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Monday, December 10, 2018

   “The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, ‘Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And he left them, and getting into the boat again he departed to the other side.” (Mk 8: 11-13)

     Was there any lack of “signs from heaven” at that time, when the ultimate Sign From Heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ, was on His earthly mission? No. But the Pharisees had lost the ability to “see God” and His “signs,” because they were not “pure in heart” (Mt 5: 8). They were not open to God’s surprises, but stuck in their own ideas about “signs,” based on the “signs from heaven” that God had revealed to their ancestors, like manna...

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

   

     “Now when he was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation (μετὰ παρατηρήσεως); nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Lk 17: 20-21)

     It’s not by empirical observation, which is the “scientific” method of learning something new, that the Kingdom of God “comes” into my life. The “newness” of the Kingdom of God is something I am given to experience not primarily by the physical senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch, – but in the small victories on the battleground “within me.” It is from within the invisible reality of my life, of my invisible interaction with “this age” (cf. Eph 6: 12), that the grace of...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

   “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to him, to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’ So he told them this parable: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Lk 15: 1-7)

     Indeed, the self-righte...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

     “…Woe to you! for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and consent to the deeds of your fathers; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be required of (ἐκζητηθήσεται) this generation.” (Lk 11: 47-51)

     How chilling, that in this series of “woes” on the Pharisees and lawyers, the Lord equates their “building the tombs of the prophets” with condoning the killin...

Monday, October 8, 2018

       “One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.’ And Jesus answering said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ And he answered, ‘What is it, Teacher?’ ‘A certa...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

  “When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ And they discussed it among themselves, saying, ‘We brought no bread.’ But Jesus, aware of this, said, ’O men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How is it that you fail to perceive that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pha...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’ So he told them this parable: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing… Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one s...

Monday, October 9, 2017

One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.’” (Lk 7: 36-39) 

This Pharisee is considered a “righteous” man by the standards of his world, although he isn’t called “righteous” in the Gospel-n...

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