Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew

Gospel Reflection for May 27, 2018, Trinity Sunday

23 May

Sunday Readings: Deuteronomy 432-34, 39-40; Romans 8.14-17; Matthew 28.16-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all I have commanded you.”  – Matthew 28.19-20

Our God is no smug solitary being enclosed in eccentric self-regard but the living God, three person in free communion,always going forth in love and receiving love. Our Judeo-Christian traditions testify that our God is irrepressibly friendly, steadfast, faithful, and compassionate toward us.

Three is one more than two, the starting  point for social life, notes Brazilian theologian Ivone Gebera. A pregnancy calls married couples to make room in their relationship for another. As human persons we live in relationships that like molecules with a positive valence stay dynamically open to other bonds. In the social interaction at the heart of our thriving, we experience the dynamic at the generative, life-giving, love-outpouring heart of God.

“Being in communion constitutes God’s very essence–mutual love, love from love, unoriginate love,” writes contemporary theologian Elizabeth Johnson in her book She Who Is. The Spirit is mutual love, the Son is love from love, and the father is unoriginate love.

What is at stake in trying to understand god as a communion of equals?


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Gospel Reflection for January 7, 2018, Epiphany

4 Jan

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 60.1-6; Ephesians 3.2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2.1-12

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.” – Matthew 2.2

Epiphany celebrate the manifestation of Jesus to Gentile seekers. Learned Gentiles discover through their study of the heavens a new star that sets them on an earthly journey. A phenomenon in nature stirs their curiosity. They step out of the familiar and comfortable to search for something more. A great thing about being human is that we can always change. We can turn toward and turn away. We, too, can seek more. We can look beyond the places we go day after day and beyond the present.

What new horizon summons you? What first step can you take?


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Gospel Reflection for December 10, 2017, 2nd Sunday of Advent

5 Dec

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 40.1-5,9-11; 2 Peter 3.8-14; Mark 1.1-8

“One more powerful than I will come after me.” – Matthew 1.7

Advent prepares us o celebrate the incarnation–God becoming one of us. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, the one Israel’s prophet Isaiah promised God would send. By loving us as one of us, Jesus shows us our capacity to love is the image of our life-giving, creative God in us.

As we celebrate Christmas, love evolves in our relationships, in our world. We carol and spread joy. We light up the dark. We gift one another and set tables for family and strangers. We live in the embrace of God. Creation is holy. Our family relationships are holy. Our lives of love and struggle are holy.

Tell someone about the God you believe in today.


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Gospel Reflection for December 3, 2017, 1st Sunday of Advent

29 Nov

Photo via Flickr user Stephen Grebinksi

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 63.16-17,19; 64.2-7; 1 Corinthians 1.3-9; Mark 13.33-37


“Stay awake, for you do not know when the owner of the house will come.” – Matthew 13.35 


Advent begins a new Church year with a gospel about the end of all things. Instead of a date for the end, Jesus gives us a one-verse parable about an estate owner who goes on a journey, leaves servants in charge, and commands the doorkeeper to keep watch. The owner may return in the evening, at midnight, at cockcrow, or dawn–times when Jesus’ disciples fail to watch during his passion, which follows in chapters 14-15.

Our houses, apartments, offices, stores all have doors. Daily we cross thresholds; we enter and leave each others’ lives. Like the disciples we may sleep through or feel bored during an evening encounter. In dark midnight moments fear can urge us to avoid hard things that prevent us from considering others’ points of view. Peter has made cockcrow a familiar sound that wakes us up to our regrets. At the heart of our faith is the dawn moment, the hour of resurrection, of waking to God’s presence.

What doorways do you want to enter or exit this year? What is a threshold you have crossed to faith?


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Gospel Reflection for November 26, 2017, Feast of Christ the King

22 Nov

Sunday Readings: Ezekiel 34.11-12,15-17; 1 Corinthians 15.20-26,28; Matthew 25.31-46

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we you were a stranger and welcome you or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” – Matthew 25.37-39

The church year culminates this Sunday and holds up Jesus Christ as the model leader of the human race. In becoming one of us, God’s Son identifies with all of us and holds up the least as the measure of discipleship. Love of God and love of neighbor are inseparable. Sunday’s parable of judgment makes clear and concrete in the works of mercy what love does. This vision calls us to work with others to transform us and our world into a community of justice and healing.

In what sense is everyday a judgment day?


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Gospel Reflection for November 19, 2017, 33rd Sunday Ordinary Time

15 Nov

Scripture Readings: Proverbs 31.1-13, 19-20, 30-31; 1 Thessalonians 5.1-6; Matthew 25.14-30

“The servant who received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and buried the master’s money.” – Matthew 25.19

The master in the parable of the talents puts servants in charge of huge amounts of money. A worker in Jesus’ time earned one denarius for a day’s work, so a laborer who worked six days a week earned 340 denarii a year. One talent equals a worker’s earnings for17 years. The master is not giving the servants a pittance to test their trustworthiness. They have received a windfall. The priceless windfall each of us has received is life itself. Our ancestors have invested themselves in relationships and efforts that bring us to be. Jesus invested his life in the human race, identifying with us totally unto death, opening to us all we can become in God. How do we use their extravagant down payments on ourselves? Sunday’s parable calls us to multiply the gifts entrusted to us.

If you were one of the 2,043 on Forbes Billionaires List 2017, how would you invest for the good of the whole? What is one of the most valuable ways you have invested your life energies? 

Gospel Reflection for November 12, 2017, 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time

8 Nov

Scripture Readings: Wisdom 6.12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18; Matthew 25.1-13

“The wise girls brought flasks of oil along with their lamps.” – Matthew 25.4

When Matthew writes more than 50 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Christians no longer expect Jesus’ immanent return. Instead, they are reflecting on how to live wisely and faithfully during the indeterminate delay before his second coming. No one knows when the bridegroom will come. We do recognize the wisdom of having oil in our lamps for the long night. In our faith journeys we need to explore what keeps oil in our lamps and lights the path of Christian living for us.

The oil may be time alone in solitude, retreats, mediation, spiritual reading, theological classes. The oil may involve interacting in groups, sharing faith and insights, transforming and affirming one another spiritual experiences. The oil may be Eucharist and the community of people who gather to remember what Jesus asked on the night before he died. All of us join in co-creating with /God what the world of which we are a part will become.  Christ is the omega point.

Omega is the final letter in the Greek alphabet. God comes to us not only from the past in creation and in Jesus Christ but from the future in the lure to become all love and compassion can create.

How does God come to you from the future, from your hopes and dreams? What action in your life has proved wisest and keeps your light burning?


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Gospel Reflection for November 5, 2017, 31st Sunday Ordinary Time

31 Oct

Sunday Readings: Malachi 1.14; 2.2, 8-10; Thessalonians 2.7-9.3; Matthew 23.1-12

“The greatest among you will be the one who serves the rest.” – Matthew 23.11

Perhaps some people in the early Christian communities claim more importance than others. When Matthew writes more than 50 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Christians may be living the early ideals of sharing goods and extending hospitality in mutual love with less fervor. Perhaps roles are creating rank in the household of Christ. The message in Sunday’s gospel strongly warns against being self-inflated rather than humble. It challenges us to learn from Jesus’ example and serve one another.

Today the Church has evolved as an institution with roles, robes, and ranks. Our model remains Jesus Christ, who identifies with the least and washes his friends’ feet before the last suppers as a servant. Jesus calls us to service, not station and status.

What has sustained you in the practice of serving others? What has deterred you?


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Gospel Reflection for October 29, 2017, 30th Sunday Ordinary time

25 Oct

Scripture Readings: Exodus 22.20-26; 1 Thessalonians 1.5-10; Matthew 22.34-40

“Teacher, which commandment of the law is greatest?”  – Matthew 22.36

Love God and neighbor without distinction. This is the distilled version of the mission of the  Sisters of St. Joseph, the religious community to which I belong. The mission calls us to act—to love and form relationships. It makes love of God inseparable from loving people in our lives—indistinguishable. The words “without distinction” also call us to reach out to people without sorting who we like best or who is worthy but with openness. All are welcome: immigrants, GBLTQ, people in poverty and in wealth, in sickness and in vigor.

Our mission originated in 17th-century France, where 90% of the people lived in poverty and famine and plague devastated the country. A Jesuit priest, Jean Pierre Medaille, worked with a small group of women who experienced God “seizing” them to respond to their neighbors’ needs. They divided the city and began doing all of which they were capable for and with their neighbors.

Actually our mission originates far earlier.  It is Jesus’ answer to the lawyer’s question in Sunday’s gospel, “What is the greatest commandment?” What is basic is the verb love, a call into relationships and community. In answer, Jesus quotes two commandments long on Israel’s books: Deuteronomy 6.5 and Leviticus 19.18. Seldom have people in our country and our world needed to live these commandments more than now, to make love of neighbor our firm foundation across all that divides us.

Who have you seen exploited? For whom are you feeling compassion? To what work of justice do these experiences call you?


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Gospel Reflection for October 22, 2017, 29th Sunday Ordinary Time

17 Oct

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 45.1,4-6; 1 Thessalonians 1.1-5; Matthew 22.15-21
 
“Whose image is on the coin and whose inscription?” – Matthew 22.20

In Sunday’s gospel Jesus confronts a worldview about who images God. Jesus insists that we cannot keep separate our obligations to God and those to government. God blesses and calls us to integrate the spheres of our lives and image the One who made us. Being made in God’s image and likeness calls the Christian to act as God acts with compassion and forgiveness for everyone.

Christians image God by helping people who are poor, caring for the abused and sick, visiting the imprisoned, grieving with those who mourn, listening to those in pain. We give to God our very selves through our goodness to

How do you participate in work for the common good?


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