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Articles for McKenna

Playing Favorites? (James 2:1-5)

I knew a close-knit family of 5 personable children, and as they got older, they would kid their mother about having a favorite.

The Word (Deut 4: 1-8; Jas 1:17-27)

I remember a heated conversation between a man who was promising something  to a woman, and the woman to whom the promise was being made. It ended with her exasperated response, “Those are just words.”

In This Together (Joshua 24; John 6)

Our believing is not solitary. The quality of one person’s faith spills over into the religious convictions of all the others.

Acquiring A Taste (Ps 34,9; John 6)

People develop tastes for different things.

Sacramental Speaking and Listening (Ezekiel, 33; Matthew, 18)

Trinitarian Nearness

Trinitarian Nearness (Rom. 8; Mt. 28) A woman once told me a lesson she had learned during the last days of her husband’s life. He had all the medical attention possible with hospice workers around the clock. But in those last days, she said, all he really wanted was...

Sacramental Speaking and Listening (Ezekiel, 33; Matthew, 18)

The Face of Forgiveness

The Face of Forgiveness (Psalm 4) In perhaps an awkward way of putting it, one of the psalms has us asking a favor from a face – the face of God. “Lord let your face shine upon us” and a little later, “Let the light of Your face shine upon us.” (Ps. 4). The phenomenon...

Sacramental Speaking and Listening (Ezekiel, 33; Matthew, 18)

On Pruning Vines

On Pruning Vines (John 15)  In his letter to the Church in Rome, St. Paul asserts, “All things work together unto good for those who love God.” (Rom. 8:28) No matter what kinds of things happen, both good and indeed bad, good will rise on the other side of it. It’s a...

Sacramental Speaking and Listening (Ezekiel, 33; Matthew, 18)

On Being Overshadowed

On Being Overshadowed (Every year on the feast of the Annunciation thousands of Daughters of Charity the world over retake their vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and service to the poor. This was the homily at one of their Eucharists.) I once heard someone say...

Sacramental Speaking and Listening (Ezekiel, 33; Matthew, 18)

Right Religion

Right Religion (John 2:13ff) Some years ago, a book was published entitled, "When Religion Goes Bad." Premised on the fact that religion exercises a powerful force, it took up instances where that force has been badly used, even in destructive ways. Granting there was...

Sacramental Speaking and Listening (Ezekiel, 33; Matthew, 18)

Following Behind “The Story”

Following Behind “The Story” Especially in this age of Facebook and Instagram has the power of story come to the fore. That is, increasingly so, the narrative much more than the bullet-pointed outline is what does the most effective job of getting through to hearts...

Sacramental Speaking and Listening (Ezekiel, 33; Matthew, 18)

Why Step Across?

Why Step Across? (Leviticus 13; Mark 1) A concept that shows up in the history of religions is the one of boundaries, the borders between what is permissible and what is forbidden. These lines in the sand separating the holy from the sinful figure prominently all...

Sacramental Speaking and Listening (Ezekiel, 33; Matthew, 18)

Driven to Disruption

Driven to Disruption (Mark 1:12-15) If you asked ten people what contact with God is supposed to bring I suspect at least seven would list things like peace, joy, calm, well-being, reassurance. But there's a theme running through Lent which moves in another direction...

Sacramental Speaking and Listening (Ezekiel, 33; Matthew, 18)

Why This Suffering?

Why This Suffering? (Job 7) If you were charged with collecting a series of writings aimed to persuade people that God is overflowingly good and ever desirous for the good of His people, would you have included the Book of Job? We look in on the main character, this...

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