Those bringing good news

Salvador Dali’s painting “Ascension” is certainly one of the most provocative paintings depicting the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus. The symbolic elements are many, the speculations even more, and the agreement on meaning is still up for grabs. But I sometimes tend to focus on some of the more realistic elements cast among the surrealistic things. While the art experts discuss the finer points of Dali — his life, faith, and his work, I am fascinated by perspective, as well as the hands and feet. The former as though clutching at something; the latter soiled and showing the wear and tear of life on earth. Continue reading

The One Coming: who?

Baptism-Jesus2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. 3 A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’”

We often interpret vv. 2-3 in light of Matthew and Luke where they clearly refer to John the Baptist. John is presented before the OT quotes are given. However, in Mark, the only person who has been named prior to the quotes is Jesus. Note also, for those who have difficulty memorizing scripture, Mark’s quote is a hybrid: v. 2 seems to come from Ex 23:20 (LXX) and Mal 3:1 (MT) and v. 3 from Isaiah 40:3, but not quoted exactly. Continue reading

Do angels sing?

hark-the-herald-angels-singStores, offices, and all kinds of places are filled with the sound of familiar and heartening Christmas carols. Some local radio stations are all Christmas music all the time with classic and modern renditions of the secular and religious carols and songs – sometimes as recorded by singing chipmunks.  It becomes part of the ambiance of our Advent season; part of what readies us for the celebration of Christmas.  Continue reading