The burdens

From time to time this summer I have been commenting on the first reading, recently from the prophets Amos and Hosea. Their words have been direct and challenging to any who would listen: this is how you are seen in the eyes of God. It was a rough encounter. While it promised doom to those whose heart remained hardened, there was always the call to turn back to God, back to the covenant. Continue reading

The Prophet Hosea

This week has been a week in which the first readings are from the Prophet Hosea. It seems to me that whenever the first reading is proclaimed the faithful are lost in a pool of unfamiliar names, a message that has been lifted out of its context, and all that makes it a little more challenging for the Word from the prophet to reach the people. So, this week I have been preaching the 1st reading and told folks that I would provide short introduction to the Prophet Hosea and his writings. Continue reading

Love and the Sacred Heart

Sacred-Heart-JesusToday we celebrate the patronal feast of our parish, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Simply put, what we celebrate is the love of God symbolized by the heart of Jesus. You can read more about the devotion and solemnity by following the link on the front page of our parish website.

Think about it…if we are celebrating the love of God – and especially symbolized by the heart of Jesus – we are celebrating God’s love for us; a pretty awesome thing to contemplate. Of course, your contemplation will be shaped by what you already think of love. You know… in English we can say “I love you” and… not a lot more without adding modifiers or descriptors. For example, “I really, really love you” – which sounds more like trying to convince someone than an intimate moment. “I like you” or “I am fond of you” does not carry the same gravitas or conviction. Love and the English language is road that does carry you too far. Kiswahili is a different road with lots of choices. There are as many as 21 different verbs for love. In addition to the love a parent has for a child (different that which a child has for the parent) and such other familial loves, Kiswahili acknowledges that the love shared by newlyweds is different from the love shared between a couple who forged their love in the cauldron of marriage over a 50 year different. Continue reading