June 3-10, 2013Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary TIme (C), June 16, 2013
Jesus’ love for the weak and marginalized is made manifest in a powerful account in Luke’s Gospel, as is the human willingness to label and disenfranchise people we consider less worthy. In today’s narrative, Jesus suggests that we start to identify who we truly are in relationship not to social standards but to God’s overwhelming love. Jesus is invited to eat at the home of a Pharisee named Simon. His identity is clear: Simon, the Pharisee.
November 4, 2013Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), Nov. 10, 2013
As we ponder Jesus’ confrontation with the Sadducees regarding life in the world to come, we are compelled to ask, “Do I believe in resurrection?” How one answers this question orients how we live today. It is a question that is not so much answered intellectually, though it is not beyond reason, as in the ordering of our loves. Who or what is our true love? Do we find our loves fulfilled in the living God or in the promises of this world?
August 12-19, 2013Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), Aug. 25, 2013
The question was put to Jesus, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” His answer, like many a teacher’s regarding more mundane matters, like quizzes and tests, is a variation on “study hard.” Jesus instructs the questioner and the crowd, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.” It is one of those non-answers that teachers and parents will often give, as the answer is indeed dependent upon the response of the student or child.
August 12-19, 2013Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), Aug. 18, 2013
It can be hard to tell the truth. Sometimes no one wants to hear it, either because people have already determined a path they feel is more advantageous to them or they are more comfortable ignoring it. Sometimes, we are all those people. For those who read Flannery O’Connor, the shocking realization is not the comeuppance that truth grants her self-righteous, self-satisfied characters, but the grace that shines forth from her stories as they illuminate the dark recesses of our own souls,...
July 29-August 5, 2013Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), Aug. 11, 2013
People of faith find themselves often, perhaps daily, tottering on the precipice of disillusion, swaying from their own questions, wondering if they have been suckered by some mug’s game that tells them to be satisfied with God’s promises instead of the cold, hard reality of this world’s guarantees. Still, the claims of faith are not so easy to shake, not in spite of the cold, hard reality of this world’s guarantees but because the guarantees of this world are so cold and hard.
July 29-August 5, 2013Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), Aug. 4, 2013
The Preacher, Qoheleth, says that “all things are vanity!” His intent is not, I think, to be cynical, though Qoheleth can provoke this among the world-weary. His wisdom is rather the product of a hard-boiled realism, which knows the truth of desires and ambitions that often consume us. He speaks of the shortness of life and the ambitions that have driven us, only to have found them unsatisfying. “Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and yet to another who has not...
July 15-22, 2013Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), July 28, 2013
In every age, evil takes on a new name and a new face: Auschwitz, sexual abuse, Sodom, human trafficking. The personification of God in the Old Testament takes many forms, but goodness remains the same and unchanged: God who loves us and desires relationship with us. In Genesis 18, God is presented as examining the situation in Sodom and Gomorrah, saying: “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin!
July 15-22, 2013Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), July 21, 2013
There is something charming about the account of Abraham serving the three men who suddenly appear at the oaks of Mamre. It is not simply that Abraham offers unbidden hospitality and service, or that they respond to his offer of food with a simple, “Do as you have said,” but that along with the water, bread, curds and milk he also proffers a tender, young calf to eat. The charm is not in the offer itself. Even a city boy knows that though Abraham has given the calf to his servant “who...
July 1-8, 2013Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), July 14, 2013
The Christian relationship to the law of Moses is complicated, particularly in light of what the Apostle Paul said about the law in his letters. But Paul understood that the law’s origin lay with God and that it was not insignificant but rather was fulfilled through Christ Jesus “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” Since “in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell” (shorthand for Jesus’ divinity), the fullness of the law and its intentions rested with him and in...
July 1-8, 2013Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), July 7, 2013
The English word crisis originates with the Greek noun krisis, which is itself a derivative of the verb krinô, “to judge.” A crisis is a time of decision, encapsulating danger and opportunity in equal parts; and the biblical eschaton, the time of God’s judgment, is grounded upon the judgments or decisions we have taken throughout our lives. We must all navigate the dangers and opportunities found in the many crises we will all face.