Steve’s Columns

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 16 August, 2020

Thus says the LORD… The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, loving the name of the LORD… will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Is 56:1, 6-7) You have probably read how the United States Representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, recently denounced the statue of the missionary priest St. Damien of Molokai (which stands in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall), as part of a “pattern” of “patriarchy” and “white [supremacy]”.    This charge has been ably addressed by many such as Dr. Paul …

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 9 August 2020

At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” (Mt 14:27-20) For the virtue of fortitude to arise in Christian hearts it must play out in two parts.  First, we ought to come to firmly believe that God is present to us.  Second, this belief should instill within us courage for acting boldly especially on God’s behalf. If you have ever been in a situation where the primary reason you were …

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2 August 2020

Thus says the LORD… Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life. (1 Kg 3:5,9,10) Heedfully is not a term we use in daily conversation.  You won’t tell your children to do their homework “heedfully” although perhaps you should, since besides teaching them a new word you would be telling them to be especially attentive to their assignment. However, perhaps it is best that we don’t use this word too often in common speech.  In this way we can reserve it for Sacred Scripture and …

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 26 July 2020

God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” Solomon answered… “Give your servant… an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong…The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.  (1 Kg 3:5,9,10) Most of the time in our prayer, we are asking things of God.  We make petitions for ourselves and intercessions for others.  We are the ones who initiate the requests or supplications.  We may even feel at times that we are knocking at a closed door behind which is an empty room.  We do not consider often enough …

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 19 July 2020

There is no god besides you who have the care of all… For your might is the source of justice; your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all. (Wis 12:13, 16) Even if one were to rule a nation with all just laws and administer those laws with perfect equity so that only what was right and good was dispensed to every person through the executive power and through the courts, there would still be injustice without the might to oblige what is good and right since man is so often apt to err and sin. In our …

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 12 July 2020

Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it… The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. (Mt 13:7, 22)     The “Word of God” means all the wisdom in Sacred Scripture particularly the four Gospels of Jesus Christ sown in the world for man’s salvation.  It also means Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was always with God and of whom John the Apostle says all things came to be through the Word, and …

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 5 July 2020

See, your king shall come to you… He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; the warrior’s bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations. (Zec 9:9-10)       It seems unlikely that we will be witness to any more Christian victories such as at Covadonga (722 AD), Tours (732), Lepanto (1571) and Vienna (1683).  Christendom, or the concerted and united effort to maintain Catholic practice and civil concord on the earth, has past.  Not only this but Western civilization has suffered a self-inflicted de-Christianization and a deconstruction of classical wisdom which …

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 28 June 2020

So she said to her husband, “I know that Elisha is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him… Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight. (2 Kg 4:9-11)  For those of us who remember when Steven Booth first arrived at the parish as a young man seeking counsel about the call to the priesthood… this is a glorious time!  Steven Booth was ordained “Father Steven Booth” on June 13th 2020, the memorial of St. Anthony of Padua. In the rite …

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 21 June 2020

“Jeremiah said: “I hear the whisperings of many: ‘Terror on every side! Denounce! Let us denounce him!’ All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. (Jer 20:10-13)  Do not we all feel like Jeremiah these days?  Mention God and be denounced at work; defend a moral principle and be suspected by neighbors; question the full motivation of the latest cultural movement and be pummeled on social media.  What is patently different in our situation from Jeremiah’s is that the enemies of God’s disciples no longer whisper. They bellow, they accuse, they threaten; they …

Feast of Corpus Christi – 14 June 2020

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (Jn 6:51)  Today is the solemn feast of Corpus Christi, or the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We ought to celebrate it with an especial glorification in appreciation of our communal homecoming to the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist after an absence of a few months.  Hopefully this absence has magnified our devotion to this precious divine gift, a devotion which just …

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