One of the joyful moments of being a priest is witnessing the vows of couples who are married in the Church. There is firm resolve in their words, a look of love on their faces, and often tears of joy. In the marriage vows, they promise to be true to one another in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. They conclude by saying, “ I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” How inspiring to see them make this commitment of love, not knowing how the future will open before them. But no matter what happens, they will have the strength and support of their mutual love and presence to one another.READ MORE
One of the values of reading history is to benefit both from the good and the bad that happened. If we do not we are certainly doomed to repeat the mistakes made in the past. We have so much good to build on from the knowledge that has been handed on to us.
Technologically we have advances that people even less than a century ago could never have dreamed of. Last Tuesday as I was praying the breviary there was this passage from the prophet Ezekiel where God said to him: “The sins of the house of Israel are great beyond measure; the land is filled with bloodshed, the city with lawlessness. They think that the Lord has forsaken the land, that he does not see them. I, however, will not look upon them with pity, nor show any mercy. I will bring down their conduct upon their heads.” It was not God who abandoned His people, it was the people who turned away from Him. Is that not happening now with the violence, anger, hatred, and divisions we have in our nation at this point?READ MORE
The first reading at Mass last Sunday made a veryclear, challenging point. Before I comment further I offerthe reading here. It is from the book of the prophetEzekiel 33:7-9:
Thus says the LORD: You, son of man, I have appointedwatchman for the house of Israel; when you hear me sayanything, you shall warn them for me. If I tell the wicked,“O wicked one, you shall surely die,” and you do notspeak out to dissuade the wicked from his way, thewicked shall die for his guilt, but I will hold youresponsible for his death. But if you warn the wicked,trying to turn him from his way, and he refuses to turnfrom his way, he shall die for his guilt, but you shall saveyourself.READ MORE
“You should not have done that.” “What you did was wrong.” “You hurt me.” “You made me angry.” None of us likes to hear these words and it is not so easy to say them to others without fearing anger in return. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Matthew 18:15-20) Jesus lays out a three-step procedure to confront someone who is doing evil. His goal is not to make us self-righteous judges, but to guide us to peace and truth with one another. But before we even think about correcting the faults of others, we need to look into our own hearts and atone for our sins with an inner resolve not to deepen the division we have with others and offer sincere apologies. The longer we let divisions and hurts fester, the longer piece is kept from the hearts of all involved.READ MORE