In today’s “Pearls Before Swine” cartoon, we are told that Instagram is to brag, Twitter is to enrage, Facebook is to see how nutters your high school classmates are now, and — then we received the social media summary: nice has no future. Some days that seem too true. Alas.
This coming Sunday is the 23rd Sunday and we are considering the reading from Luke 14. In yesterday’s post we framed this gospel reading as beginning to lay out the costs of discipleship. Today we will look more deeply at the barriers that point to the repeated “cannot be my disciple.”
“If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
The first reading is from Paul’s “1st Letter to the Corinthians,” from the middle of the first of five sections within the letter. Chapter 2-4 are about divisions within the Corinthian community. The reasons for these divisions are several and some are explored in detail in following chapters, but in this section, the divisions are about the popularity of certain leaders leading to rivalries among them: “I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas.” (1 Cor 1:12)
His basic response is “You’ve got to be kidding me! You belong to Christ.” Continue reading
Press Release Responding to John the Baptist’s Denunciation of Herod Antipas
A spokesman for Herod, tetrarch of Galillee, has denounced as “further authoritarian righteousness” a condemnation of his marriage by the preacher John. Herod recently married Herodias, the former wife of his brother Philip, tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis.
John, known locally as “the baptist” because of his practice of anointing sinners with water, has been attracting large crowds along the edge of the Judean desert where he is said to live. He has consistently condemned Herod for alleged abuses of power. Continue reading
This coming Sunday is the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time for Lectionary Cycle C. Take a moment to consider the sequence of recent Sunday gospels. After having critiqued host and guests alike at the human banquet of the times, the Sunday selection passes over the description and invitation to the heavenly banquet Continue reading
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” I suspect a lot of people hear that verse and, in part, think, “Yup, those arrogant, prideful and presumptuous people will be put in their place and get what’s coming to them.” But that doesn’t tell us what true humility is. Merriam Webster defines humility as freedom from pride or arrogance. That seems a little thin; it tells us what humility is not and by implication tells us what not to do in life…but… Continue reading
In this morning’s syndicated cartoons, “Pearls Before Swine” was particularly funny (to me anyway!). Copyright rules do not allow me to post the cartoon within this post, but if you are interested you can find it here. Here is the “411” on the content which center around a character named Honest Ernest who attends a meeting a movie fans who are going to review the latest film directed by Christopher Nolan. Nolan is not without skills or accolades., not only as a director but also produced and screenwriter. He has won 11 Academy Awards from 36 nominations. Some of his films are Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises (all from the Batman series), Inception, Interstellar, Dunkirk, and the 2020 film Tennet. Among serious fans his work on Inception, Interstellar and especially Tennet are what garner praise and glowing reviews. The films are… well, no need for me to offer an opinion. Let’s allow the fans from Pearls Before Swine chime in: Continue reading
Did you know that Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo from Greek mythology? And so the Artemis Space Program will pick up where the Apollo Space Program left off some 50 years ago – an eventual return to the moon. Did you know that the first Artemis mission will launch tomorrow, weather permitting? After launching from Earth, Artemis I will go on a 42-day mission. The Orion spacecraft will travel 40,000 miles beyond the moon. It is the first step in deep space exploration. Orion’s trajectory through space will test the craft’s ability to maintain communication with Earth beyond the moon and protect its crew from radiation. All of the objectives for the inaugural Artemis flight will demonstrate capabilities necessary for when Orion carries humans to deep space. Continue reading
Alan Culpepper [287-88] offers these final thoughts
These are liberating words that can free us from the necessity of succeeding in our culture’s contests of power and esteem. They free us from over-under relationships and the attitudes and barriers they create, so that we may be free to create human community and enjoy the security of God’s grace.