Michaela Bruzzese, a Sojourners ​contributing writer, teaches theology at St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque, N.M.

Posts By This Author

Seeking the Living God

by Michaela Bruzzese 11-01-2004
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"When the Guest is being searched for, it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that does all the work." Fifth-century Indian poet Kabir helps introduce the correct attitude for entering this month, which will see the end of one liturgical year and the beginning of another. As our time

The Sweetness Of Repentance

by Michaela Bruzzese 10-01-2004
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"Last night as I was sleeping, I dreamt—blessed illusion!—that I had a beehive here inside my heart. And the golden bees were making white combs of sweet honey from my old failures." Spanish poet Antonio Machado goes on to discover that it is God inside his heart. This month’s scriptures

The Cost of Love

by Michaela Bruzzese 09-01-2004
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"Love, to be real, must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self." Mother Teresa of Calcutta knew and lived this love with her whole life. It is no coincidence that she renounced everything else—material goods, money, and any other form of security and "self"—and chose to

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

by Michaela Bruzzese 08-01-2004
Six months after Ash Wednesday,

Six months after Ash Wednesday, we are gifted with another month of reminders of its most basic and important lessons. Once again we have an opportunity to recognize our false idols - especially the most persistent: wealth, power, and ego - and to turn back to God, the source of true power and a

Living the Word

by Michaela Bruzzese 07-01-2004
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C

"In my chest full of flowers, Flowering wholly and only for Him, There He remained sleeping; I cared for Him there, And the fan of the high cedars cooled Him." In Dark Night of the Soul, St. John of the Cross recalls the tenderness with which he cared for God. Clearly, he knew not only how to welcome God, but how to treat God as beloved. His experience is echoed this month in the numerous ways the faithful have welcomed and cared for the Holy One: Abraham welcomes God as guest and dialogue partner; the disciple Mary welcomes God as teacher, and Jesus teaches us to welcome God first as an enemy in need, and then as "Abba," our beloved dad. This Abba is not a remote, distant father but a devoted parent who cares for us with a mother's tenderness: "As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you...your heart shall rejoice; your bodies shall flourish like the grass" (Isaiah 66:13-14).

In a world filled with overwhelming suffering and persistent injustice, the work of discipleship can easily become life-draining instead of life-giving. Discipleship can become a burden that prevents us from recognizing the most important thing: the presence of God with us, and loving this Abba as we are first loved - with all our hearts and souls. When we, like St. John, not only welcome but cherish God's presence, whether in the stranger, enemy, or friend, we are comforted so that our hearts shall rejoice, and our work of discipleship shall flourish.

Trinities of Love

by Michaela Bruzzese 06-01-2004

Beginning with the celebration of Trinity’s mystery, we will journey through weeks of ordinary yet extraordinary discipleship.

The Eternal Thou

by Michaela Bruzzese 05-01-2004
The history of the struggles of the oppressed is the history of the call of the Holy Spirit to a divided world,

The history of the struggles of the oppressed is the history of the call of the Holy Spirit to a divided world, writes Mexican theologian Maria Pilar Aquino in Our Cry for Life. For

With Our Whole Lives

by Michaela Bruzzese 04-01-2004

"Only in our doing can we grasp you, only with our hands can we illumine you....

Living the Word

by Michaela Bruzzese 03-01-2004
Reflections on the Common Lectionary, Cycle C

Living the Word

by Michaela Bruzzese 02-01-2004

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C

The Good News

by Michaela Bruzzese 01-01-2004
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary

Matthew, Luke, and John tell us the story of Jesus in their own words, firmly linking him to the Hebrew Testament through scripture and events. The accounts confirm Jesus’ heritage as the true king, the one who will "judge your people with righteousness and your poor with justice" (Psalm 72:2). For Matthew, Jesus is a liberator in the line of Moses (Matthew 2:1-12). Luke assures us that Jesus is the Messiah, the one who is so passionately awaited in Jewish scriptures (Luke 4:18). John insists that Jesus is both flesh and sign; he is the one who transforms ordinary substances into sacrament, so that we may know and taste God’s presence in the world (John 2:11).

They remind us that Jesus is no ordinary king, for his primary concern is for those who, in the world’s eyes, have nothing and are nothing. They are "the oppressed," "the poor," "the needy," "the blind, "the captives," "the weak," and "those who have no helper." Jesus is king of the downtrodden, and he calls us, as his living body, to be the same.

It is Paul who insists that as Christians we be a body—individuals who are equal, treated with mutual respect, and united (1 Corinthians 12:13). Living as one body does not come without difficulties, but Paul reminds us that we bear the Spirit for one purpose only, "the common good" (1 Corinthians 12:7). If we are to follow this Messiah king, the common good, especially of those left behind, is our only goal.

If Not Now, When?

by Michaela Bruzzese 11-01-2003

Rabbi Tarfon said, "The day is short. The work is long. We are not enjoined to complete the task.

Sharper than a Sword

by Michaela Bruzzese 09-01-2003

"We must re-vision Christian faith as a combative, argumentative, and emancipatory" practice that seeks "the well-being of all." 

Living Bread

by Michaela Bruzzese 07-01-2003

"That's when I want you—you knower of my emptiness, you unspeaking partner to my sorrow. That's when I need you, God, like food," wrote Rainer Maria Rilke in his Book of Hours.

Peace Be With You

by Michaela Bruzzese 05-01-2003

Despite Jesus' greeting to the disciples, the weeks following his resurrection are anything but peaceful for the struggling community.

Wake Up!

by Michaela Bruzzese 11-01-2001

"How do you want to spend your life? We all know you can ruin it.

You Are What You Worship

by Michaela Bruzzese 09-01-2001
We are reminded that the commitment to the gospel is an absolute one. Reflections on the revised common lectionary, Cycle C.

Common Like Bread

by Michaela Bruzzese 07-01-2001
We are prone to listen to, but not hear, Jesus' challenging words.

The Beginning and the End

by Michaela Bruzzese 05-01-2001

Our churches have attempted to corner the market on grace, to act as society's sole dispensers of salvation.

Practicing Resurrection

by Michaela Bruzzese 03-01-2001

Only when we know ourselves as broken yet fiercely loved can we share the gift of new life.