Fr. Nathaniel Dreyer, IVE
Tuesday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, Jesus continues with His rebukes of the unbelieving Pharisees. Here, a Pharisee invited Him to partake of a meal at his house, and is astonished when Jesus doesn’t perform the ceremonial washing of hands as prescribed by the law.
The word Luke uses to describe the Pharisee’s reaction is ἐθαύμασεν (ethaumasen); it means to be awestruck or even astonished out of one’s senses, but it’s a word that’s usually used to describe the reaction that people have to Jesus’ miracles or His grace-filled words. Here we can see just how backwards the Pharisees have understood things:
Fr. Theodore Trinko, IVE
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The word capital has a lot of different meanings. It could refer to an important city from which a region is governed, and so Annapolis is the capital of Maryland. It could refer to a letter which differs from its lowercase version in height and form. In economics, capital is that surplus of wealth or assets used to begin a new enterprise. In architecture, it refers to the highest point of a column which connects it with the structure which is being supported. But we are not studying government, nor economics, nor architecture, so we are not concerned about these capitals so much. Rather, we need to consider a different but far more important sort of capital, a capital sin.
Fr. Nathaniel Dreyer, IVE
Thursday of the Second Week of Ordinary Time
Today’s Gospel presents a brief summary of Christ’s ministry after He angered the Pharisees in yesterday’s Gospel. There are two things that call our attention: first, all the people who come to Jesus, and the second, what they find when they reach Him.
The Gospel tells us that “a large number,” or, more literally, “a great multitude” of people from Galilee and Judea were following Jesus, and that yet another “great multitude” came from all over to see Him: from “Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.” This might not seem like much, until we consider that the walk from Jerusalem to Capernaum is 100 miles, and that Idumaea is in the deep south, between the southern borders of Palestine and Arabia. Even more surprising is that the cities of Tyre and Sidon, which lie on the Mediterranean coast, northwest of Galilee, are in Phoenician territory; they’re foreign lands. Yet, all these people, Jew or foreigner, city dweller or country folk, simply heard what Jesus was doing, dropped whatever it was they were engaged in, and made the long journey to find Him and, with Him, the hope of healing. It speaks to the great faith of the people whose only connection with Jesus was hearing about Him, and, just on that hearsay, decided to go to Him. The irony is that the Pharisees, who are physically close to Jesus and His countrymen, refuse to draw near.
Secondly, when they reach Jesus, these people find, not only a whole bunch of other people, but that everything they had heard was true. This man was able to heal them, and restore them to life. Mark uses an odd word for “diseases.” He calls them μάστιγας (mástigas), which literally means “a scourge or lash with bits of metal in it.” When used for pain and suffering, it emphasizes how oppressive the pain is, how highly painful and debilitating. We can understand, then, the enthusiasm of the crowds as they draw near to Christ. They come to seek Him with their whole hearts, earnestly longing to find Him.
So, what can we take away from all this?
Priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word