16th sunday in ordinary time

Jesus’ invitation to find a quiet place and rest a while is one of those timeless statements so often found in Scripture.  It is an invitation He extends in every age to every one of us.

Some of us get so caught up in the rhythm of this fast-paced society that we have trouble turning off the emotions racing inside us.  Our Lord’s invitation to rest is an indispensable call to all of us to find some much needed silence and solitude.

Our desert place can be anywhere we can get in touch with the presence and peace of God.  Any place where we can tune out the world’s noise and turn to the Lord within us can be a place of rest for us.  There we can relax our body and ease our mind.  We can listen to the Lord and discover deep within us new resources of strength and energy.

Unless we take time off to rest as Christ and His disciples did, our activity will be without direction, our work will become a drudgery and our life will lose its meaning.

We need a place and time to lay our worries before the Lord and let His Spirit heal us, a place and time to sort out our experiences and see things with greater clarity.

Jesus had His desert places. Where do you find some silence and solitude in order to rest a while with the Lord and be renewed by Him?

God Bless,

Msgr. Powell


15th sunday in ordinary time

The value that Jesus holds out to us in today’s gospel is the value of traveling lightly through life by living more simply.  It’s the value of not making too much of material things so that they get in the way of our reaching out to God in trust or to our neighbor in service.

When Jesus instructs us to travel lightly as we journey through life, He is not telling us that we have to get rid of our cars, empty our freezers,  clean out our closets or cut up our credit cards.   He is telling us not to let our material goods make us forget our dependence on God or harden our hearts to the poor.  He is urging us not to become selfish with what we have so that we become insensitive to the injustice and oppression that surround us.

In other words– we travel the safest in this life if we travel the lightest.  We gain more by giving than by getting.

God Bless,

Msgr. Powell


14th sunday in ordinary time

In todays Gospel, Jesus speaks to His own town’s people, but they lack faith to listen to Him seriously.  They find Him too much for them, causing Jesus to say: “no prophet is without honor except
in his own house.”

Who are the prophets today? It is still the Lord Jesus Himself, the word Incarnate through His presence in the readings of Scripture.  He still speaks to us through the good news of the Gospel.  Through His presence in the sacraments He still touches us with His power and healing.

Jesus also speaks to us through such people as Bishop Desmond TuTu and Saint Teresa of Calcutta who speak to us about racism and care of the poor. He uses Charismatic people to inspire us to do noble deeds, even heroic deeds at times.

We should not be surprised at the people God picks to be His prophets.  Some of them we will like, others we will dislike. The important thing is to be sensitive to the message the Lord speaks through them about injustice and oppression, or about poverty and hunger.

We need to think about how we are responding to God’s prophets in our world. Sometimes we are stubborn of heart.  God sends prophets to us to speak about matters of supreme importance and we are too immersed in superfluous matters.  Prophets come asking ultimate questions about life and death, but we are too hung up on trivial questions.

No wonder there is so little peace, justice and happiness in our society. We shut our ears to what God is saying to us through His prophets.  No wonder Jesus can work no miracles through us. We find Him and His prophets too much for us. We lack faith.  May Jesus open our hearts to hear what His prophets are saying to us — sometimes to provoke and rebuke us, at other times to inspire and encourage us.  May He also increase our faith so that we can respond to His prophetic message and allow Him to work His miracles through us.

God Bless

Msgr. Powell