“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the One who sent me. (Mt 10:40) Whoever welcomes any of us welcomes Jesus, and so welcomes God. Later, to reinforce the point, Jesus says that what one does for the least, it is as if it had been done for him. And what one fails to do for the least, one fails to do for him. We welcome and proclaim God’s presence by accepting others. Now let us contrast that principle with our own culture today, epitomized by judgement, exclusion, division and polarization in many spheres of life. Hospitality is a primaryRead More →

On this Father’s Day, we are living in a time of stress and division. Stress from extremely high unemployment and recession, together with fearful coronavirus epidemic. Division along racial and ethnic lines, polarized political opinions, and a radicalized religious right opposing progressives. These are difficult times for anyone, but much more for those on margins. In today’s gospel reading [Mt. 10: 24-39], Jesus prepares the motley Twelve for mission. He has demonstrated to them, and us, by his teaching and his life, what the Kingdom of God looks like: a place of human equality and respect; a place of love and radical justice, where truthRead More →

Twelve is a very important number in our history. Just look at the twelve tribes of Israel. The twelve governors of Israel appointed by Solomon. Twelve minor prophets. Jesus’ twelve apostles. The twelve fruits of the Tree of Life, in John’s Apocalypse. Twelve is the ancient numerical base of Germanic tribes — the reason we say eleven and twelve, instead of oneteen and twoteen! Twelve is an even dozen. On Memorial Day this year, there was a TV film marathon, and we watched The Dirty Dozen. The story, set during World War II, comprises a special U.S. military operation to kill high-ranking Nazi officers. TheRead More →

Although the doctrine of the Trinity would not be articulated for hundreds of years, the Bible recognizes some kind of connection among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In Second Corinthians, Saint Paul writes about “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” Today’s gospel reading [Mt. 28: 16-20] contains a late manuscript addition having Jesus say to baptise “all nations in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Nowhere in Scripture is the relationship of the three Persons ever defined. Rather, it is Catholic Doctrine, taught byRead More →

Today is the feast of the Visitation of Our Lady to her cousin Elizabeth. As the story goes, both were pregnant: Mary with Jesus, Elizabeth with John who would be called “the Baptiser” because of his ministry of repentance demonstrated by water baptism. The biblical passage for this feast day {Luke 1: 39-56] opens with Mary coming to visit Elizabeth and immediately being recognized by her: “Why I do I have this honour, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” This establishes a clear precedence that will continue in Luke, emphasizing the role of John as forerunner from whom Jesus will takeRead More →