17th Sunday in Ordinary Time [B]

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [B]
II Kings 4:42-44  ―  Ephesians 4:1-6  ―  John 6:1-15
July 29, 2012

“…He withdrew again to the mountain alone.”  [John 6:15]

               Two weeks ago, three brother priests and I set out east along the highways and interstates of America to attend a conference in Louisville.  Two of them are blood brothers in addition to being brother priests:  Father Jim Weldon, pastor of Resurrection Parish in Wichita; and Father Eric Weldon, pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish.  The fourth priest was a seminary classmate of theirs who is a pastor in Arizona.
               The round trip was more than 1500 miles.  As soon as we got on the highway, Father Jim, the holiest (or maybe the wisest) among us, told us to get out our rosaries.  It’s always good to entrust a journey’s safety to the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, but later I wondered if Fr. Jim also had another intention in mind.  If any of you mothers have four sons, you could probably tell us the odds of four brothers riding over one thousand five hundred miles together without someone losing a limb or tooth.  Of course, the odds go way down if their mother is there to watch over them.  And so, the four of us prayed the rosary often during the trip.

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time [B]

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [B]
Jeremiah 23:1-6  ¾  Ephesians 2:13-18  ¾  Mark 6:30-34
July 22, 2012

“…that He might create in Himself
one new person in place of the two,
thus establishing peace….”  [Ephesians 2:15]

               Saint Paul, in his love for the Christians living in Ephesus, wrote to them about what it means to be one people.  We heard the beginning of his Letter to the Ephesians last Sunday, and we will continue to hear this letter proclaimed in our Second Reading at Sunday Mass for the next five Sundays.  In today’s passage from Ephesians, St. Paul teaches us about the mark of unity.  Unity, as you know, is one of the four marks of the Church that Jesus established.  In the Nicene Creed we profess our belief that the Church is “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic”.
               In order to be one people—in order to be united—different persons have to have something in common.  For example, when a group of persons return to their hometown for their 25th high school reunion, each of those persons may have gone on from high school to pursue very different interests and careers.  Those persons may now live in different cities, or even in different countries throughout the globe.  Nonetheless, for an evening or a weekend, those persons come together to share stories of their common, past experiences:  about their senior trip, their favorite teacher, their football team, and so on.  Past experiences can draw together and unite a group of persons whose lives in the here and now are very different.

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time [B]

The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [B]
Ezekiel 2:2-5  ¾  2 Corinthians 12:7-10  ¾  Mark 6:1-6
July 8, 2012

“When the Sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.”  [Mark 6:2]

About five years ago, I drove during summer vacation to Columbus, Ohio, where Father Shawn McKnight was on the faculty of the seminary there.  After spending a few days in Columbus, he and I drove to Toronto, and stayed at Toronto’s seminary, one of whose faculty members had been a classmate of Father Shawn in Rome.  One morning at breakfast in the seminary refectory, which—being summer—was empty except for us, an unassuming priest walked up to our table holding his breakfast tray and asked if he might join us.  After a while we learned that this humble priest was in fact the archbishop of Toronto.
Five months ago, the Holy Father elevated him to the College of Cardinals, so he’s now Cardinal Collins.  Over breakfast he jokingly explained that whenever he’s at a wedding reception, the bartender always knows what to serve Cardinal Collins, because his first name is Tom.  Our conversation did eventually progress to loftier topics, including the role of teaching, a natural topic of conversation in a seminary.

The parish I serve

<b>The parish I serve</b>
St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Colwich, Kansas (Diocese of Wichita)