Category Archives: Scripture

Reconciliation Lectionary: Matthew 5:27-32

This piece of last Sunday’s Gospel got scant treatment from my pastor in his homily. Here’s why: (W)e might focus on the saying about adultery and lust, about tearing your eye out and cutting off your limbs.  This is just … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Matthew 5:25-26

A small piece that Scripture scholars link with the saying on leaving one’s gift at the altar and going to reconcile: Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Matthew 5:21-24

The pastor preached on the long form of the Sunday Gospel passage this past weekend. The overarching discussion was on making and keeping commitments. He mentioned the formula Jesus gives, “You have heard … But I say to you …” … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Matthew 5:17-20

The Reconciliation Lectionary gives thirty-one verses as an option for a reading at number 180 in the rite. Honestly, I can’t imagine that whole Gospel passage proclaimed at either liturgy or with reconciliation with one penitent. This coming weekend’s long … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Zechariah 1:1-6

Prophets from Elijah to John the Baptist urged people to repentance. Such advice often went unheeded. They also remind us this has all happened before. The post-Exilic community, in joy at the return from Babylon, clearly needed a repeat of the … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Ephesians 6:10-18

Christians have always struggled to understand sin. We know something is wrong. Yet we still do it. Saint Paul struggled mightily with this, if we are to read between the lines of his letters. Many Christian saints struggled heroically against … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: 1 John 1:5-2:2

In 1 John, we are given the starkest contrast: the darkness and the light. It seems simple enough to think of sin as associated with darkness. One of the favorite preaching themes of my pastor is to remind Advent or … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: 1 John 4:16-21

This brief reading concludes chapter four of Saint John’s first letter. It has the merit of brevity. It also wraps up an important biblical theme: gratitude. God loves us so much. Do we in turn offer love to others? If … Continue reading

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Apologetics Off Track

With commentaries like this, it’s no wonder some conservative Catholics are “confused” about Pope Francis and what he’s saying. To begin with, I have no particular beef with Jimmy Akin. He’s one of the top apologists in Catholicism, and I … Continue reading

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Do It Right

Catholic political blogger Thomas Peters seems well into his recovery from a devastating spinal cord accident, getting back into writing this month here and here. He seems disinclined to play to his base, the hard-core GOP 6% who disapprove of Pope … Continue reading

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The Long Psalms

The long psalms have been a curiosity to me ever since I first cracked open my mother’s Bible. Being a good Baptist, she referred to what is now my favorite book in the Scriptures as Psalms, and in her KJV, … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Malachi 3:1-7a

Two days before Christmas, the Church assigns Malachi to proclaim the coming messenger of judgment to the people. In the chill of northern winter, we hear of enough heat to refine precious metal. In the Rite of Penance, this is … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist introduces repentance in the Gospels, and both Luke’s and Matthew’s versions make it to the Reconciliation Lectionary. Every Christian knows the word repent. We sometimes make jokes of it, and often we skirt it. It seems something … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Isaiah 1:2-6, 15-18

The Church proclaims the prophet Isaiah during Advent, and listens to him. Traditionally, Christians saw Isaiah as a book that most strongly pointed toward Christ. Sidestepping biblical analysis, it is quite easy to see why. Jesus adopted many of the … Continue reading

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Reconciliation Lectionary: Romans 13:8-14

Some of this passage, the verses 11-14, is proclaimed on the First Sunday of Advent, cycle A. In my opinion, this is one of the best possible choices for an Advent communal service. Some people might focus on the commandments–this part … Continue reading

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