Sermon-on-the-Mount Sense & Motivation

moses_ten_commandmentsThe Commandments do not come from some place far away from our experience. Granted, the Lord spelled them out as a list of ten on Mount Sinai, which does seem like a long way away from here. But the tables given to Moses do not say anything which we do not, in our heart of hearts, already know. Starting with the first commandment, that we acknowledge God. Truth is, all the rest of the commandments follow from #1.

And we know, practically from the womb, that a glorious Power greater than us made all and governs all. We know that our job, our common task, our vocation as human beings bound together by our inherent social nature, is: To serve the grand designs of God as faithfully and as lovingly as we possibly can. We cannot consistently maintain any other vision of life, unless we lull ourselves into living a lie by repeated acts of self-debasement. God’s plan involves glorious goodness beyond what we can imagine. He gives us the insight and the honesty to know that we must diligently and consistently serve His plan. Humbly. That’s why we exist.

So when the Lord Jesus ascended His own mount and gave a sermon explaining the Ten Commandments, unfolding all of their profound demands, He was really explaining to us the most fundamental imperatives of our own hearts. He explained what our own consciences demand of us when we give ourselves the peace and quiet to hear it.

Continue reading “Sermon-on-the-Mount Sense & Motivation”

Robes, Prayers, Etc.

Wizards Pacers BasketballSomeone is going to have to keep an eye on the Wizards for me while we are in the Holy Land.

No meltdowns, please. This is NOT a Redskinesque scenario. (Please, God.)

We can recover from an early losing streak.

…It was nice to catch a glimpse of our old friend Roy Hibbert in his Pacers uniform. Haven’t seen him since that painful Easter afternoon in 2008

Here is a homily on Mark 12:38-39

Beware the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept seats of honor. As a pretext, they recite lengthy prayers.

Our Holy Father dedicated this year to priests. 2009-2010 is the “Year of the Priest.”

year-priest-logoWhen the Pope began this Holy Year in June, he urged everyone to reflect on the “immense gift which priests represent…presenting Christ’s words and actions each day.”

But when we hear the gospel passage we just heard, it seems like the Lord is telling us that priests will receive a very serious condemnation. After all, wearing long robes, sitting up front, and reciting lengthy prayers is what we do.

Now, let’s make a distinction. It seems pretty clear that the good Lord is condemning not ALL men in robes, but just the greedy and vain ones, the ones who pray without meaning it and who glorify ourselves instead of God.

Continue reading “Robes, Prayers, Etc.”