Sunday, July 18, 2010

On Vacation. . .

. . .from 18 July through 31 July

Friday, July 16, 2010

Silent Epidemic. . .

. . .of malnutrition receives attention on Episode 11 of "Need To Know."

Bread For the World President, Rev. David Beckmann, speaks with Jon Meacham in the second half of the program (check PBS schedules for broadcast times).

Rev. Beckmann will address the dangers malnutrition poses to children, especially the danger posed to children by the domestic farm policy of the United States.

"Need To Know" will also air a worldwide look at this silent epidemic by photographers who worked with Doctors Without Borders to increase awareness of malnutrition and its worldwide presence.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


15July 2010 update of Tuesday's post

"Need To Know" has posted a video and story about the lawsuit between Chevron and the director of the documentary, "Crude." From that story:
Now, [Joe] Berlinger is fighting his own battle with Chevron. This past May, the company subpoenaed him to turn over 600 hours of outtakes from the film.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Future Cancers and Deaths in the Gulf?

The BP oil debacle cannot be minimized. Its repercussions on the environment and on humans remain to be seen.

At the same this story is capturing U.S. headlines, Chevron seems to be causing dire environmental and human problems in Ecuador. One of the human problems seems to be an increase in cancers.

The friend passing along this link sagely said, "We have much to learn." We may also be squandering the little time we have.
Wiki-image by F3rn4nd0 of map of Ecuador and its neighbors is used according to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday word, 11 Jul 2010

15th Sunday of the Year C (11 Jul 2010)

Dt 30. 10-14; Ps 69; Col 1. 15-20; Lk 10. 25-37

Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.

Spacious, Positive Command

Moses, we heard in the first reading, had focused on the covenant, exhorting people to renew it in their daily living: return to the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your soul. Loving God includes loving and respecting others, which is not abstract. Thus, Moses described covenant living as not too mysterious and remote for you. ...No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out. In all their variety the Sacred Writings of Israel recalled, revealed and encouraged people to carry out their covenant-responsibilities. Each day challenges us to carry out faithfully our responsibilities.

Jesus had a clear and deep awareness of the unity of covenant living, loving and respecting God and loving and respecting others. We can express its unity this way: love for God includes love for others; and love for others flows from love for God. The Jews were not ignorant of the covenant’s command to love God. They kept before them the God who liberated them from Egypt, as Moses had told them:

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your resources. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. ...Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the door-posts of your houses and on your gates.1

Bind [these words]: Jews did the first binding—at the left wrist and forehead—by placing small scrolls with those words and others into boxes wrapped and held with leather bands. They used them at morning prayer.2

The second binding—on their doorposts—was a small, scroll-shaped container with a scroll on with those verses and others. Mezuzah is Hebrew for doorpost, and the small, scroll-shaped container is called a mezuzah still.3 People touch it on entering and leaving home.

Both bindings recalled and reminded Jews of God’s presence to them and to fulfill their covenant-responsibilities. It is easier to know what not to do than to creatively respond to revelation one moment to the next. A negative command is clear: “Don’t do that.” Positive commands, on the other hand, embrace a wide fields of action. Honor your father and mother can be fulfilled in a variety of ways.

Love God and others is a positive command. With that in mind the words about the scholar of God’s revelation clothed in human words, who we heard in conversation with Jesus, may sound less strange to our ears: the scholar… wished to justify himself. The scholar was sincere, not stuck on himself. He wanted to know with clarity how to fulfill the spacious, positive command, love your neighbor. With his parable Jesus answered the scholar’s question, Who is my neighbor? with how.

Jesus’ point was that everyone is neighbor. If I am to love God with my heart, soul and resources, I am to love humans the same way. Christian love is not selective. Christians do not choose to love and respect some people but not others. “When I speak of love,” Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1964 when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, “I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response which is little more than emotional bosh.”4 Christian love responds to people and their needs because God loves and respects us; and desires us, God’s agents, to extend God’s love and respect to others. Jesus has bound himself to us, and he sends us to do the same in a genuine way not in “some sentimental and weak response” to his command.

In your daily 15 minutes with Jesus this week, be aware the Trinity desires you to be an agent of their divine love. Ask the Good Samaritan to present you to Jesus. Praise Jesus for inviting you to join him as an ambassador of his good news. Thank Jesus for how Jesus heals you, and savor your healing. Close, saying the Lord’s Prayer. As we forgive those who trespass against us always follows forgive us our trespasses. Forgiveness is always double. So is healing. Jesus heals us so that we may help others recognize and feel Jesus doing the same in them. That’s a key way you and I fulfill God’s spacious, positive love-command.


  1. Deuteronomy 6.4-9. The Hebrew word often translated as strength also means abundance, hence resources.
  2. Visit this link for more, including videos.
  3. Visit here for more about mezuzah.
  4. The text of his speech and others at the event.


Wiki-image of the phylactery for the hand is in the public domain. Wiki-image by NobbiP of a German postage stamp reproducing an artwork depicting the Good Samaritan is used according to the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday word, 10 Jul 2010

Nicholas Kacsandi-Annamae Heiman wedding (10 Jul 2010)

Sgs 2. 8-10, 14, 16a; 8. 6-7a; Ps 128; Col 3. 12-17; Jn 15. 9-12

Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.

When Not If

Annamae and Nick, today is your when. As you told me, you intuited as you began going together that you would marry. It was a matter of when not if, to use your phrase. Your intuition is felt knowledge, to use a phrase of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Felt knowledge consists of what we know and appreciate deeply. I recognize your when not if because from a young age I knew I would be a priest. Regardless of age, what we appreciate through felt knowledge we are wise to pursue because through felt knowledge God communicates to us. Through felt knowledge God communicates to us our vocations in life.

Never lose your sense of awe and God’s vivid grace in these words from the Song of Songs. We Catholics believe that God brings spouses together. The Rite of Marriage praises God’s loving action with the words: By your love and providence you have brought [spouses] together.1 The Song of Songs gives dynamism to our conviction. From a distance the bride caught sight of her spouse: my lover, here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills, until he was near enough for her to hear his constant call, “Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!” Always keep your love fresh like that. Always be surprised by it. Give to your relationship in the days, month, weeks and years to come the priority you have been giving to it in the time you have called when not if.

How to keep your love fresh? to keep it supple? to give priority to it in the future? Nick and Annamae, you recognized St. Paul’s words as “good advice.” His clothing metaphor offers you ways to receive each other’s love not only to give it. To enlarge his metaphor your married love fashions compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience as your Christian as well as your married wardrobe. Each of St. Paul’s ways of receiving love is not a technique nor is it good manners. Each clothes love in a definite situation.

It’s a challenge to receive love because when I do I am not in control. Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience will help you receive each other’s love graciously and freely. That is vital because receiving each other’s love graciously and freely equips you to give love the same way: to one another; to your children; to family and friends; and people you may never know, especially those in need.

You will notice moments which will challenge you to receive each other’s love and to give love to one another in those gracious, freeing ways. In those moments take heart! Remind each other that receiving your love and sharing it together is your when, your Catholic vocation.

Each one’s Catholic vocation, lived in ways proper to each person, shares in coming to know Jesus better and to desire to make him present. We make Jesus present by fulfilling his commandment to abide in [his] love. Your marital vocation revolves around love: God’s love for you, which has drawn you together to make one life together; receiving God’s love from one another; and giving God’s love to others graciously and freely. Solemnly pledging your love in a few moments through your wedding promises is as much your gift to us and the world as it is your gift to one another. Your when not if is a sacrament for the world as every marriage is.

Annamae and Nick, I'm proud of you, and I wish you every good thing. I congratulate you on behalf of the church. You demonstrated to me and to others, who help couples prepare for Christian marriage, that you are ready to assume your vocation. Praise God each day for bringing you together. As you show each other patience be eager to see the best in each other and build on it. As each of you experiences a difficulty or question or setback, shoulder it as one. Let edifying one another and being united in adversity as well as in joy be your signature,2 identifying you as friends of Jesus as well as one another for the sake of our world.


  1. Rite of Marriage, Prayer Over the Gifts, 112.
  2. “Signature” is what the seal in the first reading suggests. A signature-seal was worn on the arm, wrist, as a ring or as a pendant.
Wiki-image by Leon Brocard of hands forming a heart is used according to the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.