Privilege Shmivilege – Good News for October 13

13 10 2010

Luke 11:42-46

The Lord said, “Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”

And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”

The Daily Path: “I give you lots of money, so I’ve got a say in how things are done around here.”

“If I don’t get my way, I’m going to start a campaign to get my way or get rid of you.”

“If I still don’t get my way, I’m taking my money somewhere else.”

Woe to us who miss the lessons of Christ and allow ME run amok in the community. So often we have the chance to get off the high horse we rode in on and crawl along like everyone else just doing our best to continue on the journey. So often we don’t. Maybe God should issue “time outs” so we can have a moment to compare our actions with the lessons.

Oh You Pharisees! – Good News for October 12

12 10 2010

Luke 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

The Daily Path: Here’s a piece of the “Pharisee Trap” so many of us struggle with. Am I placing the priority on my outer appearance – in all its manifestations – or do I remain focused on my inner presence?

Freedom or Slavery? – Good News for October 11

11 10 2010

Luke 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 5:1

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

The Daily Path: Look at the news. Look around. Look in the mirror. Do you see freedom or slavery?

Death In The Family – Good News for October 9

9 10 2010

St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 3:27-29

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.

Luke 11:27-28

While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

The Daily Path: Earlier this week I read about Faisal Shahzad, the young man who has confessed to an attempted car bombing in New York’s Time Square. I was deeply troubled by his anger, lack of remorse, and call for new attacks against fellow descendants of Abraham in this and other countries.

“I will gladly kill my sister and brother for my cause,” seems to be the cry that rises up across the globe. MY Cause. ME. And ME is okay with slaughtering MINE. But it’s not MINE, it’s HIS.

All of God’s children have become targets. As St. Paul tells us in today’s passage: Forget the labels! There is only one description to catalog us all… we are one family under God. Some of us live in Pakistan. Others in Palestine, Israel, and Sudan. Many in North Korea. Still more in Iran, the U.S. and China. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we should be sitting down breaking bread, not breaking bodies. The call to prayer should be universal as we are all descendants of Abraham and familia.

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” – Jesus

Keep all of our family in your prayers. Ask that the ears of our brother Faisal – and all who harbor disregard  for any member of the family – be opened to hear the true words of God. May the grace of love, forgiveness and healing fill us ALL.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Open Up! – Good News for October 7

7 10 2010

Luke 11:5-13

Jesus said to his disciples, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Certain Places – Good News for October 6

6 10 2010

Luke 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

The Daily Path: Do you have a certain place that you find ideal for prayer? I like the outdoors and serene settings for my chats with God. But how often can we actually benefit from those surroundings? We probably spend more time stuck in a crowded commute scene or in the midst of rushing about or some stress. Perhaps I should be better at making my “certain place” for prayer Ground Zero of chaotic settings.

The Persecutors – Good News for October 5

5 10 2010

St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 1:13-24

Brothers and Sisters,

You heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, and progressed in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race, since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions. But when he, who from my mother’s womb had set me apart and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were Apostles before me; rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus.

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas and remained with him for fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the Apostles, only James the brother of the Lord. (As to what I am writing to you, behold, before God, I am not lying.) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown personally to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only kept hearing that “the one who once was persecuting us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” So they glorified God because of me.

The Daily Path: St. Paul’s letter is an incredible testimony to how the grace of God can work in anyone. One minute “Saul” is brutally persecuting Christians. The next he is miraculously transformed into Paul, preaching about the Christ, building believers across many lands. He even pleads to the truth of his witness!

There was a time when I, too, persecuted Our Lord’s followers. I didn’t attack them or cause bodily harm as “Saul” did before his conversion. But for many years I largely denied my faith and ignored the opportunity to live in Christ. I found it easier to mock my Catholic roots than choose the harder road of embracing God. I believe that God looks for the most difficult nuts to crack so that his power and complete love can be more evident for all to see.