Deepening Discipleship

Mary, thinking that he is the gardener, says to him, “My lord, if you have carried him off, tell me where you put him, and I will take him away.”  Jesus says to her, “Mary.”  Turning, she says to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni” (which means “Teacher”).  Jesus says to her, “Do not cling to me,[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]

Giving and Joy

For us it is very possible to read the words of Sirach today and to think that they are enjoining us to make sure to smile when we are making a contribution and to willfully make ourselves learn to enjoy giving away our possessions. It seems like a recognition of the experience that by nature we give begrudgingly, and so we must develop the habit of being joyful as we do so. Jesus, on the other hand, seems to say that when we are really giving away all we have and are, we experience the true joy of receiving so[read more]

Friendship and Fear of the Lord

In today’s reading from Sirach we hear both inducements toward and warnings about relationships. We are told that we all have many acquaintances in life, but very few confidants. We are also told to test our friendships. At first glance, this may seem a bit harsh and even somewhat cynical to us. Yet, the truth is that in every relationship that has the possibility of deepening, we are always consciously or unconsciously testing the other. Sirach tells us not to be too ready to trust another because what is deepest in us is so vulnerable. Thus, we tend, in a[read more]

Growing in the Knowledge of Jesus Christ

Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability.  But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3; 17-18   The other day something that occurred had agitated[read more]

Learning To Be Friends

“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends,[read more]

Bearing Fruit in Friendship

“I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,[read more]

Courage and Friendship

Indeed, whatever things you say in darkness will be heard in the light, and whatever you whisper in a private room will be proclaimed from the roofs. but I tell  you, my friends, don’t fear those who kill the body and afterwards can do nothing more. I will show you whom to fear.   Fear[read more]

Fixing In Our Hearts

When he was campaigning for President in 2000, George W. Bush issued a values critique of the Clinton administration by saying: “Our generation has a chance to reclaim some essential values, to show we have grown up before we grow old.” Politics aside, as a member of Bush’s generation I found myself pondering his words.[read more]

Servants Or Friends?

In the developed world today, although many are still involved in taxing physical labor, many are now freed of that demand. And yet, the result has not been greater creative and restful leisure, a deepening capacity for spiritual enjoyment. It has rather, mysteriously, resulted in an even increased culture of work.[read more]