The wonderful diversity of life and worship among Roman Catholics of East and West is an example of God writing straight with crooked lines. The steady hand of the villainous Emperor Diocletian drew a line across Europe and Africa that split the empire in two, and for the most part determined how Christians would worship two thousand years later.READ MORE
Prophets have always had a tough row to hoe. Their words, often unwelcome, are used against them to persecute and even kill them. Such was the fate of the Old Testament prophets, and Jeremiah is a great example of this. Jesus endured opposition from sinners, and did not turn back from a shameful death in order to rise to a glorious new life. The ultimate prophet, Jesus sought to warn the people of his time and ours of the divisions that his words would cause, showing himself to be the prophet of all time. We all need to look at our divisions and dilemmas in light of Jesus’ teachings and warnings, and seek to understand all that he has proclaimed and taught about what will happen if we fail to listen.
Faith and hope are closely united in today's readings. The Israelites knew when the Passover was coming, and so were not in fear, but had faith and courage, "putting into effect with one accord the divine institution." In this we can see a foretelling of the Eucharist that we celebrate according to Christ's command, "Do this in memory of me."
We see that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob died in faith, although they did not see fulfillment of the promise. We live in hope that our faith will be fulfilled every time we celebrate this sacrament. We too are not to be afraid, but to have hope that ourfaith will be fulfilled in the coming of Christ.
A jar of honey lasts practically forever. The oldest jar of honey ever discovered was over five thousand years old. Honey is quite different from market-fresh produce, then; because most fruits and vegetables last only a few days, we treat them carefully. At this time of summer, we rush to find recipes for cherries and cucumbers so we won’t waste a single one. We wouldn’t feel that same urgency about honey.
In our own way, we are as delightful and fragile as ripe produce. Today’s readings urge us not to spoil, but to make good use of our limited time onearth. Ecclesiastes reminds us that because God provides for us now and always, we can manage our daily affairs without anxiety. Saint Paul encouragesthe Colossians to keep thoughts of heaven in everything they do, and Jesus himself asks us to treasure not earthly wealth, but God alone.