The Social Covenant

Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald penned an interesting article recently about the social covenant we all assume is in place. One might call them social norms, but it seems to me “covenant” is also an appropriate moniker because these norms speak to a connection between people. Pitts offers examples: “You don’t stand facing the back wall of an elevator. In heavy traffic, you take turns merging. You stop at the red light even when the street is deserted.” I am sure we can all add our own favorite covenantal norms. I would offer, “you don’t talk during a movie.” Continue reading

Building a Life

The scene in the first reading for today’s Mass is Isaiah speaking to a people in exile. It is a message that is surely suited to our Advent season as it is a message of Hope. Isaiah holds up a vision of a city built by God, echoing the Psalmist: “Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build” (Psalm 127:1) Isaiah promises the Lord will build the city, and at the same times outlines for the people their part of the labor. They are to live in righteousness in word and in deed. Continue reading


This coming Sunday is the Second Sunday of Advent in lectionary cycle C, the year when the Gospel of Luke is the primary source of our gospels. Today we continue to look at details of the narrative. The previous post discussed “the word of God” coming to John in the desert. Let us consider John’s mission.

He went throughout (the) whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins

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