Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 30, 2011 – St. John’s
Our NT readings today are all about contrasts. Writing to the Christian community he had gathered by his preaching a few years earlier, St. Paul describes who they are by contrast to others in Corinth: not many of them were wise, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. But God had chosen the foolish to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, the lowly and despised he preferred to those who were something. None of the Corinthian Christians had any reason to boast of anything except in the Lord.
St. Paul was anticipated by Christ himself. (more…)
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 23, 2011 – St. John’s
During the first of the Sundays in Ordinary Time, as they are called, our second biblical reading will be taken from the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. We heard the first verses of this letter last week when the Apostle spoke of the believers in Corinth as having already been sanctified, that is, made holy, and at the same time as “called to be holy.”
It may help us, as we listen to these snippets from this rather lengthy letter, to keep a couple of things in mind. (more…)
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 16, 2011 – St. John’s
This is the second Sunday in what is called “Ordinary Time,” that is, a time when we are not celebrating a liturgical season such as Advent, Lent, and Eastertide. It’s not a very exciting title, is it?
You may have noticed that on ordinary Sundays, of the three biblical readings, the first, from the Old Testament, and the third, from one of the Gospels, are related to one another, the first anticipating the Gospel reading, the third showing the fulfilment of the first. The second reading is usually taken from one of St. Paul’s Epistles, which is read consecutively, and it is not necessarily related to the other two, so that a preacher has two different themes to choose between for his homily and he shouldn’t stretch in order to find relationships among all three readings.
In this year’s cycle of Bible readings, the second reading for these ordinary Sundays will offer successive passages from St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians. (more…)
Seven years ago I gave a talk with that title to the fiftieth anniversary convention of the College Theology Society. I have just made it into a Google Document which those interested can access at this url: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1–JZ1RYBUYLkrdF_BGQmczV4xxTQs56fgKCfBYzWlhQ/edit?hl=en&authkey=CJitgOgN
Here is how it begins:
Forty years ago this week students at the Gregorian University in Rome were taking comprehensive examinations for the Licentiate in Sacred Theology. Lesser areas having been disposed of once and for all by exams at the end of each year, this final exam was totally devoted to dogmatic theology, The material covered every course we had taken in the previous four years, all of it neatly made available to us in a little brochure of fifteen pages entitled Examen peculiare ad Licentiam de universa sacra theologia. (I still have my copy. Does “Komonchak” in Slovak mean “packrat”?)
Baptism of the Lord – January 9, 2011 – St. John’s
The Gospel accounts of the baptism of Jesus do not spend any time in describing the baptism itself; all their emphasis falls upon what happens when Jesus comes up out of the water in which he had been immersed. It is the descent of the Spirit and the voice from heaven that are meant to attract our attention. (more…)
Feast of the Epiphany – January 2, 2011 – St. John’s
Every Sunday, in the third part of the Creed, dedicated to the Holy Spirit, we profess our belief “in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church,” that is, in our Church, in us, as one by faith and love, holy in virtue of our holy God’s gifts, catholic as all-inclusive, and apostolic as founded on the revelation made by Christ to the Apostles. Today’s feast celebrates the third of these characteristics of the Church: that it is catholic.
Catholic here does not name a denomination, that is, the Catholic Church as distinct from Protestant, Anglican, or Orthodox Churches. (more…)