The axis of mercy supporting the world turns on these hinges or poles, that through the Mother we have access to the Son and through the Son to the Father, so that being thus led we should have no fear that our reconciliation would be rejected.

St. Albert the Great

Quote of the Week

“It is impossible to understand what Jesus’ rising from the dead is about if we think of it as the resuscitation of a dead man. He is not described as starting life over again. He did not mythically represent new vegetation after the rains of winter are over, or human life perpetually coming forth from the dark womb of earth. He was, for the Jews who first believed in him, the ‘first-fruits’ of a harvest of all the dead. If you had the faith of the Pharisees, his appearance would have startled you, but it would not have surprised you. You would have been stunned chiefly that he was alone. That he was risen in the body was something that ultimately you could cope with.

It seems strange, at this distance of years, to try to re-create a world we have such sparse information about. We cannot reconstruct ancient Jewish religious thought and make it ours. We can save ourselves a lot of headaches, though, if we realize how much preparedness there was in those times for the notion of being raised from the dead. … After an initial shock no less than ours, pharisaic Jews like Peter and James would think, ‘God’s reign has begun! But where are the others?’

Gerard Sloyan

Quote of the Week: First Fruits

“Even though we are baptized, what we constantly lose and betray is precisely that which we received at baptism. Therefore Easter is our return every year to our own baptism, whereas Lent is our preparation for that return — the slow and sustained effort to perform, at the end, our own ‘passage’ or ‘pascha’ into the new life in Christ…. Each year Lent and Easter are, once again, the rediscovery and the recovery by us of what we were made through our own baptismal death and resurrection.”

Alexander Schmemann

Quote of the Week: Baptism

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 2-9-14

479px-Candle-flame-and-reflection public domain

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘ … You are the light of the world.’”  Mt. 5:13-14

Jesus is the light of the world (Jn. 8:12).  Yet today’s Gospel from Matthew tells us that Jesus’ disciples (that’s us!) are the light of the world.  What is going on here?

We know that Jesus is the fullest revelation of God.  He is the Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, incarnate in the world.  Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us.  He is certainly the light of the world.

But Jesus says we are the light of the world.  As disciples, we are called to become like our Master and Lord.  We are called to live lives that reveal God to the world, just as Jesus’ life revealed God to the world.  But there is more.  It is not a matter of us trying to reveal God by being good, nice, people.  There is something deeper going on.

 As the Workbook for Lectors states this week:

[Jesus] does not say we will be light “if” or that we will be salt “when.”  Because of our Baptism, we are incorporated into Christ and that status makes us salt and light.  Our very being is now sacramental and we go forth evincing Christ with every breath, for we are his body.  A married couple does not strive to become a sacrament of God’s love; they are made a sacrament when, in love, they bind themselves to each other.  What remains for them is to grow in their ability to show forth God’s love for the Church through their ever deepening love for each other….  Duties flow from identity, not the other way around.  Once we know who we are we begin to intuit what we should do.


Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 1-12-14

After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him.  And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Mt. 3:16-17

This Sunday marks the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Ordinary Time.  After the joyful celebrations and feasting of the last few weeks, we begin to return to normal.  The Gospel reminds us that things are never quite normal.  The message of Christmas, that God is with us, never ceases to be good news, even as we return to a more normal routine.

In fact, as we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord this Sunday we move from reflecting on the child Jesus to reflecting on Jesus as our great teacher and Lord.  For the next seven and a half weeks (with a detour to hear from John the Baptist next week and another for the feast of the Presentation on February 2) we hear from Matthew as he presents Jesus’ extraordinary Sermon on the Mount.

These weeks form the core teaching of the beloved Son of God.  They reveal the character and desires of the man who is God with us.  There is nothing ordinary about being a disciple of Jesus.  As we listen to the Gospel of Matthew in the upcoming weeks we will see Jesus as the divine teacher, whose teaching forms a rock upon which we can build our lives.  The Beloved Son revealed in the Gospel today is our Master and Lord.

As our lives return to normal in the coming days (if they do), let’s keep our ears attentive to the voice of the Beloved Son.  In His teaching, we discover what it means to have God with us.


Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood