Who knows where the love of God goes?

Some forty-six years ago in November 1975 an intense low pressure system crossed the Great Lakes, with winds gusting to well above hurricane force, and waves the size of mountains. The forecast had been for clear sailing. Over 200 mariners were lost that day. Among the lost souls that day were the captain and crew of the large iron ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald.

Storms and loss of lives are part of life on the Lakes. This event was made famous by Gordon Lightfoot’s song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” For me, one verse stands out: “Who knows where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours.” Continue reading

St. John Neuman

When asked how they could possibly feed so many people, Jesus said to disciples “in reply, ‘Give them some food yourselves.’

Today the Church celebrates the Memorial of St. John Neumann, Bishop of Philadelphia and the first male US citizen canonized. Neumann began life in Bohemia. He was a good son and excellent student. He entered the seminary in 1831 for his local diocese. But in his second year he was enthralled with the call for priests to serve in the United States – especially among the German-speaking peoples. Continue reading

The Spirit

This coming Sunday is the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. The reading is from the Gospel of Luke (3:15-16, 21-22)

 “the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove”

Only Luke includes the phrase “in bodily form”. Jensen (Preaching Luke’s Gospel) makes the point that “Bodily descent has the character of permanence. The Spirit not only descended upon Jesus; the Spirit of God came in bodily form and it will remain upon Jesus.”  He makes a contrast between Jesus and Israel’s “charismatic judges” on whom the Spirit of God descended temporarily. Continue reading