Friday, July 31, 2015
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Happy 50th Anniversary to Medicare! President Johnson signed it into law on this date in 1965. Having had open heart surgery in December, I am personally grateful to America's citizens. I am thankful, too, for all the people that Medicare has helped through the last 50 years. I pray that we may make whatever changes are necessary to keep it effective.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
In high school seminary, as a punishment, I was required to write in long hand the sixth chapter of John's Gospel. I have long forgotten what I was being punished for, but I have never forgotten John, chapter 6.
At Mass we began reading from it last Sunday and will continue using it as the Sunday Gospel for four more weeks. In the first half of what Jesus has to say, he is talking about himself as the bread of God "who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. (6:33)" Jesus promises that faith in himself enables us to live now in the unending presence of God.
Monday, July 20, 2015
After all the rain we have had this summer, the water today was flowing over the falls in abundance.
One evening we were having pizza at Brenda's restaurant when four college age men were seated at the table next to us. They ordered "Abundanza." It's a 24 inch square pizza. I had seen pictures of it, but never sat next to one. When the waitress sat it on the table the guys bust out laughing and so did the all of us sitting around them. It covered the entire table. Needless to say the four guys finished it.
Jesus cooks like an Italian! He feeds 5,000 and has 12 basketsful of leftovers. Whatever Jesus gives us, he gives in abundance.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
As a Jewish follower of Jesus, Paul is eager to assure us Gentiles (non-Jews) that we are not left out, even though we were once far away, compared to Jews. "In his flesh Christ has made both groups one (Ephesians 2:11-22.) The passage seems strange to us, since we are used to thinking of ourselves, not the Jews, as the insiders.
Monday, July 13, 2015
The view from Delphi in Greece down toward the Gulf of Corinth.
"Come away all by yourselves to a solitary place and rest a while," Jesus says to the apostles when they return from the work he has sent them to do (Mark 6:31.) Solitude and rest are necessary for growth in our relationship with God. For some of us it may be our porch; for others it may be a mountaintop. God is always with us, but resting in solitude gives God a better chance to get at us.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
This year I made any "weed" welcome behind my house.
Mary Oliver's poetry has become a favorite of mine.
In a poem she calls simply "Praying," she writes,
It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
The Letter to the Ephesians is a good summary of St. Paul's teaching, probably written by a disciple of Paul. The author's main theme is the unity that Christ has established between Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews.) In the first chapter he says "By Christ's blood we were redeemed, our sins forgiven through extravagant love." Christ's sacrifice is also establishing unity in all creation. God's plan, he says, is "to unite the entire universe through Christ." Everything and everyone is connected in the risen body of Jesus, a Jew.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Jesus wants his work to continue so he calls and sends the Church. To continue his work Jesus shares with us his own word and power. "The Church is to go trusting this to be true, never contradicting that trust with the excess baggage of security and wealth that offer the world the image of unbelief."
(Fred Criddock, quoted in Imaging the Word, Vol. 3, p.250)
Monday, July 6, 2015
The passage in Mark (6:6-13) where Jesus sends the Twelve on mission most likely also reflects the practice in Mark's community in the late first century and is a model for our 21st century Church. Travel light as Light, free and fearless, facing down evil, agent of God's healing power, preaching God's Word of Love.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,
that to secure these rights
Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed....
Today is the day to ask ourselves if we really believe this
and act on it. Do we vote? Do we use our freedom for the
Friday, July 3, 2015
"The truth will set you free....If the Son frees you, you will indeed be free," says Jesus (John 8:31,36.) Too many think freedom means every man for himself. The freedom that our founders declared in 1776 was freedom to govern ourselves. They envisioned us using our freedom to work together for the good of all.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
"When Christ freed us," says St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians, "he meant us to remain free. (5:1)"
He tells us not to use our freedom for self indulgence, but for the common good. Freedom enables us to make ourselves slaves, not to the Law, but to one another in love.
(I liked the picture too much not to use it. Click on the picture to enlarge it. You can see the flag better.)