February 10, 2013 -
This past week I was in Atlanta offering a series of talks to a group of 60 clergymen on the topic “Building Up a Healthy Church.” These talks, which are a part of a class I teach at Holy Cross, as well as are based on the mission statement of our Sts. Constantine and Helen Church, highlight the five central characteristics that every Church and all Christians should constantly use to evaluate and cultivate our own spiritual growth.
January 27, 2013 -
This past week, tens of thousands gathered in Washington DC to mark the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v Wade. This annual March for Life draws our nation’s attention not only to the topic of abortion, but also focuses on proclaiming a culture of life instead of death. I realize that this topic is one that can passionately cause division among people, but we followers of Jesus Christ need to soberly and seriously reflect on an issue that takes the lives of 1.4 million babies a year in our own country, or approximately 55 million children since 1973, and which takes the lives of 40-50 million babies every year worldwide!
January 20, 2013 -
Imagine leading two to three million slaves into freedom, while God performs incredible miracles through your hands. You then take these newly freed slaves to Mt. Sinai and receive the Law and Ten Commandments directly from God. You have an intimate relationship with God, where the Lord speaks to you face to face, as a friend. For forty years, you lead these stubborn, hardheaded people through the desert, enduring their complaining and grumbling, while miraculously seeing God feed them daily with manna from heaven. From the time you leave Egypt, through the next forty years, you continuously talk about your destination, the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey. Then, when God sees His people finally ready to journey into the land He promised, you as their leader are only allowed to climb a mountain and see the Promised Land from a distance. You are not allowed, however, to enter into the land yourself, or go with your people!
January 13, 2013 -
How many people have seen the new movie/musical “Les Miserables?” I’d highly recommend seeing the musical, reading the book, and/or seeing the 1998 movie starring Liam Neeson. When I read this book 25 years ago, it became one of my all-time favorites! Then I saw the musical on Broadway and London, and haven’t stopped listening to the music over all these years. This powerful story has inspired countless people, not only because it has a moving plot and incredible music, but because in so many ways it’s a summary of the Gospel. Victor Hugo, the author of the original book, captured the essence of Christianity in its most practical sense by telling the story of a pathetic, broken man, rejected and despised by society, yet redeemed by God’s love and grace in the most unexpected way. And through this redemption, love transforms this miserable person into a Christ-like character. In fact, this story summarizes the lives of some of our most beloved saints – wretched, dejected sinners transformed into icons of Christ through the divine love and grace they encounter from others.
January 13, 2013 -
Such a painful tragedy as Sandy Hook is surely one of life’s greatest mysteries that no one can fully understand. Why does someone kill innocent children? How does such evil intent grow in the heart of a 20 year old man? What has our society done to cultivate such hatred, anger, evil, pain and hurt? Each question, though, is a deep mystery with which we may not find clear answers, yet we know that we have to live through this mystery with faith and hope.