I say forget about the left and the right. What we need to focus on is bringing Jesus Christ to people. Not leftist or rightist agenda.
So, let the traditional communities do what they do and let the “liberal” communities do what they do. Let them both do it in the spirit of the Church. Stop the name calling. Stop throwing dirt. Preach Jesus.
Such is the tender mercy of our God, who from on high will bring the Rising Sun to visit us, to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79
As you approach your sacred celebrations today, may you embrace the tender mercy shown to you by our God, and know God’s peace.
What did you go out into the wilderness to see? Luke 7:24
It sounds like Jesus is being a little sarcastic and mocking in this text. But there is a serious question here: Why did you bother going all the way out there to see John? Were you looking for a spectacle? Were you just people-watching?
Jesus could just as easily be saying to us, “Why are you bothering to go to church? Are you paying attention? Are you following through with what you’re hearing? Or is it just a way to pass the time?”
The chief priests and elders of the people came to him and said, “By what authority are you doing what you do? Who gave you this authority?” - Matthew 21:23
The meditation from Pray-as-you-go this morning had the best reflection on this text: “Prejudice got in the way of a grace-filled encounter.” The priests and elders simply couldn’t believe that this ragamuffin carpenter’s son could be a means of grace.
I encounter this everyday in my own life - not the prejudice against me - but my own prejudice towards situations where I’m sure God wouldn’t be working. Like in my job - what does God care about teeth? That’s a prejudice that is preventing me from experiencing the fullness of God’s grace in my life. The priests and elders were bewildered by Jesus - yes, it’s a story of clinging to power - but it’s also a story of people encountering God in an entirely brand-new way, being thrown off their game and being confused! I can relate to that.
Lectio, 8 December 2010 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Mary said, “I am the servant of God. Let it be done to me as you say.” Luke 1:38
Putting aside for a moment the theo-political issues surrounding the idea of the Immaculate Conception, let’s talk about Mary. I think if it had been me, I might have said, “OK, whatever, I’ll do whatever you say if that makes this hallucination go away.” But I pray that I wouldn’t have been like that. I pray that in this presence of something has holy as an angel, I would recognize God’s hand. That I would instantly think, “This is amazing. I’ve got to listen. I’ve got to treasure these words in my heart and see what happens. This could be awesome.” That’s my prayer - that I can recognize when God is asking me to do something and that I can accept it as a wondrous thing, that God has asked me to participate in Creation.
"Anyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like the sage who built a house on rock." Mt 7:24
We can’t just build our house of faith upon the words of Jesus. We have to build that house using the words - putting them in to practice, faith into action. We need to do the will of Abba God in heaven.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witneses, let us lay aside everything that impedes us and the sin that so easily entangles us… Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection." Hebrews 12:1-2
A hero is “a person noted or admired for nobility, courage, outstanding achievements” (OED). Who are the heroes of your faith? Who are the people that inspire you to follow Christ because of their nobility, courage, and outstanding achievements?