Shame and Prayer

In countless commentaries on the encounter in Mark’s gospel between Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman, much is made of her faith and her perseverance. And so should it be. Even as Jesus at first seems to rebuff her, her faith, hope, and love for and of her daughter lead her to continue to plead with Jesus until he relents and, because of her perseverance, heals her daughter. The very brief story, however, also gives us insight into what in the woman’s character allows for such persevering prayer and so can teach us a foundational disposition for our own practice of[read more]

Being and Doing

Some philosophers see anxiety as that affect that constitutes what is unique in human experience. We are anxious because, of all creatures, we are aware that we are going to die. And so, we develop our own understanding of life and world, our own particular fruit which comes from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We come to see the world in light of the good, whatever avoids death and evil, whatever raises awareness of or concern about our own death. We long to return to that time of life when the reality of death was hidden from[read more]

Generosity and Love

Today’s reading from 1 John tells us that we are to love one another in the way that God has loved us. The nature of this love of God for us is seen and known, we are told, in God’s giving of Jesus, the very life of God, to us, “so that we might live through him.” God does not love us because we have loved God, but rather in pouring out God’s self to us “as atonement for our sins.” Love, according to the author of this letter, is not a contract; it is not a response to another[read more]

Testing The Spirits

Beloved ones, do not have faith in every spirit, but test the spirits — whether they are from God — because many false prophets have gone out into the cosmos.  By this you know the Spirit of God:  every spirit that confesses that Jesus the Anointed has come in flesh is from God, and every[read more]

Let Us Go Now To Bethlehem

And it  happened that, as the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this story that has unfolded, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And hastening they went and found both Joseph and Mary, and the baby lying in the[read more]

Without Him Not a Single Thing Has Come To Be

In the origin there was the Logos, and the Logos was present with GOD, and the Logos was god.  This one was present with GOD in the origin.  All things came to be through him, and without him came to be not a single thing the has come to be.  In him was life, and[read more]