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June 11, 2014

The Scripture readings for Trinity Sunday are as beautiful and rich as the mystery this feast celebrates. The Biblical peoples stood before God with awe and reverence, so much so that no one was even to say God's holy name; various euphemisms were used instead. Yet, at the same time, the Bible also portrays God as infinitely tender and close to his people.

June 5, 2014

Freedom in the Spirit

Pentecost is rightly considered to be the "birthday of the Church." Taking the account we read today in the Acts of the Apostles at face value, today marks the fiftieth day after the passion, death and resurrection, when the disciples of Jesus, empowered by the coming of the Spirit, emerge from behind the doors of the upper room where they had taken refuge for fear of persecution, and boldly go out into the streets of Jerusalem, effectively proclaiming the mighty works of God in Jesus Christ.

May 28, 2014
DEFYING GRAVITY. Lucylin could not believe that this day had finally come. She had spent five years in the Correctional Institution for Women in Manila, serving a sentence that was grossly disproportionate to her crime, but today, in what felt like the longest distance she has ever walked, she inches her way to the exit door, literally, one baby step at a time to freedom.
May 22, 2014

Life in the Spirit

Some of the most poignant pictures flashed across the world in the wake of natural or military disasters are those of orphaned children. Their inherent vulnerability is compounded by their victimization; they seem to be wandering about aimlessly. With unguarded expressions they cry out with grief and fear. They are so helpless, and they look so hopeless. To be orphaned means to be alone.

May 14, 2014

Judging from the lectionary texts, this fifth Sunday of Easter would be best named the Sunday of Mixed Messages. In the Gospel, Jesus begins with the comforting words "Do not let your hearts be troubled" (John 14:1) but the passage is about his leaving those closest to him. Those among us trying to cope with the loss of loved ones can only shout back "but of course my heart is troubled!" The letter of Peter celebrates the stone rejected as cornerstone, and then complicates matters by proclaiming the stone simultaneously an obstacle.

May 12, 2014

Follow the leader!

The Fourth Sunday of Easter has traditionally been known as 'Good Shepherd Sunday,' since readings today elaborate this theme. Their particular focus today is on leadership. Whose leadership will we follow? In the ancient Near Eastern world, kings were often characterized as shepherds of their people, because they were responsible for every aspect of their welfare. This same characterization is used in the Bible to describe the providence of God (Ezekiel 34).

April 30, 2014
WALKING INTO HOPE. "But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel" (Luke 24:21). They are walking away from Jerusalem, away from the place where their hopes were shattered. Cleopas and his unnamed companion, perhaps his wife?, stride in the direction of Emmaus, known in Roman times as Nicopolis, "Victory City." They were in sore need of "victory."
April 23, 2014
Avoiding the Heresy of Nostalgia. Christians, especially during the Easter Season, are often tempted to indulge in pious nostalgia. We sometimes say to ourselves: "If only we had been part of the first generation of Christian believers when the Church was united and there were not the corruption and sinfulness that followed in the later centuries!" This Second Sunday of Easter we bask in the glow of the Resurrection and marvel in the account of the early Christian community found in today's first reading from the Acts of the Apostles: "All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need."
April 16, 2014

I am the aunt of thirteen wonderful nieces and nephews and three "grands."  Thus, I do have some experience with babies and young children.  Parents (and aunts and uncles) will recognize that when young ones are happy to greet you or want to be "raised up" their whole body gestures for such embrace.  However, if they do not want to be picked up or held, their body becomes stiff and resistant.  Throughout this Lent and Holy Week, perhaps we have become more open and ready to be "raised up" once again with Jesus our Christ.
 

April 9, 2014

The procession with palms and the reading of the Passion mark the beginning of the most significant week in the annual Christian cycle - leading us from the joyful entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, through his passion and death, to the resurrection of Easter. However, this Holy Week is not intended to simply be a "walk down memory lane" with our heads. Rather, it is an invitation to become engaged in Jesus' journey and to make connections with our own journey in our heart, mind, and soul. How are we to live and to face our challenges as Jesus faced his?