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Showing posts from 2018

Dazed and Confused: Moving beyond the Historial Jesus

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Risen in the Life and Love of God

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My brothers and sisters in our risen Christ, today we finally get to start celebrating.We get to celebrate for fifty days!Did you know that?Easter Sunday is the first day of 50 days of celebration of our risen Lord!It is a season, not just a day.
There is good reason for this.Just like the apparent confusion about Jesus’ empty tomb by Mary, Peter and the beloved disciple, we need time to digest the gravity of the events that have just taken place from Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.Thus, let us feast on today’s gospel. First we have Mary who discovers an empty tomb and to her terror she believes that the body of Jesus was taken away or stolen.So she rushes off, in her confusion, to tell Peter and the beloved disciple the atrocity that has been committed.
Now you must understand, Peter and this other disciple were not sprinting to the tomb of Jesus because they believed something good was happening, they too like Mary, were concerned that the body of the historical Jesus had…

Theological Musings on Palm Sunday and Holy Week

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Palm Sunday sets the stage for the most magnificent Theo-drama found in the liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Great Easter Vigil.

In the Palm Sunday Service, we are struck with Jesus riding the colt and people honoring the king of kings.  The image depicts God is with us, among us and in solidarity with us.  This passage certainly gives us enough to reflect on, but it does not stop there.

The transition in the Palm Sunday liturgy goes from a celebrations into the Passion--a deep sense of remorse, of emptiness.  Only after the Son of God gets wrongly convicted as a criminal and crucified, we begin to understand how God is not only with us, but God is for us.  God is the only one who can truly bring life and our true purpose through the frightening and exposing reality of death.  God by taking on the form of our frail humanness banishes our sins so that we can continue our love relationship with God now and within God's Kindgom. 
If you think the Palm Sunday celebra…

My Father's House: Jesus and Purifying the Temple

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My sisters and brothers in Christ, today’s gospel paints an unfriendly picture of Jesus. It is disturbing, and quite frankly contrasts the hippy folk hero that we often attribute to Christ. It is a gospel that is found in all four books of the New Testament and it signals the seriousness of Jesus’ mission. Jesus’ consuming zeal was a statement about the faith and about the religion. This a story about how Jesus begins his mission to reform a religion that was exploiting the common people who were seeking to find God.

John makes a clever connection with Jesus coming to the temple for Passover. Jesus becomes the new Moses, who will lead the people to a new Passover, from death to life, to be truly redeemed. He must first purify the temple which was selling goods that were plundered and resold for sacrifice. It was stolen goods and clearly unworthy for an offering to God because it broke the Mosaic law, put the consumers into sin and, thus, these shady money changers did not bel…

Sermon Feb. 18/18: A new Conscience in Christ

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In Genesis, we hear about Noah’s Ark. One of the most popular biblical stories filled with the images of the great flood, the building of ark, animals and a rainbow. Overcome with the more Hollywood image of this tale, we often forget that this is a story about God making a change in His own behavior. God promises to never use divine anger as a means of punishing his divine art piece, creation, and his reflected divine image, humanity.


The God of Israel, is moved with remorseful compassion. In other words, the very thing God set out to do was to create life, not destroy it. How do we know that God was moved by this event? God created the rainbow to be a reminder to God’s self to not give into anger and destroy his creation again—the rainbow is not for us to remember, but for God to remember his side of the contract.

The first temptation we need to resist, then, is believing that God is involved in any horrific acts of violence, and terror within the world in order to p…

Ash Wednesday: Treasures, Fasting, and Increasing God

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Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of our Lenten journey of fasting, praying, and almsgiving. These acts of penance, are ways in which we can open our hearts to receive God in a more abundant way. In these acts, we experience what God gave up so that we could gain a fulfilling life both in the present day and in eternal life. In today’s gospel, however, we are sternly reminded to practice these acts of penance with humility.   

Jesus warns his disciples not to by like the hypocrites. These pretenders of the faith preformed acts of fasting, prayer and alms giving as a way to gain or to exploit something. Their repayment was getting praise and glorification from others in the community—in essence, they were about using their faith to gain great publicity.

The God in Jesus is quite the opposite. Jesus does not charge us a price for our redemption. He becomes impoverished for our sake taking on the form of a human. He knows our sufferings, pain, illnesses, and he now hungers…

Jesus and the man with Leprosy: the Great Exchange

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Over the past few Sundays in Mark’s gospel, we have heard about various miracles and healing in the context of Jesus’ ministry.On the one hand, these miracles represent the reality of God’s kingdom being established in the authority and the person of Jesus Christ.On the other hand, the miracles and healing administered by Jesus reveal to us the temperament of God.And today’s gospel reveals to us God’s self-sacrificing nature in healing the man with leprosy. Before we can understand the importance of Jesus’ healing, we need to understand how people suffered beyond their physical condition when diagnosed with leprosy.The Israelites thought that leprosy was a punishment from God for some type of sin that one may have committed. Strict legalism of the law of Moses was enforced, and the person with leprosy was removed and isolated from the community.The sentencing for this man’s infirmity was executed swiftly and, was unusually cruel. No one was allowed, including family and friends, to vis…