A Wise Move, Paul!

Politics makes strange bedfellows. When I start talking politics, especially as a priest, it makes folks (rightfully) nervous. After all, as a priest I’m suppose to focus on being accessible and available to all people regardless of their positions on this or that political matter. And that’s true. But I’ve also found it extremely helpful to myself and even to others to embrace the wisdom of discovering our real intentions and even…

There Are GREEKS In The Temple! Oh No!

Do you know the difference between a barrier and a threshold? It’s actually quite an important distinction. The old saying goes “good fences make good neighbors” and there’s no disputing that clear boundaries are necessary in relationships for there to be healthy communion between persons. But, what happens when a boundary gets used to diminish the value of others or even exclude someone from the “group” simply because they are who they…

You’re Breaking My Heart

“I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart, Fredo. You broke my heart.” Man, I love that scene from Godfather 2. Such a powerful moment between brothers who had little scruples about death and betrayal. But what about that phrase about a broken heart? What does that mean, after all. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my heart broken before. Whether it was unrequited love or the heartbreak of…

Go And Tell; See And Hear

Life can be discouraging at times. A wise man once told me this during a particularly discouraging time in my life: “Son, don’t quit when life is tough. You don’t throw your ticket away just because the train goes through a dark tunnel!” I still remember that today. And yet, there are dark times when the temptation to give up is very strong! In fact, during those times it seems that inner…

Times And Seasons

“To everything (turn turn turn), there is a season, (turn turn turn) and a time to every purpose under heaven.” I was 5 years old when that song was recorded and released by the Byrds. It was a song that was based on the verses in the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes. Here, Solomon struggles with the vanity of existence and the hope found in God’s ultimate will and wisdom for life. By…

Strengthen, Don’t Weaken!

Christ is risen! I love this quote: “A word of encouragement after a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after a success.” By the way, remind me sometime to tell you how I got the name “Barnabas.” Let’s face it, most of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy and fear. We are afraid of failure so much that we are frozen into never trying. But I’ve known some people…

Strange Things, Indeed

Christ is risen! It’s called “spoiling the Egyptians.” Now, before you run off and start saying “Fr. Barnabas is being disrespectful to Egyptians” (I’m not, really), let me explain what that means. It comes from the Hebrew scriptures story about the Children of Israel finally leaving the slavery they suffered in ancient Egypt. As they were going, they took with them the wealth they had earned, and the Egyptians themselves gave them…

Upside Down or Right Side UP?

Christ is risen! It actually was funny, but I had to get past my embarrassment first! You see, I had taken off my coat one winter day in Middle School and, lo and behold, I had put on my shirt inside out. All the kids saw it and started laughing. I had been in a hurry. I was going to miss the bus, and I didn’t pay attention. But it was sure…

NO Distinction!

Christ is risen! “They have to keep the rules, just like us!” Yeah, that’s true. We should all be held to the same standard. But wait a tick, have you kept the “rules” you expect others to keep? I know it’s hard to get your mind to shift from “what should be” to “what is,” but that’s what our lesson requires today. And there’s the rub, dear ones. But what if the…

Talk About An Understatement!

Christ is risen! It seems we are a society of fads. To say that our modern culture is captured by the immediate and temporary seems to be a bit of an understatement! But what about a genuine swell of reaction? I have seen in my own life the power of the tipping point when a message becomes so attractive that even those who you would never suspect of buying into a message,…