat

The Weeds in the Wheat

The parables Jesus taught are timeless.  When he taught the parables, it puzzled everyone who heard them, including his disciples who approached him after the crowds left in today’s gospel.  They asked Jesus to explain the parable about the weeds and the wheat to them, because they didn’t understand what he was talking about either.  […]

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A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break, a Smoldering Wick He Will Not Quench

A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break, a Smoldering Wick He Will Not Quench

At first glance, both of the readings for mass seem very negative.  They are both about men with evil hearts who plot evil against their neighbor for material gain, or against the Lord Jesus because he made the Pharisees look bad in front of others.  They couldn’t control him.  The Pharisees just didn’t understand the […]

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I Desire Mercy Not Sacrifice

I Desire Mercy Not Sacrifice

What is so very obvious in both of today’s readings for Mass, is God’s compassion toward Hezekiah in the first reading, and Christ’s compassion for his disciples in the gospel.  Mercy is actually a better word for both situations, because this is what Jesus said in today’s gospel when the Pharisees accused him of allowing […]

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You Will Find Rest for Yourselves

You Will Find Rest for Yourselves

Aren’t these verses in today’s first reading beautiful? “O Lord, we look to you; Your name and your title are the desire of our souls.  My soul yearns for you in the night, yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you.” For those of us who are night owls, these verses are especially beautiful.  […]

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No One Knows the Father Except the Son

No One Knows the Father Except the Son

The first reading today, from the book of the prophet Isaiah sounds pretty harsh.  God is upset with the leaders who took over other nations and claimed the land and their people as their own, then plundered their treasures for themselves.  They were so arrogant that God said they boasted exceedingly of their own power […]

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Let Not Your Courage Fail

Let Not Your Courage Fail

The readings for Mass each day are not always very positive and uplifting.  That is very evident in today’s readings.  Yesterday’s readings for Mass were not all that positive or uplifting either, but things are not always what they seem in the spiritual life.  Our readings for Mass are sometimes a little like Good Friday, […]

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Do You Think That I Have Come to Establish Peace on Earth?

Do You Think That I Have Come to Establish Peace on Earth?

In the gospel today Jesus said, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” He goes on to say, “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.” The gospel reading goes on to say that […]

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The Parable of The Sowing of The Seed

The Parable of The Sowing of The Seed

What a short, but beautiful reading from the book of Isaiah we have today.  God’s words are living words, written in the flesh of human hearts.  His word gives seed to the one who sows and bread for the one who eats.  The first reading said that God’s words shall not return to Him void, […]

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Your Wickedness is Removed, Your Sin Purged

Your Wickedness is Removed, Your Sin Purged

In the first reading for mass today, the prophet Isaiah describes what it felt like to stand before the throne of God.  He was acutely aware of his own sinfulness as he stood in the presence of God, in His holy temple.  One can only imagine all of the feelings he must have been experiencing, […]

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