The time given

Today’s first reading continues with the accounts in the Book of Genesis. We move from the story of Cain and Abel at the beginning of Genesis 4 to the story of Noah in Genesis 6. Let me fill in the highlights in between. The descendants of Cain are described in terms of violence (Lamech) and yet at the same time as craftsmen, nomads, and minstrels. We also learn that Adam and Eve have another son, Seth, who is described – not in terms of occupation – but in terms of the practice of worshiping God as Seth’s lineage “began to invoke the LORD by name.” (Gen 4:26). Genesis 5 is a genealogy of the generations from Seth to Noah. – and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Taking the text literally, between the sin of Cain and the Flood is a period of 1,600 years. Quite a long time to let things play out, so to speak.

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Stewardship: Time

“Summer is Here!” Come the end of May, I always think to myself, “OK…I am on the glide path to summer relaxation. There won’t be a lot going on in the parish. This will be awesome.” Every May I suffer from the same delusion. The truth is that there is a lot that goes on in the parish, especially as it pertains to planning for the coming “new year,” which begins in September. The summer is also when there is time to begin to flesh out ideas, programs, and initiatives for the fall. Continue reading

Admonition Eight

Someone once described the décor in my room in the friary as a wonderful example of “early American randomness.” Random?  Really? I suspect they really meant chaos in the mathematical sense – because there is always an order present – even if it is not readily apparent.  One of my friar brothers, in his life before joining the Franciscans, was a successful interior designer whose work brought beauty in to the world from the chaos of materials and ideas. His work has graced the cover of Architectural Digest several times. Another brother teaches at a noted school of medicine. Another is a cobbler, another a tailor, and another an elementary school teacher.  We have lawyers, dentists, business executives, musicians, academics, writes, cooks, social workers, counselors, and even a candlestick maker. All different gifts to build up the fraternity of men, who like Francis, on our best days work to build up the Church. Continue reading