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Showing posts from March, 2016

Raising Consciousness of God's Love

A professor in college, a Catholic priest, once highlighted the insecurity inherent to people of faith: no single tradition claims a global majority; most people in the world do not share in your beliefs.  This insecurity extends to Atheists, as well, who are similarly positioned in both their certainty and the doubt of society around them.  I spent my adolescence as someone who although raised as a Catholic Christian, did not subscribe to that or any other faith tradition.  Now as a Catholic, I still deeply respect my experiences as a young person both skeptical of the institution of religion but absolutely seeking God and to do God’s will.  Perhaps it is because of this that I can embrace both the conviction of my faith and the uncertainty of the paradigm in which we live.

I identify not only as a disciple, but as a missionary disciple, a term that on its face is contrary to the current, not unwarranted wariness of the exertion of one set of beliefs on a diversely populated world. …

Why did Jesus wash their stinky feet?

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At the Last Supper, why did Jesus wash the disciples' feet?
a)  Because they were dirty and smelled?
b)  To teach them what God's mission is really about and how to do it?
c)  Because it brought Jesus joy
d)  All of the above The answer may surprise you.

a)  Yes, they indeed were dirty and likely smelled.  As is the situation in many developing countries today, people during the time of Jesus either wore sandals (if they had means) or more likely if they were poor, went around barefoot.   The dusty and muddy paths and roads would likely have contained garbage and human and animal waste.  It was Jewish custom at the time to have a bowl of water and towels at the door for guests to wash their feet.  And, if they were wealthy, they would have a servant available to do it....usually the servant who was lowest in the pecking order.

b)  Yes.  God is love.  Jesus was sent by the trinity to show humanity God's mission of love.   Knowing that the end was near, Jesus had one last night …

Encountering Christ on Spring Break

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By Greg Darr,vocations minister and mission promoter for the Maryknoll Society, based in Minneapolis

From March 5th to March 12th, twenty-three groups of students hit the road from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, for a spring break experience entirely different from parties and vacations experienced by their peers on the beaches of Florida or Texas.  Traveling by van or bus to destinations as diverse as Tuba City, AZ, Cleveland OH, Wheeling, WV, Memphis, TN and others, these students sought to encounter those left on the margins of communities around our country.  And, from these encounters, come to see the world through their eyes.

As a Maryknoll vocation minister in the Midwest, I was privileged to accompany one Creighton group in their spring break service and justice trip to Minneapolis.  Six students spent mornings helping to tutor young Hmong students.  In other occasions throughout the week, we journeyed with the homeless, African-American youth, Somali immigrants and …

Mercy Moments: Parable of the Lost Son (4th Sunday of Lent) Mercy is the Cure for a Hardened Heart

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Four Sunday of Lent / March 5-6, 2016:  Parable of the Lost Son  (LK 15:1-3, 11-32)
In my family, the men have a history of heart conditions.  So awhile back, when my brother and I were talking about that, I had made a mental note to get a heart check up.  Then I forgot about it.  But this week I was reminded again when I heard that Pope Francis, in his weekday homily, was also talking about heart disease.  However, Pope Francis wasn’t talking about blocked arteries.  He was talking about a spiritual condition where the heart gets hardened.   A condition where the fleshy human heart that we are born with begins to turn to stone.  But not to worry though, he says, it’s curable.  The medicine is mercy.

Here’s a quick heart check up for you to see if you’re suffering from this hardened heart condition.  When you looked at the news this week, what was your reaction:  did you feel indifferent or unmoved and quickly switch to something else?  Or did you let yourself get disturbed, touched at …