Now wait a minute. Did I just read in Paul's letter to the Ephesians that Paul was endorsing slavery and even telling Christian slaves to be obedient?
"Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ, not only when being watched, as currying favor," (Ephesians 6: 5-6)
Here’s a wild thought: women and men are equal! Many people today---perhaps a majority across the globe---wouldn’t call that thought terribly wild, even if their culture doesn’t quite measure up to it yet. Both women and men have come a long way down through the centuries, especially in recent decades.
Is there anything that keeps you bound or oppressed? An infirmity, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual? Is there anything that has made you a slave, a bad habit an addiction? In the gospel passage for today Jesus encounters an elderly woman who had been crippled for 18 years and was unable to stand upright. She was bent over. Jesus gave her words of faith and freedom and he restored her to health.
Why do Protestant denominations have leaders who are called "ministers" and "pastors", while in the Catholic religion we have priests? Let's begin with a reflection on who a priest is in the Hebrew Bible. We first find priests arising from the family of Aaron as God's people wandered in the desert from Egypt to Israel. Then there were priests connected with the family of Levite.
What can a calamity, such as a natural disaster, terrorist attacks, accidents and war teach us about God's kingdom and the consequences? Jesus used two such occasions with his Jewish audience to address the issue of sin and judgment in the Kingdom of God.
St. Paul, in the first reading, calls us to be worthy of the call we have received. No small thing. Just listen to this: "...with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace..." (Eph 4: 2-3)
In today’s first reading Paul tells the Ephesians that he kneels before the Father asking for blessings on the people of Ephesus. Paul asks that, through faith they be rooted and grounded in love; that they may have strength to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth, filling them with the fullness of God. We should be so blessed.
I have a gnawing question about the timing of Jesus' coming into our world. He came some 2,000 years ago to the small country we call the Holy Land. Through faith in his life, death, and resurrection, I am now able to know and encounter God.
Paul is known as the Apostle to the Gentiles---that is, to the non-Chosen People, non-Jewish people. His whole mission was to awaken their hearts to the fact that NOW, through Jesus, Gentiles, too, are chosen by God.
Today's gospel talks about a man who wanted Jesus to tell his brother to share his inheritance with him.
In respoonse Jesus tells a parable of a rich man who had such a large harvest that he had to buiild more storage space for it all.
We shutter to imagine what it would be like to be capture by another person so that we could be held for ransom. Or perhaps we would be snatched from the security of our home and made a slave.
Yes, Spirit does help us. It enlightens us. It illumines and enables us. It is the spirit of the Lord that enables us to make the right decision at the right time. The Spirit teaches us things about God and ourselves. He reveals the truth.
The rule is if you don't want the world to see what you write in an email, don't send it.
CSI and other shows depict how easy it is to trace emails back to the author.
As you know, with today's internet,, twitter, FaceBook, smart phones, etc., things can go viral in a flash.
In today’s Gospel Luke tells us of Christ’s appointing more than just the twelve apostles to go out and prepare the way for him and his message! He himself noted that the harvest was great and the laborers few; that it was a big task and that many would be needed to get the job done.
One of the most significant questions we Christians should ask ourselves is, "Are we any different from the people in our lives who are not Christian?" Does our belief in and commitment to Jesus make us any different?
The readings today all point to one teaching of Jesus: Let your faith lead you to INTEGRITY. Do on the outside what grace and truth---your God relationship---assures that you are on the inside!
For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm
and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5: 1)
My love for the Bible came about through many teachers. One man stands out. Some 40 years ago I was introduced to the writings of William Barclay. He was a scholar from Scotland who was born in 1907 and died in 1978.
My faith in Jesus and his love for me is integrally tied up with my faith and love of the Church. I am not able to isolate a relationship with Jesus from a relationship with the Church. I encounter Christ in the Church through the liturgy and sacraments of the Church. I put on Christ in the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism.
I loved and admired my mom dearly. Along with being confident that she loved me, she stood out as something of an extraordinary person to me. Mom was a musician. As a young girl before marriage she went the path of being a concert pianist.
In our lives, we are bombarded by the law. We elect politicians to make laws. Highways show speeding laws. Every sport has laws. In school there are laws of physics, astronomy and chemistry.
Those of us who walk with Christ undoubtedly know the power of prayer. There are many different ways to pray, but when Jesus was asked by his disciples as to which was the best way of doing it, this is what he said: “When you pray say: Father, hallowed be your name…” (Luke 11: 2)
When we place our faith in Christ, we start a journey…A journey that brings us closer and closer to God…an everlasting way. The journey is hard. It’s a daily battle between struggling with our sinful desires, and wanting to be closer to, and more like our Saviour.
It's a shame. With our ol' English language, we've lost touch with a powerful force in Jesus' message. I'm referring to the much used word to describe the message of Jesus, the word "Gospel".
"But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate." (Matthew 10: 6-9)