Redemptrix

A young woman weeps
Celestial Madonna
The mother of faith

A mother’s tears fall
The young woman is pregnant
Madonna alone

Madonna crying
A mother grieves in darkness
Young woman with child

A young woman wails
The Madonna becoming
The mother of hope

Mother is moaning
A young woman hides her pain
Madonna of life

Madonna of groans
The mother’s dreams crash in waves
The young woman’s fate

Young woman rising
Madonna of dust and sand
The loving mother

Mother of the wind
A young woman praying, Ru’ha
The blind Madonna

Madonna breathing
Mother whispers to her child
The young woman speaks
She is the stranger
The girl is an alien
Her child illegal

She has no recourse
No standing before the law
They are refugees

The mother and child
Our salvation is with them
In being with them

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 17:11 – 19 ©

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 17:11 – 19 ©

 

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.10.09

 

Saved by Faith

 

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

 

The Way, Faith is Trust

 

God; the creator of the universe, God loves all people. God loves the clean and the unclean, the leper and the person in full health. God loves them both alike. God’s mercy is the inheritance of both.

 

All of the lepers were healed of their disease, one came back and gave praise to God; gave thanks.

 

The one who returned and gave thanks was healed according to his faith and trust in God.

 

The others were saved according to God’s grace and mercy.

 

The important thing to understand is that all were healed.

 

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 17:5 – 10 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.10.02

 

The Mustard Seed

 

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

 

‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”’

 

The Way, Faith is Trust

 

Pay close attention to the Gospel, especially on those occasions when the message is cryptic, or the meaning of the parable is unclear.

 

Interpret these passages from the middle of the way; with love, and with hope, and with justice.

 

Faith means trust, it is not magic. Our faith is neither the content of our beliefs, nor can it be measured for quality, quantity, or intensity.

 

Faith is trust, which a person with has, or does not have.

 

If we trust in the promise of the Gospel, in the good news which Jesus preached, then we are able to free ourselves from the greed and corruption, the class consciousness that foments injustice around the world.

 

Trust, in the good news is what allows the master to become the servant, to walk humbly in the service of justice.

 

Jesus rebukes the Apostles, he knows where their hearts are. He knows that they are using their position in the communities of believers to place themselves in positions of authority and influence over the average believer. He knows they have abandoned the way, and he encourages them to return to the place of the servant.

 

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Homily – The Gospel of John 10:27-30 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.04.17

 

The Shepherd Calls

 

Jesus said:

 

‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;

I know them and they follow me.

I give them eternal life;

they will never be lost

and no one will ever steal them from me.

The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,

and no one can steal from the Father.

The Father and I are one.’

(NJB)

Hope Follows Trust as Patience Follows Love…and the God of US

The sheep do not choose the shepherd, but rather, it is the shepherd who chooses the sheep.

Jesus, the Christ, the Word of God; in whom all that is comes to be, it is to Jesus that everything belongs.

To us Christians; Jesus is the shepherd, and the Shepherd is God; God, the creator of the universe.

There is just the one shepherd; just the one sheepfold, and whether it make sense to us or not, it is to that shepherd that we all belong.

Listen for the voice of the shepherd, and do not trouble yourself with how the shepherd speaks to you, in what language, in what text, to your sister, or your brother, to your neighbors or the stranger. The shepherd is speaking to them to, and they are listening as they are able (or willing).

Everyone that is, everyone without exception follows in the way of God, there is no other way. Do not trouble yourself if you do not understand the journey any other person is on, God is guiding them, as God is guiding you.

If you resist, God will be patient, God will wait, as God waits for everyone. For God, Jesus, the shepherd, they are love, and love is patient; as it is kind.

God will not lose a single one of us. Neither will any one of us lose God. No matter what; God is with us, because there is not place, not a single place where God is not.

4th Sunday of Easter

A Homily – The Gospel of John 20:19-31 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.04.02

 

The Doubt

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.

‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’

After saying this he breathed on them and said:

‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’

Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’ Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:

‘You believe because you can see me.

Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.

(NJB)

Faith is Trust, Not Belief

The reading for today moves us for away from the ministry of Jesus and into the life of the early church.

John’s Gospel was written roughly one hundred-twenty years after Jesus. This reading contains some fascinating glimpses into the life of John’s community.

John’s says that the apostles hid in the upper room for fear of the Jews; indicating the deep division that had already taken place between the nascent church and the Jewish people who founded it.

Jesus and the apostles were Jewish. Ninety years before John’s gospel was written, St. Paul was active in his ministry to the gentiles, arguing with St. Peter about the notion that gentiles must first become observant Jews before they could join the church.

St. Paul won that argument. The church became opened to the world, and ninety years later would come to see the Jewish tradition and its people as anathema to itself.

There was great concern for the church and its authority in this time. Jesus is imagined as a priest doing priestly things; commissioning the disciples, instantiating their office, and empowering the to pass judgement on people, to forgive or not forgive sins as the disciples saw fit.

This flies in the face of the historical Jesus; who was not a priest, but was a prophet. Jesus forgave sins, and encourages the disciples to forgive sins, not because they had the special power to do so, but because God, the creator of the universe, forgive sins. When the prophet proclaims absolution, they are not exercising a special power, they are proclaiming the will of God, and announcing something that has already happened.

This reading encourages the people to respond to mystical deeds and magical happenings; ghostly apparitions and visions, as if the claim that these supernatural events took place lent some greater authority to their work.

Many are taken in by this sort of thing, but it is always a fabrication and a lie.

In the final passage the gospel writer puts forth the notion that the miracles were real, they were performed so that people would believe that Jesus is (in a special way) the son of God, and that through this belief they would come into the church named after him, and thus become candidates for eternal life.

The construction of this ideology is; come to the church where the Gospel is given, learn the of Jesus Christ, believe it he is the Son, be rewarded with eternal life.

The scheme is Gnostic.

The church rejected it in this same era.

We should to.

The meaning of faith is trust; trust in God.

The meaning of faith is not belief, belief in a proposition or an article of dogma.

Christian faith is not; believe in Christ so that you can be saved. It is; trust God, that you are saved already.

2nd Sunday of Easter