I’m writing to you on Monday afternoon and mere feet from my desk, snow is collecting on cacti. Just when you thought the year couldn’t get any more bizarre.
I know we were hit with that freak snowstorm not that long ago, but really? This never ceases to amaze me.
I’m not even going to attempt to recount everything our community has been through in the past twelve months, but what a twelve months it has been! (For perspective, it feels like Fr. Michael Gaitley visited our parish about four years ago. It was less than a year ago.) April 30th was my tenth wedding anniversary and I was going to shock Maryrose. I’d bought cheap tickets to fly into and out of San Diego that day—complete with dinner overlooking the ocean. That didn’t happen. And it looks like our 11th won’t have many more options at the rate we are going.READ MORE
Our big word today is “Authority”. In the first reading, we heard about God’s plan to raise a spiritual leader like Moses whose teaching will carry the same authority like that of Moses. In the gospel St. Mark tells us that the people were amazed because Jesus taught with authority.
But what does it mean precisely to say that Jesus taught with authority? The common explanation is to contrast Jesus’ method of teaching with that of the Scribes. Biblical scholars say that the Scribes taught citing past Rabbis to give credibility to their teaching. Jesus on the other hand taught as one who knows the mind of God. But I tell you, there is more to the idea about Jesus teaching with authority.READ MORE
Catholics occasionally get grief for praying prayers that aren’t spontaneous. There is the Our Father—a prayer that Jesus said was the best way to pray. There is the Hail Mary that is taken from Scripture. Finally, the St. Michael Prayer, which is a direct stance against the instigator of the worst insurrection in eternity. (You know—the one in Heaven.)
A prayer written 800 years ago has recently risen to the top of my thoughts. It was written while the Catholic Church was in a season of struggle and suffering. It was written by a man born under the name Giovanni who was doing his best to live Catholicism as it was meant to be lived despite the climate of the day. It was written by St. Francis of Assisi.READ MORE
I’d like to try a little experiment this week. I want to run a test and see how many of the people reading this little column I’d be willing to have a cup of coffee or a pastry with. Please answer the following ten questions:
In this week’s Gospel, we once again read about the Baptism of Jesus.
“It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.”
Here is what Benedict XVI has to say about it in Jesus of Nazareth:
“Looking at the events in the light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people realized what happened: Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon his shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan. He inaugurated his public activity by stepping into the place of sinners. His inaugural gesture is an anticipation of the Cross… The Baptism is an acceptance of death for the sins of humanity, and the voice that calls out “This is my beloved Son” over the baptismal water is an anticipatory reference to the Resurrection. This explains why, in his own discourses, Jesus uses the word baptism to refer to his death.”READ MORE
It is very exciting to get to experience different cultures. It gives you a sense of balance. One of the very interesting thing I have noticed living in the US for the last three years is how very affirming you guys are. Americans find it very easy to express their feelings towards you. Not just here in the Church, even in the soccer field people walk up to me and tell me how much they appreciate or love me. It’s just an amazing way to help people appreciate their self-worth.READ MORE
As someone who writes novels in my free time, I pay particular to attention to the smallest nuances in songs, novels, shows, and movies. It happened again when I read this weekend’s readings.
Buried in the inspired words of the second readings, are the four words: “stewardship of God’s grace.”
What a beautiful phase!
Stewardship refers to the roll of taking care of something.
God refers to the creator and father of the universe and everything in it.READ MORE