Lazarus, friend of Jesus, died in the prime of his life, torn away from family, friends, and future. The untimely death of a loved one, relative, or buddy is something most of us have experienced. It is always an experience that raises ‘if’s’ as we consider how or whether we might have prevented such a tragedy. Sometimes life hangs by a thread, and there is nothing to be done. That lesson is certainly not lost on us in the midst of the COVID-19 plague, as thousands die unexpectedly, and leaderships fumble for a grasp on it. Martha’s ‘if’ was “Lord, if you had been here….”Read More →

If you were recommending a career path to a young person, what advice might you consider? Certainly, IT would make the list; for technology is becoming more and more important in our world. I might suggest the field of audiology, as all the ear-splitting music coming out of night clubs and cars can only portend a coming generation with serious hearing disorders. Surely no one would think to recommend prophet as a vocation, although quite popular in biblical times and an important element of discipleship. There are two types of prophets. First, there are court prophets, those who are paid to tell those in powerRead More →

We are in the midst of a world crisis brought on by the emergence and fast spread of the COVID19 virus. We navigate uncharted waters as we attempt to be church in a time of limiting human contact and changing our patterns of action and interaction. How are we to be faithful when the public celebration of Mass is indefinitely suspended? For Catholic Christians that is especially painful, for we are inured to weekly physical Communion and, of course, the Mass is how we publicly celebrate who we are: the People of God unified and empowered by Word and Sacrament. Now, for a season, thatRead More →

[Although the bishop closed all of the churches of the Oklahoma Diocese until Palm Sunday, I will continue to post these weekly Sunday blogs.] The territory of Samaria lies between Judaea and the Galilee. Jews and Samaritans were bitter enemies from the time of the Babylonian Exile, when Jews believed the exile was atonement for their sins as the Chosen People, and Samaritans believed the Jews were exiled because they were heretics and they, the Samaritans, not exiled, were God’s Chosen People. The two communities have two different bibles, two different religious traditions, and they had separate Temples– the Jewish in Jerusalem, the Samarian onRead More →

John’s gospel is, to say the least, unique and contains some wonderful offerings and very bad stuff as well. (It contains seven marvellous “I am” stories intended to reveal who Jesus is, but it also contains gratuitous and virulent anti-Semitic elements.) It is very late, reflective, and theological, being completed about 70-75 years after the earthly ministry of Jesus. It was written long after the relationship between the Jesus Movement an Judaism had parted ways, and it often reflects the pain, anger, and great frustration of early Christians over mainstream Jewish rejection of Jesus and his revised messianic job description. It was complicated. John’s gospelRead More →

Today we read the first creation myth in the book of Genesis [2:15 et seq.] Like many other stories in the Jewish bible, it is an aetiology, written to give an explanation for why something is as it is. Here issues are addressed, like how we got here and, if there is a perfect Creator, why the world is a mess. However you enjoy the fanciful images of magic trees and talking snakes, there is finally one overarching message: We have free will — the ability to choose between what we know is right and what is on our agenda — and we often decideRead More →