Gospel: Today a Roman centurion in Capernaum asks Jesus to heal his servant (Lk 7). A few NT scholars have suggested that the servant was the centurion's lover, based on a few words used in the Gospels.

In short: He is first described by Luke as a δοῦλον (doulon), the word...
... used almost everywhere else in the NT for "servant" or "slave." Luke also describes him as ἔντιμος (entimos), which means "highly valued," "precious," "dear," etc.

Yet the centurion calls him not "doulon," but παῖς μου (pais mou), which is "my boy" or "my son..."
Some scholars suggest that this is the reason the centurion says he is not "worthy" (ἠξίωσα) for Jesus to enter his house.

To me, this is a stretch. But even if the man was simply a "doulon," or servant, the story is no less remarkable....
For notice how Jesus treats someone who is not part of the Jewish world at all (though he built the town's synagogue). Rather than castigating the centurion for not being Jewish...
...and being a "pagan," who probably worships multiple Roman gods, Jesus treats him with respect, compassion and sensitivity. He praises the centurion's faith and then heals his "pais."

It's a reminder of how Jesus treats people on the margins, with welcome, not condemnation.
More about that scholarly debate here: cpb-ap-se2.wpmucdn.com/blogs.auckland…

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More from @JamesMartinSJ

15 Sep
Breaking: "No, I have never denied the Eucharist to anyone; to anyone! I don't know if someone came to me under these conditions, but I have never refused them the Eucharist, since the time I was a priest."

Don’t ‘excommunicate’ pro-choice politicians americamagazine.org/politics-socie…
"If we look at the history of the church, we can see that every time the bishops did not act like shepherds when dealing with a problem, they aligned themselves with political life, on political problems," he said.
The pope told journalists that when defending a principle, some bishops act in a way "that is not pastoral" and "enter the political sphere."
Read 5 tweets
15 Sep
Gospel: Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. It follows the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and so today's reading tells of Mary standing by the Cross, while her son suffers and dies (Jn 19). Both feasts remind us that Jesus understands suffering and... Image
...so does his mother.

When asking for Mary's intercession (that is, her prayers), remember that you are asking for help from a woman who understood all manner of human suffering. At some point in her life on earth she may even have had to live through a pandemic...
Go to Our Lady in prayer, confident that she will hear you, understand you and pray for you.
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep
Dear friends: Yesterday's publication of "Building a Bridge" in Lithuanian prompted questions about its availability in other languages. So far, in addition to the original English edition, the book on LGBTQ Catholics has been translated into Spanish...
Read 9 tweets
28 Aug
Dear friends: On retreat, I was invited to celebrate Mass and preach on the Feast of St. Augustine. I thought you might like to read the homily. Please continue to keep me in your prayers.
“Conversion,” as Pedro Arrupe, SJ, wrote, ‘is not a giving away of something that we can well afford to lose. It goes much deeper than that. It is a putting away of something that we are: our old self with its all-too-human, all-too-worldly prejudices..."
....convictions, attitudes, values, ways of thinking and acting, habits that have become so much a part of us that it is agony even to think of parting with them, and yet which are precisely what prevents us from rightly interpreting the signs of the times...
Read 4 tweets
22 Aug
The terror, desperation and confusion described here among our brothers and sisters in #Afghanistan will be familiar to anyone who has been a refugee, migrant or internally displaced person; and anyone who has worked with or ministered to them... nytimes.com/2021/08/21/wor…
Almost every refugee I met while working in East Africa with JRS in the 1990s--Somalis, Ugandans, Sudanese, Rwandese, etc.--spoke in these same terms: the fear of death from violent regimes, the desperation of trying anything to escape, and the confusion about whom to trust...
It's hard to describe how the combination of these emotions can nearly paralyze a person during a time when they have to make life-changing decisions in a moment's notice, while praying that the people or organizations in whom they're placing their trust are in fact reliable...
Read 4 tweets
21 Aug
As the beginning of the school year approaches, some Catholic high schools are barring students from choosing their own pronouns (he/him; she/her; they/them, etc.).

Not long ago, a young trans person surprised me by telling me that the use of pronouns... glaad.org/amp/6-glaad-ca…
...was among the *most* important ways to make LGBTQ kids feel not only seen but safe. The refusal to use the pronoun they preferred was considered offensive, insulting, shaming.

Until speaking with them, I hadn't considered it an urgent issue. But they opened my eyes....
As I said, this was something I really had to learn. And it has been confirmed in many conversations with young LGBTQ people, as well as with those who work with them, minister to them, and even study them...
Read 7 tweets

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