“CAN WE MODERATE OUR GREED?” (Lk 6:36-38): 18 February 2008 (Monday)
Today our Lord says something that will surely get him fired from Donald Trump’s boardroom in “The Apprentice.” Why? He gives us very bad business advice.
He says, “Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will they pour into the fold of your garment. For the measure you measure with will be measured back to you.” Continue reading “CAN WE MODERATE OUR GREED?” (Lk 6:36-38): 18 February 2008 (Monday)
“WHERE ARE YOUR HIDING PLACES?” (Mt 17:1-9): 17 February 2008 (Second Sunday of Lent)
In today’s gospel, our Lord goes to one of his favorite hiding places: the mountain. As we may have noticed in the gospels, every time the Lord gets too tired from his work, or whenever he needs to pray or to be alone, he often goes up a mountain to hide there, away from the crowds, bringing with him only his three closest disciples: Peter, James, and John. Continue reading “WHERE ARE YOUR HIDING PLACES?” (Mt 17:1-9): 17 February 2008 (Second Sunday of Lent)
“ARE YOUR WINGS TOO ENORMOUS?” (Mt 5:43-48): 16 February 2008 (Saturday)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, best known for his novels One Hundred Years of Solitude andLove in the Time of Cholera, has a bizarre short story called “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” It’s about an aging angel who literally fell from the sky. A couple found him struggling to get out of the mud. A neighbor pointed to the man’s enormous wings and told the couple that it had come to take their sick child away. Frightened, the couple locked the angel up in a chicken coop, but naturally, word quickly spread, and the entire village came to see the angel. The couple started charging an entrance fee and got very rich in the process. Continue reading “ARE YOUR WINGS TOO ENORMOUS?” (Mt 5:43-48): 16 February 2008 (Saturday)
“SHOULD I LEAVE THE CHURCH?” (Mt 5:20-26): 15 February 2008 (Friday)
As though she wasn’t controversial enough, Madonna came up with an allegedly sacrilegious music video for her song “Like a Prayer” in 1989. The video caused such a stir because aside from the usual display of Madonna’s sexuality, it used a lot of Catholic iconography like the crucifix, statues and pictures of saints, the stigmata, bleeding statues, and many others. Can’t really blame them. The video included one scene suggesting Madonna making love to a statue of a saint that came to life! Continue reading “SHOULD I LEAVE THE CHURCH?” (Mt 5:20-26): 15 February 2008 (Friday)
“SO, WHAT IF I SUPER SIZE ME?” (Mk 9:14-15): 08 February 2008 (Friday after Ash Wednesday)
In this day and age where every other person is on some kind of diet, the documentary “Super Size Me” comes as a shocker. After watching it, I couldn’t lay eyes on a Big Mac for at least six months (Actually, I’ve long stopped eating at McDonald’s for years!). The film, after all, documents thirty days in the life of filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, when he ate nothing but McDonald’s food three times a day. The result? He gained about 25 pounds and in the process, got liver damage. I guess that’s what you get for feasting on McDonald’s! Continue reading “SO, WHAT IF I SUPER SIZE ME?” (Mk 9:14-15): 08 February 2008 (Friday after Ash Wednesday)
‘DO YOU ANSWER EVERY PRAYER?’ (Mt 7:7-12): 14 February 2008 (Valentine’s Day, Thursday)
In Lars von Trier’s 1996 film “Breaking the Waves,” Bess (played by Oscar-nominated Emily Watson) is a naive, simple-minded woman who has a strange way of praying. On her knees, she speaks to God, and responds to her own prayers as God in another, lower voice. For example, she asks God a question timidly, then she changes her voice–and facial expression–to answer the question. Continue reading ‘DO YOU ANSWER EVERY PRAYER?’ (Mt 7:7-12): 14 February 2008 (Valentine’s Day, Thursday)
“HAVE YOU EVER RUN AWAY FROM GOD?” (Lk 11:29-32): 13 February 2008 (Wednesday)
The TV series “Joan of Arcadia” is about some kind of modern-day Joan of Arc, Joan Girardi, a high school girl who, like the first Joan, can hear God speak, but more than that, actually bumps into him once in a while and gets to speak with him! Of course It takes her a while before she actually gets used to the idea, especially because God looks different each time. Part of the fun in watching “Joan of Arcadia,” in fact, is that you never know when and what form God will choose the next time he appears to Joan and what seemingly trivial task he will ask Joan to do (He calls them “errands.”). The task, of course, always turns out to be an important mission. Continue reading “HAVE YOU EVER RUN AWAY FROM GOD?” (Lk 11:29-32): 13 February 2008 (Wednesday)
“HAVE YOU PRAYED WITHOUT COMMAS?” (Mt 6:7-15): 12 February 2008 (Tuesday)
One of the funniest books I’ve read in recent times—one of the very few, in fact, that have actually made me laugh out loud—is a little book called Traveling Merciesby Anne Lamott. But this funny book is also one of the most deeply spiritual books I’ve read in years. Continue reading “HAVE YOU PRAYED WITHOUT COMMAS?” (Mt 6:7-15): 12 February 2008 (Tuesday)
‘WHEN DID I SEE YOU NAKED?’ (Mt 25:31-46): 11 February 2008 (Monday)
I remember it like it happened yesterday.
One rainy afternoon ten years ago, I was walking on campus on the way to class when I saw her. Even from a distance I already caught sight of her–an old woman standing in the rain and–I could have sworn–watching me.
As I approached her, I nodded a greeting. When she murmured something under her breath before I could pass her, I stopped and turned, looking at her for the first time. Continue reading ‘WHEN DID I SEE YOU NAKED?’ (Mt 25:31-46): 11 February 2008 (Monday)
‘WHAT’S YOUR DEMON’S NAME?’ (Mt 4:1-11): 10 February 2008 (First Sunday of Lent)
My most vivid images of the devil understandably come from the movies, and it’s amazing how the shape of the devil has evolved in the imagination of filmmakers through the years. He has come a long way from the conventional red tights, horns, and tail.
The most recent significant appearance of the devil on film is found in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” Satan appears early on in the film as our Lord is shown going through his agony in the garden. It is a most unconventional appearance: You can’t tell if the devil is male or female. Eyebrows shaved, he has a feminine face and a voice that is neither masculine nor feminine. The best way I can think of describing this version of the devil is by comparing it to the lead vocalist of the 80’s band, Culture Club, Boy George–but without the make-up. Continue reading ‘WHAT’S YOUR DEMON’S NAME?’ (Mt 4:1-11): 10 February 2008 (First Sunday of Lent)