We Christians should live by the Beatitudes the way the people of the Old Covenant lived by the Ten Commandments.

Wednesday, 11/1/17

This Chapter 5 of Matthew's Gospel purposely echoes Chapter 24 of Exodus. There Moses went up the mountain where God had him gather around him the leaders of the the twelve tribes, before giving Moses the Ten Commandments carved on stone.  

There God inaugurated the Old Law, while in today's Gospel Jesus inaugurated the New Law. It was Our Lord's intention that we should build our religious lives around the Beatitudes the way the people of the Old Law built their religious lives around the Ten Commandments.

But something has gone wrong with us. We are still living in the Old Covenant.

We all know the Ten Commandments, and we go to confession when we break any of them. But we ignore Our Lord's request that we be meek and hunger after justice.

Jesus was overcome with empty for the woman who was bent over for eighteen years.

Monday, 10/30/17

The Gospel tells the story of a woman who was bent over for eighteen year. No, that's not true. It doesn't tell her story, it just says that she was in the synagogue.

When I was seventeen eight of my classmates had summer jobs cutting grass in the Catholic cemetery. They worked under a year-round employee whose name I never hear. They always referred to him as Sickle-Ass. My classmate never mentioned the man's family or his religion, or his interest in sport or art. They usually chuckled a little when they mentioned Old Sickle Ass. They thought they were clever for giving the man that nick-name.

They never practiced any empathy by trying to share the old fellow's heartaches, but Jesus did that with the woman who was bent over for eighteen years. His concern for her washed over his soul, and he reached out and cured her.

You can find your own way for helping your neighbor as yourself

Sunday, 10/29/17

There are many many ways in which you might go about loving your neighbor.  The first reading suggests ways of aiding people who are very hard up. Let me tell  two stories about helping in other ways. 

I can remember a special instances from my years in Korea. A man in desperate conditions came to me when I was in such difficulties that I had just sold my radio to make ends met. Wanting to help the guy, I went to a number ten can of peanut butter that a GI had left with me, so I gave the man half of it I had spooned into a smaller jar.  

Watching the man going off delighted with his peanut butter, I learned something special. The man had lost the hope he needed to carry on,  and the jar of peanut butter restored his hope.

An altogether different instance  happened when I was twelve years old, but still small enough to get into movies as a child. The big theaters down town cost fifteen cents, and I had twenty-five cents that would give me the fifteen, along with two nickels for the bus fare. I guy who sat next me, introduced himself as Roger, and he asked if I had money for something to chew on during the movie. When I said I hadn't, he gave me a dime. It gave me a lovely packet of butterscotch caramels. 

Unexpected help can sometimes be special. 

Simon and Jude were among the Apostles to whom Jesus entrusted his

Saturday, 10/28/17

Today we celebrate the feast of Simon and Jude, two lesser known Apostles. Their importance comes from their being among those whom Jesus appointed to bring his teaching to the ages. We saw that at the Last Supper when Simon and Jude were among the twelve to whom Jesus said, "I have much more tom tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth."

In the Second Century St. Eusebius sadly witnessed the way Rome was giving way to  individuals with their own gospels. In 150 A.D. Pope Pius I asked Eusebius to straighten out those people. Eusebius spent years gaining the confidence of those supporters of false gospels. Then, after bringing them to see how Jesus had safeguarded his Gospel by entrusting it to the Apostles. He brought them to see that wherever the Apostles settled, they had appointed bishops to whom they had entrusted the true Gospel of Christ.