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Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time In Matthew 23, the author of this gospel has reached the peak of his wrath against the leadership of Judaism about the year 85 A.D. Some of the opinions voiced by the author in this chapter, and attributed to Jesus himself, are a considerable hindrance to ecumenical understanding between Christians...
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Thursday, November 02, 2017

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Last week’s comments on the Sunday gospel selection explained in some detail how the author of the Gospel of Matthew not only used the Gospel of Mark as a source, but frequently changed Mark’s version of a given episode. One trend of Matthew’s style is to disparage the Pharisees w...
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Confrontations in Jerusalem continue between Jesus and the religious authorities. We have three versions of the confrontation or argument or debate over whether or not a pious Jew should pay tribute (taxes) to Caesar (the Roman government then ruling most of the Middle East). Mark’s version i...
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time And then there was another parable – but this time, no vineyard. Instead of a vineyard, a wedding banquet. The confrontation between Jesus and the high priestly families with their Sadducee hangers-on continues. It is the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. The week began with his invasio...
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Confrontation in Jerusalem between Jesus and high priestly families continues from last Sunday’s gospel. Another vineyard parable, the third one in Matthew’s gospel! A landowner planted a vineyard, enclosed it with a protective hedge, dug a wine press in it, built a watch tower for adde...
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Thursday, October 05, 2017

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time The final week of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry has arrived. Most of his ministry of healing and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven was accomplished in Galilee – according to Mark and Matthew and Luke, though not in John’s gospel. In the chapter of Matthew in which we are now en...
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time The gospel of this Sunday consists of one long parable. It begins, “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.” The term “kingdom of heaven” in this parable is best understood simply as “the way God r...
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time As a sequel to last Sunday’s gospel reading, rules for fraternal correction within a Christian Community, Matthew adds a question proposed by Peter, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? Why this question at this point? The rules for fraternal correction ended...
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time The context of today’s gospel is the fourth of five great sermons Matthew constructed from traditions about Jesus combined with his own command of the Old Testament and the needs of his Christian Community. That Christian Community was probably in the city of Antioch, Syria. As the Christian...
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Thursday, September 07, 2017

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time The gospel reading of this Sunday is the immediate sequel of last Sunday’s gospel. In that episode Simon Peter publicly professed his faith in Jesus as “the Messiah (Christ), Son of the living God.” In reply, Jesus revealed that Simon’s profession of faith was the result of...
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017