In the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand, it always says he took the bread, he blessed it and he gave it. It's the same in our Mass.

Monday, 8/1/16

Let’s look first at the reading from Jeremiah. In 597 B.C. When Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had conquered Jerusalem, carrying off its leading citizens to Babylon, he replaced their lawful king Jeconiah with his uncle Zedekiah. (Then ten years further on, in 587, Nebuchadnezzar would carry off the remainder of Jerusalem’s people, leaving not a stone upon a stone in a devastated Jerusalem.)

While Jeremiah was predicting that by persisting on their sinful ways the people would bring complete ruin for the city and themselves, the false prophet Hananiah was gaining popularity by prophesying the good things the people wanted to hear.  

Now, although we think of the four Gospels as eye witness accounts of the miracles of Jesus, the evidence clearly proves that they were written about fifty years later. The Gospels story of feeding five thousand with just five loaves and two fish is the only miracles that is described in full in all four Gospels.

What is more, all four Gospels use the same sequence of verbs in describing what Jesus did with the bread. He took the loaves, he looked up, he broke the loaves, he blessed them, and he gave them. Most scholars think that their all using that same sequence of verbs was due to their  always saying it that way as they celebrated the Eucharist every Sunday for those fifty years.

Instead of serving our wealth, we should let it serve us.

Sunday, 7/31/16

Today, in our Lord’s parable, Jesus says that God called the rich man a fool. What made him a fool? Well, A fool is someone who gives up true happiness for something that turns sour on him.

The Jews back then planted their winter wheat on the day of autumn’s last full moon. Then, on the day of spring’s first full moon, they would brush their way through the standing wheat; and  they would hand-harvest the first few ripe ears from here and there. That night, they would make a dough without yeast, and eat those cakes as they had eaten their Passover meal in Egypt.

To get the whole crop in before the seasonal rains, they would from that night of eating the unleavened bread work from sunup to sundown for forty days, harvesting and winnowing, packing away their flour.

Then came the harvest feast, a time of unspeakable joy, a time of eating, of drinking, of dancing and of marrying. But not the poor rich man. Rather than having his wealth serve him, he had to sere his wealth.

Jeremiah and John the Baptist had backbone.

Saturday, 7/30/16

One of today’s readings honor Jeremiah who would not wink at the sins of Jerusalem’s wealthy, while the other honors John the Baptist who would not wink at Herod’s breaking all the laws. A common way of expressing what it was that Jeremiah and John shared would be that they both had backbone.

Every time we choose to lay around, rather than getting up to do what should  be done, we weaken our backbone. Every time we force our self to get up to do what must be done, we strengthen our backbone.

Just to fill space here, let me tell a little story about John the Baptist. Once when I was talking to the Seventh and Eighth Graders in church, I asked, “What did John the Baptist eat when he was in the desert?” One little girl spoke up, saying, “Locusts and wild honey.”

I said, ”You are a wild honey.” Then, ten years later I was getting a car wash at Charles and George’s, and the young lady scrubbing my tires looked up, and asked, “Don’t you know me?” I answered, ”No, who are you?” And she said, “I’m wild honey.”

That girl had backbone.