Rending the Heavens

First Sunday of Advent (B)

“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down with the mountains quaking before you… while you worked awesome deeds we could not hope for, such as had not been heard of from of old.” – from Isaiah 64:19-65:3

Batman. Superman. Spiderman. Wonder Woman. Thor. The Hulk. Many of you can add more such characters to my list. One of the fascinating  phenomena in American popular culture in the last century is the rise of the superhero. Someone who can combat evil with unusual powers or abilities. These characters first appeared in comic books, but they would soon make their way to TV and eventually movie stardom. Even now, successful movies continue to be made featuring them.   Continue reading “Rending the Heavens”

Like A Weaned Child

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (A): Psalm 131

Psalm 131

O Lord, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.

Nay, rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord,
both now and forever. 

In you, Lord, I have found my peace. (Psalm response)

Continue reading “Like A Weaned Child”

The Reason for Our Hope

Sixth Sunday of Easter (A): 1 Peter 3:15-18

“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence”. – 1 Peter 3:15

“I freed thousands of slaves, and could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.”
― Harriet Tubman

You may have noticed an unusual thing about the Scripture readings during this Easter season. The second reading has been taken, not from one of the letters of St. Paul, but from the First Letter of St. Peter. There is a good reason for this. This letter would make an excellent Easter Vigil homily, as it reads like it is addressed to people who have just been baptized. It has many allusions to baptism. It offers encouragement as well as reminders that both joy and struggle are to be expected for all who follow the way of Christ. This was necessary, as sporadic persecutions of Christians had already begun in the eastern Mediterranean world.  Continue reading “The Reason for Our Hope”