From time to time, my dad would remind me that “every person you meet is your better in that you can learn something from them.” Good and sage advice. I wonder if he knew he was echoing Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote: “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” Of course one can then ask if the quote is original to Mr. Emerson. Continue reading
The first reading this week has been taken from the Book of Job. It is considered to be one of the scrolls belonging to the Wisdom category and is a narrative that, in its own way, attempts to address the question of suffering during one’s life. Our story began with Monday’s reading in which we learn that Job is pious and upright, richly endowed in his own person and in domestic prosperity. He suffers a sudden and complete reversal of fortune. He loses his property and his children; a loathsome disease afflicts his body; and he is overcome with sorrow. Nevertheless, Job does not complain against God. Continue reading
The first reading is from Paul’s “1st Letter to the Corinthians,” from the middle of the first of five sections within the letter. Chapter 2-4 are about divisions within the Corinthian community. The reasons for these divisions are several and some are explored in detail in following chapters, but in this section, the divisions are about the popularity of certain leaders leading to rivalries among them: “I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas.” (1 Cor 1:12)
His basic response is “You’ve got to be kidding me! You belong to Christ.” Continue reading
From our first reading today: “Who among you is wise and understanding?” (James 3:13a) That is not the kind of question for which people are going to raise their hands and cry out “Me!!.” But it is the kind of question that we hope is true of ourselves, our loved ones, and those with whom we work and play. Continue reading
Today is the memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church, and medieval scholastic philosopher and theologian. His best-known works are the Disputed Questions on Truth, the Summa contra Gentiles, and the unfinished but influential Summa Theologiae. The first reading for the memorial is from the Book of Wisdom. There are commentaries a plenty on the whole of the book and I would not attempt such a effort, but I would note that, (a) besides being a great source of a reading to honor St. Thomas, (b) it has importance for our times.
In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans he quickly addresses gentile people’s culpability for knowing – or at least having an strong inclination of – the one true God given they did not have the benefit of the covenant relationship with Him. Paul writes: “For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:19-22) Continue reading
Last week the question was “who do you say that I am?” Did you come up with an answer? Maybe some of you are thinking to yourself… “did he really expect us to think about that question?” Short answer: yes. Seems like a pretty important question, don’t ya’ think? I didn’t say it was an easy question, just an important one… perhaps the most important you will ever answer in this lifetime. It is the kind of question that calls for wisdom.
When was the last time you prayed for wisdom? Continue reading
Yesterday in our nation’s capital was a planned rally in support of people who were connected to the insurrection event of January 6, 2021 and are currently being investigated by federal authorities. Apparently the attendance was far less than expected on the part of organizers and Capitol police. As part of the news coverage, a person was interviewed about their presence and what they hoped for as an outcome. The person essentially denied there had been any unrest on January 6th that people were just entering a public building (the US Capital) and now were being persecuted and prosecuted unjustly. When shown film of the event, the storming of the building, the assaulting of police officers, the reaction was that it was just government propaganda. When it was further explained that social media was filled with clips, taken by those storming the building, and posted online – that too was waved away as a government plot. Apart from it being a very sad state of current affairs, it is also an ever present state of affairs. Did we really land on the moon? I mean…. Have you ever met someone who stepped foot on the moon? Continue reading
In the well known parable of today’s gospel, the landowner goes out to secure laborers for the harvest. At the end of the day, all laborers are paid the same regardless of the time of day at which their labor began. Some complain that they worked from sunrise, while the ones who only began day’s end are paid the same. This has been a week of teachings on wisdom and riches…. what is today’s lesson?
In the Garden of Eden, humans are presented with a test, a choice between two trees. This familiar story is the beginning of a narrative pattern we see play out again and again throughout the biblical story. But why does God choose to test people? It may seem cruel or like he’s attempting to trap humans into making the wrong choice, but the biblical story is clear. God’s desire is to partner with humans, and these tests are opportunities for humans to return to the ideals of the garden despite our countless failures.
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