Archive for July, 2011

Matthew 13:31-33,44-52

July 24, 2011

Jesus was having a field day with this string of similes. The kingdom of heaven, he said, is like a mustard seed. Initially, you can scarcely tell it from a grain of sand, but then it grows exponentially, to the point where it supports and shelters other lives. Or – another window into the same mystery – the kingdom of heaven is like yeast. It grows in secret, gradually transforming its host. Or again, the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field – content and container, so to speak. You can have the content – the kingdom of heaven — but you have to take the container along with it, and it will cost you everything. Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a pearl. It is absolutely pure and beautiful, and more valuable than everything else you own put together. You can hold on to one or the other, but not both. Finally, he said, the kingdom of heaven is like a net. It gathers us all up without exception. (more…)

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Zechariah 9:9-12; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

July 8, 2011

The Fourth of July celebrates ambiguity. On the one hand we thrill to the beauty of fireworks; yet on the other hand they stand for bombs bursting in air, and all the suffering they cause. What is it then? A day of celebration or a day of mourning? Can it be both?

Many people, including Christians reason as follows. You cannot stop violence by practicing violence. Slaughtering people is not the way to peace. War never solves problems; it only leads to further crises down the road. And today’s readings support this point of view. (more…)