This semester I have been taking a seminar on the notion of sacrifice in the old testament. The final for the class was a group project, presenting on some topic from the class in whatever fashion you wanted. So, my friend Jakob and I made a three part mini podcast series on sacrifice, called Roamin’ Bulls. You call listen to all the episodes down below.Continue reading “Sacrifice Podcast Mini Series”
Throughout lent, the scripture reading in the Office of Reading have been from Exodus. This past Tuesday the reading was Ex 32:1-20, which is the Golden Calf incident. While I was mediating on this scripture passage, something struck me that I hadn’t noticed in the past. Normally when we recount this story we focus on Israel’s infidelity, or the drama of Moses casting down the tablets, or how Aaron allowed the people to act in a way and was himself complicity in the Israel’s act of infidelity. Instead it was verse 17 that caught my attention, “Now, when Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “That sounds like a battle in the camp.”” What was Joshua doing there and not at the camp with everyone else? Well he was Moses’ attendant and was permitted to approach closer to the mountain than the rest. But he also wasn’t aware of what the Israelites were doing, because they had withdrawn to the camp. Continue reading “Exodus – Moses, Israel, and an Inflamed Mt. Sinai”
“10 Who stops wars to the ends of the earth,
breaks the bow, splinters the spear,
and burns the shields with fire;
11 Be still and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
exalted on the earth. Psalm 46: 10-11
Psalm 46 is one of my favorite psalms. In particular the imaginary in the above verses, 10 and 11, are striking to me. And so, I would like to share a small reflection on these two verses. Continue reading “Reflection on Psalm 46:10-11 “Be Still and Know That I am God””
“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Ez 36:26-27
“I do not reprove you for your sacrifices;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will accept no bull from your house,
nor he-goat from your folds.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and pay your vows to the Most High;
and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. Ps 50:8-9,12,14-15
“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:3, 7-8, 13
This past week my class was on a silent retreat in Greccio, the place where St. Francis created the nativity scene. The retreat house is set on a beautiful mountain side with many hiking trails all along the mountain. I though, didn’t get to see many of them because, I was sick most of the retreat. This though turned out to be a grace. For spiritual reading on the retreat, I brought the Sayings of the Desert Fathers and the Rule of St. Benedict. Continue reading “Reflection from My Retreat in Greccio Last Week”
In anticipation of Pentecost this Sunday I wanted to share a reflection on the Holy Spirit from my retreat last week. I spent most of my retreat reflecting on John 16:7:
“But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
For me this is one of those really challenging passages. Christ is saying that it is better for Him to return to the Father and for us to have the Advocate instead. So I questioned myself, do I believe that? Do I actually think that I would rather have the Holy Spirit as my guide instead of Christ standing before me?
When I was a young kid, I remember asking my dad one day, “Why does it seem that there are no more miracles?” (Or something to that effect) At the time I was thinking about all the great miracles that I heard from the Bible. As a child they didn’t seem to happen anymore and I was a bit puzzled by that. Unfortunately for the story, I don’t remember what my dad answered in reply. But this question comes back to me every few years, especially when I think of the parable of faith the size of a mustard seed in Mt 17:20 or when we are told to, “ask and we will receive” earlier in Mt 7:7-11. So I wonder sometimes, where are all the miracles at?
Hosanna in excelsis! I have gone “to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.” (Jn 20:1) The tomb is empty, our Lord has risen. In dying he destroyed death, and in rising restored life. Let us proclaim the glory of God as He secures the victory of our salvation. What began in the Upper Room on Thursday, journeyed to the Crucifixion on Friday, has now been finished this day. Hosanna in excelsis!
Dominus Meus et Deus Meus, my Lord and my God, pour out Your new life into me, that I may believe in you ever more fully. Fill me with your spirit, that this lenten journey might not haven been in vain, that I might not remain unaffected having stood at Your cross. Help me that I might be able to participate in Your resurrection now, that I might be found worthy to be raised up on the last day and participate in the eternal resurrection.
My God I praise you, My Lord I worship you. Stay with me this day, open my heart to see you as you did for the disciple on the way to Emmaus. Teach me how to share the joy of Your resurrection with my neighbor and enemy, that they too might share in the joy of Your resurrection. Hosanna in excelsis!
As Christ, hung upon the cross He cried out, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34) If they had known that this was the Messiah, the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, surely they wouldn’t have crucified Him. But they didn’t, they didn’t know who He was, they didn’t recognize Him. Their hearts were stone, their eyes sealed, and ears stopped. Still, Christ called out for their forgiveness.
My Lord and God, how often do I sin against you? How often is my heart stone, eyes shut, ears stopped? If only I had a heart of flesh, or eyes that saw, or ears that heard, surely I wouldn’t sin against you. I know not what I do when I offend you, the pains it caused you, the wounds I commit against myself. In my lowliness I confuse that which is evil for good and good for evil. With every sin I pierce your side, I add to your lacerations. As I pierce your side, let the blood and water flow upon me that my heart may be softened, my eyes opened, and ears unstopped. Make me know what I have done unto you.
On the cross You called out for my forgiveness. My Lord, help me to call out to accept your forgiveness. Make me know what I have done, that your mercy might heal me. Having pierced Your side let me seek your forgiveness and so stand with the Centurion who, “glorified God and said, “This man was innocent beyond doubt.” (Lk 23:47) Heal me, cleanse me Lord, that on the day of Your glory, I might be found worthy to stand at your right, and not on your left (Mt 25:31-46). My sweet mother Mary, you who watched your Son die upon the cross, come to your child now, help me in my weakness.
In Luke 10:25-37 we find a scholar of the law asking Jesus, “Who is my neighbor”, and Jesus responds with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Christ calls His listener to see those in need, even those that we don’t like, as our neighbor, and as one to love. Except, Christ seems to be more specific than just those who are in need are our neighbors. That notion is a bit general. No, instead He seem to say that person right in front of us is our neighbor. Ok, you might say, cool, I get that, what’s the fuss about.
So often in society today there are various movements to help those distant from us. For example we do 5ks to help people in war zones, cure diseases, and any number of various causes. Or we sign petitions or any number of things to help other people that are at a distance from ourselves. Our motivation is to help those less fortunate, and this is a good thing. After all, we are trying to help people in need. We love to do things to help others and make the world a better place.
The great season of Lent is upon us. 40 days dedicated to personal spiritual growth and a journey leading us into the Holy Triduum. In anticipating the Resurrection, we dedicate time now to strive to be worthy to participate in the resurrection of Christ. We all have things we are giving up, and hopefully things which we are trying to do better during this time. So often when we think of things to give up, we think of things exterior to us like: kinds of food, Netflix, YouTube, soda, Facebook, etc. How often do we look to those interior things like: complaining, judgment, uncharitableness? Continue reading “Reluctance to Battle Against Self”