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 Gift of Selfless Service

Chapter Talks

We want ‘glory’ but there is a cost.  This is the essential message of today’s gospel.  Jesus is addressed by James and John, two of his disciples, as ‘teacher’…and they add, “We want you to do for us whatever we ask of you” (Mk 10:35-45).  

October 17, 2021 Read More

Deep Calls to Deep

Chapter Talks

The readings for the Mass today center on the ‘shepherd’ theme.  Jesus realizes that his disciples need some solitary, silent time and space.  As they retreat to a lonely place, they see before them a crowd of people who arrived there just before them. 

July 19, 2021 Read More

Leaning on the Heart of Jesus

Chapter Talks

Jesus: the icon of God’s love, the icon stamped upon our hearts. Thus, this is our end goal (telios) to become fully open, arms outstretched in mercy and compassion.  “Acquire a heart and you shall be saved”.  This desert saying coming out of the fourth century from Abba Pambo can accompany us for our whole life’s journey!  ‘Acquire a heart’, ‘find your heart’ – To do so is our salvation. 

June 13, 2021 Read More
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