Fear and Responsibility

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You lock the Kingdom of heaven before people.  You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.” Matthew 23: 13-14 From our perspective, the seeming malevolence of the scribes and Pharisees, at least as presented in the gospels, is more than[read more]

Living in the Desert

She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.  Her child was caught up to God and his throne.  The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God. Rev. 12: 5-6 For just as in Adam all die, so[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]

Rooted in God

As one who came of age in the Church immediately following the Second Vatican Council with its proper restoration of the meaning of the Incarnation for our humanity, I have always found the foundational spiritual teaching of today’s reading from Jeremiah a difficult one to comprehend fully and truly appreciate. “Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings. . . .” Yet, if I hear the entire sentence which qualifies the “curse” as applying to one who trusts human beings solely, then I can begin to recognize its truth in my own experience.[read more]

Remembering Our Sins

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt / and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; / Who does not persist in anger forever, /  but delights rather in clemency, / And will again have compassion on us, / treading underfoot our guilt? / You will cast into the depths of[read more]

Taking Up Jesus' Yoke

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30 In his[read more]

Knowing Our Place Is The Way

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You  have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you,[read more]

The Demands of Wisdom

Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, / the Holy One of Israel: / I, the Lord, your God, / teach you what is for your good, / and lead you on the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17 “But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” Matthew 11:19 Today Isaiah tells us that God will teach[read more]