Thursday, February 16, 2017


Genesis 6-9

Over the past few days in the Liturgy we have been introduced to Noah.  It is in and through Noah that God's extends an opportunity of life and love through all of humanity.

On Tuesday we encounter the reality in which God is grieved by humanity and chooses to wipe out from the face of the earth all that He had created.

God was disappointed in the one's he loved.  We have all been in that place, that place of disappointment and frustration with the decisions our loved ones had made.

Like God our hearts have been grieved.

Love is broken but not beaten, however, for in Noah humanity gets a reprieve, a second chance.

We are told that Noah stood out from his generation, from his society.  He was upright and pleasing to the Lord.  Thus, in Noah God sees a seed bed of goodness, hope, mercy and forgiveness.

Thus, to Noah and his household creation gets a second chance.
God extends an opportunity of newness rather than let the disappointment determine his course of actions.  Love is broken but not beaten.

Yesterday in the Liturgy we encounter the water subsiding and Noah stepping forth from the Ark after a seriously long time being pent up as they say.  The first act is to erect an altar and make a sacrifice of praise and thanks to God.

Now it is a good and desirable thing to give thanks to God when things go our way.  It is good to give thanks and praise when things are pleasing to us and what we expect out of life.  But this is just one part of life.

We also must endeavor to give praise and thanks to God when things are not necessarily going our way, when the circumstances are difficult and displeasing.  Here too in this environment praise and thanks must be a pleasing aroma to God.

When we thanks God for goos things the happen to us we are loving God for our sakes.  But when we thanks God when things are displeasing then we learn to love god for his own sake and this id the path way of maturity in the life of Faith.

Each day in all circumstances, like Noah, we must erect an altar of praise and thanks to God in our hearts and allow it to truly become the source of strength for our life and love as we journey forth.

In today's liturgy, creation begins anew.  Noah's sons are told to 'be fertile and multiply and fill the earth."  These were the same words give to our first parents.  Except this time something is different.  There is a consequence to the fall that continues to effect humanity.  We are told that "dread and fear of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all creatures that move about the ground and all fishes of the sea; into your power they are delivered.  Every creature shall be yours to eat..."

In the beginning , there was no fear between man and animals but rathe harmony.  There was also no eating of flesh only plants.  Now things have been turned upside down.  The flood can not undo the fall.  The external waters on the earth still do not effect the internal reality of man.  We need something more.

The bow in the sky though reminds Noah and his family of God's promise to never destroy the world by flood it also reminds them that something  more is need, something more shall come, on the horizon of tomorrow as the future unfolds an answer to the internal struggle of man from the fall shall be given.  Until then, the not yet of redemption lingers.

Which brings us to the gospel.  Jesus ask the question, "who do you say that I am?"

And the answer harkens all the way back to the time of Noah, "you are the Christ the son of the living God."  You are the one who will come to bring redemption internally where the external waters of the flood failed.  Jesus says he will give us life giving waters.  He comes to empower us and restore us.

The rainbow in a way points to Christ.

Hope has arrived in him.  He is bringer of the new covenant and establishes his church which is the the new ark by which redemption becomes fully accessible not only to man but to all of creation as we are told by St Paul, "all creation yearns for the children of God."  once we have been was he din Jesus, something int he world is changed for the better, for ever.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


Isaiah 58:7-10; Ps 112 The just man is alight in the darkness to the upright; 1 Corin 2:1-5; Matt 5:13-16

We continue to fool along in the Sermon of the mount through our Sunday readings as we anticipate the coming of the season of Lent.

Last week we were invited to heed the Beatitudes the ingredient so holiness for those who seek to follow Christ.  Today we encounter these words, "You are the salt of the are the light of the world...a city on the mountain..."

But i believe in order to full grasp these words we have to fast forward to the end of the sermon of the mount where we are told, "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock...But it did not collapse...And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand... And it collapsed.  (Matt 7 24-27 two foundations)

The foundations we build must be founded on a purpose and a plan.  We have to now what the foundation is going to be used for.  I believe these lines we encounter in today's gospel are telling us the plan and purpose of Jesus words in the sermon.  They are meant to get us to be salt and light for the world.

Our focus isn't abut getting as much as it is about giving so that the world might come to know the beauty and goodness of Christ himself.

Salt and light are not created for themselves.  They are useful in so far as they are used for other realities.  Salt does not flavor itself.  Light does not illumine itself.

What does salt do: it preserves and brings out flavor but it also kills.  We say someone is salt of the earth that means that are exhibits and examples of fundamental goodness.  We also say that when we salt the earth then we poison the ground and destroy.

The same goes with light.  Light illumine.  It illumines both the beauty to be celebrated and the ugly to be exposed and eliminated.

This is what we are called to do in the cultures we live in; we are called to illumine the beauty and invite it to be held in high esteem and imitated; we are invited to preserve the goodness and season life so that goodness can be experienced all the while destroying that which is hideous.

Discipline the disciple

Hebrews 12:4-7,11-15

The Lord disciplines those  he loves.

These are the words spoken to us from the letter of Hebrews as we begin this month of February.

The Lord disciplines those he loves.

It is no accident that the word 'discipline' and the word 'disciple' have a very similar root.

The word disciple means to be a follower and a learner.  Discipline means to train someone to follow rules and to prepare someone interiorly as well as exteriorly.

The link is obvious and not easily overlooked.

It simply means that everything we experience in life has built in it by th grace of God a learning opportunity.

Every joy, every struggle, every bit of tension and anxiety, worry or fear, love and celebration all of it is a learning opportunity for us to become more clear in discipleship.

In particularly, the hardships.  They too are, in the hands of God, a tool that is meant to chisel and shape us more perfectly into the image of Christ himself.

God wants to perfect his love in us.

At the end of each day as we look back on the day that was we should invite the Holy Spirit to show us what we were meant to learn that in the discipline experienced we might stand more perfect a disciple of Christ.

Pax et Bonum