Marriage

The Call to Repentance

12-16-2018

In Christianity, we hear often about the "Good News." We might often associate it with Jesus' compassion to the poor, his healings and miracles, and the salvation he won for us. In today's Gospel, we read of John the Baptist. "Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people." Yet as we examine the rest of the reading, we see examples of John's preaching. If you have two cloaks, give one away. Don't cheat others out of their money, extort, or lie. And, of course, the warning that the Messiah is on the move and "his winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." Merry Christmas?  

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Seeing with God's Eyes

11-11-2018

In 1 Samuel, God advises the prophet Samuel not to observe as men see but as God sees. He tells him to "look to the heart." This is the movement of this Sunday's Gospel reading. "Beware the scribes," Jesus advises. He points out their public greetings and "seats of honor," which stands in sharp contrast to their private greed. For the Jewish people of Jesus' day, honor resides at the top. Power and prestige created a high profile back then as it still does today. After his warning, Jesus turns his disciples' attention elsewhere: a poor widow. "She, from her poverty, has contributed all she had." While the scribes donated large sums to the temple, they did so "from their surplus wealth." This woman -- in her faith and devotion -- offers "her whole livelihood."

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The Invitation to Love

11-04-2018

"You are not far from the kingdom of God." What does it mean to be close to God's kingdom? In today's Gospel, Jesus is in a dialogue with teachers of the law. They know well the Law of Moses, with its complex codes, expectations, and punishments. What will Jesus say? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength ... You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus effortlessly distills all the books of law into two commands. The simplicity of the Gospel message doesn't mean it's easy to follow. Far from it! The simplicity of the Gospel indicates its totality. Anything that requires the passions of our heart, the choice of our soul, the reason in our mind, or the strength of our body - all of this ought to be animated by love. As you can imagine, that means pretty much everything! The love of God and love of neighbor is meant to flow into our entire lives.  

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Opposites

10-14-2018

Adam was given the task of naming all the animalsin the garden. As amazing as they all were, nonecomplimented his body or had his intellect. Adamlonged for compatibility and relationship so Godmade a suitable partner for Adam from his very ownbody. When Adam looked at the gift of Eve, provided by the Father, he exclaimed “At last, hereis one of my own kind, bone taken from my bone,and flesh taken my flesh” (Gen 2:23).

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