We are always in God's hands

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) June 21 (Job 38:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 107; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41)

The source of much human misery lies in our desire to play God. The universe runs quite well when we allow God to drive the bus — it is only when we think that we can do a better job that everything begins to go wrong.

A deal is a deal, signed in blood, but we humans keep breaking it

Body and Blood of Christ (Year B) June 14 (Exodus 24:3-8; Psalm 116; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26)

In the ancient world, ratifying covenants and treaties was a rather bloody and messy affair. The rights and responsibilities of each party were clearly articulated, as were dire consequences for non-compliance.

'Free choice' has its consequences

{mosimage}Years ago, in the 1960s and ’70s, friends met in my parents’ living room. They were reflecting prayerfully on the legalization of abortion — then in its early stages in Canada — and forming a pro-life group because they considered abortion an unthinkable answer to social problems. Long before ultrasound, in-vitro surgery and other developments gave supporting evidence, they were sure a human person exists from the moment of conception. They felt “not speaking” and thereby sanctioning the conditional legalization of abortion (1969) would slide us towards a culture of death.

They spoke, and their pro-life descendants are still trying to speak, but with voices muffled at times, impaired by connotations of “pro-life” as narrow-minded, anti-woman, blind, hate-filled, uneducated and so on. Whatever the origins of those connotations, however inaccurate they may be, they have their effect. Many find abortion abhorrent but would never associate themselves with “the pro-life movement.”

God is always with us

Trinity Sunday (Year B) June 7 (Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Psalm 33; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20)

The universe is still in motion from the tremendous force released by creation. With their sophisticated instruments, scientists measure the cosmic reverberations and aftershocks of the Big Bang. After so many billions of years we only detect whispers and traces of that actual moment. But it is still unfolding and we experience its effects daily. Creation continues — the cosmos continues to evolve and we continue to change.

Spirit is for the common good

Pentecost (Year B) May 31 (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23)

In an extremely polarized and intolerant world, the need for God’s Spirit has never been more acute. Many mistake their own deeply held opinions as the will of God and the only truth.


Ascension's glory shared with those who walk His path

Ascension of the Lord (Year B) May 24 (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Mark 16:15-20)

How quickly people try to bend the things of God to human ends. The disciples of Jesus have scarcely recovered from the trauma of the crucifixion and the shock of the Resurrection. Jesus had to convince them that He was truly alive. The short post-Resurrection period described in the Gospels is stretched out to 40 days. As His sojourn was ending, they pressed Jesus to finally do what they had been anticipating all along: restore the kingdom of Israel — purify the land — and drive out the hated Romans.


God plays no favourites

Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year B) May 17 (Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17)

How would we feel if we saw God’s Spirit blessing our worst enemy — or one of a group we despise or fear? Would we rejoice or would we be overwhelmed by disbelief and outrage?


Love must be our way

Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B) May 10 (Acts 9:26-31; Psalm 22; 1 John 3:18-24; John 15:1-8)

Who can blame the Jerusalem community for being suspicious of Saul? He hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the Christian movement. By his own admission he was a zealous persecutor, casting many believers into prison and even voting for death on numerous occasions. He was their chief tormentor and persecutor — and now he turns up at their meetings and wants to be accepted!


Why did God become human?

{mosimage}While in school, I did a few jobs along the way. (It’s always good to have paying jobs to help avoid getting down to thesis work.)  One I enjoyed was teaching theology to Catholic teachers.

After one class on Christology, a teacher-student said to me, quite seriously:  “Are you saying the church teaches that Jesus was actually God? That God really became a human person? I don’t know if I believe that!” Bill listened so well, really taking in church doctrine, and actually let the question be raised in himself.

Jesus won't disappoint us

Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year B) May 3 (Acts 4:7-12; Psalm 118; 1 John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18)

In struggles for survival and power intelligent and compassionate dialogue is often the first victim. Words uttered or written in the heat and polemics of the moment can have a negative and even dangerous afterlife.

Jesus’ Divine gift

Third Sunday of Easter (Year B) April 26 (Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 2:1-5; Luke 24:35-48)

Peter might be forgiven a little smugness as he narrates the story of the passion and death of Jesus to some of those responsible. To be accused of rejecting the Holy and Righteous One and killing the Author of life is no small thing and the words must have hit home with a number of his audience.