Learning to be better

jesus-teaching-mountJesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said,  You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?

I just finished reading Ian Toll’s trilogy on the War in the Pacific 1941-1945. I started around Memorial Day – which seemed quite appropriate and finished last week. I thought I knew a lot about the War. Being one of the children of the Greatest Generation – and the most silent, too, the absence of stories from my father and my uncles left me with a curiosity to know more about what they were ready to forget.

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Storms in life

LJA130270The gospel for this coming Sunday, the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time ( Year B), is the Markan account of the calming of the storm waters on the Sea of Galilee.

“On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side” (Mark 4:35). As Stoffregen asks: Why do the disciples cross the lake? There are several possible answers: (a) to get to the other side or (b) as recorded in the text, Jesus told them to cross over. Even though (b) is the correct answer, (a) raises the curiosity: what is on the other side? Gentile (unclean) territory indicated by “unclean spirits,” “swine,” and “Decapolis.”  Many scholars hold that this trip across the lake represents the Gentile mission for Mark. The storm at sea represents the storms in the early church as they sought to carry out Jesus’ command “to go to the other side” or “to make disciples of all nations.” It may be noted that the area where the people of God sit while in church is properly called the “nave,” from the Latin “navis” = ship. Continue reading