This is our faith

There are weeks that are so marvelous that you want to relive them, hold them and keep them ever safe. I hope your summer had one of those weeks. A family reunion, a vacation, a solar eclipse in totality, evenings at the coast watching sunsets, the week when the all-grown-up kids were home, time with the grandchildren – a week that was by any measure, “a keeper.” Continue reading

Confession: upon the rock

Jesus’ Response: an emerging church. What history has made clear is that Jesus’ response had been a source of controversy in so far as how it is understood and thus what kind of church was expected to emerge from Jesus’ earthly ministry. Clearly whatever emerges is under the blessing of Christ.

The disciples as a group had already received a blessing: “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it”(Mt 13:16-17). Here this blessing is for Peter alone, as the plural address of v.16 shifts to the singular of v.17: Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah – notably keeping the original given name. Continue reading

Binding and Loosing Rightly

JesusServingDid you know you are a priest? It is part of Catholic teaching that because of your baptism you share in a universal priesthood. Although having a different implication of such a priesthood, the German protestant Martin Luther described it this way: “The fact that we are all priests… means that each of us Christians may go before God and intercede for the other, If I notice that you have no faith or a weak faith, I can ask God to give you a strong faith.” Cardinal George, speaking about service, says a similar thing when he wrote: “Every Christian is someone else’s priest, and we are all priests to one another.” It seems to me that these notions of service as part of the universal priesthood very well fit the very readings on Holy Thursday, when we celebrate the sacramental priesthood, as Jesus takes off his cloak, puts on an apron and serves the disciples in the most menial of tasks: washing feet. The sacramental priesthood rests upon the more intrinsic foundation of the universal priesthood in which we all have the call to service because we are impelled by the love of God. Continue reading

The house He is building

sts-peter-and-paul-1“…you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” Let’s be honest, at first glance, Peter seems a bit shaky to be the one to lead Christ’s Church. Peter stumbled, fell, and he denied – and for good measure, denied a few more times. Peter did not always “get it;” he struggled to understand. And even when he did understand, there was often a slight hesitation— unsure what to do, some fear that he would get it wrong. A lot like you and me. “…you are John or Jane, Jack or Jill, and upon you I will build my family, my company, my hopes and dreams,

And then people made demands upon us and tasked us spiritually, emotionally, physically. Peter was someone who knew fatigue, knew failure, and reached that place where just like us he thought to himself: “give me a break; just give me an hour to myself…..” In those moments we do not feel like anyone’s “rock.” Continue reading