The Power of the Resurrection

One of the things that has ever been true for the whole of history is that the tyrant always holds out death as the final word. They hold the power of death and depend on our fear of it. They yield the specter of death to bend us to their will. You see it in the dictatorial rule of strongarm dictators using death squads to disappear enemies and their associates. You see it in the bombing of civilian infrastructure, utilities, and housing. A reign of terror so that whoever is not killed in the onslaught, will face the terror of a Ukrainian winter without shelter or heat. As ballistic missiles continue to fall, it adds to the toll of death and despair.  The tyrant presents the such power as ultimate and the resulting death as the end. Continue reading

Along the way

This coming Sunday is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary Cycle C. In yesterday’s post completed our thoughts about the Resurrection and addressed the “real question” being debated by the Sadducees: the authority to interpret Scripture. But along the way, there is a statement Jesus makes that we did not address: “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.” (Luke 20:34-35) Does this mean that Christians shouldn’t get married and have children?

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God of the Living and the Dead

This coming Sunday is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary Cycle C. In yesterday’s post we touched on the Sadducees’ belief that there is no afterlife. We pointed out that their belief was rooted in an assumption that there was no possibility of a life that was different from the one experienced here on earth. As well, we pointed out that even among people who believed in life after death there was a tendency to see it as an indefinite prolongation of this life. Today we will continue that line of thought. Continue reading

The Real Question

This coming Sunday is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary Cycle C. In yesterday’s post we considered the identity of the Sadducees and their resistance to the idea of Resurrection. Today we pick up the dialogue between Jesus and the Sadducees.

“Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’ 29 Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. 30 Then the second 31 and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. 32 Finally the woman also died. 33 Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”

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The Sadducees and Resurrection

This coming Sunday is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary Cycle C. The gospel addresses questions on Resurrection through a dialogue between Jesus and some Sadducees “those who deny that there is a resurrection.” (Luke 20:27). In yesterday’s post we considered the many Lucan passages that lay between the encounter with Zacchaeus (31st Sunday) and our gospel for the 32nd Sunday. Today’s post introduces the Sadducees and that they did not believe in the resurrection. Both of these ideas need some background. Continue reading

A debate about Resurrection

This coming Sunday is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary Cycle C. The gospel addresses questions on Resurrection through a dialogue between Jesus and some Sadducees “those who deny that there is a resurrection.” (Luke 20:27). Since early in the summer (Luke 9:51) we have been following Jesus’ travels as he moves towards Jerusalem. Last Sunday gospel’s encounter with Zacchaeus (19:1-10)  took place in the town of Jericho. This Sunday’s gospel is located in Jerusalem. As before there are verses in Luke that fall between these two Sunday gospels. Continue reading

Seeking the Living

In the Book of Job, chapter 14, Job is pondering the deeper things of life. He is asking the age old question in the face of pending or possible death?  Will a person, once dead, live again? (יִ֫חְיֶ֥ה cf. Job 14:14). The question has now been answered. The tomb is empty. The defining conviction of Christian hope is that because Jesus was raised from the dead, the grave is not the final reality of human experience. “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is risen. Continue reading

Seeking understanding

Women-Tomb-RunningThis is the year in which we primarily read from the Gospel of Mark – at least on Sundays. But since it is the shortest of the gospels, we supplement it with a lot from the other three gospels. Like this morning, when read the traditional Johannine scene of Mary Magdalene mistaking Jesus for the gardener. We get to encounter the risen Jesus, the first witness, some next steps, and all quickly moving to proclamation “I have seen the Lord.”

Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” (Mark 16:8)

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Jonah in early art

From today’s readings:  While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.” (Luke 11:29-32)

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Hope, Love and Resurrection

One of the amazing stained-glass windows in our church is the triptych window of the Resurrection on the first Easter Sunday. It is a piece that takes its place in the gallery of Resurrection artwork across Christianity. Depictions and artwork that has graced the walls of catacombs of ancient Rome, as well as more formal works such as frescos, icons, illuminated manuscripts, altar pieces, Romanesque reliefs, sculptures and more. The Resurrection has been depicted by the great artists of the West: Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Annibale Carracci, Giotto, Titian, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, El Greco, Jan van Eyck, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Continue reading