Everything

Way back in the day, before this life as a Franciscan, I was helping out with a teen ministry program at my parish. I will always remember one comment a young woman made: “It’s not like I have a contract with God or anything.”

Contract: an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for some consideration, often an exchange of goods and services. A contract includes a) an offer; b) an acceptance of that offer; c) a promise to perform; d) a valuable consideration; f) terms and conditions for performance, including fulfilling promises; g) and the execution of all the above.  I am sure the lawyers and first year law students can provide a more precise definition. But my point is that contracts are hardly personal. I have signed contracts for car loans without ever meeting the bank representatives. And I signed an apartment rental contracts and never met the actual property owners. Who cares? It’s business, right? Did everyone get what they agreed to? Contract with God? Continue reading

Fulfilling the Law: context and covenants

beatitudes1Here in the 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time, our gospel reading continues the “Sermon on the Mount” begun on the 4th Sunday.  As mentioned elsewhere, the “Sermon” is the first of the Matthean discourses and perhaps the best known. Warren Carter (Matthew and the Margins) has these introductory comments about the entire sermon: Continue reading