Author: Christopher Vogt

Say “No” to Physician-Assisted Suicide

Late last week the California state legislature subverted their own rules by pushing through “The End of Life Option Act” during a special legislative session after the bill had failed to clear the proper committees earlier this summer.   Currently the measure is awaiting further action from Gov. Jerry Brown who has not indicated whether he will sign it into law.   This act would legalize physician assisted suicide in the largest state in the union and provide political momentum for similar measures in other states.   Although its supporters claim that laws like this one are necessary to protect the freedom...

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Love, Faith, and Works – The Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time IS 50:5-9A PS 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9 JAS 2:14-18 MK 8:27-35   Many of us go to church seeking to be saved. Some seek to be saved from the uncertainties of the world. Some want to be saved from a life that seems hollow or even meaningless. Some go to be saved from loneliness, or from their fear of death. Some go to be saved from a past marked by sin and regret.   This impulse is not entirely wrong.   To know that we are incomplete without God, to know that we are finite and...

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The Most Holy Trinity

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity Lectionary #165 Deut 4:32-34, 39-40 Psalm 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22 (12b) Romans 8:14-17 Matthew 28:16-20   “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” There were no baptisms celebrated at this year’s Easter Vigil Mass at my parish. I found that to be disappointing on two levels. I missed the Baptismal Rite itself, which I find to be one of the most moving parts...

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Third Sunday of Easter — Death and the Hope of Resurrection

The Third Sunday of Easter Lectionary: 47 Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 Ps 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9 1 Jn 2:1-5a Lk 24:35-48   Why so many weeks of Easter you may ask? Do we really need another set of stories about Jesus returning to visit the disciples after his death?   Isn’t the message pretty straightforward? He is risen! It is clear from this week’s Gospel (and others in the Easter season) that the disciples were confused and did not really understand the nature and meaning of the resurrection. They were still in shock from Jesus’ sudden, violent death. They had a...

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To be Called and to Follow – Second Sundary in Ordinary Time

Lectionary #65 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19 Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10 (8a and 9a) 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20 John 1:35-42   I ride the Long Island Railroad to work.  Almost every day there are two or three people standing outside the train station giving out copies of Awake!.  Usually they bring along a large display that reads “What does the Bible Really Teach?”  Sometimes the display is seasonal or more specific (“What does the Bible teach about Halloween?” or today it was “A Government without Corruption”).  I usually arrive about two minutes before my train pulls in to the station so I never have had the opportunity to engage these folks or to hear their schpeel about what the Bible really teaches.  I think that it would take more than a few minutes for me to help them understand why I believe that the Bible “really” teaches something quite different from what they think. This week’s readings turned my mind to the Jehovah’s Witnesses who stand outside the train station for two reasons.  First, like Samuel and the disciples, these people have heard and answered a call from God.  I may disagree with them theologically, but there is no denying that they have taken quite seriously (and rather literally) the Gospel mandate to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).  I...

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