God is one harsh taskmaster. No goodbyes. No setting your affairs in order. No delays whatsoever. Just do my bidding. Now! We have a number of choice words at our disposal to describe bosses who behave in such a manner. Do they apply to God too? Or does our Parent simply know us better than we might be comfortable with? After all, how many of us rush to answer when God calls? They know how frightened we are by such a summons and how eagerly we look to postpone our duty. They may not hold these failures against us in the end. But forgiveness after the fact does not rescind a calling in the present. Nor should we expect them to hold our hand while we, however innocently, avoid it.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Sunday, June 23, 2013
"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." The funny thing about crosses that we always seem to overlook is that they are the work of human hands. We transform them into cosmic drama or divine burden, when they are really just a simple human tool for punishing those who disturb our false sense of peace and normal. And that is what Jesus did, and what he challenges us to do as well, because we were created to live by a much different standard of peace and normal. A cross is just part of the package.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
"Your sins are forgiven … Your faith has saved you; go in peace." But how many of us actually do go in peace? How many times did the nameless woman seek out Jesus, even after this encounter, desperate to feel clean? We want to believe in the happy ending, that grace triumphed over her fear and guilt, but how often does it work like that for us? The challenge of sin is not God's reluctance to forgive, as that exists only in our imagination. No, the problem lies in our inability to live within that place of forgiveness, that state of grace for more than a brief moment.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Miracles are my biblical pet peeve. We are so enamored by these stories, but what did our ancestors truly encounter here? Death was not eliminated, after all; merely postponed. And grief was simply transferred to other faces, shedding other tears, at other times. These were not moments when God "visited his people", for she was already there, already in their midst. But we refused to see, so they did something that we could not ignore. I cannot rejoice at this, however, because all I can think about is the grace we have rejected while praying for something dramatic to happen.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
There is a vulnerability in our need for food and drink that cuts to the core of our existence: We are dependent beings. Why do we try so hard to avoid this truth, when it is so beautiful? It means that we are never alone. We are always intertwined with some form of life, some part of our family. And God chose to place themselves right in the middle of it all. They could have been an aloof creator, showering us with provisions from afar. But no, they chose to become vulnerable and dependent, to share in our beauty, to bind herself to us as a friend and not just a parent, to give his very self as sustenance for our deepest need. Eucharist is more than meal, or magic, or symbol, or solemn vow of remembrance; it is consummation of a bond of sacred dependance.