22 Sunday B: Holiness - Outside and Inside Purification

A. Fr Jude Botelho:

In the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses exhorts the people to heed the statutes and ordinances of God so that they might inherit the land promised by Yahweh. While advising them to follow the laws and commandments of God, at the same time he warns them against adding or taking away anything from what they have received from God. Today's reading reminds the people that they have to be faithful to the written Law and not add their own interpretations and customs to the Law. In our own experience, we know that often in interpreting the law we apply it as we think best rather than as God wants us to live. We can be observing the letter of the law while missing its spirit. 

21 Sunday B: Submission and Service

From Fr. Jude Botelho:
In the first reading from the Book of Joshua, we meet Joshua who had led the people into the Promised Land. Joshua asks them to choose whom they wish to serve: the God of their ancestors or the false gods of the land they now inhabit. He is more concerned with the inner battle of faith rather than his military campaigns. Joshua knows that all choices have to be renewed, that people do not stay dedicated to a cause just by continuing to exist. Israel Zangwill observed about the Jewish tradition: "We are not the chosen people but the choosing people." Joshua himself makes clear his own choice and leaves them free to make their own. The people too renew their choice: "We too will serve the Lord, for he is our God."

20 Sunday B: Bread of Life for the Life of the World

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

Today's reading is a small portion of the Book of Proverbs which tries to give us words of God's wisdom to live by. The reading imagines Wisdom as a woman who has provided a plentiful table of meat and wine. All who lack wisdom are invited to leave their folly behind them and come to the banquet where something wonderful awaits them. The point the reading is making is that we have a choice to make: living according to the wisdom of God or living out our own foolish ways. It surprises us that God offers us his wisdom free of cost, we only have to come to him and it is ours for the asking. Will we live our life in partnership with God or do we think that we can manage on our own?

19 Sunday B: The Living Bread

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

In the first reading we meet Elijah when he is in the pit of despair. He flees to the desert but there a terrible depression overtakes him. He asks God to take his life. But instead of doing so God sends an angel to him with food and water. Strengthened by these, the prophet arises and makes his way to the mountain of God. We should be aware that God did not solve Elijah's problem but gave him nourishment so that he could cope with whatever difficulties he faced in his mission. We often want God to solve our problems but he prefers to provide us with the nourishment that will help us to cope with life's problems. Am I using the nourishment God is providing right now?

Transfiguration - Aug 6

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading from the Book of Daniel gives us a vision of the Son of Man being presented to the 'one of great age'. Note that this is not a picture of the Son of Man descending to earth but of him being presented to God. We know that from the ecstatic experience of the transfiguration, the disciples will see their agonized Lord suffering on the hillside of Calvary. However, today the accent is not so much on Jesus' passion as on providing us with a clue to his identity. This divine revelation –related to the gospel reading in which Jesus' face shines like the sun and is clothed in dazzling white – shows that it is He who is to be glorified like the Son of man.