One Spirit - One Love

Chapter Talks

For the readings of this Third Sunday, it is striking that two great voices and thinkers converge around one word: ‘today’. Those voices are Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar and Pope Francis.  Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar in his commentary on the readings for the Eucharist compares the ‘today’ of the first reading with the ‘today’ spoken by Jesus in the gospel.  Ezra’s proclamation in the Old Testament reading is uplifting.  He says to the people who are weeping as they receive the word of God: ‘Today is holy to the Lord your God….Today is holy to our Lord.  Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10).  Jesus’ proclamation that the ‘Spirit of the Lord is upon me’, and ‘Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing’ (Luke 4:18, 21) creates consternation among many of his listeners.  They wonder ‘who is this’, and the words Jesus speaks “seem blasphemous and…incomprehensible to his listeners” (Light of the Word, p.272).  With this text from the Epistle: “All have been given to drink of the one Spirit” (1 Co 12:13),

January 31, 2022 Read More

The Wedding Feast

Chapter Talks

With the wedding feast at Cana, we are given the third manifestation of the Incarnate Word, the Word made flesh.  God has united with humanity in sending his beloved Son to and for us, fully human and fully Divine.  The other two manifestations being Epiphany, and the Baptism of Jesus.  The miracle at Cana is “the first of Jesus’ signs, that is, symbols of the divine power at work in the Incarnate Word” (Hearing the Word of God, John Donahue, SJ, p.23).  At the beginning of this new liturgical cycle, we are given three ‘manifestations’ of God’s self-gift in Christ.  This self-gift exposes the nature of God: God is Love.  And this Love has now become part of our flesh, part of our very being.  As it is written in the Acts of the Apostles (17:28): ‘In the One with whom we move, and live and have our essential being’.  Next week we will see Jesus beginning his public ministry with his prophetic announcement “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me” (Lk 4:18).

January 16, 2022 Read More

The Baptism of Jesus

Chapter Talks

When Jesus descends into the baptismal waters there is an encounter.

What prompted Jesus to go to John and to be baptized?  What was in his heart as he descended into the waters of baptism?  What was his desire?  What was his longing?

Can we say that as he entered the waters of baptism, his heart was wide open in faith?  That he surrendered everything to hear, and to offer his life to his Abba?  An encounter indeed happened.  We know this because as Jesus comes out of the waters, he is praying.  Then, the Spirit descends upon him and a voice from the heavens, the voice of God confirms and proclaims: ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased’.

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January 09, 2022 Read More

Evangelized by the humility of Christmas

Chapter Talks

The ‘new’ is already stirring, are we humble enough to perceive it inside and out?  First in our immediate landscape, meaning within ourselves and within our sisters.  Then the ‘new’ lingers well beyond us.  The nature of God is love, which includes change, transformative change, and these grounded in humility. 

January 01, 2022 Read More

Christmas Eve 2021

Chapter Talks

On this Christmas eve morning I offer several texts that create a collage where the writers depict the mystery of the Christmas event, of God’s incarnate gift in Christ.  Along with Scripture, there is so much amazing art depicting the event for us, and then writers who have experienced and from their faith share through poetry and prose their experience of the Divine birth of God. I begin with these words of Sr. Maria Boulding: “Faith means life in the presence of God who is coming.  Joyful already, it is a prelude to joy” (The Coming of God, p.171).  Is our faith right now elusive or is it alive in anticipation of the ‘One who is to come’.  Here we are on the cusp of something ‘new’, the new of God, which longs to break into our lives…Advent has been preparing us, helping us to lean into the Christmas event which is given ‘for us and to us’.  It means change…but the change comes with grace…it comes with a new sense of Christ in our lives.

December 24, 2021 Read More
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