John's G0ospel echoes the exodus story, with Jesus leading us to the Proimsed Land.

The first reading speaks of how the people, at the beginning of the forty years in the desert, set up a tent where they might meet with the Lord, When Moses entered the tent the cloud of God's glory would cover the tent.

We see something like this in the first chapter of John's Gospel. There we read how the Lord dwelt among us, and we saw his glory. However, in John's Gospel escanasan the Greek word we translate as "dwelt. actually means "set up a tent."  .

If we read his Gospel carefully we see that John's underlying theme is that just as the Father led the people to their Pro,missed Land, so the Son leads us tour Promised Land. John tells us how Jesus gave us true bread from heaven. It tells us how Jesus called out, ""If anyone thirsts let him come to me," It tells us how Jesus is the light we can follow in the darkness.

Ignatius Loyola was a Basque soldier who became God's leading soldier.

Monday, 7/31/17

Ignatius was a proud Basque soldier with no learning, and with a willingness to fight duels.  

At thirty-four with a cannonball crushed leg, Ignatius hid away with no friends or support, and he began reading a life of Jesus that changed him completely. Seeing the need for learning, he joined boys in a primary school, learning enough to enroll at the University of Paris.

With a hypnotic appeal to scholarly Spaniards, he enrolled six men as close followers, and he led them through a thirty-day retreat that fixed their minds and hearts on doing God’s work. He was forty when he and his companions were ordained priests, and Pope Paul III recognized the Jesuit Order.  From then on the Jesuits became the Pope’s frontline soldiers.

(When I was seventeen I spent a year on a Jesuit-like religious program that began with his thirty day retreat,)

The readings tell us to seek treasures and fine pearls in our reading.

Sunday, 7/30/17

The Gospel reading in our Sunday Masses often quote Jesus as recommending several courses of virtuous behavior. For those days the first reading is selected to zero in on one of Our Lord’s teachings.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us to seek the hidden treasure, and he asks us to find the pearl of great worth. The first reading identifies that hidden treasure as  wisdom.and an understanding heart.

One way of seeking out the treasure or the precious pearl Is by poring over the Scriptures and over the insights the saints have provided into those Bible passages.

So, today’s readings can be seen as urging us to study the Bible and lessons from Church History.

The blood of the New Covenant unites us with each other and with Jesus.

Saturday, 7/29/17

We love the stories about Martha and Mary, so pardon me for turning to the first reading. At the consecration of the Mass we call the blood the blood of the new covenant, and to get the full import of that, we should read the story about the blood of the Old Covenant.

First, we should grasp the importance of covenants. We all sign contracts by which we exchange sums of money for cars or apartments or other things of value. Well, a covenant is also a contract, but it differs from other contracts in that what we exchange is our very selves.

For the marriage contract the priest asks the man and woman, “Have you come here freely to give yourselves to each other in marriage.” For the Old Covenant God said, “You will be my people, and I will be your God.”

For parties to belong to each other, they must agree to accept each other as they are. For marriage we promise to love and cherish. For a covenant with God, who cannot stoop to our level, we must rise to his level. So, Moses asked the people if they would obey each of God’s commandments.

The people of the Old Covenant saw blood as vital as we see the breath of life. By exchanging blood, they felt they were entering into to an identity sharing union with each other.

Moses sent young men to bring brass bowls of the blood of bulls, and to unite all the individuals of that throng into one people. Those yong men, after they had sprinkled all the people, were instructed to unite them with God by poring the last of the blood on his altar.