Readings: Jeremiah 23.1-6
Ephesians 2.13-18
Mark 6.30-34

Today's gospel is a good one for those who read the Bible looking for loopholes. It gives us two apparently contradictory images of Jesus as a man of firm, uncompromising, and even insensitive perso9nality who turns his back on a needy and helpless crowd of people who need his help and takes off on a break once it was time for a break. Then we have the image of Jesus as a caring, empathetic and compassionate Jesus who call off his well-deserved rest top attend to a noisy crowd of clients who are bugging him when they should not. So, Jesus a stern and inflexible man of principle and discipline who sticks to his program come what may or is he a co9nsiderate and receptive person dispo9sed to change his plan according to the needs of the moment?

The average reader of the Bible faced with Dilemma is likely to see in Jesus the character that best suits his or her own personality. Staunch disciplinarians tend to see in Jesus a staunch disciplinarian and kindhearted philanthropists tend to see in him a kindhearted philanthropist. I the Bible then a mirror in which the reader only sees the reflection of his or her own face? Is the Bible the only to provide a justification for our chosen prejudices and lifestyles?

Fact is, the Bible there in some way to affirm us and in other way to challenge us. If we read the Bible expecting the word of God to challenge our prevailing attitudes and lifestyle, then it is easy fore us to see that what shines our in-today’s gospel is nothing but the image of Jesus as the compassionate one. Even though Jesus has come here for a much-needed retreat with his disciples, even though the people have no right to invade his privacy in this manner, still his able to look at their weary faces, see their need, change his program, and respond to their need.

How would you and I respond in similar situation? We would probably chase the crowd, accusing them of insensitivity. We would send the disciples to drive them away and if necessary, bring in the law enforcement agents. We would become angry and critical of the people rather than try to understand them. But compassion is putting oneself in the other person's position and trying to see things the way the other person sees them.

So, if Jesus is so compassionate why then did he try to get away from the crowd initially? Even that action could be seen as an act of compassion not for the crowd but tor the disciples who certainly needed a rest. Today let us ask Jesus to give us his spirit of compassion so that we can be as sensitive and responsive tot he needs of people around us as he was. And let us be prepared to live lives of compassion whether it calls for a change in our plans for the summer or in our plans for the rest of our lives.


15th Sunday In Ordinary Time
Readings: Amos 7.12-15
Ephesians 1.3-14
Mark 6.7-13

Today we hear about how God chooses people for particular missions within the Church and about how God chooses all of us who believe to give witness to Him. Far too often we have no sense of being called or a sense that God might be asking something of us. Instead, God calls each one of us and invites us to follow Him and to proclaim His message to others.

The first reading today is from the Prophet Amos. We can almost laugh at ourselves when we speak of him as a prophet. The Prophet Amos tell us: " I was no prophet, or have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The Lord took ,me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.

By our baptism, each of us is called to b priests because we are called to intercede for others. We are called to be kings because we are called to serve other. We are called to be prophets because the word of God must be proclaimed by us. We should never confuse this form of priesthood with the ordained priest. Nevertheless it is priesthood because the role of priesthood for all of us, whether ordained or not, is to intercede for others with God. For most of us it is clear that we are not kings in the normal sense of that word, but with an understanding that kingship is really about serving others, then we can recognize that true kingship is given to all who serve others to seek their well being and good. And the role of the prophet is simply to proclaim the word that God had given to us. Prophecy does not come from us but it is a matter of our proclaiming the word of God and what it means for our world.

The second reading today is fr0m the Letter to the Ephesians and we are this: "In him we were also chosen destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we mi9ngt exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ." We are called we have been chosen, Why? For His glory, for the praise of His glory. We can really be transformed when we recognize that each of us is chosen. Faith has not just "happened" to us. No, we have been chosen and must respond to that calling, that choice. We have heard the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, and have believed in him and have been sealed with the promised Holy spirit.

We can live our whole lives without recognizing this call. We can live all our lives without recognizing that we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. Our Scriptures and our Church keep telling us these realities and so often they go over our heads and we don't understand.

The apostles were sent out. They are given a mission. How much easier for us if God only Chose them and not us! How much easier for us if only the pope, the bishop's the priests must have responsibilities for preaching and spreading the word of God and the joy of His Church! Instead, we are a chosen people and he pope and bishops and the priests are only there to serve the whole church which is all of us.

Today we are invited, each one of us, to recognize our own calling and to seek to know what God asks of us in order to spread the kingdom. Let us open our hearts and our minds in faith.


Readings: Ezekiel 2.3-5
2Corinthians 12,7-10
Mark 6.1-6

Are we able to see the presence of God in others? Are we able to recognize that God speaks through others? Do we see and acknowledge the prophets of our own time? Today's readings call us to open our hearts, our minds and our whole being to the presence of God in others. The first reading today is from the Prophet Ezekiel. God sends prophets to His people. We don't always like to ear the words that a prophet speaks. On the other hand, not everyone who speaks is a prophet. The Old Testament and the New both understand clearly that a true prophet must according to the word of God, and not according to the the words of men.

Today many claim to be prophetic, but most lack any claims to speaking the word of God. A  true prophet in our Christian tradition must reflect both the Holy Scriptures and the Church. The message if the scripture remains the same from the beginning to the end of the Scriptures. The messenger  always demands that we give up our own concerns and be concerned only for God and God's message for us. The moment we begin to seek our own good, our own enrichment, our won way of thinking- then we become unfaithful to the word of God.

The Second reading today form the Second Letter to the Co9rinthians. here we also listen to God's word: "I am content with my weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong." We are invited to embrace this word of God of Jesus Christ with al our strength and all our being. When we do embrace this word of God, we shall surely suffer and know our own weaknesses. This also is a form of prophecy because the more we embrace Christ and and follow his way, the  the more our lives speak about God and His incredible love for us. we prophesy simply living.

The Gospel today is from Saint Mark and takes us back to the challenge of rejection. We should remember that Ezekiel told us  that  it does not matter if a prophet is recognized or not. What matters is that the prophet speaks the word of God. Today's Gospel points out that we can reject a true prophet simply because we don't believe that Gd acts in the ordinary events of our lives ad in seemingly ordinary people.

God is always speaking to us: in others, in the events of our lives, ion the Church, in our world. In order to understand God we must be attentive first of all to His revealed word. When that revealed Word is our whole way of living, then we begin to recognize His word in all the other realities of our lives. Today God invites us: listen to the prophets! Open your hearts and minds and beings! God loves you and wishes to speak with you. Harden not your hearts today!