Sunday Reflections

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)



Matthew 15: 21-28                                                            August 20, 2017

“A Canaanite woman of that district called out, Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David (…) O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”

When I was working in a mission with two different ethnic groups in the Amazon, I overheard a conversation between an indigenous father and his young son inside their Huitoto maloca. The Huitoto ethnic group and the Boras were enemies in the past. Even today they distrust each other, and the Huitotos claim that the Boras were dangerous and their ancestors were anthropophagus. The father, who was a taita, or chief, was a noble and righteous leader. His son asked him if he could go hunting with his new Bora friend. The taita said, “No way, you cannot get involved with such a wild people.” This conversation happened to be in front of a large group of the tribe. The young kid immediately responded, “Father, you have educated us not to be prejudice.” The father hugged his son and spoke for the whole assembly, “This is what I wanted my whole people to hear, not to be prejudice, and accept the Bora people as our brothers and sisters.”

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)



Matthew 14: 22-33                                             August 13, 2017

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid (…) O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

The miracle of Jesus walking on the water is probably the most popular of Jesus´ miracles, but it is possibly the one that has been more doubted of all Biblical miracles. There is an anecdote that could explain why. There was a freshmen class at a Catholic university. The young students were so questioning and skeptical that the religion and ethics professor was unable to teach the class. Once, a very dynamic young priest was sent as the new lecturer. To gain their attention he took the freshmen to a field trip. They stop right in front of a lake. After introducing himself, he asked the first question: “Do you believe in miracles?” Immediately all of them answered “No.” Without any further explanation, he said, “I am going to walk on the water.” To the students´ astonishment, he did. As if it would be on dry ground, he walked on the water. However there was still an incredulous student who shouted, “I bet you could not do it again.”

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)


17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) Mt. 13: 44-52 - July 30, 2017

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, sells all that he has and buys it.”

We usually think about wisdom, as seeing a type of a bearded and bald old man, in a laboratory or library full of books, not having time for anything but write and read. But we learn in the Holy Bible that wisdom is not a theory or something abstract. Wisdom is practical. It is to live in a right and wise way.

Our three readings for today give us a clue of God’s deep love for us. In the first reading from the First Book of Kings we hear the story of a man who made a good start as he became king of Israel. His name was Solomon and governed his people after his father David. In a dream Solomon was offered by God anything he desired. He could have asked for wealth or triumph over his enemies, but he did not. He asked for wisdom so he could rule prudently. It was a great choice and it pleased God. Do our politicians, military chiefs, civil and religious leaders, parents and teachers ask for this kind of wisdom? Do we ourselves ask for an understanding and compassionate heart, the ability of discernment to make proper decisions, to be honest to choose goodness, and fulfill our responsibilities?

The Transfiguration of the Lord (A)


The Transfiguration of the Lord (A) Mt. 17: 1-9 – August 6, 2017

“Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

There is a tale about two city young girls who never had been in or seen a farm. All they had seen in the city were modern shopping centers, big buildings, wide avenues, and a lot of technology. One day their parents took them to a farm and the girls decided to wonder into the country. The first thing they saw was a farmer plowing. They said to each other that this man must be out of his mind to be tearing up a beautiful green field. Then they looked as the farmer was sowing seed, and were amazed especially when the man next covered over the seed as if he were trying to bury it. Laughing at the farmer´s foolish actions, they went back to the city.

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)



Matthew 13: 24-43                                                 July 23, 2017

“You gave your children good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins.”

A farmer struggles with the wicked action of an enemy who sowed weeds in his wheat. Rather than immediately pull the weeds up, the planter lets them grow together until harvest time. His thought is, “If you pull up the weeds, you might uproot the wheat along with them.”

Most parables told by Jesus are not exactly based on religious themes, but Jesus uses situations grounded on everyday life. Today´s Gospel is a good example of activities built in real life: a farmer who sowed good seed in his field, and when he was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the field. The second parable is about a mustard seed, that being the smallest of all the seeds, yet when sowed and grown it became the largest of plants, to the point that the birds came and made nets in its branches. The third parable is the yeast that a cook took and mixed it with three measures of wheat flour until the whole mass was leavened.

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