Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 31, 2011 – St. John’s, Goshen
As our second reading today we have heard the last verses of the eighth chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. That chapter brings to an end the section of the Epistle (chs. 5-8) in which Paul has offered a concentrated summary of his Gospel: the revelation of the love of God in Christ, who died for us even while we were still sinners, and in the Holy Spirit, who has been poured into our hearts to enable our love of God in return; the drama of the universal sinfulness that leads to death of the spirit and of the universal reconciliation won for us by Christ; our participation in Christ’s death and resurrection in baptism; the inner conflict that continues to trouble even the Christian; the freedom gained for us in “the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus”; the multiple ways in which that Holy Spirit acts within us, giving life, rescuing us from slavery to sin, making us children of God able to call him “Abba,” “Father”, teaching us how to pray, sustaining us and all creation as we await the redemption of our bodies.
And after all this, Paul’s rhetorical question: “What can separate us from the love of Christ?” (more…)
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 17, 2011 – St. John’s, Goshen
St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans contains both the severest description of our human condition as creatures and sinners and the most beautiful description of the glories and joys obtained for us by Jesus Christ and given to us in his Holy Spirit. The sober assessment is given in chapters 1 to 4, and the glorious liberation in chapters 5 to 8. It is the climactic eigth chapter that we have been following for the last couple of weeks. (more…)
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 10, 2011 – St. John’s
During the Church year, the first biblical reading is chosen in function of the Gospel, while the second reading, usually from an epistle of St. Paul, offers the preacher another theme to consider. Today the Gospel parable of the sower is prepared by the lovely passage from the prophet Isaiah which compares God’s word to a seed watered by rain and nourished by the earth, a word that never returns empty to God but accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent. The relationship to the Gospel parable is obvious enough: the seed the sower sows is, Jesus explains, the word of God.
One scholar, however, the former Anglican bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright, sees an even closer link between the two passages. (more…)
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 3m 2011 – St. John’s, Goshen
The beautiful passage we have just heard stands out in the Synoptic Gospels where we are more accustomed to the down-to-earth language of Jesus as, for example, in his parables or in his forceful and usually very pithy statements. But in today’s Gospel reading, he speaks more in the manner characteristic of the Fourth Gospel, where Jesus’ language is loftier, eagle-like in its transcendence. Some scholars have even spoken of the words we have heard today as a “Johannine thunder-clap out of the clear Synoptic sky.” (more…)