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Showing posts from April, 2014

The Baptism of Politics and Terrorists

"If I were in charge, they would know that water-boarding is how we baptize terrorists."

In case you didn't know, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin said this very recently at an NRA convention.

In the most non-partisan way, this makes my skin crawl on so many levels. I hope it does yours too. Here are a few reasons why:

(1) Baptism is one of the most important sacraments of our sacred faith. It marks the beginning of our life following Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit as we publicly identify with his teachings by symbolically dying and rising with him.

(2) Jesus, our Lord, willfully laid down his life in self-giving love for the whole world against the tyranny of an empire hell-bent on power, wealth, comfort, and fame. Yet a major political leader connects that self-giving sacrifice of Jesus and the Church to the national policy of torturing perceived enemies.

(3) The grace of God is being used to legitimize violence against our enemies when Jesus clearly sa…

Easter 2014 Reflection - Two Angels, Weeping, and the Temple

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"But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher)" (John 20:11-12).

There are so many Easter significances that should roll through our mind. Jesus, being raised forever as the sign of the new age and eternal life, has paved the way through sin an…

What is Good about Good Friday? Exegesis and Commentary on John 19:38-42

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 Below is a my exegesis/commentary on Jesus' Burial scene in John 19:38-42. This is the scripture chosen for Year A from BCP  for Good Friday.
 Background on Good Friday          Good Friday exists in the Triduum of the Paschal Season. St. Augustine calls the Triduum, beginning Thursday evening (Maunday) and ending Easter evening, “the three most sacred days.”[1]  Moreover, Good Friday was early on a commemoration and veneration of the Cross as noted in Egeria, Chrysostom, Cyril of Jerusalem, Ambrose and Augustine. In fact, Holy Week may be the one true apostolic observance because of its orientation around the Jewish dating and the lunar calendar.[2] Good Friday also plays prominently in the early baptism ritual where catechumens were often prepared for the ritual and brought into the prayers of the people. Also, traditionally this has been a time where, in the prayers of the people, there has been a concentrated time of prayer for the Emperor. As part of the season of Lent, and de…

James Cone

"No Christian can evade this responsibility. They cannot say that the poor are in poverty because they will not work, or they suffer because they are lazy. Having come before God as nothing and being received by God into the Kingdom through grace, the Christian should know that they have been made righteous (justified) so that they can join God in the fight for justice. Therefore, whoever fights for the poor, fights for God; whoever risks their life for the helpless and unwanted, risks their life for God. God is active in the lives of those who feel an absolute identification with all who suffer because there is no justice in the land."

~James Cone, "The Gospel of Jesus, Black People, and Black Power." (p. 45 - updated with inclusive language).