Sunday, July 26, 2009

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

2 Kings 4: 42-44; Ephesians 4: 1-6; John 6: 1-15
What does it mean to be generous? Of all the explanations of the "Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes", the one that rings most true would likely be dismissed as not being a "real" miracle: that the people were moved to generosity by Jesus' actions and simply shared the food they already had. Perhaps the "miracle" is that Jesus trusted in them at all. One does not need to look far to see that mistrust and divisiveness are all around us in society and Church. We can probably infer from Paul's writing that it has always been this way. But that does not stop Jesus or Paul from calling us to a different lifestyle, one only possible if we truly believe that we are "one body and one Spirit", that there is "one God and Father of all". If this is true, how can I not look upon both my neighbor and my enemy as good and honorable people, deserving of my generosity, trust, and love? Think of the "miracles" such an attitude might spawn.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 23: 1-6; Psalm 23: 1-6; Mark 6: 30-34
The metaphors of sheep and shepherd can be helpful in understanding our nature, and that of our relationship with the Divine. We are creatures whose knowledge is limited. We can lose our way easily, and are always in need of guidance. The idea that God, and most especially Jesus, is the "Good Shepherd" leading us to paradise is so powerful, because it resonates in the core of our being. How could we get there without them? But there is danger in these metaphors as well. They can give us a sort of permission to abandon free will, and let others dictate our thoughts and actions. We must always evaluate potential shepherds with Jeremiah's words in mind, no matter their credentials. Where will they lead us? Never forget that metaphors are not reality. We are not sheep, but human beings, created in the image of our Divine Parent. Let us never aspire to be anything less.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Amos 7: 12-15
It's taken me a bit longer than planned to resume writing, but here I am. And this passage seemed appropriate for a new beginning. This blog, and everything else I've ever written, is not and never will be about me. God has given me something to say, and told me to say it. And no matter how much of a pain in the ass this task is, I just cannot say "no" to my creator.

Ephesians 1: 3-14; Mark 6: 7-13
There is a theme here that Jesus shares with us the power and love of God, a relationship not possible before his arrival. But if we are a creation of our Father, were we not always her children? The Prodigal Son was always his father's child, even if he misunderstood or rejected that relationship. Likewise, we do not need to be "adopted" by God, we are his already. But in our sin, frailty, and insecurity, we tell ourselves that such a reality should not and cannot be ours. We think we need Jesus to give us a share of his inheritance, because surely we do not possess one of our own. Nonsense I say! Jesus came to awaken, not give.