It's the inside that matters

There are two important traditions going on in today’s gospel. The first is the long standing tradition of the most important commandments: love God and love neighbor. But at the same time there are traditions that arose after the Torah. And Jesus is pointing out the primacy of the tradition he mentions: loving God and neighbor. No, it is not right to shield money for the Temple at the expense of caring for your parents. The law and faith in God is not firstly for external observance — it is for internal conversion.

Mother Mary Lange: Providing opportunity in Baltimore and Beyond

Mother Mary Lange believed it important to teach young children of color the skills that would provide opportunity. Like so many founders of religious communities, she did not start with much, but her dedication to listening to the call of God set in motion something truly wonderful. She and other women had a sense that God would provide a way for their desire for religious life to become real. They had been waiting for God to show them the way — and God did. After founding her community in 1829, She started a school that still exists today in Baltimore. She, and the community she founded recognized the importance of skills and education as a way out of poverty. She provided night classes for women, vocational and career training, and homes for widows and orphans.

French Fries, Heart Disease and Evangelization

I love french fries, especially when the come from a fast food restaurant. And despite the fact they are usually salted a lot, I put more salt on them. But I know others can not have a lot of salt, and salt can be harmful to the heart. So how can we make sense of Jesus’ use and encouragement that we are to be salt for the earth? Just what does he mean? And what are we supposed to do to be the salt of the earth?

Salt: Tasty or flat?

This Sunday’s gospel reading compares the disciple to salt. Why was salt such an effective image for a disciple? And why was salt a problem too? When we look at salt throughout the scriptures we see a variety of ways it is helpful. It protects, preserves, and strengthens an alliance. But it can also be a symptom of dying things. How do we know the difference? By listening carefully to the context we find it in.

From Slave to Sister: Sr. Josephine Bakhita

“I lived a very happy and carefree life, without knowing what suffering (was)”. What a wonderful thing to be able to say. But it was not to last. The woman who described her young life in this way was to be captured by slave traders, would endure pain, torture and suffering, experienced more suffering than many. And yet, when hearing about Jesus from the Canossian Sisters, she could say this: “Those holy mothers instructed me with heroic patience and introduced me to that God who from childhood I had felt in my heart without knowing who He was.” How lovely, isn’t it? Her suffering became life-giving because of the presence of Jesus who was always with her. The example of the sisters caused her to become one of them, and to be a splendid example of the impact of a relationship with Jesus.

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