Among the various Gospel readings that we have Sunday after Sunday, I think this particular lesson is one that every one of us probably feels we can easily be drawn into that situation, put ourselves there with the disciples as Jesus says, "Who do people say I am?" And I think it's easy to imagine how they must have kind of chatted with one another, "Well, what have you heard?
Soul Seeing: When Pope Francis told a reporter, "I am a sinner," I knew I was in good company. However, Francis knows that the antidote to sin is mercy.
Scripture is never simple. Even before we begin to read, we must know who is speaking, and why, and to whom, and with what agenda. To make matters even harder, the events and teachings we read about took place millennia ago in a language, culture and context different from our own. Despite this, we return to the Scriptures again and again to understand what God wants of us. We need to know what God's love is asking of us here and now in our own culture, language and circumstances.
Column: What if these "divisions" among Christians were seen not as disunity but as diversity -- a positive, not a negative?
Spiritual Reflections: He wouldn't have gotten away with it in our day. How could Jesus call that woman a dog?
NCR Today: The full reality of Mary, a vulnerable human who struggled just like me, challenges me to say yes to God when I would rather say no.
My Table is Spread: God looks like us and we look like God. Which means that all human faces bear the holy features.
Soul Seeing: To take something seriously is to clench our mind on it like a fist. It squeezes out joy and brings headaches.
While it may not be completely evident at first glance, there is a remarkable similarity between the situation in which Elijah found himself (first reading) and the disciples' predicament in today's Gospel. Elijah had incurred the wrath of Jezebel, wife of Ahab, king of Israel, and as a result, the prophet had to flee into the desert. There, he began to despair. He sat under a broom tree and prayed for God to take his life.
Now in order to begin our reflection on today's Gospel lesson, it's important to remind ourselves once more where we are in this Gospel of Matthew that we read every Sunday this year. At the beginning of his public life in the Gospel, Jesus had proclaimed the good news: "The reign of God is at hand. Change your lives." The reign of God is at hand; that's what the good news is.