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Showing posts from June, 2007

TUNING OUT IN ORDER TO TUNE IN: SAYING NO TO EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT LIFE

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
July 1, 2007

Readings: 1 Kgs 19:16b,19-21 / Gal 5:1, 13-18 / Lk 9:51-62


Our contemporary language is chockfull of insights about what we value, about what we consider as important above all others. There was a time when we were told to “tune in” to a particular radio program, or to a particular TV channel. When there were but few choices available, we were advised to “tune in.” It was just a simple matter of turning the dial, and placing the arrow on the exact spot that corresponds to the desired radio frequency (which was either AM or FM).

In our times, we speak more of the need to “tune out.” With an almost endless array of choices that come along with cable TV; with so many products galore to select from, neatly stacked in heaving shelves in our “hypermarkets,” our capacity for freely making choices necessitates that we first, “tune out” or “zone out” in order to narrow down the list from which to make final choices. We literally need to un-clutter our …

A VOICE THAT POINTS, PROCLAIMS, & PROFESSES

THE NATIVITY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
June 24, 2007 (vice 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Readings: Is 49:1-6 / Acts 13: 22-26 / Lk 1:57-66, 80


Other than Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God incarnate, only St. John the Baptist is accorded the highest celebration in Church (we call it a Solemnity) on the occasion of his nativity or birthday. For one who declared in all humility, “he must increase, and I must decrease,” (Jn 3:30) St. John is a veritable towering figure in the firmament of superstars in heaven!

But today, we would do well to look at the ways by which, and through which, John the Baptist received that heavenly crown of glory that we, and many other generations, extol him for. As usual, the chosen readings for the day are our primary rich resource and reference.

First and foremost, we must acknowledge that he was a man “called and sent.” He is a man raised after the heart of God himself. This much, the first reading indirectly alludes to. Although, it is by no means clear that the p…

NAMING SIN, CLAIMING GRACE, & PROFESSING LOVE

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
June 17, 2007

Readings: 2 Sam 12:7-10,13 / Gal 2:16, 19-21 / Lk 7:36 – 8:3


God our Father, we rejoice in the faith that draws us together, aware that selfishness can drive us apart. Let your encouragement be our constant strength. Keep us one in the love that has sealed our lives. Help us to live as one family the gospel we profess. We ask this through Christ our Lord.(Alternative Opening Prayer)

As is my wont, I would like to give my own “reading” of the three passages for today.

A rebuke from the Lord (2 Sam 12) gives the “beginning action” of today’s liturgical readings. Nathan the prophet “tells it like it is” to the humbled and repentant David, who has acted selfishly before the Lord. Fundamentally guilty of “inhospitality” not only to Uriah, but more so, to the Lord God, David’s remorse and plea for forgiveness – an acknowledgment and recognition of grace from above –occasioned a happy resolution from a forgiving and loving God: “The Lord on his part…

LOVE UNDIVIDED FOR GOD; LIFE POURED OUT FOR OTHERS

ALTERNATIVE REFLECTION FOR CORPUS CHRISTI SUNDAY

Gen 14:18-20 / 1 Cor 11:23-26 / Lk 9:11b-17


The Feast of Corpus Christi, much like that of last Sunday, Solemnity of the Trinity, offers us “in broad strokes” as it were, one of the major elements of the mystery of God. Last week, I tried to develop the Trinitarian mystery, not so much in terms of God’s inner nature (ad intra), as in terms of what God really means for us (ad extra). We said that the Trinity, more than calling attention to what God is, really calls our attention to what He is for us – a Creator, Giving God who is Father, a Savior, given-for-us-God who is Son, and an Advocate Gifting God who is the Holy Spirit. The gradual revelation of who God is, was a gradual unfolding of this same God in history, in action, deep into the heart of things, as it were.

Theologians have an abstruse, but very logical word for this mystery – the “economic Trinity” as distinct from what they refer to as “immanent Trinity.”

The Trinitarian myste…

UNTIL HE COMES IN GLORY!

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord (Corpus Christi)
June 10, 2007

Readings: Gn 14:18-20 / 1 Cor 11:23-26 / Lk 9:11b-17

There is no understanding fully the feast of today without framing it in the context of what “sacramentality” is all about. Being the “sacrament of sacraments,” as St. Thomas puts it, and being both “the source and the summit of Christian life” (Vatican II), the Eucharist is eminently a “visible sign of invisible grace” (St. Augustine). In the very visible, and very ordinary reality of bread and wine, we see, and feel, and experience, in an extraordinary way, something that God meant to be so ordinary in our lives as believers – His living, loving, and gracious presence in the midst of His beloved people!

Eucharist is all about presence. Eucharist is all about the here and now, the “already” of our Christian lives, though it is focused eminently on the “not yet” of our definitive salvation in Christ. Eucharist is all about basking in God’s love, and grace now, ev…

BOASTING IN THE HOPE OF GOD'S GLORY

Alternative Reflection for Trinity Sunday

Experience, it has often been said, is a good teacher. Personal experience separates the rookie from the veteran; the wise from the merely intelligent and school smart; the prophet from the charlatan; the genuine leader from the merely titled executive. Personal experience constitutes the “abundance of the heart whereof the mouth speaks,” and a deeply felt and personal intimacy and familiarity with someone or something is the only real passport to credibility.

The intellectual expert delivers facts and figures. One listens to him or her with respect. The personal witness delivers truth and doles out trust. One listens to him or her with awe. The former speaks from the point of view of learned facts; the latter from the point of view of lived experience. The former will most likely be accepted at face value, for whatever merit there is in what he or she says; the latter will definitely go beyond being merely accepted. He or she will most likely b…