Quiet Corner
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This Sunday’s Gospel account of the guests invited to the wedding feast following so closely after last Sunday’s Gospel passage on the vine grower and his inhospitable workers might seem to be a variation on the common theme of Gospel rejection. Certainly for St. Matthew, both parables share a sad tale of refusal. more
Nothing grieved Jesus more than the hostility of the religious leaders toward his message of redemption and salvation. Jesus was patient with the crowds and forbearing toward sinners, but he was quite irritated with the priests and teachers, scribes and Pharisees, rabbis and doctors of the law, who resisted his every word and ignored his calls for repentance. more
Occasionally in the Scriptures the reader will come across pre-existing hymns that were lifted, so to speak, by the sacred author and incorporated into the revealed word of God. Possibly, the first account of creation from Genesis with its very stylized first day, second day, third day, etc., arrangement was a poetic prayer read in the Jerusalem Temple. The Song of Songs was quite likely a secular love poem adapted for Temple use. St. Luke’s incorporation of songs placed on the lips of Zachariah, the Virgin Mary, the Bethlehem angels and Simeon might also represent some devotional material in use before that evangelist actually put pen to paper. more
The workers in the vineyard who received the same wage after working all day in the Palestinian heat as those late-comers who worked only the last hour as the day began to cool might seem to have a legitimate grievance. Currently, an eight-hour day’s labor at the present minimum wage of $7.25 would net a payment of $58. Rare indeed would be the worker who stood uncomplainingly in line while witnessing a fellow laborer receive fifty-eight dollars for one hour’s work only to be handed the same amount for a full day’s work. Clearly the situation is unjust. And this is precisely Jesus’ point in relating this parable, unique to St. Matthew, about the laborers in the vineyard. more
In the musical film, “The Sound of Music,” as Maria von Trapp wends her way from the cloister gate to the church altar, the camera follows her stride down a long aisle, up a good number of steps, across the sanctuary, before ascending the ornate baroque altarpiece, rising above the church roof toward twin bell towers and finally gazing off into the blue Austrian sky. The viewer’s eye is faithfully guided upward toward celestial heights. This majestic cinematic sweep, enhanced by stately wedding music, graphically and happily illustrates Pope-emeritus Benedict’s nostalgic and distinctively Bavarian appreciation of the Catholic liturgy. more
The oldest church building in the city of Woonsocket is, oddly, not a church at all. The Quaker Meeting House on Smithfield Road, just at the edge of the city line, facing Union Cemetery in North Smithfield, is intentionally just a meeting house where individual believers gather for prayer, song and Biblical inspiration. The Society of Friends, as the Quakers are officially known, shuns formal worship. more
The 27 books of the New Testament were written over a span of perhaps 60 years and they were written over an area of perhaps half the Mediterranean world. St. Paul’s earliest epistles were written possibly around 45 A.D.; the final works of St. John came into circulation maybe in 100 A.D. The various letters and books could have been written in Jerusalem, Syria, Turkey, Greece or Rome. Given this varied background, the centrality of St. Peter in the minds of all the New Testament authors is compelling. more
Each day a retired priest of the diocese offers Mass for the elderly sisters and senior residents of Mount Saint Rita Health Center in Cumberland. As the celebrant sits for the reading of Scripture and the psalm response, his chair faces a stained glass window dedicated to St. Catherine of Genoa, one of two dozen windows dedicated to a great variety of saints. Readers might be aware of St. Catherine of Siena, the third order Dominican who successfully prodded the medieval popes to abandon Avignon and return to Rome. And a few readers might even recall St. Catherine of Alexandria, an early martyr spitefully put to death stretched out on a wheel that now bears her name. But St. Catherine of Genoa might be as obscure to most readers as she was to the present writer. more
In the mid-1960s, there was some concern among liturgists that the offertory portion of the newly revised Mass might detract from the Eucharistic prayer and the words of consecration. more
Very Reverend Monsignor Charles H. Lynch was a native of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Woonsocket and a close friend of my family. While my mother was attending Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in Providence, “Charlie” Lynch was attending LaSalle Academy. more
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