Cycle (B) 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Wis 2:12,17-20; Jm 3:16-4:3; Mk 9:30-37 

Haroun-al-Raschid (Aaron the Just) was the greatest of all the caliphs of Bagdad. In a wonderful book, called "The Arabian Nights," there are many interesting stories about him.

One day the caliph, Haroun-al-Raschid, made a great feast. The feast was held in the grandest room of the palace. The walls and ceiling glittered with gold and precious gems. The table was decorated with rare and beautiful plants and flowers.

All the noblest men of Persia and Arabia were there. Many wise men and poets and musicians had also been invited.

In the midst of the feast the caliph called upon the poet, Abul Atayah, and said, "O prince of verse makers, show us thy skill. Describe in verse this glad and glorious feast."

The poet rose and began: "Live, O caliph and enjoy thyself in the shelter of thy lofty palace."

Cycle (B) 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Is 50:5-9; Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35

We are all familiar with the term identity crisis. It is a modern phenomenon that man tries to find his own identity. Many today ask the question who they are?

In today's Gospel Jesus confronts his disciples with a very difficult question. The opinion of people about him, and their personal opinion about him. It is of the most dramatic interest to see where Jesus chose to ask this question. There was no district that had so much religious association like that of Caesarea Philippi. Caesarea Philippi had many temples of ancient Syrian gods. Caesarea Philippi was considered to be the birth place of the Syrian god Pan. Caesarea Philippi was considered to be the source of Jordan. In Caesarea Philippi there was the great temple of white marble built to the godhead of Caesar.  Against this background of the world's religions in their history and their splendour, there stood a homeless, penniless Galilean carpenter, with twelve very ordinary men around him. It was the time the orthodox were actually plotting to destroy him as a dangerous heretic. He stood in that area littered with the temples of the Syrian gods; in a place where the history of Israel crowded in upon the minds of men; where the white marble splendour of the home of Caesar-worship dominated the landscape.

Cycle (B) 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Is 35:4-7; James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37

"The Country of the Blind" is a Short story written by H.G Wells. While attempting to summit the unconquered crest of Parascotopetl, a fictitious mountain in Ecudor, a mountaineer named Nunez slips and falls down the far side of the mountain. At the end of his descent, down a snow-slope in the mountain's shadow, he finds a valley, cut off from the rest of the world on all sides by steep precipices.

It was an unusual village with windowless houses and a network of paths, all bordered by
kerbs. Upon discovering that everyone is blind, Nunez begins reciting to himself the refrain, "In the Country of the Blind the One-Eyed Man is King". He realizes that he can teach and rule them, but the villagers have no concept of