Sunday, September 28, 2008

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 21: 28-32
No one is beyond redemption. No one is beyond hope. Do not get caught up in the trappings of the here and now. They do not matter to our Eternal Father. What she desires is that we are swept away by the joy of Divine Love, a love of action, not words. Pious sayings in church mean nothing if they are not translated into deeds. We must live our faith as did our brother Jesus. But here's the best part: it's never too late to start, or even pick up where we left off. God doesn't care when we show up for work, just that we show up. Good news indeed!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 20: 1-16a
God loves all her children. He offers eternal joy to saints and sinners alike. Why should we be upset at the idea of an empty hell? How is this unfair to us? We refuse to love as God loves. We demand that the wicked be punished, that the thoughtless be sent to bed without dessert. We are like the spoiled child who throws a tantrum because our lazy brothers and sisters are given the same toys and allowance, even though they failed to complete their chores. We should be grateful that our Divine Parent's love is not as conditional and unequal as our own. It is his love to give, so who are we to be envious simply because she is generous?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Numbers 21: 4b-9; Philippians 2: 6-11; John 3: 13-17
We see here a God who desires to be our lover, but we see ourselves as too lowly for such a prize. It is much easier to believe in a jealous king who would smite his queen for any complaint. Was God really the author of the Israelites misery? Or was it just easier for the weary spouse to blame her more powerful partner for not wiping away the bumps of the journey? How could God get us to see the seriousness of his desire for our love? Only through Jesus, in whom we see a God of humility. A God who comes to us as only a true lover can do, opens his arms wide, and sacrifices himself for our sake. "For God so loved the world ..." How can anyone deny these words? God is asking to be your lover. What will your answer be?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Romans 13: 8-10
Love is the pinnacle of all things and the essence of Truth, not law. Law exists to support the love of God, not the other way around. If we love truly, we fulfill all that God wants of us. To love truly, we must love as God does, with hope and mercy. God sees beyond our masks and scars to who we truly are. That is the love we must aspire to.

Matthew 18: 15-20
"If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector." This is sometimes used as justification for excluding from the Church those whose beliefs and opinions stray outside the lines. But how did Jesus treat the Gentile or the tax collector? Did he not treat them with love and mercy, and even break bread with them? And who is "the church": the people of God or only its leaders? What should we make of our leaders when they ignore the Spirit's presence within the faithful? Are they not refusing to listen to the church? Which brother is the sinner and which the victim? Perhaps the point is to treat all with love and mercy, most especially the sinner. When Jesus speaks once again of binding and loosing, why should we not see it as a call to judge and love as God does, not as we might do. For if Jesus is truly present wherever two or three are gathered in his name, then he is present even when we gather with those Catholics with whom we disagree.