Please don’t give more money. Weren’t expecting that, were you? But I’m serious. Please allow me to explain.
The Lord Jesus frequently spoke about money. It’s not because he needed it: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” Instead, Jesus spoke about money because it’s an excellent measurement of the heart: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Thus Jesus praised the widow because she gave two pennies to the Temple treasury. He reckoned her gift greater than everyone else’s because she sacrificed everything she had, whereas others gave seemingly larger amounts but only from their surplus. But in the early Church, Annas and Sapphira were condemned for giving only half their income, apparently holding back because of their distrust.READ MORE
That’s what Tim Davis asked me when I asked him what the most urgent questions are for the RocKenRo parishes of Holy Trinity, St. John of God, and St. Malachy: “Father, what’s the big plan?” We’ve heard for months about the dramatic reorganization coming to the Church of Pittsburgh, of which we are a small part, and now the transition appears to be underway. For us, the first step is to plan to plan, to put together people, prayer, and information.
People: Our Lord Jesus called people to be his followers, assembled them into the Church, and commanded them to draw all nations to be his followers in his Church. Our main identity is therefore also our main job: people helping other people to follow Jesus.READ MORE
Every parish has many things in common, but also some distinctive virtues that shine a bit more brightly in their individual case. As the weeks go by, I’m forming general impressions of the three parishes of RocKenRo:
Warmth: St. Malachy is a classic suburban neighborhood parish of about 2,500 households and nearly 7,000 people, of whom about 800 attend Mass on an average Sunday. The school hosts a little more than 100 elementary students. The new clergy have appreciated the neighborly warmth of the faithful, who also make a special effort at maintaining genial relations with each other.READ MORE
Philosopher René Girard wrote compellingly on the spiritual origins of violence. If we could see the truth, we’d live for the God who is love, forever in joy. Instead, spiritually blind, we live in competition with each other, defining ourselves by whether we surpass or defeat them. If God doesn’t stop us, our eagerness to “win” drives us inexorably to violence, to the demonization of our enemies, and to murder.
The world often directs its resentment and murderous violence along lines of religion, through which cultures identify and apply the meaning of life. Historically, the most vivid hatred has been directed at the Jews, whose distinctive revelation from God on Mount Sinai has since ancient times discontented worldly powers.READ MORE