Light to the Nations

“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine …”

The new decade has not started well.  While January 1st dawned filled with hope and promise as all New Year’s seem to, much has happened in the few short weeks since to bring hope crashing down.  Australia continues to burn; three days into the year, an Iranian general is killed on orders from an American president, leading to the death of 176 innocent people; Puerto Rico is rocked by an earthquake causing untold damage ...

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Beloved and Enough

If you have had the privilege of visiting Israel, you may have seen the Jordan River and if you did, you may have noticed that the Jordan River is… unassuming, making it fitting that it would be the site where Jesus approached his cousin John demanding to be baptized.  The river resembles any number of small rivers and you might pass by without noticing it unless someone pointed it out to you. But this is the river in which Jesus was baptized, and where his ...

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On the Road Again

You may have noticed, or you will notice as you compare this Sunday’s gospel account with next Sunday’s, that the readings do not follow one another chronologically. In fact, they are in reverse. This Sunday’s gospel begins with “After the wise men left…” (Mt. 2:13 and following), but next Sunday’s gospel is about the arrival of the wise men (Mt. 2:1-12). I don’t know the entire reason historically or liturgically for this cart-before-the-horse reordering except to offer the following.

Copts (Coptic Christians primarily of Egypt) are ...

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Joseph – Our Model of Love

Seeing as we are in Year A of our three-year cycle of readings, most of our gospel proclamations will come from Matthew. As Matthew is one of the two gospels with infancy narratives (the other being Luke), we hear today of the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus. Unlike Luke, Matthew gives us no details of how Mary accepted the mission proposed to her by the angel to become pregnant via the Holy Spirit and to give birth ...

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Be Patient, Strengthen Your Hearts

This week, in the second reading from the Letter of Saint James, we are told to be “patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.”

“Being patient” is something we all have experienced. Patience is a hard discipline. It is ...

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And the Wolf Shall Live with the Lamb

“He shall not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness, he shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.”

There is an internet video clip that shows a large group of young adults lined up on a field to begin a running race. The winner of the race will be given one hundred dollars. The person who is organizing the race says that before the race begins, he gives a series ...

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A New Beginning

When the Babylonians gathered the intellectual, spiritual and political leaders from various areas of Israel and settled them in Babylon, there was an unexpected result. Those descendants of the 12 sons of Jacob, thrown together by tragedy, shared with one another the various strands of the traditions, laws and histories since their ancestors left Egypt. The result of their collaboration is our Bible.

Biblical scholars call one of them “the Priestly Writer” and credit him for the great Creation Hymn, ...

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Jesus, Remember Me When You Come Into Your Kingdom

Each day, we hear on the news of leaders who are meant to care for their citizens, use increasingly divisive language to promote their own agendas, and then reports of riots, bombings, shootings and abuse soon follow. It is easy to think that our world is rapidly becoming more inhumane. Yet, if we look at today’s readings, and look at the reasons behind our church’s creation of today’s Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (better known as the Feast of Christ the King), ...

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Ah…..November

For the Northern Hemisphere, the Church’s liturgical year seems to often be in sync with nature – even though we struggle culturally to live that rhythm in the way the Church envisions. The readings we hear proclaimed these past several weeks; the feasts of All Saints and All Souls; the shorter days and longer nights; our secular celebration of Remembrance Day; barren trees; snow – during November, the focus of the Church and the world seems to be ...

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It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)

Resurrection.  How often have I uttered this word without considering seriously how this might be manifested? Am I going to be happily driving to work one day singing along to Selena Gomez when suddenly all those who have died before me begin to climb out of giant, fiery cracks in the earth, entirely presided over by a Judgmental Jesus attired in the fashion of first century Palestine?  Perhaps one day God will have grown weary of our larking and hijinks and chastise us, “Now come on ...

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