Easter reflection: We are the Easter people who believe that the cross transformed all suffering and pain, and the Resurrection secured eternal life.
Many of us learned in grade school religion classes that Jesus' resurrection was simply God's seal of approval on everything Jesus taught and did. So if he didn't actually rise from the dead, then the religion he founded and all the rules we learned in our catechism classes weren't binding on anyone. We'd best look for another religion.
In his essay "The Signature of Jesus," Brennan Manning passes on the story of an elderly man who meditated every morning under a big tree on the bank of the Ganges River (Multnomah Pub., 1996). One morning, after he had finished praying, the man opened his eyes and saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the water. As the scorpion washed nearer to the tree, the man quickly stretched himself out on one of the long roots that extended over the river and reached out to save the drowning creature. As soon as he touched it, the scorpion stung him. Instinctively, the man withdrew his hand.
Spiritual Reflections: A comparison of the synoptic Gospels with the Gospel of John reveals obvious differences, one of which concerns the miracles or wonders worked by Jesus.
Spiritual Reflections: Each of our four evangelists writes from the perspective of a unique theology, often contradicting the theology of those who wrote before or who would write afterward.
Anthony de Mello tells the story of the little girl who asks a boy, "Are you a Presbyterian?" He answers, "No, we belong to another abomination." That's a great starting point for appreciating today's Gospel and how Moses and Paul might comment on it.
John tells multilayered stories open to a variety of interpretations. The way he presents Jesus' interaction with the Samaritan woman and their respective communities could be a screenplay summarizing the entire Gospel.
Call narratives are some of the most significant parts of our Scriptures, yet also some of the most ignored and misunderstood.
Lenten reflection: Lent confronts us with the reality of our internal noise but not in order to humiliate us or isolate us.
If someone were to ask you, "When is your favorite time of the year?" how would you respond? For some among us, the holiday season including Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year holds a special charm. It is a time of holy happenings when families and friends can celebrate God and one another, a cherished season that calls upon those who have to share generously with those who have less.
Dare we live in the world envisioned in the Great Sermon? Dare we live by an ethic that acknowledges God's dominion over all of human life and history?