If you could have anything, what would you ask for? One man knows at once what his heart desires: “A red Ferrari!” A harried parent declares: “A long vacation without the kids.” Still another dreams of tuition for college, and the list grows longer as we all dream together: a house by the sea, marriage to a movie star, the safety of loved ones, a miraculous healing, a million dollars, peace on earth.
Exploring the Word
The kingdom of heaven is like a child accompanying her mother to the mall. As the mother peruses the rack of dresses, the little girl spies a basket of cheap bangles glittering on a low table under the phosphorescent lights.
God’s word is efficacious, as the prophet Isaiah tells us. When God speaks, things happen. “Let there be light”—and there is light.
Look out over the average assembly and what do you see? For one thing, you see that there is no average assembly.
When I was 14, I was the sort of shy, nervous adolescent you find in every high school. I hung with a group of 10 friends, all of whom shared a gawky lack of confidence.
“Fear no one,” Jesus says. Not long after, he nuances this command: Fear only the one who can destroy the soul along with the body. Soul killing may sound esoteric, but it’s pretty common nowadays. At times it feels like someone has murdered the soul of America while no one was looking.
I’ve got a wooden box that once belonged to a friend of mine. When this friend died, this beautifully carved box became mine. I wasn’t sure at first, but gradually its new purpose has become clear. It has become my memory box.
Years back, I belonged to a parish near a major theological school. Our proximity to this wealth of learning meant that now and then we were dubiously treated to guest homilists who were at work on their Ph.D.s. One religious sister must have been doing her doctoral thesis on the Trinity because she was asked to speak to us every year on this feast without fail.
These days, it’s not enough to say what you mean. If you really want to communicate, you also have to frame your idea in such a way that it will be embraced by the audience you wish to reach. This involves being sensitive to things like inclusive language and multicultural idioms, not to mention local concerns and bilingual accommodations.
When athletes in racing, basketball, or other sports leave the ground even for a few seconds, they are said to “catch air.” Especially when it comes to basketball, most of those players have a higher perspective than the rest of us who are only walking around!