Fr. Bob Writes – August 2, 2020

The story of the feeding of the 5000 appears in each of the four gospels, each of the evangelists “tweaking” the story a bit to suit their own theological concerns. Matthew, whose version we follow this weekend, emphasizes the ministerial role of the apostles in the eucharist. Matthew always shows considerable concern for church structure and the role of the apostles in the direction of the church. 

In the Mass today, there is a variety of ministerial roles. We have the priest, deacons, lectors, eucharistic ministers, gift bearers, choir and servers. The sanctuary which was once the sole domain of the priest celebrant is now the locus where various functions surrounding the eucharist come into play. This all came about over a few years’ time, and now we are hardly conscious of the difference. But there is an important difference. The Mass now conveys a much more communal sense. It is the one Lord, the one Spirit, and many gifts. It is so important that these ministries be exercised well, all of them in convergence around the altar. They point to the one Christ who ultimately “blesses, breaks, and distributes”. 

This all carries into life where education and new structures illustrate everyone’s participation in the life of the church, blending together as the one voice of Christ.… Read more...

Fr. Bob Writes – July 5, 2020

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden light ” – from Jesus’ words in our gospel passage this weekend.

The art of making a good yoke was to fashion it so as to fit the neck of each ox just right…not too loose that it moved around and chafed the animal…not so tight that it pinched and made the animal sore. From his carpenter days, Jesus knew how to make a yoke for a team of oxen. He would have measured the animal and tried the yoke several times as he fashioned it. A young ox was often joined in the yoke with an older, more-experienced animal. In this way, the younger one learned the right pace and manner of working. 

When Jesus invites us to take his yoke upon our shoulders, he wants to get work out of us…the particular mission given to each Christian. He wants to fashion the yoke that will be just right for each person. He doesn’t leave us alone to do the work. He is the other experienced “ox” who will accompany us, do the major share of the work , and teach us how  to do our part. On our part, it takes humility to accept being yoked with Jesus.… Read more...