Being saved: context

narrowdoor22 He passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. 25 After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26 And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ 27 Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where (you) are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” Continue reading

Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary

Re-posted from last year….

Much of our religious consciousness is affected by art; we have inherited specific images that are more artistic than biblical.  For example, we always imagine St. Paul being knocked from a horse on the Damascus Road.  There is no mention of the horse in scripture.  Is that a bid deal? Perhaps not.  But when Caravaggio placed Paul on the horse, a sign of royalty, he removed Paul from the midst of Corinth, the hard-scrabbled sea port town, from among the drunks, slackards, ner-do-wells, and people who sorely needed salvation.

I think art has also done that to the image of Mary. Many of the paintings that illustrate the Assumption of Mary into heaven, show Mary floating upward on a cloud, carried away by angels and accompanied by cherubs. She hasn’t aged a day. Her hands are folded quietly, her eyes rolled up to heaven, her ties with earth—and with us—almost completely severed.  In these paintings, the people standing below look up at her with longing and with love, reaching out to grasp her robe or touch her feet—But it is too late. Mary has already left them behind – left us behind. Continue reading