Spiritual Reflections: In this weekend's first reading and Matthean Gospel, God and Jesus are represented as peaceable, meek and gentle.
Someone once said that a connoisseur of classical music is someone who can listen to Rossini's "William Tell Overture" and not think of "The Lone Ranger."
Spiritual Reflections: Manna had a strange effect on the wandering people. It fed them not just physically but socially and economically, too.
Spiritual Reflections: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity simply focuses on the concrete relationships God initiates and sustains with humanity.
Pentecost has often been described as the birthday of the church. Perhaps it might be more accurate to refer to Pentecost as the celebration of the Spirit, who, like a midwife, tends carefully to the birth of the community of believers.
Before formulating a missionary strategy and before recruiting others to help them in their ministry, the Eleven first prayed.
In 1971, a significant book for the study of the Christian Scriptures appeared. Trajectories Through Early Christianity, by James McConkey Robinson and Helmut Koester, explored the diverse and often contradictory theologies contained in those writings. The authors were convinced our sacred authors presented various ways of understanding the implications of imitating Jesus' death and resurrection in our everyday lives. These inspired writers offer us "trajectories" of diverse theologies, not the straight-line "catechism" theology employed by most Christian churches today.
Spiritual Reflections: This Sunday's readings are marked by dysfunctional community, used and rejected building materials, and near-paralyzed leadership. Not the characteristics of a flourishing enterprise.
Sandy, a friend of mine for many years, was a goatherd. He and his family raised goats not for slaughter but for their milk, from which his wife made cheese in abundance to support their growing family. During one of our evening classes on the Gospel of John, Sandy said he could relate very closely to the role of Jesus as the good shepherd.
German pastor and social activist Christoph F. Blumhardt once said that it is not enough to celebrate Easter by saying, "Christ is risen." It is useless to proclaim this unless we can also say that we have died with him and that we have also risen with him ("Christ Rising," from Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter, The Plough Publishing House, 2003). Jesus has come from God to live in our midst as one of us. He has endured and conquered the finality of death. He has laid the foundation for a new life and a new world order.