Sunday, September 27, 2015

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Oftentimes, it feels like Moses' wish has been granted. There are so many prophets, so many voices claiming to speak for Truth. Which are genuine and which are fake? Always remember, "the precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart." But how does such joy taste and feel? Look to the martyrs. Look to the cross. Joy is the knowledge in our hearts and souls that we are walking the path we were created to walk. Such journeys are messy and disturbing. They are rarely free of doubt, pain, or fear. But they are the only ones that lead to a truly happy ending. So examine your prophets, myself included. What precepts do they announce? What paths do they encourage? Is it really joy that they are offering you, or something else? Take care, that you might find your way into unquenchable love.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us." How many of us will mutter such words to ourselves before Pope Francis' visit to the United States is over? Sure, we will lap up the mercy stuff. But what about when he challenges the "jealousy and selfish ambition" that permeates our hearts and souls? Left, right, center, whatever; none of us are getting a free pass. So how will you respond? Turf protection mode, as the wicked ones do? Or a hearty alleluia for grace that is truly sustaining?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fourteen years ago, we were given a cross to carry. But instead of bearing it as God did, we thought as humans do and sought to nail someone to it. We needed vengeance. Someone had to pay, even if those someones did nothing to cause our pain. Afghanistan. Pakistan. Iraq. Syria. What sort of works have we done in the last fourteen years? And what sort of faith have they demonstrated? Which parts of this era are covered by our cries of "Never Forget"? And which ones will we happily relegate to the dustbin of history? But here is the great thing about crosses: it is never too late to take them up. No, we cannot close Pandora's box. We can, however, clean up just a little bit of the death and disruption we unleashed upon the world. Yes, this will mean sacrifice of some kind. But what price are we willing to pay so that we might finally "walk before the Lord, in the land of the living"?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

"All lives matter." We do mean these words. We fail to live them out, however, because we believe in them in a conditional sort of way: yes, all lives matter, but some matter more than others. The sin of partiality is so ingrained that it has become common sense. Of course the rich matter more than the poor; it's the economy stupid! Of course CEOs matter more than line workers; it's just business! And of course white lives matter more than brown or black ones; it's the way it's always been. Some of us are essential, and some of us are kind of like extras in a movie. Where the true dignity of our family is concerned, we are blind, deaf, mute, and exceedingly lame. So let us beg our Parent to lay their hand upon us, that our impediments might be removed and our hearts and minds opened.