Thursday, April 15, 2021

Easter 3 B - Luke 24:36-48

 

Luke 24:36-48
“Peace be with you” doesn’t do the trick. “Look at my hands and feet” doesn’t dispel disbelief. Even touch me and see doesn’t get a “My Lord and my God!” But eat a piece of broiled fish and maybe the impossible will seem more plausible to doubting disciples. In the everyday necessity of nourishment the crucified, dead and buried Messiah is accepted as really resurrected. It is the final and most intimate act of the incarnation that the One who rose beyond the boundaries of death and life entered this realm again to share a morsel with those still bound by mortality so that seeing would be believing. In that sense “have you anything here to eat?” might be the most grace filled words ever spoken by Jesus.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Easter 3 B - 1 John 3:1-7

1 John 3:1-7

There is no way around it. We all sin and are all guilty of lawlessness, even if in the love the Father has lavished upon us we are children of God now and when Jesus is revealed we will be like Him. That means even if we are children of God in the here and now we do not abide in God or know God or see God because we sin. But then John will go on to say, “This is love: not that we loved God but that God loved us…” (1 John 4:10) So despite our lawlessness God apparently loves us even if we do not love in equal measure and only purify ourselves with the hope that when we do see Him as He is, Jesus will not see us as we are but what we were always meant to be. Or as St. Augustine put it, "we are becoming what we already are; children of God.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Easter 3 B - Psalm 4

 Psalm 4

When we love illusions and seek after lies we lose sleep even if we pass out in the process. Like a good magic trick we ask to see it again and again, albeit more slowly this time. But we never quite catch the sleight of hand or see the trap door in action until it’s been sprung. That dishonors God’s glory because living the lie devalues our own being. God’s desire is to do wonders in and through and with us so that gladness of heart is our everyday experience even when we are in distress. I would hope the answer to “how long will you dishonor my glory” is not “as long as I have breath in my being” but even if it is I trust that the wonder God can do in and through and with us is no magic trick.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Easter 3 B - Acts 3:12-19

 Acts 3:12-19

The scene that precedes this speech to the people is the healing of the lame man. “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6) I’m sure there were some in the crowd who had not called out “crucify” and so can hardly be held responsible for killing the “Author of life”. And even if Peter claims it as Gospel truth Pilate never intended on letting the peasant preacher go free. Jesus was far too disruptive to peace in Judea which made him far too dangerous to Pilate and hence to Rome. Furthermore Peter and all the disciples deserted Jesus in his most desperate hour. But maybe Peter has forgotten his curses in the courtyard? Then again being Holy Spirit anointed with fire and tongues and preaching on Pentecost and being God’s agent for “lame man walking” might mean you forget “I once was blind” because “now I see.” We all act in ignorance even though we claim to know the truth which we easily trade for the lie because we can’t tell the difference. The place of peace is a balancing act of absolute responsibility and perfect freedom which is often expressed as self-righteousness in the case of the former and the habits of hedonism in the case of the latter. It might sound as if we are between a rock and a hard place. But true peace is in recognizing our limitations. Some repent of trying to control everything. Others repent of being controlled by anything. No matter what side of the equation you find yourself the path to peace is to repent and turn to God who is more than able to overcome our lameness.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Easter 2 B - John 20:19-31

John 20:19-31
In the Gospel of John believing is seeing. We can speculate as to Thomas’s whereabouts that first day of the week but his absence is for our benefit as we who have no hope of seeing nail scarred hands or spear pierced side are blessed by believing none-the-less. I don’t know if my “not seeing” believing is due to childhood indoctrination – my guess is I’ll be a cradle to grave Christian – or because the story continues to capture my imagination and stir my soul, but for whatever reason I have attached my life to his and even when I fail to live the life in his name I trust Jesus’ life is somehow lived in mine.