It’s hard to imagine the drama behind our first reading. The children of Israel have returned from a long exile. The Babylonians had conquered them utterly, and forcibly relocated them to various parts of the empire. It was about assimilation: a way to preserve the services and productivity of the conquered people, while at the same time destroying their culture and heritage.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
This is going to sound like a strange question, but can you think of a place on Earth where you could go where you would lose your dignity as a human being? Like a place where, just by being there, you would no longer have any special worth as a human being?
I told you it was going to be a strange question. But I’m just getting started.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
I was reading a book by a favorite Catholic author, Frank Sheed, from the 1960's. Sheed mentioned in passing that he didn’t understand why the Rosary skipped from the Finding of the Lord at the Temple - when he was twelve - to the Agony in the Garden, the day before he died. Sheed felt it might be unfortunate to just skip our Lord’s whole adult life and public ministry. He even wondered, if another set of mysteries were added, what they might be called. Well, we’ve got his answer. Pope John Paul II established the Luminous Mysteries a few years back, and the first of them is the Baptism of the Lord.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
On the Solemnity of Mary, New Year’s Day, I preached about a suggested project for the year, maybe even what you’d call a resolution. Spiritual life is just like everything else in our lives, we have to work on it. You are never standing still in your relationship with God. You’re moving one way or the other, for better or worse. Well, the resolution or project I suggested for the year was to focus on our experience of the Mass. You come every week, it’s the center of our spiritual lives as Catholics. Vatican II called it the “source and summit” of Christian life. Just being here is a big win for your relationship with God.