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?





Sinwatch – Good News for November 8

8 11 2010

Luke 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

The Daily Path: Have I caused someone to sin or sinned against another?

When reading this passage I tend to think about BIG SIN instead of little sin. However, it strikes me that causing or bringing about “little sin” may be more prevalent than I’m even aware of. And in the scheme of things is a sin a sin or is there truly magnitude of sin? Murder/molestation vs lie/cheat? Perhaps this is another reason that Jesus reminds us to be on guard. Not just projecting onto others, but starting with ourselves.





Growing A Kingdom – Good News for July 26

26 07 2010

Matthew 13:31-35

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'”

He spoke to them another parable. “The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.

The Daily Path: My oldest son turned 18 last week. It’s hard to believe that the tiny infant, who I held through the night when he was afraid, is now a man. He has been the source of great joy in my life. I am so proud of him. It is my prayer that he will find a place in his heart where the love of Christ will grow like the mustard seed.





Private Lessons – Good News for January 29

29 01 2010

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: Jesus explained everything in private…

The last two lines of Mark’s gospel are rich for consideration. We know that Jesus used parables extensively to teach the Way. For man, stories are the most engaging channel for a lasting education. From before the time of Christ, right up to the strategy behind Don Hewitt’s unprecedented success with CBS’ 60 Minutes news magazine, stories have captured our imagination like nothing else. (By Hewitt’s own admission, he borrowed his approach from the Bible!)

Yet, beyond the story, we also crave a deeper understanding of things. After class, Jesus would huddle with his disciples and provide “The Explanation” behind these stories. But how can we, some 2,000 years after Jesus returned to the Father in heaven, gather around the teacher for an explanation?

While there are many traditional paths to enlightenment, such as formal and informal study, I’ve come to understand that it’s through deepening our personal relationship with God that further enlightenment begins. That is where Jesus continues to offer us deeper insights as we reflect on the Word.

Room to Chat: Father, keep all who you’ve called to share their experience with You in the light of your presence.





Looking Forward – Good News for October 27

27 10 2009

St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:18, 24-25

The sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For in hope we were saved. Not hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

Luke 13:18-21

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

The Daily Path: Today’s passages offer a little refreshment for those of us who are weary. Especially we who are spending too much time with eyes looking down at the potholes in the road… instead of looking ahead at the outstretched arms of Our Father in Heaven.

Room to Chat: Lord, kindle the flame of hope within me.

our_lady2





Your Garden – Good News for July 27

27 07 2009

Matthew 13:31-35

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.”

He  spoke to them another parable. “The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.

The Daily Path: Are you a loving gardener? Do you tend the mustard seen within your heart so that it can flourish?

our_lady2





“Super Size Me” – Good News for November 10

10 11 2008

Luke 17: 1-6

Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day  and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 

The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

The Daily Path: “Increase our faith.” Once again the Apostles demonstrate their human nature by asking for more. I’m just like them. “Give me more. I want bigger. Super size me.” Will I ever see all that I can do with what I’ve been given? What can I accomplish today with what I have right now?