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]

Acting On The Word

Trust in the Lord forever! / For the Lord is an eternal Rock. / He humbles those in high places, / and the lofty city he brings down;/ He tumbles it to the ground, / levels it with the dust. / It is trampled underfoot by the needy, / by the footsteps of the poor.[read more]

Encountering Jesus

Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” Matthew 16:13-16  Today’s gospel[read more]

Tell The People About This Life

But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, “Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.” Acts 5:20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light,[read more]

They Had Everything In Common

The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.  With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.  There was no needy person among[read more]

How Do You Know Me?

“Nathanael said to Jesus, ‘How do you know me?’” In a very brief gospel story, we are given ample illustration of precisely how guileless Nathanael is. As “a true child of Israel,” Nathanael knows well the words of Psalm 139: “You discern my going out and my lying down;/you are familiar with all my ways.”[read more]

The Possibility of Forgiveness

“Come closer to me,” Joseph told his brothers. When they had done so, he said: “I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt. But now do not be distressed, and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me[read more]