Essay: Any parish is a mix of people at various stages of their lives and a variety of emotional states. Like any family.
In today’s Gospel, the Lucan Jesus offers clear and concise directives to those who are to be his disciples in the world. First among these directives is the commission to go forth from the comfort of family and friends in order to bring the good news to the people and places Jesus would visit.
On the outside chance some NCR readers might have missed some of Pope Francis' tweets, I've gathered some of them here. These nuggets of spiritual wisdom date back to mid-May:
We cannot live as Christians separate from the rock who is Christ. He gives us strength and stability, but also joy and serenity.
A Christian is never bored or sad. Rather, the one who loves Christ is full of joy and radiates joy.
Let’s learn to lose our lives for Christ, like a gift or a sacrifice. With Christ we lose nothing!
Soul Seeing: America is a good idea -- that is neither political nor partisan but spiritual and universal.
When I was a child, the sisters taught us to pray the Angelus as the noon bell rang at school. Then, it seemed like little more than a rote recitation of Hail Marys punctuated by call and response. The faster it went, the sooner we could start lunch and recess -- and that was the real importance of the bell.
"I say in all humility, mercy is the strongest message of the Lord," Pope Francis told a group of parishioners his first Sunday as pope. "The Lord," he said, "never tires of forgiving, never! It is we who tire of asking for forgiveness. Let us ask for the grace of never tiring of asking for forgiveness because he never tires of forgiving."
One of the easiest ways to learn the uniqueness of any evangelist is to compare his final work with the sources he employed. That’s difficult to do with Mark and John, but it’s certainly easier when we’re dealing with Matthew and Luke.
Soul Seeing: The world stopped 23 years ago: April 19, 1990. Three-and-a-half-year-old Elizabeth closed her eyes and slumped.
According to a Pew Research Center study, almost 50% of gay Americans are not religiously affiliated and about a third have felt unwelcome in a house of worship at some point.
Some scholars of the Christian Scriptures insist we’ll never be able to get an accurate picture of the historical Jesus just by reading the four Gospels. They believe the portraits we find in those writings have been so deeply colored by the authors’ faith in him that the “real” Jesus has been permanently lost. Yet when pressed, even they admit there’s at least one thing about the Gospel Jesus that’s historically accurate: he was a friend of sinners. No one in the early church would have dared invent that characteristic.