Love Brotherhood – Good News for January 29

29 01 2011

St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 13:1-8

Even if I can speak in all the tongues of earth—and those of the angels, too—but do not have love, I am just a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophesy such that I can comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge, or if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own to feed those poorer than I, then hand over my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind.  Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, and it is not snobbish; it is never rude or self-seeking; it is not prone to anger, nor does it brood over injuries.  Love doesn’t rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices in the truth.  There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

Love never ends.

The Daily Path: Much of the world’s unrest is being fostered by political ambitions hiding behind religion. Clearly the devil has found his unwitting disciples at home and abroad. As I read St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, I couldn’t help but wonder what might occur if we saw a global uprising sparked by the Love Brotherhood?

A simple question to all: Does the road to heaven require a gun and a bomb or love, compassion and understanding?





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





His Laborers – Good News for July 6

6 07 2010

Matthew 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

The Daily Path: I’ve been in the Sierra Nevada mountains for a few days now. This respite has provided time for me to live in the moment. The natural beauty surrounding us has cast out some of the worry associated with the future. As I look at these magnificent cathedrals – natural formations that took millions of years to create – I am reminded that it is God’s life plan for me… not my own. Glaciers advancing at a snail’s pace created the magnificence of God’s will. Who am I to worry at the timeline or path that God has created for me.

I must share an amazing moment I experienced while hiking amidst this splendor. In the afternoon, following a stream-side lunch, we stopped our hike above a waterfall. Here the water emerged from a rocky gorge to form a pool where it gathered before plunging downward on its journey to the lake some thousand feet below. It’s a spot known to hikers willing to trek a little beyond the beaten path. It’s also a place where no anxiety can exist, only peace.

We were joined there by a group of ten men who spoke in a dialect other than English. We all shared the boulders that formed a perfect rest area to enjoy this magnificent place. My wife took some photos of the kids who had climbed up onto a granite shelf above us. When they climbed back down, one of the men asked if he could be assistance by taking a group photo of my family. We took advantage of his offer and then shared some conversation that broke the ice. One of the men jumped into the pool to swim across the current. Soon my kids joined in and all cheered as one by one the kids – and me – emerged from the chilly water on the other side.

I offered my knowledge of the local area telling the group of a stunning alpine lake that was just 20 minutes up the rocky trail. After discussing the option in their tongue, about half the group decided to continue onward to see the lake.

At approximately 4:00 pm the four men who remained at the pool with us spread a light blanket on the ground next to a granite wall. One by one they removed their shoes and each in turn knelt on the blanket to pray. The men were Muslims following their daily calls to prayer. This was an incredible moment in a breathtaking venue. I wanted to join them on the blanket in prayer, but chose instead to quietly praise God for all His magnificence as I looked at my family and surroundings.

When it was time to head back down the trail, I said goodbye to each of the men shaking their hand and offering what a perfect place for prayer it was. Each broke into a big smile. In that instant, I felt we recognized each other as children of one God despite any cultural differences.

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.

He has many names, but on this day, the laborers of God were united in true faith and His peace. There was but one Gospel of the Kingdom shared among men in their own way. God gave me a glimpse of heaven and I don’t think I will ever forget the experience.





Hear Him Out – Good News for March 20

20 03 2010

John 7: 40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”

Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” Then each went to his own house.

The Daily Path: This passage hit me like a 400 lb. defensive end – translation for those of you who don’t follow sports: to be run over by a freight train. The words of Nicodemus ring out with such clarity. There are many times I have judged an individual or situation before knowing the truth. Perhaps I have jumped on the bandwagon of “popular belief” without having any experience in the truth.

What is even more hard hitting to me is that Nicodemus question doesn’t just pertain to condemnation of an accused. I would say that the question applies to so much more.

The other day I wrote about the ability to touch the wounds of Christ. The desire to embrace the leper. How can we choose to stand by as so many around us suffer when we have NO TRUE CONCEPT of what it is like to walk in their shoes? Yesterday, I waited at a stop light in downtown Oakland. A homeless woman walked slowly through the intersection. There was a time in my life when I would have become very impatient with her to get out of the way so I could proceed on my way. But this time, I looked into her eyes and saw an experience I could not begin to understand at any real depth. This moment was not about judgment – it was about opening my mind and wanting to understand. I wanted to hear her out.

Is it not also true about the faith journey? Why would I condemn Islam when I know little of it? Do I chose to hate millions because of the acts of a few? Why do so many hate Catholics when they know nothing of us? Or Jews? Or Buddhists? Or the local plumbers union for that matter. I could go on and on, but the point is that Nicodemus asks us to be mindful of experiencing the truth before we rush to judgement. Oh, my… this is a question for the ages.

Hear Him out… whoever and whatever “him” might be.





Good News for 9/11

11 09 2009

“To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic.” – Jesus