May 27, 2013
My mother now lives in a place called The Village. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but perhaps a village can be helpful at any age. It certainly seems our family requires the help of this village to care for our mother. She lives in the part of The Village labeled “assisted living,” which implies that she needs help breathing or maintaining a pulse. She does not. She does, however, need a level of intimate care that we, her six...
May 27, 2013Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (C), June 2, 2013
Body and blood, bread and wine—these are basic components of the human being and the stuff that sustains human life. These basic and foundational realities speak to the ordinary humanity of Jesus and one of the deepest mysteries of the church. Without the Incarnation, we could not speak of Jesus’ body and blood. Without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we could not be offered these simple elements transformed into the body and blood of Christ.
May 20, 2013
I’m a Mary. My mom is a Mary. My older sister is a Bridget Mary. Although I was born in the decline-of-Mary era, I was never the sole Mary around, because I attended Catholic school, although some of my fellow Marys got to go by their middle names or nicknames. As a child, I wished that I had a “beautiful” name like Heather or Melissa and not plain old Mary. Later, I wished for something unisex, like Quinn, or exotic, like Siobhan.
May 20, 2013Most Holy Trinity (C), May 26, 2013
The mystery at the heart of human life is discovered in our relationships, whose outlines might be simply explained but that are ineffable at the core. How we love and live for one another defies description. We struggle for words to make real what we know through experience. When one of my sons as a small boy told me, “I want you to live longer than anyone else,” he expressed his love as a desire that our lives together should continue on and on without end...
May 13, 2013Pentecost (C), May 19, 2013
The Jewish feast of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks, originally celebrated the spring harvest. It was a pilgrimage festival that took place 50 days after the end of Passover. By the time of Jesus Pentecost was also celebrated as a joyous remembrance of the giving of the law at Sinai. Seen together, the two aspects of the Jewish festival give thanks to God for feeding both body and spirit. The Christian commemoration of Pentecost would adopt and...
May 13, 2013
The anticipation was stifling. For days we knew that our little one would be leaving us forever, on her way to a place where she would be a part of a family forever. We readied ourselves as best we could. We threw her a going-away party, though at only 9 months she knew nothing of the life-changing event that lay ahead of her. The party, we knew, was merely an attempt to ease the pain of letting her go out into an unfamiliar world without the safety of the...
May 6, 2013Ascension (C), May 12, 2013
Paul says of Jesus in 1 Cor 15:45, “Thus it is written, ‘the first man, Adam, became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” Luke Timothy Johnson draws on this verse when he describes the ascension of Jesus, saying that “the ‘withdrawal’ of Jesus is not so much an absence as it is a presence in a new and more powerful mode: when Jesus is not among them as another specific body, he is accessible to all as life-giving spirit.”
April 29, 2013Sixth Sunday of Easter (C), May 5, 2013
The Psalmist prays to God, “May your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation.” But how will this come to pass? Throughout the Old Testament, there are clues that someday, in some way, God’s covenant will be expanded to welcome not just the descendants of Abraham but all the people of the world. Indeed, beginning with Gn 22:18 and 26:4, Abraham and Isaac heard the promise that all nations would be blessed through their offspring.
April 22, 2013
I have just finished reading the complete Bible for a second time. Reading the Bible from cover to cover was not part of the Catholicism of my youth, and it proved to be an interesting journey. I undertook it to better understand the roots of my Catholicism and Christianity and found out, among other things, just how Jewish we Christians are.
April 22, 2013Fifth Sunday of Easter (C), April 28, 2013
In preparation for his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, Jesus instructed his apostles on what their continuing mission would be when he was gone: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” This translation of the simple Greek passage, however, fails to reproduce an interesting element. Each of the secondary clauses is introduced by the Greek conjunction hina, which is...