Back in 1983 the division of the company I worked for bought an IBM personal computer and hard drive (they were an add-on, were only 10 MB and were about as expensive as the computer.) That was going to be our “competitive edge” or so said one of the senior executives. I inwardly rolled my eyes knowing that the rapid advance in the personal computer world / emerging technology would transform the business world as performance improved and prices dropped. I had already purchased a portable computer (ok…”luggable” would be a better description) that came with word processing software, a spreadsheet, and a database – and 20MB hard drive and for 50% of the costs of the new office computer. To put this in context, there was no Microsoft or MS-DOS. Unix or CPM were the operating systems de jour. OK … enough history. My point is that there is this underlying belief that technology would make our lives better – especially in the world of business. Continue reading
In today’s gospel, “As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words— go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.”
Shaking off the dust from the feet is an symbol of dissociation. Nehemiah 5:13 has a similar act as does Acts 13:51 (as Paul and Barnabus shake the dust of Antioch off their feet and move on to Iconium. In all its forms, one is calling it quits and they want nothing more to do with the place (Luke 10:11 spells it out more fully). Continue reading
This 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.
The Message. 12 So they went off and preached repentance. 13 They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
The New American Bible (NAB) offers a translation that seems minimally functional – merely reporting that they set out on mission and what they did when they got there. A more literal translation of the verse is: “And the went out and proclaimed so that all might repent.” The second part of the verse is a hina clause in Greek, normally indicating purpose, aim, or goal. The purpose in their proclaiming is that people might repent, that is, have a change in mind/heart. Such preaching will include the demands from God and our failure to live up to them. It also includes the grace of God that accepts the law-breakers. It includes the mandate to speak the truth in such a way that it leads people to repent, to have a change in mind about their own sinfulness and about God’s gracefulness. Continue reading