At the parking lot of Walmart Superstore on E Thomas Rd near 36th St., around 30 or more men lined up waiting to be hired for the day, and like the other wave of immigrants who came before, they have come to this land of opportunity in search of a better life for their families. Almost every day, you see them all line up on the road, waiting for an employer to pick them up and transport them to the workplace. Depending on what skill or the kind of work is needed, some get hired at dawn, others at midmorning, others at noon, and still others late in the afternoon. In any case, it is unlikely that they will receive equal pay because, in the real world, fair is fair, and one receives what is one’s due.READ MORE
Peter asked the Lord how many times one must forgive a brother who wronged him. Jesus replied seventy times seven or seventy-seven times, in reference to Gen. 4:24 of Lamech wanting to avenge Cain not only sevenfold but seventy-sevenfold (unlimited). If Lamech would never forgive, Jesus said, we must always forgive. The Lord does not limit forgiveness to a fixed number of times, but we must forgive at all times and always. (St. John Chrysostom, In Matthaeums, 61:1)READ MORE
Today, Jesus gives us guidelines on when to keep silent and when to talk, especially when doing fraternal correction. We cannot remain quiet to play safe and pretend to keep the peace when we really care for the souls of others who are treading the wrong path. But also, we cannot be too loud, vocal, and imprudent with our observations and opinions to the point of being insensitive, offensive, and hurtful. In every fraternal correction, the emphasis is the concern, the love, and the mercy for the other.
For Marriage Encounter weekend, fighting and arguing is a form of communication guided by helpful conflict management rules. Although appropriate for couples, these guidelines apply also to conflict situations outside marriage. Fraternal correction, if done correctly and with genuine concern for others is an effective instrument in healing wounded relationships, especially when Jesus is put in the midst of the conflict.READ MORE
With the confession of faith of Peter and Jesus affirming what he said as coming not from man but from His heavenly Father, doubts within the disciples about the true identity of Jesus were answered. His revelation was unexpected: He confirms that He is the Messiah, but a suffering Messiah. Before the disciples start making a grand scheme of revealing Jesus to the people of Israel and make a big announcement of who He is He gives them a picture of His Messiahship and mission. The disciples must remove their preconceived ideas and let Jesus fulfill the mission entrusted to Him by the Father.
Peter not only confessed that Jesus is the Messiah but also that He is the Son of the living God. This concept is not new to the Jews because during the time of David, descendants of the anointed king were reckoned as sons of God (2 Sam 7:14).READ MORE
While they were at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples: Who do people say the Son of Man is? Wherever Jesus goes, His fame precedes Him, but away from the prying eyes of Jewish leadership, He wants to know what people thought about Him. Are they open to His message and mission? The people of this region are pagans, raw, and probably less biased to His message.
From their response, Jesus proceeds to know from His own disciples: But who do you say I am? Based on their initial answer, we see no real consensus, with most seeing Him as one of the prophets and even as John the Baptist. Being with Jesus for some time, He asked the disciples their thoughts about Him. He wants to know what people say about Him, but equally important the depth of their perception and understanding of His identity and mission.READ MORE
Today, we hear in the Gospel of the Canaanite woman who begged Jesus to help her daughter, who experiences evil torment. Knowing she is not a Jew, she feels her unworthiness and disadvantage, yet she persists in her plea, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters. We see in her an example of humility, faith, and gratitude when Jesus healed her daughter. Do we have the same faith and persistence as the woman?READ MORE
In the Gospel, we hear Jesus - walking on the waters as He approached the disciples' boat rocked by a storm. Most disciples were fishermen who could probably swim, but seeing a person walking on top of the water and not - swimming frightened them. If we do it on our own, we certainly cannot, but with God - we can. How many times have we weathered the storm of our life because the Lord was there to help us? The scene of the panicking disciples was the complete opposite of the peace of Jesus while He was praying alone on the mountain.READ MORE
In the Gospel, Jesus transfigured in the presence of His disciples Peter, James, and John. The transfiguration displayed God's glory and deepened their understanding of His identity and mission. When the disciples heard and experienced Jesus' glory in the mountain, it reminded them of what happened to Moses at Mt. Sinai (Ex.24). Jesus brought three disciples to Mt. Tabor while Moses also led three of his close associates up the mountain. Moses' face shone when he came down, while a cloud overshadowed Mt. Sinai a symbol of His glory. All the similarities reinforced the theme Matthew already developed: Jesus is the new Moses who comes to deliver the people of God. But Matthew emphasized that there is someone greater than Moses is here. Jesus is no mere human mediator like Moses; He is the Son of God, and His glory is not a reflected glory but His own.READ MORE