"We tend to equate hospitality with parties and social gatherings or gracious resorts and expensive restaurants. To us hospitality is an industry, not a practice, one that summons Martha Stewart to mind more quickly than Jesus Christ. But to ancient Christians hospitality was a virtue, part of the love of neighbor and fundamental to being a person of the way. While contemporary Christians tend to equate morality with sexual ethics, our ancestors defined morality as welcoming the stranger.
Unlike almost every other contested idea in early Christianity, including the nature of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity, the unanimous witness of the ancient fathers and mothers was that hospitality was the primary Christian virtue. From the New Testament texts that unambiguously urge believers to 'practice hospitality' through St. Augustine's works in the fifth century, early Christian writings extol hospitality toward the sick, the poor, travelers, widows, orphans, slaves, prisoners, prostitutes, and the dying."
"We gradually limited the Divine Presence to the single body of Jesus, when perhaps it is as ubiquitous as light itself—and uncircumscribable by human boundaries."
"The only clear line I draw these days is this: when my religion tries to come between me and my neighbor, I will choose my neighbor... Jesus never commanded me to love my religion."
"Remember, light is not so much what you directly see as that by which you see everything else. This is why in John’s Gospel, Jesus Christ makes the almost boastful statement, 'I am the Light of the world' (John 8:12). Jesus Christ is the amalgam of matter and spirit put together in one place, so we ourselves can put it together in all places and enjoy things in their fullness. It can even enable us to see as God sees, if that is not hoping for too much."
"Hope is what you get when you suddenly realize that a different worldview is possible, a worldview in which the rich, the powerful, and the unscrupulous do not after all have the last word. The same worldview shift that is demanded by the resurrection of Jesus is the shift that will enable us to transform the world"
"It has always been assumed that the most important things in the Gospels are the ethical maxims and commandments. But for me the most important thing is that Christ speaks in parables taken from life, that He explains the truth in terms of everyday reality. The idea that underlies this is that communion between mortals is immortal, and that the whole of life is symbolic because it is meaningful."
"For Jesus, there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved."
"The gospel of Jesus—the good news of Jesus’ own message—is that there is a way of being that moves beyond both secular and religious conventional wisdom. The path of transformation of which Jesus spoke leads from a life of requirements and measuring up (whether to culture or to God) to a life of relationship with God. It leads from a life of anxiety to a life of peace and trust. It leads from the bondage of self-preoccupation to the freedom of self-forgetfulness. It leads from life centered in culture to life centered in God."
"Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God."
"Our society encourages individualism. We are constantly made to believe that everything we think, say, or do, is our personal accomplishment, deserving individual attention. But as people who belong to the communion of saints, we know that anything of spiritual value is not the result of individual accomplishment but the fruit of a communal life.
Whatever we know about God and God's love; whatever we know about Jesus - his life, death, and resurrection - whatever we know about the Church and its ministry, is not the invention of our minds asking for an award. It is the knowledge that has come to us through the ages from the people of Israel and the prophets, from Jesus and the saints, and from all who have played roles in the formation of our hearts. True spiritual knowledge belongs to the communion of saints."
"As Jesus rides into Jerusalem surrounded by people shouting 'hosanna,' 'cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in his path,' Jesus appears completely concentrated on something else. He does not look at the excited crowd. He does not wave. He sees beyond all the noise and movement to what is ahead of him: an agonizing journey of betrayal, torture, crucifixion, and death….There is a deep awareness of the unspeakable pain to be suffered, but also a strong determination to do God’s will. Above all, there is love, an endless, deep and far-reaching love born from an unbreakable intimacy with God and reaching out to all people, wherever they are, were, or will be. There is nothing that he does not fully know. There is nobody whom he does not fully love."
"We make loving people a lot more complicated than Jesus did."
"I think Christians should argue more, because it's healthy. They don't do it as well as the Jews do. If we look at the New Testament, Jesus is frequently arguing with fellow Jews, and what that means is it puts him right in the heart of Judaism rather than takes him out of Judaism. If you look at rabbinic literature, post-Biblical Jewish literature, it's "Rabbi This says this, rabbi That says that, some third rabbi says some third thing, the people do what they want, and they've been arguing over this stuff for two thousand years. The reason we can do it so well is because at the end of the day, we're all still Jews.
Jews never settle down just to be a religion and just to be a belief system. Jews have always kept an ethnic component or a people-hood component to who we are. So our arguments take place in the family, and just as a relatively healthy family will have certain disagreements, at the end of the day, you're all still brothers and sisters and parents and children.
What happens in Christian communities is if you argue too much, if you disagree too much, you put yourself out of the community, because if you get into a tradition by belief you get out by belief. I think if Christians took baptism more seriously, they'd be able to argue better. Because baptism means you're in the system, and it's not something that washes off."
"May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator, Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Savior, and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you and remain with you, this day and forevermore.
"The Bible is not God. The Bible is simply the cradle that holds Christ. Anything in the Bible that does not hold up to the Gospel of Jesus Christ simply does not have the same authority."