Power Or Service

Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.  You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:21-22 On this Feast of St. Stephen we find ourselves somewhat[read more]

Repentance and Evangelization

As living and sacred words, the scriptures live anew for us in every given moment and phase of our lives. To read the words from Maccabees this morning is to experience from our own perspective the problem of faithfulness and syncretism. What our immigrant grandparents so valued and longed to enter into, the “melting pot” of American culture, is for us who attempt to hold to a gospel faith an increasing experience of inner and outer conflict. In practice we sacrifice on a daily basis our lives to the cultural values of competition, consumption, and commerce, while relegating our relationship[read more]

Hearing the Voices of the Poor

So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in[read more]

Law and Spirit

Rather our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.  Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, was so glorious that the children of Israel could not look[read more]

Leadership and Accountability

In the current issue of The Atlantic, the cover story is by James Carroll who boldly asserts that the only future for the Roman Catholic Church is the abolishing of the priesthood. In this he echoes an argument made several years ago by the historian Garry Wills in his book Why Priests. While he would, probably not come to the same conclusions, Pope Francis himself has stated that clericalism is the foundational cause of what we call today the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.[read more]

Darkness Will Be Our Light

Today is the feast of The Chair of St. Peter. As we celebrate the feast this year, there is taking place at the Vatican an unprecedented meeting to deal with the ongoing scandal of the sexual abuse of minors and other sexual misconduct of priests and religious. Today’s reading from Matthew, given the Roman Catholic interpretation of the text in which we have been formed, seemingly confronts us, who live continually with this scandalous abuse of power, with a grave contradiction. Is the promise of Jesus, at least as it has been interpreted to us in our tradition, false? What[read more]

Seeking and Faith

Jesus declares that this woman, who knows nothing of the tradition which forms Jesus and his own self-understanding, has great faith. She is able to recognize the truth of Jesus that so many others who have been raised and formed in the same tradition as Jesus cannot begin to really grasp.[read more]