What’s Most Important?

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” — Matthew 25:1-13

Number me among the foolish of this bridal party! Even a cursory review of my life puts me squarely in the company of the preoccupied, the forgetful and the unprepared! From early schooldays I was forever getting on the bus and leaving my lunch at home. Once, as a Boy Scout, I was so enthralled with following a majestic brook Continue Reading →

Love in Three Directions


“Don’t ever ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer!” Every lawyer knows that’s the first rule of adversarial procedure. And in this Gospel reading, the lawyer who wanted to trap Jesus had good reason to think that he was on safe ground with his question as to which was the greatest commandment. After all, he knew Continue Reading →


“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.  — Matthew 18:15-17, 21-22

  I went to a college where I was miserable. I was supposed to be happy there because this was the “family college,” the school that my father had always wanted to attend. Dad was an orphan, brought up by aunts during the Great Depression. Although he had won a partial scholarship to the place, the few extra hundreds of Continue Reading →