At the root of the dissatisfaction in this Sunday’s gospel is envy. Even though they are not treated unfairly, the first workers of the day complain because they are envious of the generosity of the Lord. And if the love of God were finite or limited, they would have a point. But, God’s love is infinite, and we cannot be more fulfilled if we are saved. God’s love is without limit, and so everyone can be loved in fullness by God.
I knew very early in my life I did not want to be a farmer. It was hard manual labor. So many things were outside your control. The demands of the job were constant. Sometimes we know where the seed of faith falls, and we can choose how to respond. At other times, we do not know where the seed will fall, yet we can still choose to find God. Either way, trying to find God in all things, and his purpose for us, is what we need to do.
Today the readings feature unlikely heroes. Sometimes we can think we are beyond God’s forgiveness. We can believe that even with God’s grace, it is not powerful enough to turn our lives around. Whether it is big or small, God’s grace works miracles. Believe in it.
Is there anything worse for a parent than to watch their child die? It has to be the most heart wrenching and difficult type of sorrow. And if your son is killed as a common criminal, a death of shame? Unbearable. And yet that was the circumstance for Mary, the Mother of God. She bore tremendous suffering watching her son die a shameful death. How was she able to do it? The overwhelming openness she cultivated in her life to God’s grace.
Though we sin and fail, we are always loved by God. How much? So much that Jesus poured out his life for us on the Cross. What was, at the time of Jesus, an instrument of shame, becomes for Christians something to be exalted. Our Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we could live forever.
There are certain numbers in the bible that come up again and again. Ever wonder why? What is the meaning of certain numbers? Today we encounter in Peter’s question, and in Jesus’ answer the meaning of the word seven (and ten) in the bible. What exactly does Jesus mean in his answer? And what does it have to do with Genesis 4:24?
This is one of those “Do you remember where you were?” moments in history, especially for those who lived in the Northeast. Even though so much time has passed, the memories of the event are vivid. For all the students in the high school where I work, this is history. They were not born on September 11, 2001. Remembering this momentous day has to be for Christians a reminder to pray for peace and to work for justice.
Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I may not cause my brother to sin. Saint Paul in today’s first reading is talking about meat sacrificed to idols. So concerned about the potential to lead someone away from Jesus, he makes this statement about not eating meat. He is not eating meat sacrificed to idols. But he is always concerned about helping strengthen relationships with Jesus. I have never thought much about the effect of my actions on others. Do my actions serve as a hindrance to the faith life of others, keeping them from getting to know and love Jesus? Or does my witness lead them to a deeper relationship with Jesus?
We are always in the presence of God. But how often do we recall this? Today we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the Mother of God. But do we consider how many elements of God’s grace needed to work together for this miraculous event that was the birth of her son? There is, of course, the “yes” from Mary. But as a support to her “yes”, there was the faith needed by Joseph to listen to the angel. Can you imagine how challenging it was to have to tell Joseph she was both faithful and pregnant? If you remember you are in the holy presence of God at all times, you too can do miraculous things because of God’s grace.
Each morning at Christian Brothers College High School, we begin with a prayer. This is the first of prayers I created about my good friends, the saints. Today we feature Saint Martin de Porres.