18 Sunday - Treasures

From The Connections:

A letter to you — you in the year 2025
As the last weeks of summer begin, we’re aware that a new year is upon us.  Sure, the new calendar begins on January 1, but we all know that Labor Day is the real day of transition each year: the beginning of a new school year, the gearing up of a new programming cycle for businesses and organizations. 
At the beginning of the fall term at a New England high school, the school’s minister offered this first assignment:

17 Sunday - Prayer

From Fr. Jude Botelho


The first reading introduces us to Abraham as he intercedes with God for the city of Sodom and Gomorrah. What strikes us immediately is the tone of the conversation between Abraham and God. It certainly implies a relationship. Firstly, we see Abraham pleading not for himself but for the needs of others. Secondly, what comes across through the reading is the belief that good people matter and have a tremendous influence on others. Thirdly, we see that Abraham perseveres in his pleading with the Lord. The point of the passage is not that prayer changes God but rather that prayer gives us a share in His power and definitely, that prayer changes us so that we can accept whatever is God's will for us.

16 Sunday C: Martha and Mary

From the Connections:

The sisters Martha and Mary mirror the two expressions of the disciple’s call: loving service to others (Martha) and prayer and contemplation (Mary).  But as Martha comes to realize in today's Gospel, discipleship begins with hearing the Word of God, with opening our hearts and spirits to the presence of God.
We are all like Martha in our own anxiety over details; we worry about the peripherals at the expense of the important and lasting.  “The better part” embraced by Mary transcends the pragmatic and practical concerns of the everyday (that have overwhelmed poor Martha) and sees the hand of God in all things and realizes the gratitude all of creation owes its loving Creator for the gift of life.
With so many agendas demanding our time and attention, Jesus calls us to consciously choose and seek out “the better part”: to make a place in our lives for the joy and love of family and friends that is the presence of God.

15 Sunday C: Good Samaritan

From The connections:

The Good Samaritans at table seven
You and your family push your way into the restaurant on a Friday night.  After a long wait, you finally get a table.  The place is packed — and loud.  After a long wait, your waitress hurries over to your table with menus.  Deena, her name tag reads.  Deena cannot be more than 16 or 17 — the same age as your daughter.  After a quick hello and welcome, she disappears to serve another table.  Deena returns several minutes later to take your order — including the four different ways your party wants their burgers.  You can tell she is working really hard to keep it together.
While you wait, Deena is summoned by the man at a nearby table.  You can see and hear the encounter:  He all but throws his underdone steak, his soggy French fries, and warm beer at Deena.  He berates her for the slow service and dismal food.  She apologizes profusely and removes the food.  When she returns a few minutes later with new servings, he takes a bite and a sip, grunts and glares at her.  At another table, she tries to mollify screaming children; another party changes its order four times; she collides into the kid bussing tables and a tray of glassware and dirty dishes crashes to the floor.