Checking In

Even in these times, when like Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog, we emerge from our pandemic shells, if you are attentive, you begin to notice the tidal changes in daily life. As you adjust to the new normal, now is a good time to consider things. Maybe some of the basics. For example, what am I grateful for in my life? And then consider if you have given any demonstrable witness to that gratitude. Maybe, “I am grateful for my family” is on the list, but have you expressed it to them? Continue reading

Choosing Sides

Remember grade school and picking teams at recess for activities like dodgeball? If you were assigned as captain and had first pick, you wanted to pick “the one,’ the sure winner, the thoroughbred on which to ride all the way to the finish line.

The first reading is from the Letter to the Romans.There is always a lot going on in St. Paul’s epistles and the Letter to the Romans is as complex as it gets. He is offering that you are captain for something way more important than dodgeball teams. It’s your pick. Which one will you choose?

I think we need a scorecard to keep track of two different “the one’s.”

This One
This one disobeyed God
This one became a sinner and so did we all
Through this one, sin entered the world
Condemnation came to this one and then all
Death followed for this one and then for all, plus eternal damnation
Through this one sin and death reigned

That One
That One is God
That One  was sinless
Through that One grace entered the world
Salvation for all came from that One
Justification for Eternal life for all came from that One
Through this one love, love and the Kingdom reigned

“Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.” …and who picked the right One. “Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.” (Luke 12:37) Such is the Kingdom of God.

If you would like to watch a great introduction to the Letter to the Romans, our friends at The Bible Project have a two-part video series you should watch: Romans Chapter 1-4 (7 minutes) and Chapters 5-18 (9 minutes). It is an amazing introduction to one of the most theologically dense epistles.

Your Friends Make Known

The refrain from today’s psalm proclaims: “Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.” The words of psalm are taken from Psalm 145, verses 10-18.  The words proclaim the glory of God and the splendor of His Kingdom. They extol the justice, power and holiness of God’s works. The words announce the everlasting presence of the kingdom and the call to all to draw near.

I would have picked different verses from the same psalm.

In the first readings Paul makes mention of his friends who work to make known the kingdom and the Messiah. In the gospel, Jesus commissions 72 friends (He calls them “disciples”) “whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.” Their instructions included the command to “say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”

I would have picked Psalm 145:3-7

“Great is the LORD and worthy of much praise, whose grandeur is beyond understanding. One generation praises your deeds to the next and proclaims your mighty works. They speak of the splendor of your majestic glory, tell of your wonderful deeds. They speak of the power of your awesome acts and recount your great deeds. They celebrate your abounding goodness and joyfully sing of your justice.”

One generation to the next, each one proclaiming the mighty works of God.

Here on the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, let us give thanks to God that he did what was his to do, passing on to countless generations the account of the mighty works of God in the person of Jesus, the Messiah, and in life of the early Church. Let us pray that we fulfill our role in passing on the story to the current and the next generation.

Oops…. forgot to post this yesterday!