28th Sunday A: Jesus was not averse to celebrations

Jesus was not averse to celebrations His opponents criticized him as a ‘good time guy’, a glutton and a wine drinker. They did not like the company he dined in: sinners and outcasts. He did not always wait to be invited either. He asked himself to the house of Zacchaeus, the chief tax-collector in Jericho. … [Read more…]

27th Sunday A: Bad Grapes or Good Grapes?

Bad Grapes or Good Grapes? Planting a vineyard is planting for a long-term investment and relationship, a labor that will not yield its grapes, and more importantly its wine, for several years. Just ask our local grape grower Debi Gust-Boerema, who inherited 18 acres from her parents, Red and Peggy Gust, and attends to approximately … [Read more…]

26th Sunday A: The Three Sons

The Three Sons How then do we respond to this gracious invitation to enter into God’s family? This is the challenge addressed to us in our Gospel reading. We heard that the owner of a vineyard asked his two sons to go out and labor in that vineyard. This vineyard owner, of course, represents God. … [Read more…]

The Ultimate Denarius

The Ultimate Denarius In Palestine at the time of Jesus casual laborers were in an insecure position.  There was lots of unemployment and no unemployment benefit.  One denarius was the going rate for a day’s basic work and it would support a man and his family for a day, if not lavishly. The social agreement … [Read more…]

23rd Sunday A: “If your brother sins against you”

“If your brother sins against you” Lloyd LeBlanc and his wife talk to Sister Helen Prejean face to face.  Sister Helen is a religious sister who worked tirelessly in her ministry to prisoners on death row and to the elimination of the death penalty.  She eventually wrote the book Dead Man Walking, which became a … [Read more…]

22nd Sunday A: Get Behind Me Satan

Get Behind Me Satan Clarity is one of great attributes of our Lord when He gave instructions on how to be a good disciple. As I mentioned last weekend, there is a temptation to misinterpret or adapt the words of Jesus – to what we think He SHOULD have said. Today, Peter fell into that … [Read more…]

21st Sunday A: “Who do you say I am?”

“Who do you say I am?” Albert Schweitzer wrote that: “throughout the centuries, people have recreated Jesus into what they thought He should be”. And it might seem that Jesus today invites us to create our own subjective image of Him according to our own ideas.   However Peter’s response makes it clear that this question … [Read more…]

20th Sunday A: Moments of Grace

Moments of Grace Many people are puzzled as to how Jesus responds to the Canaanite woman who begs Him to release her little girl from demonic possession. We are struck by how out of character it is for Jesus not to respond to a cry for help. As the woman continues Jesus replies that His … [Read more…]