June 17, 201312th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), June 23, 2013
Years ago the band U2 recorded “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Could Jesus’ first disciples have said that? To know what you are looking for, you have to know what you need. When you know what you need, you need to know where to look for it in order to identify it. Was he the one they were looking for? Was he the Messiah, the one who was to come? If it seems obvious to us today, we need to put ourselves in the sandals of the first-century Jews...
June 17, 201313th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), June 30, 2013
The language of the Bible can be gently potent. Biblical texts are not usually wordy, nor do biblical characters elaborate their feelings in lengthy soliloquies. A few words are offered to be pondered, measured and considered. People speak directly, but sometimes the meaning is mysterious or opposed to closely held expectations of how God ought to act or what God’s spokespeople ought to say. Before jettisoning the peculiarity of God’s ways or the...
June 3-10, 201310th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), June 9, 2013
The prophet Elijah “went to Zarephath of Sidon to the house of a widow.” While Elijah was at the widow’s home, her son died. Already bereft of a husband, which itself often led women into poverty in the ancient world, she has now lost her son, the remaining source of her emotional and economic sustenance. She turns on Elijah, “Why have you done this to me, O man of God?
June 3-10, 201311th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C), June 16, 2013
Jesus’ love for the weak and marginalized is made manifest in a powerful account in Luke’s Gospel, as is the human willingness to label and disenfranchise people we consider less worthy. In today’s narrative, Jesus suggests that we start to identify who we truly are in relationship not to social standards but to God’s overwhelming love. Jesus is invited to eat at the home of a Pharisee named Simon. His identity is clear: Simon, the Pharisee.
May 27, 2013Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (C), June 2, 2013
Body and blood, bread and wine—these are basic components of the human being and the stuff that sustains human life. These basic and foundational realities speak to the ordinary humanity of Jesus and one of the deepest mysteries of the church. Without the Incarnation, we could not speak of Jesus’ body and blood. Without Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we could not be offered these simple elements transformed into the body and blood of Christ.
May 20, 2013Most Holy Trinity (C), May 26, 2013
The mystery at the heart of human life is discovered in our relationships, whose outlines might be simply explained but that are ineffable at the core. How we love and live for one another defies description. We struggle for words to make real what we know through experience. When one of my sons as a small boy told me, “I want you to live longer than anyone else,” he expressed his love as a desire that our lives together should continue on and on without end...
May 13, 2013Pentecost (C), May 19, 2013
The Jewish feast of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks, originally celebrated the spring harvest. It was a pilgrimage festival that took place 50 days after the end of Passover. By the time of Jesus Pentecost was also celebrated as a joyous remembrance of the giving of the law at Sinai. Seen together, the two aspects of the Jewish festival give thanks to God for feeding both body and spirit. The Christian commemoration of Pentecost would adopt and...
May 6, 2013Ascension (C), May 12, 2013
Paul says of Jesus in 1 Cor 15:45, “Thus it is written, ‘the first man, Adam, became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” Luke Timothy Johnson draws on this verse when he describes the ascension of Jesus, saying that “the ‘withdrawal’ of Jesus is not so much an absence as it is a presence in a new and more powerful mode: when Jesus is not among them as another specific body, he is accessible to all as life-giving spirit.”
April 29, 2013Sixth Sunday of Easter (C), May 5, 2013
The Psalmist prays to God, “May your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation.” But how will this come to pass? Throughout the Old Testament, there are clues that someday, in some way, God’s covenant will be expanded to welcome not just the descendants of Abraham but all the people of the world. Indeed, beginning with Gn 22:18 and 26:4, Abraham and Isaac heard the promise that all nations would be blessed through their offspring.
April 22, 2013Fifth Sunday of Easter (C), April 28, 2013
In preparation for his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, Jesus instructed his apostles on what their continuing mission would be when he was gone: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” This translation of the simple Greek passage, however, fails to reproduce an interesting element. Each of the secondary clauses is introduced by the Greek conjunction hina, which is...