Living Waters

Spirit-n-CommandmentsIn our Pentecost Sunday gospel, as noted in yesterday’s post, to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room on that first Easter evening Jesus first words were: “Peace be with you.” His second words were: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  His thirds words were “Receive the Holy Spirit.” What had been promised in many ways in John 13-17, is now fulfilled in the giving of the Spirit. It also marks a turning point in salvation history as a fulfillment of the prophets, not just that the Messiah would come, but that the Messiah would begin the eschaton, the final era when the Kingdom of God would become manifest – and the future become present.

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Hope and Healing

Today’s readings are a combination of the well-known (the Gospel) and the “what’s-going-on” (Ezekiel). The former is the familiar story of the man, afflicted for 38 years, who encounters Jesus and is heal and has hope restored. The latter is a grand vision of living waters flowing from the Temple into all the land bring abundance and life.

The Ezekiel reading is the epilogue to the “dry bones’ vision the prophet had just proclaimed. In his vision, the prophet finds himself standing in a valley full of dry human bones. Before him, the bones begin to move and assemble into human figures, skeletons rising and standing in the valley. Almost as in modern computer-generated visual effect, the skeletons begin to receive layers of living flesh: tendons, muscles, organs and skin. They then arise, standing upright, alive and vital. These are the Israelites living in exile who are returning to Jerusalem.

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Hope and Healing

Today’s readings are a combination of the well-known (the Gospel) and the “what’s-going-on” (Ezekiel). The former is the familiar story of the man, afflicted for 38 years, who encounters Jesus, is healed and has hope restored. The latter is a grand vision of living waters flowing from the Temple into all the land bring abundance and life.

The Ezekiel reading is the follow-on to the “dry bones’ vision the prophet had just proclaimed. In his vision, the prophet finds himself standing in a valley full of dry human bones. Before him, the bones begin to move and assemble into human figures, skeletons rising and begin to stand. Almost as in modern computer-generated visual effect, the skeletons begin to receive layers of living flesh: tendons, muscles, organs and skin. They then arise, standing upright, alive and vital. These are the Israelites living in exile who are returning to Jerusalem.

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The House We’re Building

1109lateran2The Lateran Basilica in Rome is not the oldest church in Rome – that honor seems to belong Santi Quattro Coronati (314); but then that depends on what sources you believe. Old St. Peter’s, the original church on the spot where the current St. Peter’s stands dates to 324, the same year as St. Lorenzo and St. John Lateran. In fact, the Lateran Basilica is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome – the place from where the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, leads his diocese even as he leads the church universal. Continue reading

The House We’re Building

1109lateran2The Lateran Basilica in Rome is not the oldest church in Rome – that honor seems to belong Santi Quattro Coronati (314); but then that depends on what sources you believe. Old St. Peter’s, the original church on the spot where the current St. Peter’s stands dates to 324, the same year as St. Lorenzo and St. John Lateran. In fact, the Lateran Basilica is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome – the place from where the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, leads his diocese even as he leads the church universal. Continue reading