Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And though I love you, still we're strangers
Prisoners in these lonely hearts
And though our blindness separates us
Still His light shines in the dark

And His outstretched arms
Are still strong enough to reach
Behind these prison bars
To set us free

So may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls, the drought has dried

In His Blood and in His Body
In this Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

-- second verse and chorus to "Peace (A Communion Blessing from St. Joseph Square)" by Rich Mullins

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Alphaeus reached out to gather Little Salome up to him.
"You don't worry," he said. "Once it was Cyrus the King who watched over us, now it's Augustus Ceasar. We don't care, because the Lord in Heaven is the only King we know in our hearts, and what man thinks he is King here on Earth, we don't care."
"But David was King of Israel," I said. "David was King, and Solomon after him. And King Josiah, he was a great King of Israel. We've known this for as long as we've known anything. And we're the House of David, and the Lord said to David, 'I will make you reign over Israel forever.' Isn't that so?"
"Forever..." Alphaeus said. "But who is to judge the ways of the Lord? The Lord will keep his promise to David in the Lord's way."
He looked away as he spoke. We were in the valley now. The crowd of those coming out of the mountains was large. We pressed together. "Forever... what is forever in the mind of the Lord?" he said. "A thousand years is nothing but a moment to the Lord."
"A King will come?" I asked.
Joseph turned and looked at me.
"The Lord keeps his promises to Israel," said Alphaeus, "but how and when and in what way we don't know."
--- Yeshua bar Joseph, age 7, conversing with his kindred (from Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt by Anne Rice, pp. 92-93

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This third boat scene [Mk 8:14-21] is climactic in emphasizing the incomprehension of the disciples. By citing the feeding miracles and addressing such matters as lack of perception, hardened hearts, and the failure to remember, Jesus' words recapitulate the substance of the three boat scenes and the two feeding miracles. Despite auspicious beginnings, the disciples, by the end of this series of scenes and miracles, show themselves to be like "outsiders." Like "outsiders," they "think the things not of God, but of humans" and regard reality from a this-worldly point of view. Of course, unlike "outsiders," the disciples follow Jesus and are "with him" in commitment to his cause. Accordingly, incomprehension on the one hand and commitment on the other are hallmark traits of the disciples. Jesus' struggle with them is to lead them to overcome their incomprehension lest it undermine their commitment to him. This is the central issue in Jesus' relationship with the disciples, and this third boat scene highlights it vividly.
--- Jack Dean Kingsbury, Conflict in Mark, 101-102

Sunday, August 9, 2009

[Humans] experience Jesus not only as an extraordinary figure but also as an immensely controversial one. They regard him in numerous, conflicting ways that run the gamut from abject repudiation as the agent of Satan to acclamation as the Son of God. In point of fact, the centurion at the cross is the only human other than Jesus himself to recognize Jesus to be the Son of God and thus to express an understanding of him that tallies with God's understanding. This shows, therefore, that, for humans, Jesus' identity remains surrounded by an aura of mystery until the end of Mark's story. Moreover, it also suggests that humans cannot perceive aright who Jesus is until they view his entire life and ministry from the perspective of the cross. To view Jesus from any other perspective is in some sense inadequate or wholly false.
--- Jack Dean Kingsbury, Conflict in Mark, 6

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Only when man feels himself responsible for the future can he have hope or despair, but when he thinks of himself as the passive victim of an extremely complex technological bureaucracy, his motivation falters and he starts drifting from one moment to the next, making life a long row of randomly chained incidents and accidents.
--- Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, 9

[Peter] himself did not know exactly what he was looking for, but he had a general, all-pervading feeling of confusion.
--- ibid, 12

For him the liberals and progressives are fooling themselves by tryingto make an intolerable situation more tolerable. He is tired of pruning trees; he wants to pull out the roots of a sick society.
--- ibid, 18