All Things Work For Good

Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (A): Romans 8:28-30

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

All things work for good.


To many people today, that statement, taken out of its context, will seem way too optimistic. We have seen, time and time again, the evils that all too often capture our minds and wills – everything from horrifying atrocities that happen in far-off places to the mean-spirited pettiness that can afflict us where we live. When we witness terrorism, gratuitous violence of other kinds, divisions between people, childish politics, environmental dangers, economic uncertainties, and other challenges in our world, and the personal trials we all face, it becomes increasingly difficult to think that “all things work for good”. At times, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. How could Paul say such a thing, we wonder?  Continue reading “All Things Work For Good”

Babel and the Cross

Friday of the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

(A comment on this photo: This is the main entrance to the parish office of Our Lady Of The Snows in Dexter, Maine. As you can see, the parish is aptly named!)

Today’s Mass readings – the story of the Tower of Babel and Jesus’ teaching on the necessity of denying ourselves, taking up our cross each day and following him – present certain challenges to us who hear or read them today. First of all, these readings seem, at first glance, to have little to do with one another. Secondly, it is all too easy for many people to simply dismiss any readings from the early chapters of Genesis as ancient myths, impossible to square with what paleontology and archaeology teach us about the origins of humanity and civilization, and therefore irrelevant to us today. If we take a longer look, however, we may find that these two readings have a genuine connection. Moreover, stories like that of the Tower of Babel can be surprisingly relevant to our own day. Keep in mind that the book of Genesis does not intend to give us information about archaeology. It intends to diagnose what has gone wrong with humanity, and what God is doing about it.   Continue reading “Babel and the Cross”