Turning Aside from the Way Ordained

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Matt 7:21 (NAB) 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Deut 11.18, 26-28, 32 Rom 3.21-25, 28 Matt 7.21-27 (view the readings at the USCCB site) Very interesting how the two reading cycles converge in today’s liturgy – which they certainly don’t always do. The first reading is not on a cycle, but is usually an Old Testament reading that somehow typifies, or at least contextualizes, the reading ...

Ransomed From Your Empty Way of Life

There is a strand of thought in Christianity which supposes that each person, to be saved, is obliged to believe in Jesus as the Christ, wherein they will be judged righteous by God, with no reference to the lives they have led (i.e. their works). I think this is an oversimplification, failing to grasp either the defining significance of our lived lives, or the complex character of a believing faith. I also think the second reading in today’s liturgy, 1Pet 1.17-21, is awfully difficult to reconcile with such a soteriology. 3rd Sunday of Easter, Yea...

Good Friday: The Other Mothers’ Day

As has been my custom for several years, I listened to Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) this afternoon, before attending the Good Friday liturgy. This is a remarkable work that never fails to move me. I don’t listen to it very often during the rest of the year, but it has become a Good Friday staple for me. Though Gorecki himself insists that the work has much broader meaning (no doubt), it is difficult for me to listen to it without being overwhelmed by thoughts of the insane brutality of the Nazi death camps in ...