23 Sep

Late to the faith never too late.

Dear Parishioners,

As the Bears get set to play the Packers this Thursday I take great consolation in the last line from today's Gospel: “Thus, the last will be first and the first will be last” (Matt 20:16). The Bears have been "last" a lot of late, while the Packers have been "first." Enjoy it now, Cheeseheads. Our time is coming.

But this isn't what I want to focus on this week. Jesus gives us the parable about the workers who are brought in at different parts of the day to labor in the field. They all receive the same wage. The ones who work eight hours receive the same pay as the ones who work one hour.

16 Sep

To Forgive is Divine

Dear Parishioners,

Forgiveness is crucial. Forgiving is one of the greatest acts we can do. What's ironic about forgiveness is that we are the ones who benefit more than the person we forgive. We usually think it's the other way around—that the offender benefits because they reenter into our good graces.

09 Sep

Get Ready for Heaven

Dear Parishioners,

We shape heaven. That's right. What heaven is going to be and look like is determined, partly, by our design. Jesus tells us this much: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt 18:18).

02 Sep

Love it or hate it, there's no denying it.

Dear Parishioners,

Ah, the cross! We love it and we hate it. The cross hangs proudly, front and center, in our churches. We wear it on our chests, display it in our homes, and dangle it from our rearview mirrors in our cars. Young people tattoo it on their bodies. And yet, we despise suffering. We beg God to take away our crosses, or the crosses of our loved ones. We shake our heads in dismay when we hear of people in distress, and we do all in our power, often by service work, to help mitigate the cross. We tremble at the shadow of a cross as it comes into our lives.