Controlling chaos

We friars assist as Catholic chaplains at Tampa General. It is not my first time as a hospital chaplain.  That was at Bethesda Naval Hospital. My time at Bethesda was at the beginning of the war in Iraq when the Marines were engaged in combat around Fallujah. Casualties were high. Every evening there was a chaplain assigned to the flight line to be there when marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers were medevac’d from the war zone. All of these service men and women were in grave medical conditions. I witnessed injuries that still left me amazed that the person was still alive. Alive with lives that would never be the same, never as they had planned. But the combat/trauma ICU and the flight line were not the hardest chaplain duty at Bethesda – at least not for me.  For me, the hardest ward was the NICU; the neo-natal intensive care unit. Continue reading

3rd Sunday in Lent

This coming Sunday marks the third Sunday in Lent (Year C; but if you are attending a Mass at which one of the RCIA scrutinies is celebrating, you will hear readings other readings).You can read a complete commentary on this gospel here.

This gospel for the 3rd Sunday in Lent (Luke 13:1-9) is a pointed gospel about repentance, bearing fruit, and the time given us – and this well placed for the Lenten season. However, it is far removed from its narrative context. The 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time (summer season after Easter) begins in Luke 10. The sequential chapters of Luke are covered every Sunday up through the 20th Sunday which completes Luke 12. The 21st Sunday, skips over today’s gospel and begins with 13:22-30. So, in addition to its Lenten context, it would be good to review the larger context from the Lucan narrative stream. Continue reading