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Catherine Martinez, OSB

Catherine Martinez, OSB, has been a Benedictine Sister at St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK, since 1985. She is currently the Treasurer/Business Manager of her monastic community. She is a member of the planning committee for the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Federation of St. Scholastica.

Solemnity of Christ the King

November 21, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Who Is Your King?

Are you the king of the Jews?

With this question, Pilate unwittingly engages Jesus in a debate about power, authority, and truth. (Jn 18:33b-37) Jesus has been handed over to Pilate to be tried as an enemy of the Roman Empire and inciting the crowds. When the crowd brought Jesus to Pilate, they were already intending on having Jesus executed. Pilate was a participant in this exchange with Jesus, although not a very willing one. He tried more than once to get the people to change their minds about handing Jesus over.

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33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

November 14, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

The Signs of the Times

The sun will be darkened; the moon will lose its brightness; the stars will fall from the sky and the heavens will quake. These images sound like the beginnings of an epic sci-fi thriller. One that I probably would not want to view. The ominous theme from Jaws can be heard playing in the background. These images are not the set for a blockbuster film, they are Jesus’ images for the last days; for the time when Jesus comes in glory. (Mk 13:24-32)

While I might be able to opt out of watching the film, preparing myself and heeding Jesus’ words are not optional, it is necessary. The message for us today is to remain alert, watchful and vigilant.

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32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

November 7, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

The Widow’s Donation

No donation is too small.

Today we find Jesus in the Temple area observing as pilgrims contribute to the coffers. (Mk 12:38-44 or 12:41-44) Jesus has been teaching about the dangers of doing things to receive attention. He is emphasizing for his audience that our inner disposition, our motives is more important than the amount of attention or acknowledgement we receive. While he is there a poor widow arrives and offers all that she had…a few small coins.

Most would have pushed past this woman on their way to present their more valuable gifts; Jesus, however, noticed and used her as a model for his teaching. He points out that she gave all that she had. She kept nothing back. She was showing deep trust in God’s providence.

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31st Sunday of Ordinary Time

October 31, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Love God, Love Neighbor

Which is the first of all the commandments?

A scribe comes to Jesus with this question. (Mk 12:28b-34) He had witnessed Jesus’ previous encounter with the teachers of the law and had seen his response to their questions. This man comes in sincerity because he desires truth and believes that Jesus can provide what he is seeking.

Jesus answers with a twofold response. First, Jesus recites the shema, which would have been a familiar prayer to the scribe. It is the traditional Jewish morning prayer. The requirement is to love God with our whole being (heart, soul, mind, and strength). The totality of my person needs to be in a relationship of love with God.

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30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

October 24, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Immediate Wholeness

Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.

This is the cry of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar who sat on the road leading out of Jericho. (Mk 10:46-52) It is a bold plea for help in his poverty and blindness. And it is an acknowledgment in faith of the person of Jesus. This scene gives us one of the few times where Jesus’ name is actually used rather than a title; so in a sense, this blind beggar, whose presence would normally hardly have been acknowledged, is actually one of the first people to understand who Jesus is. Bartimaeus also ties Jesus’ identity with the messianic prophecies from Isaiah which claim that the coming savior will be of Davidic lineage. This is the first time that Jesus is called Son of David in the gospel narratives.

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29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

October 17, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Be Careful What You Ask For

One thing that I have learned in life is that God listens to my prayers and requests. If I am going to be bold enough to ask for something that will be helpful to me and sincerely bring it to prayer, I will probably receive it (eventually). For me the hitch in this system is twofold. I have to remember God’s faithfulness and that the answer will come in God’s time, not mine. I also need to make sure that I understand what I am requesting.

Understanding the request involves more than knowing the name of the object desired. It’s not just saying, Dear God, please increase my patience or my faith or my compassion or…it is also having some idea of what this request actually means.

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28th Sunday of Ordinary Time

October 10, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Inheriting Eternal Life

Today we see a wealthy young man ask what is necessary to receive eternal life. (Mk 10:17-30 or 10:17-27) The kind of questioning this young man brings is different from the questioning presented by the Pharisees. He is not trying to trap Jesus through some kind of trick but rather sincerely seems to desire to follow Jesus and his path, at least initially.

Jesus puts him through a short test listing the commandments, which the man states he has followed since youth. So what more is required for discipleship?

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27th Sunday of Ordinary Time

October 3, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Marriage, Divorce and Children

Is divorce lawful or not?

Once again, Jesus offers a new interpretation to something familiar to his audience. (Mk 10:2-16 or 10:2-12) The Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus once again. They ask him about divorce. Jesus turns the question around to the Pharisees asking them what the Scriptures say about divorce. After the Pharisees reply, Jesus proceeds to connect two pieces of the Genesis story as God’s original plan for marriage and family. By connecting those two pieces from Genesis chapters 1 and 2, Jesus is adding still more emphasis to his new perspective.

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26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

September 26, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Whose Ministry is This?

John and the other disciples are upset because they found someone healing and casting our demons in Jesus’ name who was not one of the disciples. (Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48) In their minds, he should not be allowed to heal unless he has passed the litmus test of being a member of their band. When they approach Jesus, they expect him to side with them and to tell the person to stop doing good until he is fully initiated into the group. Jesus, once again, gives them a surprising response. He basically tells them to leave him alone because no one who is against him can do works of ministry in his name.

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25th Sunday of Ordinary Time

September 19, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Journey into Galilee

One of the images that Mark uses to portray Jesus and his disciples in their ministry is a journey. The disciples are a group that is always on the move, always heading to the next destination. It is the travelogue of a people with a purpose and a destination.

Today’s reading (Mk 9:30-37) sends Jesus and his friends on the road again, heading away from the experience of the transfigured Christ. They are heading towards Capernaum in Galilee. So after a journey of public teaching and healing in the north, Jesus begins to travel towards the south. As they travel, ...

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24th Sunday of Ordinary Time

September 12, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Jesus asks his followers a question as they depart from Caesarea Philippi…Who do people say that I am? It is essentially a question of identity. (Mk 8:27-35)

On one level, Jesus is trying to gauge the effectiveness of his ministry. Did the crowds really understand what his message was? Did they get who he was? On another level, Jesus was assessing how well his closest followers understood who he was. Did they really know him or were they simply following a band of pals?

To the first question, the apostles are able to give a wide variety of answers—some say you’re Elijah, some say John the Baptist, some say one of the other prophets. The consensus of the crowds is you are a good guy.

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 5, 2021,
Catherine Martinez, OSB, St. Joseph Monastery in Tulsa, OK

Today we witness one of Jesus’ more graphic healing miracles. (Mk 7:31-37) His friends bring a deaf man who also has a speech difficulty to Jesus. The friends ask Jesus to simply touch the deaf man. Jesus does more than touch him; he puts his finger in his ears and touches his tongue with his own saliva. Immediately, the man is healed.

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