Doctors of Church – Good News for January 28

28 01 2011

Mark 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds, “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

He said, “To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

The Daily Path: Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas who was a priest and “doctor of the Church.” That leads me to a couple of thoughts. First, “What is church?” and second, “What is a doctor of the church?”

At risk of being branded “heretic” and excommunication at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition, here’s my interpretation:

I believe that church is each of us, the faith community. True church is all who hold God inside. It’s not a building. It’s not an organization. If anything divides on this earth it’s those two things. Church is coming together with God. If that is true then a doctor of church is one who aids in our spiritual health. One who helps us stay the course to and with God. A doctor of church is also one who plants the seed of God in others.

I believe each of us in our own way has the opportunity, perhaps even the obligation, to be doctors of church. Are you up for house calls?

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Troubled Times – Good News for September 12

12 09 2010

Luke 15:1-10

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable.

“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.

I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. “Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.‘ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Daily Path: I am deeply troubled by recent events in the world. The recent natural “acts of God” that have caused much suffering are not the cause of what weighs heavy on my mind, although all of those impacted need our prayers. Rather it is the words of men lashing out at one another in the name of religion and those scribes who chose to fan the flames of hatred.

I offer these three passages:

“I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.” Timothy 1:12-17

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28

Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.” Qur’an 7:199





Human Think – Good News for August 5

5 08 2010

Matthew 16:13-23

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord!  No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!  You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

The Daily Path: Human think is an obstacle in my life as it must be for many. I recently told a good friend that I feel closest to God when I am suffering. It’s then that I seem to get beyond the constant rationalization and desire for control. In those moments I am able to just say “I give up.”

“Giving up” in human think is failure. Instant relegation to the bottom of the heap. You can’t be a Mad Man if you can’t succeed. You can’t climb the pinnacle of earthly achievement if you fail. That’s what human think would lead us to believe.

But what about giving up in God think? We don’t say “give down”, the term is “give UP” Where did Jesus go when he returned to the Father? He ascended, He went UP. Jesus looked UP to his Father… Jesus held UP the bread…

In those moments of worldly defeat and suffering when we give ourselves UP to accept His will over ours, isn’t that the time when we ascend into God think?





New News – Good News for May 2

2 05 2010

Revelations 21:5

The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

John 13: 31-35

When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,and God will glorify him at once.

My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The Daily Path: Is today the day that all things in your life will be made new? I’m finding that every day holds that possibility. In fact, I’m enjoying many new things that have begun popping into my life. It’s the One at work. Open yourself up to some “new”.

It’s Sunday. Go find some love, and when you do… share it.





Calling Lazarus – Good News for March 21

21 03 2010

John 11:3

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept.

So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

The Daily Path: Today is Sunday. Roll back your stone. Go and see the Lord.

Church by Jonathan Burstein





I’m Not Dead Yet! – Good News for May 13

13 05 2009

Acts 14:19-28

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium arrived and won over the crowds. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city. On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”

They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished. And when they arrived, they called the Church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

The Daily Path: Can you believe this one? First Paul is stoned by a crowd and believed dead. So the Jews drag his body out of the city. Then Paul comes back to life as if nothing has happened and takes off on a tour of Asia Minor! Tell me this passage didn’t inspire a Monty Python sketch. 

“I’m not dead yet!”

“You’re not fooling anybody.”

“I feel happy!”

“You’ll be stone dead in a moment.”

“Let’s go on a little trip.”

Sorry, I couldn’t help but share this. 

Room to Chat: Have a good joyful laugh today. I’ll bet the devil hates that.