Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If such mighty deeds had been seen...

In today's gospel we see Jesus in an unusually angry mood, frustrated over the lack of proper response to the wonders they had seen.
Having just returned from Costa Rica, I was once again truly disturbed at the living conditions of so many people, and it is clearly getting worse and we have become so focused on ourselves so don't even see what is a two and half hour flight away.
We have become so accustomed to living with surplus we think we have a right to it, and fear loosing it. I am not yet 50 and grew up with one car and one bathroom. How many of us would be content and thankful to God if that was our state today? Even in the present economy we are still living better than most of the world and want more, and rail if we the we are going to have to give up any of what we have.
Instead we should thank God for the AC, the grocery story down the street, the ability to drink the water out of the tap, the electricity that works every day, and the hundreds of other little things most of the world doesn't have.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Be shrewd as serpants

"be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves"

While simple as doves may go down easily with us and fit nicely with our image of Jesus, we must also not forget the first half of the command.

Here we sit in the communication age, in the 21st century, with the tools to reach and move the entire planet and it is safe to say that your average company puts more time energy money thought study and resources into marketing toilet paper that the Catholic Dioceses of our country put into Evangelization, "marketing" the gospel to an increasingly unchurched population.
Are the mormons the only ones capable of putting together a TV commercial with high production values?
How many dioceses have even a communication office that does more than react to bad news or publish a newspaper, the modern equivalent of 8 track tape and LP's.
Today's gospel reminds us how gifted we are. We know how to get people's attention and move them. Billions are spent each year to convince people to buy what they don't need. Should we not avail ourselves of the same tools to convince people to buy into what they most need, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 5, 2010

God's love for us

Having just celebrated a wedding this weekend here in Costa Rica, I am particularly struck by the first reading.
Do we really believe in the depths of our hearts that God's love for us was, is, and always will be like the love of a newlywed.
As we will see in Hosea, even when we are unfaithful God remains head over heals in love with us.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence - gift from God

There are those who would claim that the framers of the Constitution, by not repeating the references to God found in the declaration, intentionally rejected God as the foundation
of our nation. Today, however, no one can read the words of the Declaration of Independence and fail to see that the freedom we celebrate today was and is a gift from God.
On this day they proclaimed a fundamental belief in that God not only created humanity, but endowed that humanity with rights which no human source should deny, a belief that above human law there exists natural law against which all human law must be judged and at times found wanting.
Among the hamburgers, hot dogs, beer, and fireworks, let us not forget to stop at some point and say from the bottom of our hearts, "Thank God."

Friday, July 2, 2010

True Evagelization

"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.

How seriously do we take this quote in the Catholic Church?
As I visit the churches here in Costa Rica I am struck by the contrast between the wide variety of persons at mass here and the homogenous freshly scrubbed look of the average American congregation. As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, I thank God for the incredible blessings he has bestowed on us. At the same time this gospel reminds us that we do not have to look far to see those who have no been the beneficiaries of these blessing: those who have yet to break free from poverty, alcohol, drugs, etc.
Our cities are replete with these people but do we really want them filling our pews on Sunday?
At times I fear that we would rather watch our churches grow old and empty and ultimately be closed than fill them with "the wrong kind of people."
Today's gospel reminds us that we are the Church of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, and as such we are called not simply to rail against sickness in our society but to actually do all in our power to cure every person in need of healing.
If Christ is the physician then every church building must be the hospital. The spiritual ER for the community.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


...glorified God who had given such authority to men.

The final words of today's gospel.
Much has happened in recent years to undermine our confidence in human authorities both inside and outside the church. We can easily become disillusioned and cynical.
God did give authority to those who would lead his church so that they could carry out the mission given to them and their failures in life cannot diminish that authority any more than our failures can diminish the dignity God has given to us.
Let us pray especially for those who are called to be the leaders, our bishops that God will grant them the strength and wisdom to constantly imitate Christ in the exercise of that authority.