Many of you may identify with this memory I still have. I recall very clearly the day my retirement arrived. I reached into my pocket and handed over the keys to the church of St Mark in Norman, Oklahoma. I remember handing them to the deacon not knowing what to say except, “Thank you.” The only key left in my pocket was my car key, and believe me, I used it immediately. When I eventually wound up here at St Peter and Father “G” gave me some keys, I was very reluctant to accept them. … more »
This episode when taken in a shallow way could make us uncomfortable with a Jesus who is not compassionate toward this Gentile woman. At first, he ignores her, then he reacts in a way that seems harsh and insensitive. Some scholars suggest that this image of Jesus was made up by conservative Jewish Christians opposed to Gentile converts. So, to give their attitude of exceptionalism credibility, they made up these verses because they thought they were chosen and special. Another set of scholars believe that what is being proposed is a version of our old saying: “Charity begins at home”. … more »
This is a feast of Hope for those of us who would reach deeply into the meaning of the Assumption and draw from the Virgin we honor today one of the lessons she teaches us. One of the ancient symbols of hope for artists is the anchor; that saving instrument of ships tossed around by the wind and waves on a stormy sea. When sailors throw the anchor and it grabs the solid sea floor it promises safety to the endangered crew.
This contrast of images between the stable sea floor and the wind and waves above is a creative way of exploring the hope that we are invited to celebrate and enjoy today. … more »
Last week we were told by a voice to “Listen”. In the transfiguration as told by Matthew, it is not enough for those apostles to “see” Jesus, they must also “listen.” In these verses today, Matthew reinforces that demand if you follow the details carefully. Notice that when they see Jesus, they are terrified. When they hear his voice, they calm down. They need to hear his voice. Then, as if we might not get the point, Matthew says it again with Peter. Until he hears the voice that commands him to get out of the boat, he stays where he is. … more »
It would be a mistake causing us to miss the point to think that what Matthew is giving us in these verses is a manifestation of the divinity of Christ. The experience of those apostles on that high mountain was an experience of Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus is presented as a transformed human, not as a human transformed into God. The description of this event is totally passive. Jesus says nothing and does nothing. If this was a revelation of Jesus as God, Jesus would have said something or done something godly. … more »