4th Sunday of Lent – John 6:1-15
When you start to pay attention to the Gospels, you start to see the details of how things worked among Jesus and His disciples. For example, Jesus and his followers were supported, as the church is supported by donations today, with money. There was one apostle who kept track of the money, Judas Iscariot. And out of that money, they would buy things for the poor, they would be the things they themselves needed. There was also the inner circle, those who were given special graces. Peter, James and John were the only ones invited to the Transfiguration on the mountain. Peter, James and John were the only ones taken further apart at the Mountain of Olives on the night He was betrayed, specifically again to watch and to pray. We also know that outside of the 12, there was the larger group. Actually, they were a part of it, the 72. So there was the 72, the 12, and then the 3.
We see today our Lord, after having worked a really stunning miracle, feeding 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes, He’s in a certain difficult situation. They see such astonishing power that He is the prophet that is foretold in the Scriptures and they want to make him the King. And so our Lord leaves. It says, in fact, he fled – he doesn’t just walk away. He fled himself unto the mountain alone.
Sermon preached on Ash Wednesday 2017
Commentary on the the second part of the Epistle for the day (1 Cor. 9:24-27; 10:1-5): “For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud, and in the sea: And did all eat the same spiritual food, And all drank the same spiritual drink; (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.) But with most of them God was not well pleased.”
If you want to know how you are doing spiritually, you can ask yourself these simple questions:
- Do I find Mass boring or interesting?
- Do I find it easy to pray or hard to pray?
- Do I speak to Jesus easily after Communion or is it difficult to speak to him?
- Am I better at praying than I was when I was younger, or am I worse?
That will tell you what you are, and what direction you’re going.
[Please note: there’s a small glitch in the audio at 0:38]
We find the word “watch” used by our Lord many times:
- And he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch. (Mk 14:34)
- And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping. And he saith to Peter: Simon, sleepest thou? couldst thou not watch one hour? Watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Mk 14:37:38)
- Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away. But of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray. For ye know not when the time is.” (Mk 13: 31-33)
But what exactly does Jesus mean by this word “watch”?
In the Gospel of the wedding Mass (Matthew 19:3-6), we read the words that Jesus said about marriage. It happened on an occasion, when the Pharisees, his perpetual combatants, wanted to put him to the test. And so they asked him about something that is always a point of disagreement in every culture that starts to drift away from God. That is, they asked him about divorce. And so Jesus takes the opportunity to explain what marriage really is, going back to the book of Genesis to the story of Adam and Eve, our first parents (Gen 2:24). There we find God saying, “For this reason, a man will leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be in one flesh.” Jesus quotes those words, and then explains what they mean, “Therefore they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.”
Commentary on the Gospel for the Resumed 5th Sunday after Epiphany (Matthew 13:24-30) – The man who sows the good seed is the son of man, that is, Jesus Christ, and the field is the world. The good seed are the children of the kingdom, and the bad seed are the children, as our Lord says, of the wicked one. And the enemy that sows the evil seed is the devil, and the reapers who gather up the cockle to burn them, and the wheat for the harvest, those reapers are actually the angels.