In the dark days of December with the pandemic raging, we hoped for the availability of vaccinations. Vaccinations were announced, the infections seem to be retreating, we began to make plans for travel after the long discontent for our masks, restrictions, and the new normal which we hoped would not become normal at all. And then vaccinations slowed, masks were dropped, the Delta variant spread, fights broke out on airlines, governors levied fines against businesses requiring vaccines even as they claimed federal overreach, and the late summer saw an epic rise among the unvaccinated. A night show host, joking one hopes, suggested that unvaccinated people at the hospital should be a lower triage level than vaccinated people. Schools restarted, closed, went virtual, were protested for requiring and not requiring masks. Nobody likes wearing a mask. Why isn’t everyone vaccinated? What happened to personal liberty? Isn’t this supposed to be over.

But whatever your take on all of this, we are tired – we have pandemic fatigue. Continue reading

The Memorial of St. John Chrysostom

St-John-ChrysostomToday is the memorial for St. John Chrysostom, a bishop and doctor of the Church. He lived in the late 4th and early 5th centuries and his held as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs of the Byzantine Church along with Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus. John garnered the moniker Chrysostom (“golden tongue”) because of his oratory skills. John also be came quite popular because of his eloquence, his insights and  passion in his public speaking at the Golden Church, Antioch’s cathedral. Especially popular was his insightful expositions of Bible passages and moral teaching. He emphasized charitable giving and was concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor. He spoke against abuse of wealth and personal property: Continue reading

Preparing the Disciples

jesus-and-disciplesThis coming Sunday is the 2th Sunday of Ordinary Time with the Gospel taken from Mark 9:30-37. In the account, Jesus tells the disciples, again, of his impending passion, death and rising from the tomb. And as we move further into the liturgical year, it should become evident that there are fewer demonstrations of power and teaching authority, although they will continue to occur, e.g., the healing of the boy with demon (Mark 9:19-29). The emphasis is ever on preparing his disciples for the time when Jesus will not be among them in an earthly form. The text for this Sunday is commonly referred to as Christ’s second passion/resurrection prediction. Between the first set of prediction/instructions and our Sunday gospel we have following gospel stories from St. Mark: Continue reading