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Showing posts from March, 2015

The Passion of Christ, A Gift of Love

At the end of a mission that I preached last week someone approached my and asked why the word Passion was used to describe the suffering and death of Jesus.  Good question,  Though I gave a brief and, I think, satisfactory answer, the question stayed with me.

    Given the modern day meaning of passion as the equivalent of lust and illicit sex it is understandable the the question would be raised.  I would ask that we look at another contemporary use of that word which suggests that passion is an intense dedication to someone or something.  People passionately love sports teams and hopefully they passionately love their families.  This gets us closer to the use of the words passion for Jesus' suffering and death.

   The word passion actually come from the Latin word for suffering.  In the case of Jesus it aptly describes the fact that He suffered so much because He passionately loves us. In our Franciscan tradition we eschew the emphasis on punishment as the motive for Jesu…

Seventy Times Seven Times

For the past twenty seven years I have been a member of the Franciscan Ministry of the Word team preaching parish missions all over the US and in parts of Canada as well.  We are committed, in the spirit of St. Francis, to preaching the basic Gospel message.  A key part of that message, and one that seems to touch the hearts of many people to whom we preach, is Jesus' call to forgive those who have wronged us. I happen to believe that this mandate of the Lord is the most difficult part of following Him.  Most of us probably have or have had a situation that made us think, "Forgiveness yes, but not that. I'll never forgive that." Yet Jesus never said, "OK, forgive everything but 'that'."

   What to do?  I offer some suggestions.
   1.  It's OK to be angry.  The purpose of anger is to obtain justice, not revenge.  Properly expressing anger can lead both parties to the path of reconciliation.  When the offender and the offended truly listen to e…