There is quite a complicated set of images in this Gospel. The disciples beg Jesus to increase their faith, because they have just begun to realize what he expects of them. Then, he calms them down just a little with that mustard seed image suggesting that they need not think the task is really too great for them. Just a little something will get it all started. Then he comes up with that parable to suggest that just because they have done that little bit it will be over and that will be enough. … more »
September 25, 2022 at Saint Agnes, St William, & St. Peter Parishes in Naples, FL
This is a complex and troubling parable. I’ve always been disturbed by that man who even after death thinks that Lazarus should serve him. “Send him to my brothers” he says as though nothing has changed. While some may see his concern for his brothers, I find it troubling that he’s only worried about his own family. Oddly, at this point, the rich man has suddenly learned the name of someone he could not see before.
In the context of Luke’s Gospel, the closer we get to the end, to Jerusalem, and the culmination of his ministry, Jesus begins to focus on the poor and the demands of discipleship. … more »
In preserving this parable for us, Luke proposes a new creative management strategy that seems a little “off” until you sit with it for a while. The steward and his boss both know that the debts owed to them would probably never be paid in full. Droughts, floods, plagues were all too normal catastrophes that ruined a sharecropper’s chances of getting out of debt. There might be enough to pay the boss, but the left-over for the one in debt would be minimal. The steward is very clever and Jesus recognizes this immediately. … more »
With our first day on this ship and a wonderful week ahead of us, we are gifted with a very familiar Gospel that in some ways could set a theme or a give some focus to the time we spend onboard together. My own hope is that your presence here today and perhaps during the week will be a real-time proclamation of this Gospel and it’s three parables all of which have a common element that might not be obvious from just reading the text. In each one of these parables, there is a party, a dinner, a joyful celebration, and that is Luke’s concern for us. … more »
Not just the crowds, but Jesus’ closest disciples do not seem to understand the radical nature of his mission or the total cost of it. They only see the glory of victory after their experience of Jesus’ powerful campaign of miracles and preaching and his rising popularity as they approach Jerusalem on the eve of Passover. His repeated predictions of suffering and rejection fall on deaf ears in the din of the welcoming crowds and swirling rumors of a messianic breakthrough.
The truth is that few of us just like those earliest disciples fail to grasp the radical nature of following Jesus. … more »