Human Trafficking

Today is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita. Born in Darfur-Sudan, she was kidnapped as a child at the age of 7 and was enslaved. She was bought and sold several times before arriving in the Sudanese slave market. Along the way, she forgot her family name, and was given a name by the Arab slave traders: bakhīta, Arabic for ‘lucky’ or ‘fortunate’. She was forcibly converted to Islam. Her life enslaved was horrific. Continue reading

The Law and Prophets

This coming Sunday is the 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time in Lectionary Cycle A. The gospel reading is from the discourse popularly known as the Sermon on the Mount. In yesterday’s post we explored the meaning of biblical covenants as a way to frame the question: what does it mean to truly be God’s people? In today’s post we extend the idea of covenant, the arrival of the Messiah in the person of Jesus, and the controversial opening passage of the longer reading of the gospel: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.” (Mt 5:17-18) As we proceed we need to remember that these verses follow upon the earlier passage wherein Jesus is teaching the disciples about discipleship in the kingdom of heaven (5:1-2) – something that is here and yet not fully here. Continue reading