Sunday, January 31, 2016

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are surrounded by prophets singing of salvation. But do they have love? Not the faux version sold by pop culture, comfort food for the soul sort of stuff, but the real thing. The kind that gets you run out of town for daring to rejoice with the truth. The kind that brings joy to your heart as you gird your loins, because you know what is coming and who has your back when it arrives. Does your favored prophet have that kind of love? And if not, why give them your vote, let alone your allegiance?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." Yet two millennia later, our world is still full of the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed. Was our Brother delusional? Or have we been ignorant? And what do our answers mean during this new "year acceptable to the Lord" proclaimed by our bishops? Yes, we should bring wealth, health, and freedom to those brothers and sisters who lack them. But an even greater act of mercy would be to share the good news that such things are already ours, even if we refuse to see or feel them. So do not be sad when your efforts fail to fix the problems of the world. And do not weep for utopias that were never meant to be. No, rejoice today, for I bring to you glad tidings: the kingdom is here; the kingdom is now; the kingdom is yours for the taking.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

"As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you." But do we rejoice in our God? Do we honor them during the hard times? Do we love them in sickness and in death? Do we believe in them after the wine is long gone, along with the food and the water, and no miracle is in sight? Or are we just glorified gold diggers, holding onto our praise until we get some "marvelous deeds"? Yes, your Lover is offering you their hand and their kingdom. So what kind of spouse will you be?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Violence. Disease. Poverty. Natural Disasters. We have good reason to be anxious and afraid. And it is understandable that we seek comfort in practical solutions, in acts of mercy and social justice. But such "solutions" bring only fleeting peace, for the comfort we need cannot be produced, not even with rituals of water and oil. No, we need the Spirit and the fire she brings. A fire that burns into our hearts, consuming all the lies we tell ourselves about life. A fire that opens our eyes to something wonderful, something we previously might have mistaken for trash. A fire that showers us with sparks every day of our lives, if only we are willing to see. And if we do, we shall know comfort beyond measure, for we shall know hope. So let us bless the Spirit, dear souls, for she is great indeed!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. The words are American, but the truth they speak of is ancient. It is the same truth as was revealed to the magi, Paul, and countless others down the ages: we are one people, one family. But will we choose to embrace this truth or fight against it? The voices of tribalism are legion: left, right, and center; champions of nativism and diversity alike. So many, too many, urge us to stay in our corners, our bubbles. Whether from fear of contamination or assimilation, we cling to superficial distinctions, while ignoring shared grace. These actions might suit the needs of the powers that be, of all sides, but they do not serve our family, no matter how much we pretty them up with the latest buzzwords. At the end of the day, we have a choice to make, just as the magi did. So what will ours be? Herod and his ilk or our Parent and theirs? Tribe or family? Many or one?