It’s God’s Job

I learned from a very wise person many years ago that there is a key to understanding the parables of Jesus. The key is this: look for something that makes no sense, something that isn’t quite right. That’s the spot to start your exploration of what the parable means. The parable of the sower is…

A Great Redeemer

When I was a child, I could walk not only around the neighborhood alone or with friends, but we could go even further and get to friends’ houses or go for bike rides and whatnot. A bunch of times I ran errands alone for my mother to stores that were about a ten-minute walk away.…

The Beautiful Shepherd

Pope Francis just opened up a new path for canonizing saints in the church, where someone is recognized for embracing death and a dead end in life for the sake of the good of others. It gets to the very core of the Christian life: being like Jesus. Some years ago I was a religious…

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Pruning

Back in 1870, the Italian states decided they wanted to form a single country, and that included the Papal States, which took up a big chunk of the middle of present Italy. The Papal States were governed politically by the Pope since the 8th century, meaning for 1100 years the Pope was the political leader…

The Time Is Now

At one point in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is eating with a bunch of tax collectors. The religious people can’t understand it at all, because these were, well, tax collectors. The tax collector was pretty much the most despised person in all of Israel. This was because they were mostly Jewish people contracted by the Roman…

Trust Him And Dig

I once went to a youth group meeting in a parish, to get to know the youth and share in some of the activities. When I arrived, we broke into groups and each group got some printout sheets about a particular saint. We were also given a poster board and some markers to make some…