The right nudge

Yesterday’s post In the Background, has lingered with me since I wrote the piece. In that post, when asked when the pandemic would end, Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, replied: “It doesn’t end. We just stop caring. Or we care a lot less. I think for most people, it just fades into the background of their lives.” I wonder what part of my life and experience has faded into the background of life. Continue reading

The wrong goat

As many of you know, I am a graduate of the United States Naval Academy – and we are coming to that time of year: the annual Army-Navy Football Classic. Army is having a great year with a 7-3 record and putting lots of points on the board. Navy is 2-8 and ….. it is not one of our best years. But when I was a freshman (aka “plebe” in USNA slang) our record was 1-8, but all was redeemed and made whole with a victory over Army. So, despite our record and the apparent prowess of the Black Knights of the Hudson, hope springs eternal!

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Age of the Gentiles

Here in the last week of the liturgical year (cycle B), the gospel for the day is taken from Luke 21:5-11. The text speaks of the coming destruction of the Temple (vv.5-6), signs of the end (vv.7-11), and then in verses 12 and following describes the persecutions that will follow. But pause at this moment and consider how you understood what was meant when you just read, “signs of the end.” If you are like most people you probably inserted “signs of the end times.” In our age we often take the apocalyptic sense of a reading to mean the end of time, the second coming, and all that has been portrayed in popular culture, movies, books, and even some scriptural commentaries. But Luke simply describes what follows the destruction of the Temple as “the time of Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) Continue reading

First Sunday of Advent – a context

This coming Sunday is the start of a new liturgical year (Year C) and the first Sunday in Advent. In yesterday’s post we placed the Sunday gospel in the context of the Advent Season. Today we can find its place in the context of Scripture.This reading is taken from Luke’s gospel just following Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Jesus’ confrontation with the authorities in the Temple (which began back at 19:47, the cleansing of the Temple) now shifts to the future tense. Continue reading