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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

Reflecting on Mark 6: 30-34

I was lucky. Unlike the majority of my peers growing up in the fifties, I learned many of the stories in scripture through a beautiful children’s bible that we took off the shelves every Friday afternoon at St. Vincent de Paul Grade School. The illustrations, the stories, the connections with real life grabbed me by the heart. That fascination has never left me.

Then I got lucky again. Sr. Macrina Scott―she of blessed memory―created the acclaimed Catholic Biblical School just in time for me to spend the rest of my life utterly mesmerized by the endless depth and breadth of the scriptures, and the insights of those who teach it.

When I started learning scripture I was just like the people longing to get close to Jesus and the Twelve. What a scene that is. Jesus tells the exhausted apostles to come away with him to a “deserted spot” so they might rest from their long journey. But the crowds, so hungry for the word of God, “hasten on foot” to meet them there. Maybe you’ve had this same experience while trying to escape your kids for just a few minutes?

When I stand in front of “great numbers of people” who long to learn the scriptures, I tremble at my great good “luck” again. But I am moved with pity for all the people who are intrigued by something they’ve  heard at Mass during the scripture readings, but haven’t known where to go, or whom to talk to, to open up the deeper meaning.

Are you starving for a more intimate grasp of the scriptures? Proceed with caution. Take it from me, once you start investigating the gospels you’ll have a hunger that never goes away.

What passage of scripture most intrigues you?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

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