Exploring the Word

30 Dec 2018

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Cycle C

Jesus, lost and found

How could you possibly lose Jesus? He’s the boy with the radiant halo and the singular genealogy. Follow the trail of minor miracles and cured childhood colds and there he is. Or so we might imagine. After all, Mary and Joseph had one child. Was it so difficult to keep track of their adolescent?

23 Dec 2018

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

The ark of life

I once saw a sculpture of this scene from Luke titled The Visitation. It showed Mary and Elizabeth, two hugely pregnant women, cradling each other and their blossoming wombs in a round ark of possibility. You could almost see these women floating on the ocean of God’s promises, buoyant with joy and hope.

16 Dec 2018

Third Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

Reason to rejoice

'Tis the season to be jolly, as the song goes. But even if the jolly gene has managed to escape you, or this particular season finds you with plenty of specific reasons not to be happy, there is cause for rejoicing here, as the Bible tells us.

9 Dec 2018

Second Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

Incarnation lessons

There now: Doesn’t the church look pretty? You’d have to be a Scrooge not to feel the heightened sense of expectation and wonder that accompanies this season, when the world around us is transformed by lights and colors and music that can only mean one thing: Christmas is on its way.

2 Dec 2018

First Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

How to behave at the end of the world

Ask anyone what he or she would do if told that death is near, and chances are that person will have an answer for you. “Call my mother!” “Forgive my son.” “Spend all my money.” “Make peace with God.”

25 Nov 2018

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Cycle B

The Kingdom of the long haul

Should our politicians be constrained in their access to the seats of power? Few Americans would vote for a return to monarchy, and most of us are content to “throw the bum out” after a few years—even if we voted that person into office to begin with. That natural skepticism seems part of the American way when it comes to being led.

18 Nov 2018

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

The age of apocalypse

I hate to admit that I grew up amid the “dawning of the age of Aquarius,” or so the contemporary musical Hair assured me at the time.

11 Nov 2018

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Who can afford to be generous?

Most people I talk to in the course of a day are pretty good folks. They take care of their families, work their jobs, pay their bills, and are responsible, law-abiding citizens. Some of them go to church or synagogue.

4 Nov 2018

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

The really big love

There seems to be some contemporary confusion about the meaning of the love command. A television series identified “big love” as a plural marriage: one husband, a bevy of wives. The title suggested that a man with several wives must have more love to give than the usual variety of husband.

28 Oct 2018

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Jesus is calling you

Finding housing near a university is never easy, but enrolling in a degree program from out-of-state made it all the more challenging. So it seemed practical to accept a room in the on-campus graduate dorm rather than hit the ground looking for a place to live.