Archive for June, 2012

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Presentation: Faith Formation in a Digital Age

June 30, 2012

VIRTUAL COFFEE SHOPS

Presented at the 2012 Global Conference for Chaplains in Higher Education at Yale University.  

Anyone who works with university students know that, while many of them want to learn more about how to live their faith authentically, they are not likely to do anything more that feels like classwork.  Thus, we must adapt our delivery mechanisms to occur in the “in-between” moments of their lives.  Using alternative medias, such as podcasts and blogs, campus ministers, professors and student leaders can provide a virtual learning environment that builds stronger communities.

Most users of technology and media ultimately fail to bridge the gap between faith and reason, action and contemplation, or personal and community faith practices because it is understood as a resource for individuals rather than communities.  However, when used correctly, technology and media serve as a point of introduction to tailor-made applications and discussions for students and community groups.

LINK:  PBS Frontline:  “Digital Nation”

LINK:  TED Talk with Sherry Turkle

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Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 18, 2012

THE DIFFICULTY OF GROWTH

“This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.”

Our faith, Jesus tells us is like a mustard seed that starts small, but grows large.  And we hear this, but we forget that all growth is essentially a violent act:  for the plant to grow, the seed is broken, then the earth and then the plant itself as it breaks off into many branches.

And so much of that growth takes place in darkness, especially in the beginning – even we do the same.  It is a powerful metaphor.

This Sunday, we are told to be courageous, for though we do not always understand, we trust that God has not abandoned us.

CLICK HERE for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Eziekel 17:22-24; Psalm 92; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34)

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ

June 10, 2012

LOST AND GAINED

We have in our readings today, two descriptions of the two covenants as they were ratified between the divine and the human.

In our first reading, Moses promises on behalf of the people that all God has commended them, they will do as he offers the blood of young bulls to the Lord. This is part of a much longer narrative in which the Lord outlines the rules and rubrics of how the Hebrews were to pray in the presence of God.

A rubric that outlines what is necessary for sacrifices, priests, altars, etc. . . In this narrative, God also outlines what we know to be the 10 commandments and the rules for the Sabbath.

Of course now, many of those ideas are longer practiced by the Christians, because as Paul tells us in the second reading, Christ did once and for all. Because of Christ, we have a new ritual – the ritual depicted in the Gospel – the new Passover meal, which we celebrate today in this context of the Mass.

Now anytime, we replace one ritual with another – you should ask yourself what have we gained and what have we lost as we move from old to new?

This is the question we explore today.

CLICK HERE for The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ: (Exodus 24:3-8; Psalm 116; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16,22-26)

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

June 4, 2012

THE COMMUNAL EXPERIENCE

There is an implied question whenever we celebrate the Trinity that I believe helps us to understand what the Trinity is all about.  How do you experience God?  I think many of us can name many different ways, which is to say, God is revealed to us progressively.  (This is how the catechism words it)

The experience of God is one we share with all of those before us, but it is also different.  For the Hebrews, God was the Father, for the Apostles, God was Jesus and for us, God is the Holy Spirit.  But this is not to say they are different Gods; rather different experiences or revelations of the same God.

CLICK HERE for The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: (Deuteronomy 4:32-34,39-40; Psalm 33, Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20)