Simple, straightforward, and serious Print E-mail
Sunday scripture column

Kevin Perrotta

Sunday, Feb. 17


Jer 17:5-8
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
1 Cor 15:12, 16-20
Lk 6:17, 20-26

There's nothing obscure about Luke's Gospel. Jesus says that those who are poor, hungry, grieving, and persecuted are to be congratulated because they're on the way to great happiness.

Those who are wealthy, satisfied, enjoying what the world has to offer, and admired by everyone are to be lamented because they're going to end up miserable. Such a simple message. What could need explanation?

Okay, perhaps it's worth noting that Jesus is talking about our situation in the age to come, on the other side of death, and God's final evaluation of our lives.

And it may be helpful to clarify that Jesus doesn't mean that God wants anyone to be hungry or that being hungry by itself guarantees future fulfillment. Eternal happiness is assured for the hungry person who nevertheless trusts in God. Compare Jesus' statement in Matthew's Gospel: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5:3).

If we want to know more than that, Jesus has provided us with his own commentary: his story about a starving man named Lazarus and a rich man who didn't help him (Lk 16:19-31).

I read of a Jesuit priest who works in a Central American city with children who scrounge for food in a dump. When asked if he preached to them, he said it is difficult to hold the attention of a boy when he's fighting with a crow over a chicken bone.

Only Jesus can wisely utter words of blessing (and woe) during our trials. He alone has paid the price of these assurances. Let us listen to what Jesus says and apply it to living.

Kevin Perrotta is the editor and an author of the Six Weeks with the Bible series (Loyola Press), teaches part-time at Siena Heights University, and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.


Pope's February Prayer Intention Print E-mail
In 2019, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two.
Pope's February Prayer Intention

Human Trafficking
For a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2019.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Tuesday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 30
Ascension Thursday
Thursday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Friday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Monday, Dec. 9
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Wednesday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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