2nd Sunday Ordinary Time – Fr. Smith Homily


The format for the readings for Sunday Mass in Ordinary Time – that is when the priest is in green vestments – is arranged very carefully. The Gospel for the year is either Matthew, Mark, or Luke, and is read straight through week by week. The first reading is from the Old Testament and is chosen to highlight something about the Gospel. The second reading, usually from St Paul, is not connected to the other readings and is also read consecutively over a three-year cycle. It is often neglected, but as we will be reading the 1st letter of Paul to the Corinthians, a true Christian masterpiece, from now until Lent I thought it a good idea to say a few things about it.

Now although it is not chosen to reflect any particular passage of St. Matthew’s gospel which we will be reading these weeks as well, they do share some interesting similarities not only in theology but in the social makeup of their communities.

Both were written to congregations which were composed of born Jews and born Gentiles, but who all considered themselves Christians. Antioch, where Matthew was very likely written, was a very large and cosmopolitan city; Corinth was the wild west. It is situated in the narrowest part of Greece, its waist and a natural transport spot. Travelling by sea was very dangerous and it made financial sense to pull into Corinth, unload the cargo, bring it across the isthmus to another port, put it on anther ship and sail away. This attracted a very rugged group of people, both Jew and Greek and provided a laboratory on how the Christian message can be misheard. Continue reading “2nd Sunday Ordinary Time – Fr. Smith Homily”

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time – The Greatest of All Virtues is Love

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his “I Have a Dream Speech” at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963. (National Archives ARC Identifier 542069)

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 49:3, 5–6
January 19, 2020

Today’s reading from Isaiah is undoubtedly beautiful but is often considered confusing. Who is the servant? Is it Israel, Isaiah himself, or someone or something else? All these positions have their defenders. Yet I think we will see that the editors of the final version which we read have produced is something theologically profound and psychologically accurate.

This passage was composed by someone we have named Second Isaiah. He lived in Babylon at the end of the exile of the Jewish people around 540 BC. To be more precise the exile only ended for those who wished to end it. Babylon was conquered by Assyria and the new king, Cyrus, invited the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their country and temple. His reasoning was colonial. He wanted people indebted to him to be in charge of the locals, and be subservient to him. Enough Jews thought there was a higher force involved, accepted the invitation and returned.

We see the consequences with the beginning of this chapter:

Continue reading “2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time – The Greatest of All Virtues is Love”

Florence McArdle

It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Florence McArdle, a longtime parishioner.

Her wake will be held at the Cobble Hill Funeral Home at 171 Court Street (corner of Dean Street).

Visiting Hours will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2020 between the hours of 2:00 – 9:00 pm.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 17th at St. Charles Borromeo Church at 19 Sidney Place at 10 am.

She will be buried at a later date in Ireland.

Baptism of the Lord – Fr. Smith Homily

Today’s passage does not answer my basic question about the Baptism of Jesus: “What is the difference between John’s baptism and Jesus’?”

There are hints of an answer, but I want clear and distinct ideas and I am not going to get them. What we want to know and what Jesus wants to tell us may not always be the same thing. So, let us try to see what Jesus wants us to know.   Continue reading “Baptism of the Lord – Fr. Smith Homily”