Speaking of cows

cowsApart from milking them, herding them, and delivering salt to the cows, there were two other interesting stories from my time in the west of Kenya that pertains to cows.

One of the traditions of the Luo people of western Kenya (at least where I was residing) was the use of cows as part of a funeral procession. I was told that there were two mainstays of the Luo funeral procession – only one of which I was witness to – and those are cows and mourners, both of which can be hired for the occasion. In the west of Kenya, cows are a mainstay of assets, and the procession of cows is a way to honor the deceased. When it comes to death, it has been a long tradition that evil spirits can play a role in someone’s passing. Mourners may wail, sing, and dance to scare away the evil spirits. To be fair, I have not done justice to the Luo death and funeral rituals which are far more traditional and extensive than the other tribes in Kenya. Still, it was a sight to behold in the one funeral procession I observed. Continue reading

That would be amazing

Jesus-casting-out-demons2

In today’s gospel,A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.” In Jesus’ day, deafness and dumbness usually went  together in persons, who are deaf from their birth. They could not hear, and so they could not learn to speak. But this man seems to be unable to speak, not by nature, but through the possession of a demon, who had taken away, or restrained the use of his speech, out of demonic malice. Continue reading

For the Journey

jesus-apostles-endtimesThis coming Sunday is the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time in Year B. The gospel for the day comes from Mark 6 and narrates the beginning of mission for the disciples.

Rejected by his own family and home crowd, Jesus preaches elsewhere and sends his twelve disciples out with special instructions and powers. It is good to remember that the apostles are not sent out as a reaction to the rejection. The mission of the apostles is part of a larger plan. First, Jesus had call them personally (1:16–20). Then he selected twelve special ones to accompany him (3:13–19). The Twelve, tutored by Jesus and present with him as he healed many from sickness and evil (chapters. 3–5), are now ready to become apostles, in Greek, literally the “ones sent out.” Continue reading