With our Mustard Seed of Faith

Chapter Talks

“The lamp of faith requires being continuously nourished by the heart-to-heart encounter with Jesus in prayer and in listening to his Word,” said Pope Francis.

August 08, 2022 Read More

Teach us to Pray

Chapter Talks

St. Luke’s gospel for this Sunday has three pericopes, all on the theme of prayer.  The gospel begins with one of the disciples asking Jesus to teach them to pray.  And Jesus’ reply is the Lord’s prayer.  Jesus spoke in Aramaic, and he begins by addressing God as ‘Abba’.  Most scholars assert that the use of Abba in his native language was very personal and intimate: Abba in Jesus’ language is more like ‘daddy’ in English.  What is this saying?  For Jesus God was very close to him in an intimate bond of love:  a covenant of love between Son and Father.  This covenantal relationship was confirmed at his baptism.

July 24, 2022 Read More

The Extravagance of Love

Chapter Talks

For this command that I enjoin upon you today’ (Dt 30:11)….and what is this command?  It is one simple word, a word so multi-faceted and complex, and still simple, straight-forward….something we all know from very young.  We are stamped with the Divine word of love…this is the essence of God’s command, and it is the nature of God…Love embodies the totality of who God is.  Jesus is the incarnate manifestation of Divine love and through him this unconditional love is now woven into our hearts and into the cells of our humanity.  Every human person is stamped with love… ‘agape’ love…God’s love…we have been loved first and that love beckons us from birth to death. 

July 12, 2022 Read More

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
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