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.