The Departure

This coming Sunday is the 5th Sunday of Easter in Year C of the Lectionary Cycle. In yesterday’s post we explored a possible understanding of Jesus’ reference to “glorification.” Today we explore the second of the three parts of this very short reading. Referring again to his imminent departure, Jesus said to his disciples, “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you” (v.33). Continue reading

My body….

Back in January when those opposed to vaccines/mandated vaccines began to shout “my body, my choice” as a moral logic for the freedom to refuse vaccinations, I could not help but note the irony of the moment as they co-opted the long held cry of those in favor of a woman’s right to an abortion. By-in-large I thought if fair to speculate that those who shared the same “battle cry” did not share a political view/party/perspective. My pastor asked me to write a piece on for the parish bulletin, which I did. But…. Continue reading

Moral Immunology

When Fyodor Dostoevsky sent the manuscript of his celebrated novel, Crime and Punishment, to the publisher, he included a brief note: “This is the story of a university student who is infected by ideas that float on the wind”.  That image is one that stuck with me in all the years since I first encountered it. Is the idea/project/choice with which I am confronted something that is just floating in the wind or is it something with foundation and anchorage. Enter the age of the covid-19 pandemic and the idea of being infected by things that float in the wind has new meaning. We have taken great efforts over the last 2.5 years to limit infectious floating things and to build up our immune system against such infections so that if we can’t prevent infection we can at least mitigate the short-term and long-term effect. Continue reading

The Glorification of God and Jesus

This coming Sunday is the 5th Sunday of Easter in Year C of the Lectionary Cycle. In yesterday’s post we explored what was meant by the word “glory” in the Old Testament Scriptures as a way of considering what the apostles and disciples might think when Jesus says to them: “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.”  The term is more robust than a single one-line definition. May it can be best said as the revelation of God’s godliness to people in the events of their lives – at least as far as humanity can experience such things. But when experienced, one’s thoughts and being turn to encounter God. Continue reading

Who am I to judge?

An obvious answer to the question is, “nobody,” since God the Father has committed all judgment to his Son, Jesus Christ (John 5:22). So we should not be surprised that St. Paul to exhort the Romans “to stop judging one another” (Romans. 14:13). The context comes just a few verses before: “Why then do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.” (14:10) The context is that final judgment is reserved to God. We are not meant to judge another person by closing the loop of justice on his or her life with a final verdict before God when the final verdict belongs to Christ, and Him alone. There is always hope for any man or woman this side of the grave to repent and return to the way of salvation. Jesus testified to this upon the cross when He forgave the repentant thief (Luke 23:43). Continue reading

The Glory of God

This coming Sunday is the 5th Sunday of Easter in Year C of the Lectionary Cycle. In yesterday’s post we placed the Sunday gospel in content vis-a-vis the flow of events of Holy Week, as well, in the content of John’s larger project that is the whole Gospel. We are no longer in the “Book of Signs” but since John 12:23 are in the following section known as the “Book of Glory.” Our short gospel is from John 13:31-35 and can be divided into three parts: Continue reading

…and they follow me

The people heard that parishioners from St. Francis in Triangle had gone to St. Fulani to celebrate a Tridentine Rite Mass. And so when they returned they were confronted and asked, “You went to a Tridentine Mass and worshiped with them. How could you be associated with those people?”

The people heard that parishioners from St. Francis in Triangle had gone to an ecumenical prayer service with Muslims, Jews, and Protestants. When they returned they were confronted and asked, “You went to an ecumenical prayer service and consorted with unbelievers, terrorists, and apostates.” Continue reading

5th Easter Context

This coming Sunday is the 5th Sunday of Easter in Year C of the Lectionary Cycle. While it appears after Easter, the gospel reading is taken from the evening of what we call Holy Thursday. So, perhaps we should place this short gospel passage in context. The public ministry of Jesus has drawn to a close with John 12.  Here in Chapter 13 begins the “private ministry” of Jesus preparing his disciples for his impending death.  Continue reading

It matters

Think of one person in your life who you just can’t believe is so wrong-headed about living in this modern world as a Catholic. That person whose politics make you wonder if they ever encountered Jesus in the gospels. That person who just… who just… “It doesn’t matter, I’m not talking to them anymore. It is a waste of time.”  Hold that thought. Continue reading

Just too much

Our reading today is from John 6, the whole of which is rightly called the Eucharistic Discourse, John’s reflection on the meaning of the Eucharist seeing that the other gospels had well recorded its institution at the Passover meal the night before his crucifixion. We are at the end of the discourse and it seems that there is a crisis among the disciples. They seemed to have reached a point with Jesus’ teaching that is just too much. Perhaps too much to have compared himself to Moses, too much to have referred to himself as the living bread come down from heaven, or just too much that can’t be reconciled with their preconceived idea of the role of the Messiah. Continue reading