A short reflection on Matthew 14:13-21 , the Gospel lesson for Proper 13a, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. Jesus had just received word that John the Baptist was dead. Beheaded. Their families were close. Their mothers had gotten together when they were pregnant with each of them. They were both servants of God, sent to preach the Good News. John had baptized him. And now he was gone. Murdered. Jesus’ reaction is the same […]
I was ordained a priest just six days after the death of my father. We had a…complicated relationship…and so my feelings were…complicated. I was grieved, and angry, and stunned. A little numb. As the procession got closer and closer to the church doors I could hear more and more the congregation thundering through the hymn, “Praise to The Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation.” Perhaps my favorite hymn. But, as we approached the church […]
The following is a reflection on Luke 24:1-12, one of the Gospel lesson options for Easter Day, Year C, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. But these words seemed to them an idle tale The disciples thought they were offering an “idle tale?” Jesus, their Lord and friend, has died on Friday. It’s now Sunday. He had been offered up to the authorities by one of their own, who had just recently committed suicide. Women—other friends and […]
The following is a reflection on Luke 1:39-55, the Gospel lesson for the fourth Sunday in Advent in year C, according to the Revised Standard Lectionary. …Mary set out and went with haste… But, why?
The following is a reflection on Luke 3:7-18, the Gospel lesson for Advent 3C, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. This reflection is a selection from my book Going to Hell, Getting Saved. There’s a fantastic scene in the third chapter of the Gospel of Luke where we’re introduced to the wild-eyed prophet John the Baptist.
A reflection on Christ the King Sunday, especially for year B of the Revised Common Lectionary. Pope Pius XI inaugurated Christ the King Sunday in 1925, when the authority of the church was evidently waning in the world. Of course nearly ninety years later, the “authority” of the church—or even just the “place” of the church—in the world is almost laughable. We are all but irrelevant in the power structures of the community of nations. […]
The following is a reflection on 1 Samuel 1:4-20 & 2:1-10, the Old Testament and Psalm Lessons for Proper 28B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. Twice in the Bible people who are praying are mistaken for being drunk. Hannah on the threshold of the Temple of Shiloh is praying for a son and is castigated by Eli. “Put away your wine,” he says. On the day of Pentecost the apostles are filled with the […]
The following is a reflection on Mark 12:38-44, the gospel lesson appointed for Proper 27B according to the Revised Standard Lectionary. The contrast between the self-serving lawyers and the widow in Mark 12 couldn’t be any greater, and Mark’s weaving of these two stories together is, I think, where most of the meaning lies.
The following is a reflection on John 11:32-44, the Gospel Lesson for All Saints B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. There is also a Litany for All Saints Day on this site here. While I don’t use the King James Version of the Bible often, I do happen to love its rendering of the raising of Lazarus. Jesus, after weeping and being emotionally moved, commands those around him to open Lazarus’ tomb. There’s instant […]
The following is a reflection on Job 42:1-6, 10-17, the Hebrew Bible lesson appointed for Proper 25B, according to the Revised Common Lectionary. I have to admit, while I’ve always had an attraction to the Book of Job, I’ve never cared much for the ending. I’ve tended to agree with scholars who say that it was tacked on to the book much later to make the book more palatable. I mean…he just gets everything back? […]