The feet and legs of the homeless men we serve at the Bowery Mission in New York are a testimony to the pain they endure daily. Many of their legs are swollen because, like Jesus, they have nowhere to lay their head to rest.
These two biblical books may be “loose cannons in the canon,” but Pauw makes a case for how they are as relevant now as ever. The sages of Israel demonstrated an openness to learning from the wisdom traditions of their neighbors, an example from which we can learn, given the religious pluralism that marks our time.
When my mother died early on a spring evening in 1993, the ladies of the garden club and the bridge club gathered around my family to stand sentinel over the old-fashioned ritual of paying calls on the bereaved.
I’ve only seen three dead bodies in my life. The first was when I was 12 years old and my grandfather died at age 69. It was the first time I ever saw my father cry. At the funeral home, my sister was brave enough to reach out and touch my grandfather’s hand as it rested on his torso. Back in our seats, I asked her what his skin felt like. “Plastic,” she said.
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, a French Catholic, says that if you don’t show up early for mass at his parish in Paris, you might have to sit on folding chairs in a spillover space or even sit on the floor. There’s nothing unusual about his parish priest, although he does have Pope Francis’s spirit of generosity. Gobry’s parish is like other urban areas in France. Despite the country’s reputation for secularism, Gobry thinks the French church may be on the verge of a time of renewal (The Week, January 15).