Sunday, December 25, 2011

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Isaiah 52:7-10; Hebrews 1:1-6; John 1:1-18
Today is a celebration of good news, but is the news that you celebrate truth or fantasy? Why must we categorize and label that which cannot be labeled? Why must we revere our Brother as something he was not? Do you really think he came to be exalted? Is he someone above us to whom we are pleading for a rope, or someone below who is pushing us ever higher? Is he truly the only son of our Parent, or the only one with the courage to claim our full birthright? Is he truly the only one to have ever seen our Creator, or just one truly willing to look and see? What good news will you celebrate today?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Luke 1:26-38
Do not get hung up on the virgin birth, either defending or refuting it. It is an interesting piece of revelation, but it is not essential. Did it really happen this way? I do not know, nor do I really care. God could certainly have done so if it was his wish, but it is not necessary for Jesus to have been her true son. Kinship is about love, not blood or DNA. Our Parent does not need to mate to produce genuine offspring. But that does not mean that this revelation is false or untrue. Learn what there is to learn from it: about God's desire for intimacy with us and our desire to serve our Creator. Just do not wast time trying to prove or disprove it. That's just missing the point.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 61:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-28
I say to you that the days of revelation are not over. You may think that the whole story has already been delivered, once and for all time. But I say that our Parent is a God of wonderful surprises. How can we know everything, when Love is limitless? This Christmas, prepare not for a rerun of our favorite truths, but for a new episode in the ultimate dramedy that is life.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Luke 1:26-38
Today we celebrate the triumph of logic games over common sense. The "immaculate conception" is not an idea grounded in reality, but a product of the human need to classify and describe every minute detail of the divine as if it were an animal being dissected. Even reading the simplified version of how this "dogma" came to be will boggle the mind. How could so many bright and wise minds actually believe this stuff? Perhaps because of the very problem that this theory was meant to address: original sin. The easiest way to understand the story of Adam & Eve is that it is a tribal memory of the moment when human beings first crossed the threshold of consciousness. It is an attempt to make sense of that historical event when we went from being just another animal to becoming something far more extraordinary. Unfortunately, our evolutionary leap also gifted us with an insatiable appetite for solving mysteries, even if that means over-analyzing and embellishing in order to eliminate ambiguity. And so we get our feast today. It's not enough to believe that our Creator might choose to be one of us. We need to create a flow chart describing the precise procedures that were undertaken to give birth to God Jr. And we wonder why people have such a hard time embracing the Mystery of Faith.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8
"Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God." What will bring you comfort today? All I have to offer is this: Life is wonderful. If you truly stop to look, there is a beauty and majesty to every moment of life, even the ugly ones, that is a testament to the glory and love of our creator. This is a hard and messy way to look at life, but no one ever said that truth is supposed to be easy. The easy road is to see life as brutal and sinful, and long for a paradise of our own imagination. It's the idea that our world is a mistake or a test, but if we just believe the right things, a new one will be created as a reward. These are the fantasies of children, not the wisdom of the Spirit. She comes to open our eyes to the universe we already have, not to entice us with dreams of someplace else. Will you let her comfort you?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 63:16-64:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37
We accept as natural that the relationship between parent and child will grow and mature as the child grows and matures. As we become adults, we understand our parents better than when we were teenagers. Should this not apply with God as well, our true Parent and Creator? The time has come for this relationship to mature. Humanity must grow out of adolescence and into adulthood. Do not be the child who keeps watch for some mythical superhero. Be the adult who is alert to the truth about our family.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

Sirach 50:22-24
Behold, the beauty and glory of our Parent's Creation. Behold, love incarnate surrounds us. It is all there every day, if only we are willing to see it. Let today be the day that you finally look, and may your gaze never wander again. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ The King

1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 25:31-46
We eagerly bow down today before the King of Judgment. But is this king truly our Parent or our Brother, or is it a fantasy of our own creation? It is understandable why we would desire such a king. Life here is cruel, unfair, and unjust much of the time. When faced with this reality on a daily basis, who wouldn't long for a savior to make it all better, if not in this life then surely in the next. But again, is this the reality of our Parent's Creation or is it the fantasy to help us get through one more day of suffering? The easy answer is that Jesus said it, so it must be true. But he also said, "Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place." Why do we take him at his word for some things, but not others? Perhaps Jesus told us what we wanted to hear. Maybe we only listened to what we wanted to hear. It's even possible that Jesus just got it wrong; he was human after all. Whatever the case, eternal life is not a reward or punishment, but a birthright given to us by our Parent. It is given to all, for we are all our Parent's beloved children. It is our immaturity that drives us to believe that only some of our brothers and sisters are worthy of such a gift, and that conditions must be attached to it to ensure that people behave properly. Enough of this! It is time for us to grow up.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 25:14-30
Again with the angry god of righteous judgment. He seems like a ruthless business manager: get results or get fired. Is this really our Parent as she is, or how we wish him to be? We see our desire clearly in the ending of this chapter. The good child is rewarded and the naughty child is punished. Is this not the fantasy of every self-righteous brat? Our Parent sees into our hearts and sees the truth that we cannot be so neatly divided. Whatever mercy she chooses to show us is not based on the merits of our actions, but rather on the nature of his love. But this love should inspire us to love all just as equally. They are our brothers and sisters and we should desire each of them to be rewarded with our Parent's love. Anything less is not worthy of who we are.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 6:12-16
Truth is not owned by anyone. It is a creation of that which created us. The authorities of our world, secular and religious, possess nothing that is not freely available to all. Some of them just pay greater attention than most; others are deaf and hear only what they want to hear. Either way, do not be blinded by stature or power. Look to them as examples of how you should listen to your own soul in seeking the Truth. For she is within you, eager to be found.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13
Why are we so eager to meet our end, and at the same time so fearful of it? Why are we so mistrustful of our Parent? She created us, so surely he has a plan for our full existence. Be careful however: that plan may not go according to our desires. Our reason is not hers; our justice is not his. Tales of an exclusive salvation may help us feel special, particularly in times of distress, but are they truly the Wisdom of our Creator? Does our Parent love some of his children, or all of them? Listen to your soul for the Truth. For she is within you, eager to be found.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Solemnity of All Saints

Matthew 5:1-12a
The Communion of Saints is the most authentic image of what it means to be Catholic. When Jesus shared the Beatitudes, he indicated what he truly desired to give birth to: the family of the blessed ones, not the institutional monstrosity we have today. The best depiction of that family I know is the tapestries of the cathedral in Los Angeles. They also represent one of the many paradoxes of the Church: the tapestries probably wouldn't exist without the institution, but if you really observe them, they are indicators of something going on that is far greater than an organization with its rulebooks. The corporate impulse will always be with us; we just shouldn't take it so seriously.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Malachi 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10; Matthew 23:1-12
We have but one Master: they who created us. And she is the creator of all, not just one particular tribe. Stop wasting time fighting over whose definition of the Undefinable One is less ridiculous. You are all brothers and sisters. Stop placing your clerics on a pedestal. They are not holier than you. Authority exists to share God's joy, not to earn a living. No institution has the power to declare someone an expert on our Creator's love. Such an honor can only earned, through service to the family.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Exodus 22: 20-26
"You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt." Listen to these words fellow Americans! Almost all of us were once aliens in these lands. We have taken our fill from them, and now we do not want to share. We are happy to have the labor of the alien, and to benefit from the products that he produces, as long as he stays in his place. He may have the scraps from our table, but we refuse to allow him to dine with us. Be careful, for surely God will hear his cries, and our Creator is fair and just. What goes around, comes around; or more crudely "Karma's a bitch!"

1 Thessalonians 1: 5c-10; Matthew 22: 34-40
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Perhaps we have such a hard time loving our neighbor, because we really don't love ourselves very much. Our culture may be incredibly narcissistic, but at our core we believe that we are fundamentally evil, sinful, flawed, corrupted by original sin. Even those who claim that humans are essentially good don't really believe it; they may want to, but they look over their shoulder just in case. Why else would be believe that we need "Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath." We act like we are some pathetic, miserable child, begging our parent not to give us the beating that we deserve. What bullshit! Our Brother did not come to save us; his life is a testament that salvation is already ours. This universe is our paradise, a part of our Creator's plan. It tells us over and over again that God loves us and that we are good. If you truly believe this, then you will not be able to help but treat your neighbor in the same way.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 22: 15-21
"Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." So Jesus meant that religion is supposed to stay out of government? Or is it the other way around? How many times will we hear this said over the next year? How many times will the words be twisted by politicians and clerics to justify their personal endorsements? The Kingdom of God is not of this earth: poverty, war, disease, and all manner of suffering will be with us always. They are part of what it means to be human. But that does not mean we should just accept the status quo. What is unjust should be fought, not because we can save the world, but simply because it is what is right and good. We MUST do something to alleviate suffering, even if it is less that what we would like. Failure to do so, whether in the name of tolerance or righteousness, is the true evil.