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Showing posts from September, 2011

Daily Gospel Reflection - 30 September 2011

Matthew 8:1-17 (CEB): Now when Jesus had come down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. A man with a skin disease came, kneeled before him, and said, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do want to. Become clean.” Instantly his skin disease was cleansed. Jesus said to him,“Don’t say anything to anyone. Instead, go and show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded. This will be a testimony to them.”
When Jesus went to Capernaum, a centurion approached, pleading with him, “Lord, my servant is flat on his back at home, paralyzed, and his suffering is awful.”
Jesus responded, “I’ll come and heal him.”
But the centurion replied, “Lord, I don’t deserve to have you come under my roof. Just say the word and my servant will be healed. I’m a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and the servant does…

Daily Gospel Reflection - 29 September 2011

Matthew 7:22-29 (CEB): On the Judgment Day, many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name and expel demons in your name and do lots of miracles in your name?’ Then I’ll tell them, ‘I’ve never known you. Get away from me, you people who do wrong.’
“Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It didn’t fall because it was firmly set on bedrock. But everybody who hears these words of mine and doesn’t put them into practice will be like a fool who built a house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It fell and was completely destroyed.”
When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were amazed at his teaching because he was teaching them like someone with authority and not like their legal experts.
In this passage, Jesus is talking about a firm foundation for life.…

Daily Gospel Reflection - 27 September 2011

Matthew 7:1-12 (CEB): “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. You’ll receive the same judgment you give. Whatever you deal out will be dealt out to you. Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when there’s a log in your eye? You deceive yourself! First take the log out of your eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye. Don’t give holy things to dogs, and don’t throw your pearls in front of pigs. They will stomp on the pearls, then turn around and attack you.
“Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened. Who among you will give your children a stone when they ask for bread? Or give them a snake when they ask for fish? If you w…

Weekly Gospel Reflection - 25 September 2011

Matthew 21:23-32 (CEB): When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came to him as he was teaching. They asked, “What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority?”
Jesus replied, “I have a question for you. If you tell me the answer, I’ll tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things. Where did John get his authority to baptize? Did he get it from heaven or from humans?”
They argued among themselves, “If we say ‘from heaven,’ he’ll say to us, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But we can’t say ‘from humans’ because we’re afraid of the crowd, since everyone thinks John was a prophet.” Then they replied, “We don’t know.”
Jesus also said to them, “Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things.
“What do you think? A man had two sons. Now he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’
“ ‘No, I don’t want to,’ he replied. But later he changed his mind and went.
“The…

Prayer for the Week: The Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

O God, you declare your all loving power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Weekly Gospel Reflection - 18 September 2011

Matthew 20.1-16 CEB: “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After he agreed with the workers to pay them a denarion,* he sent them into his vineyard.
“Then he went out around nine in the morning and saw others standing around the marketplace doing nothing. He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I’ll pay you whatever is right.’ And they went.
“Again around noon and then at three in the afternoon, he did the same thing. Around five in the afternoon he went and found others standing around, and he said to them, ‘Why are you just standing around here doing nothing all day long?’
“ ‘Because nobody has hired us,’ they replied.
“He responded, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’
“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and give them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and moving on finally to the first.’ When those who were hired at five in the afternoon came, …

Weekly Gospel Reflection - 11 September 2011

Matthew 18:21-35 (CEB):Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?”
Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle accounts, they brought to him a servant who owed him ten thousand bags of gold. Because the servant didn’t have enough to pay it back, the master ordered that he should be sold, along with his wife and children and everything he had, and that the proceeds should be used as payment. But the servant fell down, kneeled before him, and said, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ The master had compassion on that servant, released him, and forgave the loan.
“When that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred coins. He grabbed him around the throat and said, ‘Pay me back what y…

Prayer for the Week: The Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost

O God, because without you we aren't able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may direct and rule our hearts in all things, through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Didache - Chapter 5

5 The Way of Death
5:1 The way of death, on the other hand, is this: It is evil and accursed - murders, adulteries, lust, illicit sex, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, sorceries, robberies, false testimonies, hypocrisy, double-heartedness, deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness - those who do not fear God.
5:2 The way of death is the way of those who persecute the good, hate the truth, love lies, and do not understand the reward for righteousness. They do not cleave to good or righteous judgment; they do not watch for what is good, but for what is evil. They are strangers to meekness and patience, loving vanities, pursuing revenge, without pity for the needy and oppressed. They do not know their Creator; they are murderers of children, destroyers of God's image. They turn away from those who are in need, making matters worse for those who are distressed. They are advocates for the rich, unjust judges…

Daily Gospel Reflection - 10 September 2011

Matthew 3:13-17 CEB:At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River so that John would baptize him. John tried to stop him and said, “I need to be baptized by you, yet you come to me?”
Jesus answered, “Allow me to be baptized now. This is necessary to fulfill all righteousness.”
So John agreed to baptize Jesus. When Jesus was baptized, he immediately came up out of the water. Heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on him.  A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.”
I have always wondered about this passage. Why did Jesus need to be baptized? What ‘righteousness’ was he fulfilling? As we noted previously, Jesus was the embodiment of Israel. That is, Jesus was to do and be all that Israel was to do and be. And, as Wright has pointed out, humanity was to be priests. They were to reflect God to creation and reflect creation’s worship back to God. When humanity sinned, God chose Israel (t…