Saturday, September 29, 2018

Harnessing the energies of love (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

  The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love.  And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
--Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Friday, September 28, 2018

If you judge people (St. Mother Teresa)

 If you judge people, 
you have no time to love them. 

--Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata          

Image source:  Jacob de Wit, Moses Chooses Seventy Elders (Amsterdam, 1737),

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sunday Gospel Reflection, September 30, 2018: Whoever is not against us is for us...

What does it mean to act in the name of God? 

   In the Book of Numbers, Moses needs help:  he’s having trouble dealing with the people of Israel, so God takes some of the spirit that is on Moses and bestows it on seventy elders – even on the two who are absent that day, Eldad and Medad, who then go on to prophesy in the camp.  Joshua objects:  Moses, my lord, stop them.  But Moses knows that God has worked beyond human expectations, laying God’s spirit on all seventy men, and they are changed by it:  they are able to play a part in God’s activity, sharing Moses’ burden and acting in the name of God, for the sake of other.  That spirit will enable them to embrace the precepts of the Lord described in Psalm 19, precepts that give joy to the heart, allowing them full participation in God’s plan.

   Jesus’ disciple John is similarly misguided.  Teacher, he says in Mark’s Gospel, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.  John’s thinking is out of focus; Jesus works beyond human expectations, allowing the man to perform mighty deeds in his name.  Look at the good that is done in my name, Jesus is telling John – transcend the limitations you have set on these circumstances and be willing to change, be willing to see the positive effect that that man might have on another.  And beware any limitations that might cause you to do harm!  The community to which James writes is not all that different:  they, too, are misguided, unclear about the effect their actions are having on others.  They have blinded themselves to reality, living only for self, ignoring the cries of the harvesters who suffer because of their actions, and the corrosion of their hearts will be a testimony against them.  James’ job is to help them see clearly, that they might act with justice in the name of God.

   God always works beyond our limited human expectations, and we aren’t always aware of God’s actions.  But if we strive to live in a way that brings joy to God, aware of the good we and others are capable of, then we will be able to participate in God’s plan, and act in God’s name.   Would that God might bestow his spirit on us all!

This post is based on Fr. Pat’s Scripture class.
Image source: