Exegesis of the Gospel: John 6: 51-58 Today's Gospel pr esents us with the conclusion of the bread of life discourse. Each segment of this discourse has moved closer to a full exposur e of the Johannine theology of the Eucharist.
One of the legacies of Francis and Clare of Assisi are the many ministries they have inspired. In the United States alone, there are 23 Franciscan colleges and universities, numerous hospitals founded by Franciscan religious, countless social service organizations, and Franciscan parishes.
We are in Ordinary Time—and will be until Ash Wednesday. One of the purposes of this present liturgical season is to give us time and space to reflect on what we have just celebrated at Christmas; namely, that our God became flesh and lived among us. That is a mystery of our faith: God the Son, God from all eternity, became a human being in the person of Jesus of Nazareth born of the Virgin Mary.
Thomas Merton continues to speak with a voice that is insightful, compelling, and prophetic. His extensive writings provide ample scope for any compiler who attempts to set before the reader a coherent introduction to his thought, his questions, his concerns, his passions. Words mattered: they were Merton’s stock-in-trade, his first and most characteristic art form.
East of the Piazza del Commune in Assisi, stands the Cathedral of San Rufino. Near the church and its adjacent piazza once stood the home of the nobleman and knight, Favarone Offreduccio and his wife, Ortulana. On July 16, 1193 or 1194, Ortulana gave birth to their first of three daughters whom they named Chiara.
School is starting back up for many students around the country—and that means bullying will be back in full swing. Friar Roger Lopez, a religion teacher at a Franciscan high school, has a response to those who harm others: "There's no place for bullying the kingdom of God." Enjoy this Franciscan response to bullying!
Exegesis of the Gospel: John 6: 41-51 The bread of life discourse continues on in this week's Gospel. The misunderstanding on the part of those who reject Jesus plays a central part in what Jesus has to say. The dynamic is typical Johannine. A misunderstanding is used to allow Jesus to move his hearers below the literal surface of the issue at hand. Not everyone can make that move. The issue is the meaning of Jesus as the bread of life.
To say that there is a Franciscan approach to economics, to business practice, appears to many an organizational leader as a pious exaggeration or a delusion. How can an order founded by a man dedicated to absolute poverty claim to have wisdom to offer in a market-driven society? What do I mean by Franciscan economics? Often, the American capitalistic economic worldview is a zero sum game based on scarcity. If you win, I lose, and vice versa. Franciscan economics sees a world of abundance and what I like to call “Just enough.”
Q. If God is all-powerful and all-good, why does evil exist? I have heard the theories of human free will, responsibility, and weakness after Adam and Eve’s fall. We simply don’t know why God allows what God allows. Why is there so much unbearable injustice in the world? A. The evidence of human suffering is undeniable. If someone uses that fact as a reason not to believe in God, the suffering doesn't disappear. In fact, it may be even harder to handle.
You and I are sometimes like radios or TV sets that are not properly tuned in to a station or channel. The news announcers or entertainers are out there talking or singing away. The station is sending out live signals. But if we have not turned on our sets or failed to dial in the station correctly, there will be no communication! This is often our problem with God. God is out there—as well as inside us—beaming forth love, goodness and inspiration. But it’s lost on us because we fail to pray, to tune in or open ourselves to God’s loving presence.