Needing A Doctor

When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call[read more]

Choosing Our Treasure

“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Matthew 6:21 Sometime in early adulthood I became aware for the first time of how difficult to answer I found the question “What do you want?” In today’s passage from Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us how important this[read more]

Grace and Responsibility

Some days ago, a friend shared with me a lecture that Jacques Barzun had given in 1969 entitled “Present Day Thoughts on the Quality of Life.” It had just recently been rediscovered and was published this month in “The American Scholar." In it he speaks of, for all their questionable tendencies, the valid critique of western culture that inhered in the revolutionary movements of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Given the secular and rational-functional reductionism of our culture, we have come to identify usefulness with human value. And if this was true in 1969, it is even more true[read more]

Sadness and Grace

What makes us, human beings, so restless and anxious? Albert Camus says that we are constantly seeing refuge “in love, and work, and communal life.” From what are we seeking that refuge? The basic philosophical and psychological answer to this question is that we are evading the awareness of our deaths. The gospel answer, while not at all contradicting this, adds that in doing so we are also avoiding our own lives. Remember the young man asks Jesus “Good master, what may I do in order that I may inherit the life of the Age?” And Jesus responds, after telling[read more]

Bearing The One Who Sent Us

“Amen, amen I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.” “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one[read more]