Buona Festa!!

Today is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Many blessings to all Franciscans and all those of a Franciscan heart.

The Lord bless you and keep you.
May He show His face to you and have mercy.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
The Lord bless you!

Happy Feast Day!

The boundaries

This Sunday is the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The telling of this encounter seems straight forward: (a) Jesus encounters a group of lepers on the road to Jerusalem, (b) they ask for his mercy, (c) they are cured, but (d) only one returns to thank Jesus and that one is a Samaritan. A simple miracle story, yes? A narrative about faith as the foundation of healing? Such simple summaries, even if true, miss several key aspects of the encounter and the chance to reflect further on our own life of faith in Jesus. Continue reading

The cost of being in love

Our gospel is the well known story referred to as the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). The reading opens with a question posed to Jesus: “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  After recounting the parable, the reading closes with Jesus asking the one who posed the question: “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”  The man replied: “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Continue reading

More than a simple miracle

This Sunday is the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary Cycle C. Our gospel recounts the story of Jesus and the 10 lepers he encounters on his travels through Galilee and Samaria. The journey towards Jerusalem (begun in Luke 9:51) resumes with the introduction of  new characters: ten lepers. It may be noted that the disciples play no role in this story. For a brief moment the on-going theme of forming discipleship seemingly takes a backseat, as the accent is upon God’s mercy and salvation. Several commentators hold that this account marks a new turn in Luke’s telling of the gospel moving from an accent on discipleship to the larger theme of “Responding to the Kingdom” as the cleansing of lepers is taken as a sign of the in-breaking of the Kingdom. Continue reading

A next step

You have to feel for the disciples. In recent gospels Jesus has been asking some fairly extraordinary things of them – to give away their possessions, to forgive countless times, to take up his cross, and the list goes on. No wonder then, they ask for more faith. They don’t feel up to what is being asked of them, are anxious about the challenges ahead, and just can’t imagine accomplishing what is being asked of them. Continue reading

A Final Thought

This coming Sunday is the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. These ten verses of Luke 17 challenge Christians (a) not to be a hindrance to the discipleship of others, (b) to rebuke those who sin and forgive all who ask for forgiveness, and (c) and when you have done all this not to assume that you have done more than your duty.  These ten verses are a reminder that faithfulness, forgiveness and humility are required of those who would be obedient to the Word of Jesus.  Perhaps the first two are the most difficult to live, but the lack of humility is perhaps the more dangerous. It prevents us from experiencing the depth of God’s love and likely leads to a superior attitude and false spirituality that becomes an obstacle to the little ones and a barrier to being charitable in our forgiveness. Such a pitfall makes clear why St. Bonaventure wrote that humility is the guardian and gateway to all the other virtues.


Image credit: G Corrigan, CC-BY-NC 2.0

Leviathan

In the course of final chapters of the Book of Job, when God has appeared and speaks to Job, there is an interesting passage in Chapter 40 in which God asks Job if he thinks he is up to the role of being divine creator and ruler, dispenser of wisdom and justice …. In other words, if he thinks he is capable of running the universe according to his limited understanding of order, justice, and balance. God challenges Job: Adorn yourself with grandeur and majesty, and clothe yourself with glory and splendor. Let loose the fury of your wrath; look at everyone who is proud and bring them down. Look at everyone who is proud, and humble them. Tear down the wicked in their place, bury them in the dust together (Job 40:10-13) Continue reading

An Invitation to Wisdom

The first reading this week has been taken from the Book of Job. It is considered to be one of the scrolls belonging to the Wisdom category and is a narrative that, in its own way, attempts to address the question of suffering during one’s life. Our story began with Monday’s reading in which we learn that Job is pious and upright, richly endowed in his own person and in domestic prosperity. He suffers a sudden and complete reversal of fortune. He loses his property and his children; a loathsome disease afflicts his body; and he is overcome with sorrow. Nevertheless, Job does not complain against God. Continue reading