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It’s a Saturday in the middle of winter, and the heating system in your church breaks down. It’s cold outside, and somehow seems even colder inside. The air stings, and the pews are frigid. You can’t imagine having sweet little old ladies sitting on them tomorrow, but you don’t want to cancel church again. It’s been a snowy winter. The HVAC company van rolls into the church driveway, and the technician gets out with a clipboard […]
A reflection on Philippians 2:1-13, the epistle lesson for Proper 21a, according to the Revised Common Lectionary, which examines Paul's mystical theology of God being within us.
I have this wonderful painting hanging in my office, “Cimabue after Disney” by the Rev. Dr. Dennis McNally, SJ. Jesus is muscled, teary-eyed, and dead. Blood trickles down his hands and feet. He’s also naked, and exposed just enough that that’s the one thing people notice when they see it for the first time. Subtly, at the bottom of the painting is a less-known feature. A mouse, with a dark halo, lapping up some of […]
“For as often as you eat this bread, and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death, until he comes.” We sometimes speak of Holy Communion as being a “memorial.” We use this language because Jesus himself said that we are to “do this in remembrance of him.” This is, I think, dangerous in our context because we have a weak understanding of what exactly constitutes “remembering.” We say we remember something when we recall […]
The following is a reflection on Luke 8:26-39, the story of the Gerasene Demoniac, the Gospel lesson appointed for Proper 7C according to the Revised Common Lectionary. People learn to love their chains.
The following is a reflection on John 14:27, as John 14:23-29 is the Gospel Lesson for the Sixth Sunday of Easter in Year C, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. I’m currently reading Stanley Fish’s magnificent little book, How to […]
The following is a reflection on Luke 9:28-36, the Gospel lesson for the Last Sunday in Epiphany, year C, according to the revised common lectionary. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the Israelites were freed from Pharaoh’s hand, and they were wandering […]
The following is a reflection on John 2:1-11, the Gospel lesson appointed for Epiphany 2C, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. In the 25th chapter of Isaiah we find a beautiful vision of what happens when God’s victory is made manifest: On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoplesa feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. A feast. Rich […]
The following is a reflection on Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, the Gospel lesson for the first Sunday after the Epiphany Year C, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ Of course this incredible Divine statement is made in the context of Jesus being baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. But, it’s also important to keep reading on for a verse or two. For […]