Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

Sketch by Brie Schulze

Coins play a varied role in the scriptures.  We can think of the woman who lost a coin and then found it and had a celebration with her friends.  There is the widow who put one small coin into the offering, which was more than anyone else with large sums.  There are those who received talents and earned talents with them.  The one who buried his talent in the ground and was reprimanded.  When asked if Jesus pays the temple tax, He sends Peter to catch a fish in which he finds the coin he needs to pay the tax.  Judas keeps the purse with the coins, he betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.  Coins represented a value decided upon by the local government – in those times they were typically made of some kind of metal and therefore had some kind of intrinsic value.  Today, sometimes, the intrinsic value of our coins is greater than the value they represent.  It costs more than a cent to mint a penny, and the metal it is made of is also worth more than a cent. read more

Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

The image of snatching people out of the fire from Jude’s letter is quite powerful. Salvation is a gift that quenches the fire that burns us whether our conscience realizes it or not. Baptism is this water that both refreshes our soul with divine life, and quenches the fire of condemnation. Those who ruled over the affairs of the temple were afraid of losing their power or status. They were not prepared to admit the truth because they were more interested in their positions of influence. It is unfortunate to see people who prefer trying to remain in control than acknowledging that their right to remain in power depends on their real authority. Jesus has real Authority, so he is not intimidated by their questions.  He instead turned them back to John’s baptism of repentance.  Jesus’ authority to save is absolute.  He wants even to save these temple authorities who have lost sight of the essential.  He would save them from the fire they ought to feel burning their blinded consciences. When any answer we may give to a question would result in something disagreeable, we may choose at that point to walk away or submit to the truth. read more