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30 Jun

Gospel June 30 2019

In the First Reading, from the First Book of Kings, Elijah is told by God to transfer his authority to Elisha. He is very willing to respond to his call, but first asks if he can bid farewell to his parents. Elijah’s harsh remark is no harsher than Jesus’ in today’s Gospel. This is a story of prophetic succession. It is done not only by spoken word, but also by symbolic action, i.e., passing of the mantle which represents the handing down of prophetic authority from Elijah to Elisha. 

The Second Reading is taken from Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Paul speaks about Christian freedom. Christian freedom is not a license to do what we want especially not a license to follow every urging of the flesh. Rather, Christian freedom calls us to be free to serve others in love. The Spirit, on the other hand, is that part of us that seeks to follow God’s promptings. If we submit to the Holy Spirit, he will help us to resist the inclinations of the flesh and embrace the ways of Jesus. 

The Gospel Reading is from the Gospel of Luke. Several disciples claim to be His followers, but first they have to fulfill other obligations. The point here is that following Jesus is not a question or action of getting up and walking in His footsteps. Rather, it is a change of heart and focus of those actions that relate to our commitment to follow Jesus whenever or wherever He leads us.

23 Jun

Gospel June 23, 2019

In the First Reading, from the Book of Genesis, we have a story about Melchizedek, King of Salem (early name for Jerusalem) who comes to greet Abram by returning from a victorious battle. Melchizedek, who is also a priest, blesses Abram with bread and wine. The bread and wine are taken to prefigure the bread and wine of the Eucharistic sacrifice that celebrate Jesus’ victory over death, evil and sin, and enable us to remember our union with Jesus.

The Second Reading is taken from St. Paul's First letter to the Corinthians. This is the most ancient text we have on the origin of the Eucharistic sacrifice of Christ. Since Paul was not present at the Last Supper, he is passing on what he himself received. Jesus gave us the Eucharist and the command to continue the practice of participating in the Eucharist to nourish our souls and spirit, but also to give our bodies in loving service and example just as Jesus did. This is what "Do this in remembrance of me" means.

The Gospel Reading is from the Gospel of St. Luke. This is the only miracle story recorded in all four Gospels. Jesus is out in the desert with a large crowd of people, teaching them about the reign of God and healing their sick. Jesus is feeding the multitude with a few loaves of bread and a few fish with more than enough for everyone and much left over. It is a prelude to His institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. “All are satisfied” and there are 12 baskets left over. “Give them something to eat yourselves” is a challenge to the Church to feed the physical and soul-hungers of people.

16 Jun

Gospel June 16, 2019

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity, we honor all three Persons of God. 

In the First Reading from the Book of Proverbs we hear of the creation of all things by the Father. Wisdom, who is usually considered to be the Holy Spirit, is there with the Father.  

The saving work of Jesus is a major theme in the Second Reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. We are saved by grace. We do not earn it. Rather, by opening our hearts to Jesus in faith, we “gain access” to God who is our peace, hope and end. Because of our relationship with God, we can endure afflictions with the help of the Holy Spirit who is the love of God poured out into our hearts. 

09 Jun

Gospel June 9, 2019

Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus.

The first reading from Acts of the Apostles occurs on one of the great pilgrimage feasts, Pentecost, fifty days after Passover. Saint Luke has the Holy Spirit coming on Pentecost to announce the beginning of a new Israel. The Church will be universal in scope. People of every nation will be invited to join this new People of God.