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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel (ἀφωρισμένος εἰς εὐαγγέλιον) of God which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including yourselves who are called to Jesus Christ; To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints (κλητοῖς ἁγίοις): Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 1: 1-7)

I recently listened to the Harvard commencem...

Friday, May 26, 2017

“’Let not your heart(s) be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms/dwelling-places (μοναὶ πολλαί); if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you (ὅτι πορεύομαι ἑτοιμάσαι τόπον ὑμῖν;)? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me…’” (Jn 14: 1-6)

In Christ, nobody is excluded. He prepares a “place” for all of us, even the misfits. This is because in Him, all of humanity is taken on and redeemed, regardless of social s...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Lord, our God, save Your people and bless Your inheritance. Protect the fullness of Your Church. Sanctify those who love the beauty of Your house. Glorify them in return by Your divine power, and forsake us not who have set our hope in You.“ (Prayer of the Second Antiphon, Byzantine Divine Liturgy)

This prayer speaks to our basic human needs for identity and belonging, which find true fulfilment in our being God’s and of God; in belonging to “the fullness (pleroma) of the Church (ekklesia).“ We might also foster our sense of identity and belonging elsewhere, in associations online or offline; cultural, political, sports-related, and so on. But none of these offer us unity with, and belonging to, “all.“ And by “all“ I mean, Creator and all of creation, visible and invisible. The Church is t...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

”Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)

At times, all sorts of things can make me a bit squirrelly about ”confession”: fear, denial, shame, self-isolation, or simply indifference.

 

But when I do bring myself to reveal, first to myself and then to God and another, the burden I’ve been carrying around, hiding, denying, and yet resenting – the burden of the misdirection of my will, called “sin,” – when I bring this out and “con-fess,” I literally “say together with” God, and the fellowship of my Church, the truth about myself. This truth sets me free from self-isolation and brings back my sense of belonging. That is, belonging to God and the rest of humanity. My burden is shared, when I share it in confession. It is no longer carried...

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