The passage today is advice to the early Christian followers of Jesus to travel light, to keep a distance between themselves and their material possessions. It is undoubtedly based on advice Jesus gave his followers during his public life when he sent them forth to prepare the way in the towns and cities he was planning to visit.
It was not meant to be taken literally, but it was not meant to be dismissed as rhetoric either. Jesus and his band had a treasury, we know, because Judas the treasurer was a thief and stole from it. The apostles appointed deacons to handle administration.
The church today has enormous goods at its disposal, which generally are used well. Yet there is a terrible danger that financial administration will be confused with religious leadership – from the parish society on up to the Vatican.
Once upon a time a mommy and a daddy were preparing to take their two children for two weeks vacation in the country. They had, as do most mommies and daddies these days, a sports utility vehicle (SUV). They figured that they would travel light. For two weeks you don’t have to bring the whole house, do you?
Since the SUV was big, it was easy to pile things into it. First of all, they packed clothes. Because you can never tell what you might have to do or where you might have to go at the Lake or what the weather will be like, they didn’t really pack any more things then they would need for, let us say, a trip to Paris. Moreover they wanted their kids to look their best. So they packed comprehensive wardrobes for them too. You can never tell what might happen on a vacation, can you?
Then there was the matter of toys and similar stuff. The weather might be bad so they had to pack enough toys to keep the kids happy if they were imprisoned in a cottage for two weeks. But the weather might be good, so they had to pack enough toys that the kids wouldn’t be bored on the beach. Then each of the kids had their favorite toys without which they could not survive. Did I forget the family dog?
Eventually the SUV was fully loaded and there was room for everyone except the mommy and the daddy. So they rearranged things. There hardly was room to breathe in SUV. When they got to the lake, they had to unpack all their stuff. When their vacation was over (as alas vacations tend to be) they repacked everything to drive home. Then when they arrived home they had to unpack everything. No one was talking to one another for three days.
Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
June 30, 2013
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The first verse of today’s gospel is a major marker in Luke’s story of salvation. Jesus is now ready to be “taken up,” i.e. to move toward the final stage of his mission which must happen in Jerusalem. For that reason, “he resolutely determined (lit. set his face) to journey to Jerusalem.” For the next ten chapters, Jesus will be on this journey during which he will illustrate the meaning of the journey of faith on the part of his followers of every age. This is clearly a spiritual journey in which theology trumps all merely historical considerations.
Thirteenth Sunday: Why Did They Do It? Why Do We Do It?
Why did Elisha do it? He was a very rich farmer. He used to plow the fields following a yoke of twelve oxen. If he only owned one ox he would have been well off, but he owned a dozen. His following 12 oxen would be similar to an American farmer driving a John Deere 9630. That’s the biggest tractor that John Deere makes. I know all abut big tractors because I’m from New Jersey. Oh, and I know how to google things. Elisha doesn’t just leave the oxen; he slaughters them and makes a fire out of the plowing equipment to have feast with what must have been his numerous workers. With the oxen gone and the equipment burned, there would be no turning back for Elisha.
For Freedom Christ Set Us Free
Message: Christ has given us freedom that no one can take from us. Its practice leads to political freedom and makes possible a free – and prosperous – society.
You will notice a small difference this Sunday. Pope Francis has asked us to include St. Joseph along with the Virgin Mary in the Eucharist Prayer. He is completing what Pope John XXIII did when he mandated that the Roman Canon include St. Joseph. At that time the Roman Canon was the only Eucharist Prayer in use in the Latin Rite. Now we will mention St. Joseph in all the Eucharistic Prayers. This change is well timed because never did we more need the intercession of St. Joseph for our families, our dads and those who like Joseph are not biological fathers, but aspire to spiritual fatherhood. Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Catholics Called to ‘Daily Martyrdom,’ Says Pope Francis
During his June 23 Angelus reflection, Pope Francis said the faithful are called to follow the example of the martyrs in losing their lives for Christ, even if they do not suffer violence for their faith.
“Both in the past and today, in many parts of the world, there are martyrs, both men and women, who are imprisoned or killed for the sole reason of being Christian,” he said, noting that there are more martyrs dying violent deaths in modern times than in the early centuries of the Church.
Fight Against Secularism Unites Jews, Catholics, Pope Says
Christians and Jews can work together to challenge the contemporary problems of secularism and disrespect for the human person, Pope Francis told representatives of Judaism in a Vatican audience.
“Humanity needs our joint witness in favor of respect for the dignity of man and woman created in the image and likeness of God and in favor of peace, which is, above all, God’s gift,” the Bishop of Rome told members of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations June 24.
Top 10 Greatest Works of Catholic Mysticism
Christian mysticism in and of itself is something that greatly interests me. Soaring above the dry theological speculations of professional academia, mysticism encounters the living God face to face, though “through a glass, darkly” (1 Cor 13:12).
Now, to narrow down to only ten the greatest of the writings in all of Catholic history is nearly an impossible task. No doubt, there are many entries missing on this list that should be present. But as with any list like this, it will undoubtedly reflect the tastes and worldview of the author, so I will state without further ado that these are my votes for what I feel are the ten greatest works of Catholic mysticism that I have hitherto come across in my short life.