Yes or no? The Good Friday edition.

EDITmoab (1).jpgMy friend Kevin Ahern, who is a theologian and ethicist said this on Twitter on Holy Thursday. I found the photo and added the text to it as a reminder of what forms crucifixion comes in. Systematic violence is inherently challenging because it is systematic. We “need” to do this, what are the “alternatives” if we do not do this, we will “get” the bad guys, and so forth.

As Jesus Christ hung on a cross he was flanked by a cross on each side. Crucified next to him were two thieves, and to one, the one who asked for help, Christ promised heaven.

There is no reconciling or rationalizing violence and death. Even when it is done to us, did we not receive the greatest lesson in not retaliating? I get the desire to retaliate, but what about the consequences? What will we choose this Triduum? To follow the Prince of Peace, the great reconciler and restorer of order and good? Or will we follow the path of crucifixion and death? The choice is ours, even if we wait until the last minute. Yes or no? To crucify or to be crucified? Yes or no? What will we choose?

Are we listening?

transfigurationToday’s Gospel, in which we hear Luke’s Transfiguration, says many important things – as do all of the Gospels. Remember, a word is never wasted in Scripture! But for today, I want to focus on this one point.

“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”

Lately, I am pretty certain that we are not listening, and I am as guilty as anyone. As a big proponent of social media in both my personal and ministerial lives, I am often out there. Trust me, I do try to be charitable – emphasis, try. I can think of one person I seriously offended recently, and that was completely unintentional. I can only imagine others who may not have spoken up.

Yesterday was an ugly free for all out in the Twitterverse. Now Facebook is one thing, and while it can get Continue reading

Unchanging, yet transforming

Pope Francis talks with cardinals as he leads the synod on the family in the Synod hall at the Vatican, October 5, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi (no relation!)

Pope Francis talks with cardinals as he leads the synod on the family in the Synod hall at the Vatican, October 5, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi (no relation!)

(Today I present a few rambling, insomnia fueled thoughts on the Synod on the Family and the state of the Church. I hope you will consider commenting, and I hope that no matter what you say, you will pray before doing so. The pause offers us all a moment of grace. How we move forward depends on the bishops – yes, but also the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us hope for the best – even if that best breaks our hearts. What are you praying for?)

You are more than likely aware of the Synod on the Family that began last year, which has resumed in Rome at this time. Depending on how you look at things, we are Continue reading

Scientia et ecclesiae

A black hole... I feel like if I fell in, I'd find God. (courtesy of APOD. )

A black hole… I feel like if I fell in, I’d find God. (courtesy of APOD. )

On Thursday I posted about going to see Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ at SUNY Albany, where he was giving a talk about Galileo. There was a little Twitter-versy (you know, a Twitter controversy!) because I called Brother Guy the “mayor of nerd and geek.” I’ll have everyone know that such things are said with the greatest respect. I see myself as church nerd meets science geek – even if I was never a great science student.

In any event, all of this was precipitated by my annoyance with something that I read in the Albany Times Union a couple of weeks ago – read that Thursday post for context. In my annoyance, I wrote a letter to the editor and dashed it off to the paper via email. A P.S. was included, saying that I would be happy to write a column for the paper’s Saturday belief page on the topic. Well, I went ahead and wrote the column and I am pleased to say that it is running today.  That Brother Guy showed up days before was a real gift, and I thank City Page editor extraordinaire Rob Brill for letting me know about the talk!

The Albany Times Union has a free and open website; I know some of you do not like to follow links, but it is safe, no registration required, no “you have 9 more articles to enjoy so please subscribe messages.” Have a look and let me know what you think! The column, entitled Church, science, in synch, can be found by clicking here.

And if you want to explore further, may I suggest, as I do in the column, to use the internet. Also consider getting daily emails from APOD via Greg Tracy, which is like a prayer for me.  (Not to mention you can offer him a little support in this great work that he does…) And don’t forget to follow Brother Guy on Twitter, where he is found @Specolations.

Let me know what you think of the column, commenting here if you will.  And please feel free to share it if you wish.