Spiritual Reflections: Advent is a way of life, lived in watchfulness for the God who comes not just at Christmas, but every day, in wonderful and sometimes distressing disguises.
Today's solemnity brings up a touchy subject: Jesus' kingship. Some of the other Gospel readings proclaimed on this day actually tell us not to celebrate this feast, at least not in the manner we do.
Review: In Occupy Spirituality, the authors summon us to a dialogue of openness to the genuine needs and insights of the people, especially the "new generation."
Christians always find it difficult to live their lives of faith in the present, not in the past or the future.
It's easy to reflect on being one of God's followers in the good old days, now that situations and people's response to them have become black and white. What we were then to say and do is now perfectly clear. Or to push everything into a future world in which God will have changed things enough to make our choices easy, a world in which this world's "ifs" will be turned into certainties.
THANK YOU, ANARCHY: NOTES FROM THE OCCUPY APOCALYPSE
By Nathan Schneider
Published by University of California Press, $24.95
At first reading, it may seem that there is little connection between the first reading and the Gospel. The Maccabees text reports on the successive deaths of seven sons and their mother, each of whom died as a martyr for their faith. In the Gospel, the Levirate law governs the conversation between Jesus and some Sadducees. This law provided for the marriage of a widow to her deceased husband's brother to ensure the continuance of the family line (see Deuteronomy 25:5; Genesis 38:8).
OCCUPY RELIGION: THEOLOGY OF THE MULTITUDE
By Joerg Rieger and Kwok Pui-lan
Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, $21.95
Soul Seeing: Two years ago, Soul Seeing first appeared in NCR. The column isn't about changing the world, but changing the way we see the world.
Earlier this year, news outlets reported that the Internal Revenue Service may have been targeting certain individuals and organizations and subjecting them to unnecessary audits. Given many people's less-than-positive attitude regarding taxation, this news evoked quite a bit of criticism and many a negative remark. But the aversion to taxes is not a new development. Through the centuries, many have commented on this necessary but often unwieldy burden. Will Rogers suggested that the system of taxing people and their property was primordial.
We say: Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy in an essay in America magazine outlines a compelling argument for recalibrating the church's involvement in the public square.