May 3 2013, Remain

Recently a good friend and, in many ways mentor, wrote this in his blog: “I am more a follower of Jesus of Nazareth than the Jesus of Rome“. Many folks are asking this and similar questions these days.

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May 3, 2013 at 12:35 Leave a comment

April 7, Locked Doors

Pope Francis seems to be aware of this, and has begun calling the church to be open to the Spirit, leave its locked doors and go out to the people. On Easter he said to the people in the square, “Let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all Creation and make justice and peace flourish”

Continue Reading April 5, 2013 at 18:38 Leave a comment

March 17, Woman in Adultery

Today’s Gospel Story (John 8:1-11) is the Woman Caught in Adultery. Church law of those days said she was to be put to death by stoning. The upright men of the Story were preparing to do just that. Jesus comes on the scene and says, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”. Then he says, “Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you”. Church law condemned her, Jesus did not.

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There are similarities to this Story in our own day. People are eager to condemn any who do not stick to their interpretation of how others should live, thus inflicting the very pain Jesus had no use for. If we want to know God’s values, we need only to look at Jesus and see how he lived and the choices he made.  As Jesus hinted at when he said, “Let the one among you who is without sin”, each of us has our own story, and none of us fully understands anyone else’s story. So it is good not to be too quick to judge anybody. Each of us is a good person, made in the image of God, who is trying to get through a life that is not always easy. Judging others is a lot easier than taking a good look at ourselves.

March 16, 2013 at 10:15 Leave a comment

March 6 2013, more on Excommunication

Most of his critics, knowing very little about the practicalities of priesthood, find him to be wrong simply because he is not conducting his life as they believe he should, armchair quarterbacks who have no special insight into his prayer life or his journey. The words of Teddy Roosevelt come to mind here: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

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I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit is involved in all this. I do not claim to know just She is involved, nor do I claim to have any answers for anyone. I have enough trouble trying to figure out what I am supposed to do. The Holy Spirit has very good OPSEC (operational security, keeping Her plans secret).

This is both a disturbing and an exciting time for our diocese, and for the RC Church, but not pleasant by any means.

March 6, 2013 at 19:59 Leave a comment

March 6, Excommunication

Yesterday’s announcement by the Bishop is a disturbing event in our diocese. Probably it will lead to self-righteous judging and polarization on all sides, always, of course, in the name of Jesus. There is a lot of pain.

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Perhaps our current situation might provide some hints as to where the Holy Spirit is calling all of us. In the interests of full disclosure, I believe Jesus meant it when he said, “I am with you always, even to the end of time”, and “the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you”. I believe he was speaking not only of the universal church, but also of local churches, of our local church today.


March 6, 2013 at 11:07 Leave a comment

3 March 2013

In today’s Gospel Story (Luke 13:1-9) the people think that those who have experienced tragedy are being punished for their sins. Similar attitudes abound today, especially among folks who viciously judge and condemn any who do not share their viewpoints on whatever, or who do not toe the “official” church party line. Jesus tells them they are wrong, and reminds them to repent, to stop judging others, or they will find hard times.

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At his final public audience Benedict XVI said: “Loving the church also means having the courage to make tough choices, suffering, having always before you the good of the church and not yourself”. While he was speaking of his own choice to retire from the papacy, these words also offer both insight and encouragement to many others in the church who have made and are making very difficult decisions. In a tweet around Christmas he also said: the way to live the Year of Faith in our daily life is “by speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need.” Both of these statements offer encouragement to folks who feel a call to address what they perceive as inadequacies in the current church institutional system.

March 3, 2013 at 17:03 Leave a comment

January 23 fulfilled in your hearing

In the Gospel for this coming Sunday (Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21) Jesus in the local synagogue reads the following passage from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor; He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord; rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him; He said to them, ‘Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing’ “. But is it fulfilled in our hearing today?

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It is generally agreed that the Gospels as we know them were put together by Christian communities who were trying to discern how they could best follow and imitate Jesus in their own particular times and places. This is a worthwhile question for all of us, both communities and individuals, have been asking ever since.



January 23, 2013 at 15:50 Leave a comment

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