Jesus

Zacchaeus in his tree, by Maria Laughlin
Jesus had been able to bring the best out of people, like Peter who became the first Pope, like Zacchaus who became a generous philanthropist, like a narrow minded nationalist, Saul, who became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.We too can be like Jesus and influence people’s lives. We can encourage others or discourage them. Often we are not aware of our influence on others, but it is there nonetheless. Since we are able to affect people for better or worse, why don’t we try to...
Field of Wheat
In his parable of the Wheat and the Weeds. Jesus makes an analysis of the moral dilemma of the human race. He tells of a farmer who planted a crop of wheat. Later, under cover of darkness, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat. When the crop started to mature, weeds were growing alongside the wheat. The servants were puzzled as to how could this have happened.  Should they pull up the weeds? The farmer told them to wait until the harvest.  Then they could bundle up the...
St Peter being given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven by Christ
"Whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18)Does anyone remember Jonestown?According to the journalists, Jonestown was the biggest newspaper story there has ever been - bigger than the assassination of President Kennedy; bigger than the fall of the Berlin wall; bigger than the first man on the moon.For several days the whole world was focused in horror on one small village in the...
Jan Brueghel the Elder, The Sermon on the Mount
The Beatitudes begin with ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of God.’Poverty of spirit does not take away joy in life. Quite the contrary, it is the gateway to joy, because it enables us to surrender to ultimate reliance on God, which leads to freedom.        Paradoxically, then, we are truly rich.  Reliance on God may sound like a recipe for laziness, as if we needed to do nothing on our own.  But the reality is the...
Baby against sunset
There are different kinds of power and different kinds of authority. Military power for example, physical, political, economic, moral power, charismatic power. And different kinds of authority:  we can be forced into acquiescing to certain demands or we can be persuaded into accepting them. Power and authority are not all of a kind. Imagine four persons in a room.  The first is a dictator who wields a brutal power. Next to him sits a gifted athlete whose quickness and strength give him a...
Christ and the Disciples, a statue at Sto Domingo de Silos in Spain, Lawrence Lew OP at flickr.com
In a new book entitled, Jesus of Nazareth, German scripture-scholar, Gerhard Lohfink, describes how people in the gospels relate to Jesus in different ways. Not everyone was an apostle, not everyone was a disciple, and not everyone who contributed to Jesus’ cause even followed him. Different individuals had their own way of connecting to Jesus.  'We may say that the gospels, especially Mark, are aware of a great variety of forms of participation in Jesus’ cause. There were...
Image of a smiling boy
Nothing human can escape the delight God takes in it since the Infinite Wisdom designed for Herself a human heart in the birth of the Christchild. God has created man in His own image and, in a sense, has married human nature to the Universe. That is not to say that the Universe belongs to humanity; rather humanity belongs to the universe in Christ who offers it up in himself to his beloved Father.In the glorious urban jungles of humanity, in places like India, for example, a boy is born to...
Sr. MaryAnne is a member of an international congregation with the same spirituality as the Jesuits. The Faithful Companions of Jesus were founded in 1820. MaryAnne teaches at an FCJ school in Liverpool.In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf says “All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.” Our world is a mess: climate change, war, violence, human trafficking, poverty, hunger, disease, loneliness... We see all this and often feel helpless. How can we respond...
Image of a tree
The story of Christ and the meaning of Christmas can only be properly understood by looking at Jesus’ family tree, and by looking at how his story continues today. Why is his family tree, this long list of names in Matthew and Luke so important? Among other things, the genealogies trace Jesus' origins in a way that tells us his real story will not be grasped by anyone who thinks that Christ Jesus’ human origins contained no sin or weakness. Christ’s ancestors weren’t all saintly. Rather,...

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