The disciples have been on a mission that probably took a lot out of them. So Jesus takes them away where they could be by themselves (Luke 9:10-17.) But the crowds found out where they went and followed them. Even though Jesus had wanted to be alone with his disciples, Luke says, "He made them welcome."
St. Paul scolds the Corinthians for not making the poor and the slaves welcome to the common meal that preceded the celebration of the Lord's Supper (11:17-24.) They fail to recognize that they are all united in the Body of Christ.
Welcome is the hallmark of an authentic celebration of Mass.
Yesterday morning the heavy dew brought out the beauty of a spider's labor near my mail box.
Two theologians Moltmann anad Boff offer a social model to help us think about the Trinity. They speak of a motherly Father or a fatherly Mother, a Jesus who is in solidarity with the poor and the marginalized, and a Spirit akin to the feminine symbol of Wisdom. These form a community of mutual and equal relations which models the goal of human and cosmic community.
Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century German Benedictine abbess, mystic, visionary, writer, composer, philosopher, and all-around genius offers an image of the Trinity: there is a brightness, a flashing forth, and a fire; and these three are one, pervading all creation with compassion.
These colorful pieces were sparkling before the very early sun.
Proverbs 8:30-31 can be translated several ways. The Jewish Study Bible prefers Wisdom personified as a child playing while God works creating the world. God is delighted. Similarly Wisdom is delighted by the play of human beings.
They ain't much, but these hills are home to me. I had a mellow trip home from Baltimore yesterday. The trees were in full leaf, the sky was blue, with puffy clouds. It also helped that I was coming from a 25th ordination anniversary of a friend. Being with priests whom I have liked for a long time and feeling my own ministry renewed added to my sense that everything was just as it should be. The farther I drove into the mountains the more peaceful I became and the more aware of God's presence.
St. Paul calls the Church as the Body of Christ "the fullness of him who is filled, all in all" (Ephesians 1:23.) Not only is the Risen Christ in us, but we and the whole of creation are in the Cosmic Christ. The phrase "all in all" suggests something of limitless size. We need only to let go and allow God to draw us out of ourselves into this life without limits.
I finished using St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians for meditation and started this morning to use the closely related Ephesians. Both letters were important to Teilhard de Chardin as he developed his idea of the Cosmic Christ. He understands the Risen Christ to be present in every human and in every bit of the created universe from the very beginning of evolution to it's final unity in God.
In Romans 8 St. Paul says that flesh is opposed to spirit. He doesn't mean that the body is evil and the soul is good. St. Paul uses the Greek word for "flesh" to mean "disordered human nature" (The New Jerusalem Bible.) The Holy Spirit living within us reorders our human nature. The Spirit doesn't show us how to stop being bad but is the actual source within us of divine life and goodness.
This is the first of five times in John's Gospel that Jesus uses the name "Paraclete" to refer to the Holy Spirit. The Greek word means one who is "called to the side of" another. "Advocate" and "Helper" are possible English translations. After Jesus withdraws from their sight the Paraclete will stay with the disciples forever. The Paraclete is the link between the historical ministry of Jesus and the future life of the Church after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The love of God made known in the Incarnation continues to enliven the communities of believers through the gift of the Paraclete.
Early rising sun is now flashing in my east window.
About a dozen years ago my relationship with God began to center around the Holy Spirit. I began to start my prayer, "Spirit, Jesus, Father." The Spirit floods our whole being, unites us to the Risen Christ, who surrenders us in love to his Father.
Within the past year I read that speaking of God as Spirit makes it easier for non-Christian religions to understand that we are all worshipping the same God.
Our dock went in Monday. Can summer be far behind!
St. Francis said, "Preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Talking is the first way that comes to mind when I hear Jesus say, "You shall be my witnesses."
Far more effective is the way we, as Church, act. St. Paul gives us a checklist: heartfelt compassion, generosity, humility, gentleness, patience, putting up with one another, forgiveness, peacefulness, gratitude, and "over all these put on love." (Colossians 3:12-15)
This bird sings the prettiest song in my yard. I think it's a house finch. (Click to get a good look at his open beak.)
In his last appearance to the disciples, the Risen Christ tells them and us, "You shall be my witnesses." If only we could call attention to Jesus the way this bird calls attention to Beauty whom we sometimes call God.
Jonquils this morning in a neighbor's yard.
The tabernacle was separated from the rest of the Jewish Temple by a curtain. Animal sacrifice was offered for the people by the high priest year after year. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews says that thedying and rising of Jesus is a "once and for all" sacrifice. His "flesh" is the "living opening through the curtain" (10:20) that enables us to pass from our world into the Other World.