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Sunday Soundbites
Sunday Soundbites is a weekly, 90-second radio homily based on the Sunday readings, written and read by Fr. Greg Friedman, O.F.M. Sunday Soundbites is also heard on Catholic radio stations around the country.

Program for Sunday, October 30, 2011
(31st Sunday in Ordinary Time)


Sunday Soundbites Archive

Hello, I'm Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, with the Sunday Soundbite for the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Today’s Gospel has created a certain amount of extra work for me over the past few years. I’ve answered e-mails from people writing in to our Internet and radio question and answer service about the famous passage: “Call no one on earth your father.” Based on this Gospel text, people want to know why Catholic priests like myself seem to violate Jesus’ words on a daily basis by being called “Father.”

Of course, I can remind them, we priests aren’t alone in this, since most of our dads are also apparent offenders against this text—although that point rarely comes up from the questioner. But the broader meaning of today’s Gospel passage is a teaching of Christ which we in Church authority have sometimes violated. Jesus condemns those who do not practice what they preach; who allow titles and the power they imply to become the focus; who forget that service in love is what leaders in the community must embody.

To bring home Jesus’ point, in today’s first reading the prophet Malachi warns the priests of his time: Keep the focus on our common Father, the one who has created us. Good advice for all Christians—but especially for the “Fathers” in our midst who’ve been given that title in Church service. With Jesus, with the prophet, and with those good folks who continue to ask me about my title—I hope I can hear the challenge!

I’m Father Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite from St. Anthony Messenger Press, on the web at FranciscanRadio.org.

Meet Father Greg Friedman
Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M. Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M., is creative director with the Media Production Team at Franciscan Media. He also hosts American Catholic Radio each week, and produces videos for www.AmericanCatholic.org, including the "Two-Minute Take." Father Greg wrote and directed Assisi Pilgrimage: Walking in Faith with Francis and Clare, which appeared on ABC-TV stations nationwide. He also produced the popular faith-formation series Catholic Update Video, used in parishes around the U.S. He currently serves as pastor of St. Francis Seraph Parish, located in the inner-city neighborhood of "Over-the-Rhine" in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can contact him at letters@franciscanradio.org.
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