Enjoy Your Life

The above words of Paul are evoked by the attempt of the people of Lystra, after a man crippled from birth has been healed by the words of Paul and Barnabas, to worship them as gods. "They called Barnabas ‘Zeus’ and Paul ‘Hermes’." Immediately Paul attempts to return them to what is, “rains from heaven and fruitful seasons.” The “living God,” says Paul, is the one “who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.” In today’s gospel, Jesus teaches likewise: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we[read more]

Your Will Be Done

The words of Jesus today echo words that, perhaps, most of us heard sometime in our childhood from our parents, teachers, or other caregivers: “Didn’t you hear what I said to you?” This would be said to us after we had failed to do what we were told. In effect they were telling us that they were not judging us but rather the words they had spoken that we did not heed and carry out.[read more]

Goodness and Holiness

In his book on Teresa of Avila, Rowan Williams describes Teresa’s view of “good” people who occupy the third mansions of her interior castle. He notes that for Teresa, “To be ‘good’ without humility is to be condemned to a really wretched life, ‘weighed down with this mud of our human misery.’” Saul is a zealot of the first order. He believes that these disciples of Jesus are a threat to the primacy of the Law, to the necessary order of an orthodox Jewish life. They are a disturbance to the order and the peace of an obedient and well-ordered[read more]

Teach Me Your Ways

The story of the encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian court official has long been a favorite of mine. It illustrates the truth of God’s direction of our life in every aspect of the “common, ordinary, and unspectacular flow of everyday life.” As we see often in Acts, the Spirit speaks to the disciples. It can seem as if in these earliest days of the church, the Spirit would audibly speak to the disciples. Yet, it well may be that the disciples of Jesus, following his resurrection and ascension, received direction from God in the same way that we do.[read more]

Charity and Justice

Today in the reading from Acts we hear of the persecution of the church following the martyrdom of Stephen, and of Saul’s key role in that persecution. Saul is working to purify Judaism from this recently introduced foreign element. Perhaps there is little that we human beings need to fear more than our tendency to create a “pure” society or culture. In the 20th century we know all too well the effect of the Nazis compulsion to form a perfect Aryan culture. Yet, in truth, we must acknowledge that this temptation is always present among us. During the last pontificate,[read more]

Harmony and Enjoyment

“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?  The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own  The Father who dwells in me is doing his[read more]

Holding All In Common

The community of believers was of one  heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.  With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.  There was no needy person among[read more]

Do As I Have Done

So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?  You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.  If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,[read more]

Friendship and Betrayal

The Lord God is my help, / therefore I am not disgraced; / I have set my face like flint, / knowing that I shall not be put to shame. / He is near who upholds my right; / if anyone wishes to oppose me, / let us appear together. / Who disputes my right?[read more]