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The Chance to Bear Witness

As the end-of-the-liturgical-year apocalyptic scale ratchets up in the weekday lectionary, we recount more of Jesus’s cautionary tales and warnings regarding discipleship. Today’s Gospel passage from Luke 21:12-19 offers one such instance: Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they […]

Do Not Be Afraid: The Heart of Discipleship

Today’s Gospel of John’s account of the calming of the seas, which is well known to many Christians, reveals a core dimension of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. It’s curious that this pre-passion, pre-resurrection narrative makes its appearance in the liturgical season of Easter that continues for weeks to come. Why […]

Already, Not Yet: The Eschatological Tension of Now

Already, Not Yet! This is a phrase often associated with the eschatological tension that is made front and center of the liturgical season of Advent that gets underway today. If “Jesus” is the “Reason for the Season” of Christmas, as the popular expression goes (though, in truth, God’s love for creation is really the “reason for […]

On Not Being a Stumbling Block to Others

Scandal. That’s what the translation should actually say in today’s Gospel (Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48). Why the lectionary renders the Greek Skandalon as “sin” in this translation is unclear, but what is clear is that in the original Greek, Jesus is making it plain to his followers that those who — by their actions or words — become […]

Jesus to Us: Welcome Undocumented Immigrants and Refugees

It’s as if today’s readings were selected deliberately because of the current political discussions unfolding in debates and in the news media about immigrants and refugees. Each of our readings this Sunday could serve as a chapter of a handbook or a “reality check” for those who are prone to emphasize their own Christian faith […]