|Our Doubts are About Ourselves|
Dec. 15, 2013 |
Third Sunday of Advent
Faith must be prepared to engage in the doubts we have about ourselves. The answers to those questions are still found in the Paschal Mystery. They are found in the One who is always coming.
|Bring the stable to the world|
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013|
Second Sunday of Advent
Today’s Gospel reminds me of the colorful characters God chooses to bring his message to the world to this day. The Hebrew Scriptures are filled with God using stuttering shepherds, those who would seem too young and those who would seem too old to carry his message. Today, for instance, John the Baptist sounds a bit more like someone I might encounter in a dark alley than he does as someone proclaiming the coming of the Messiah. But in his time John was extraordinarily popular with the people. In him, they saw the prophecy of Isaiah fulfilled.
|Distracted by Christmas|
Dec. 1, 2013 |
First Sunday of Advent
For weeks the secular world has been advising us that we should “get ready for Christmas.” We have caught the spirit of anticipation and anxiety about whether or not we will be prepared. Today the Church joins in but the message is not the same. We might easily wonder why, when we are preparing for the birth of the Baby, we are directed toward Christ’s final coming. The truth is that many of us have been distracted by a secular view of Christmas.
|Christ: A King Hanging from a Cross|
Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013|
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
For most of us, the meaning of “king” is rooted in the modern view of the British royal family and the fantasy of fairy tales and Disney movies. Romantic? Yes. Powerful? Not really. To truly catch the significance of this feast day and today’s Gospel, one needs to cast them in the context of Jesus’ time and the expectation that the Jews had of a messianic king.
|There is hope in midst of chaos|
Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013|
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
The most public gathering places in almost any large city have billboard preachers announcing the impending end of the world on a regular basis. Their warnings have become so familiar that most of us tend to ignore them. Nonetheless, they provide a mental context for today’s Gospel. In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks of the future and the end of the material world. The words are similar to those who stand in the public square with billboards. But Jesus is very clear. No one knows when this will happen.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
|What Will Heaven Be Like?|
Nov. 10, 2013|
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
If there is a month that reminds us that we will die, it is surely November. The leaves have fallen and the days are becoming shorter. Darkness surrounds us. All Souls Day is a poignant reminder of those who have preceded us in death. The message is clear: “You too shall die.” Even as children, we redirected any talk of death by inquiries about heaven. Would we have ice cream? Would our dogs be there? All our conversations about an afterlife were cast in concrete, earthly terms.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
|Christ has come to stay with us|
Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013|
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Whether you find them in a parable or in a tree, the colorful characters in St. Luke’s Gospel are fascinating. Zacchaeus is a good example. At the time of Jesus, tax collectors were particularly hated because they were collecting taxes for the oppressors.
|Who Deserves to Stand Before the Lord|
Oct. 27, 2013|
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Any high school religion teacher has heard teenagers try to justify not attending church on Sunday by criticizing the weekday behavior of those who do attend. And who has not heard adults judge the actions of active members in a parish? It is not difficult to see the faults of others.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
|God always hears your prayers|
Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013|
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
At first sight it seems that today’s Gospel is only about persistence in our prayer life. But it has a deeper meaning. It is important for us to remember what has happened just prior to Jesus telling the parable.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
|We are Called to Welcome the Outcasts|
Oct. 13, 2013 |
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
There is no doubt that hardship unites strangers and even those who might be adversaries under other conditions. People live in buildings where they share no common space except an elevator. Often, they do not know the people who live in the apartment next door but all that can change in the face of common adversity or need.
|We believe; help our unbelief|
Oct. 6, 2013
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s Gospel tells us what we know—whatever we do to respond to the Lord, it is only what we should do. There is nothing in our power that will equal what God has done for us. Despite the fact that no master would invite his servant to the table, Jesus does that for us at each Eucharist. What God does for us through his Son is beyond measure and beyond recompense. No wonder, then, that the apostles would pray for more faith. The prayer of the apostles, “Increase our faith,” came right after Jesus warned the disciples against causing another to sin and then challenging them to offer unconditional forgiveness to those who offended them. Now they are being told that all that God gives them is not something they can earn.
|We are Called to Bridge the Gap|
Sept. 29, 2013 |
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The economic gap between generations in my family seems astonishing. The children of my generation thought of themselves as “poor” but we were economic light years away from the hardships my grandparents knew. I don’t think that my nephews and nieces consider themselves impoverished—merely “deprived.” Still, the economic distance between their generation and my grandparents’ widens daily. It has become a chasm not unlike the one that separated Lazarus and the rich man in the Gospel. What would my grandparents think of the first of their great grandchildren buying a home in the suburbs?
Thursday, September 26, 2013