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Saturday, April 28, 2018

     “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ And they remembered his words. Then they returned from...

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of idleness (ἀργίας), despondency (περιεργίας), love of power (φιλαρχίας), and idle talk (ἀργολογίας).” (Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem, Part 1)

It is not sane to “love“ power or authority over others, although it is vital that some people exercise it, as their God-given vocation, – either as parents, or as political, military, or Church-leaders, or as teachers/professors, or as business-managers or executives. As St. Paul reminds us, “there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God.“ (Rom 13: 1) The response-ability (or “ability to respond“ to the call/vocation) of power is humbling and often painful, for example, when one must “parent“ a misbehaving child while wanting to be a “f...

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care if we perish?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?’ And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?’” (Mk 4: 36-41)

They didn’t know “who,” exactly, He was, this “teacher” in their boat. They underestimated Him, as the ever-merciful God-Man, ever-willing to help us. So they...

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Above all who teach me have I gained understanding, for your testimonies are my meditation. Above my elders have I received understanding, for after your commandments have I sought.” (Ps 118/119: 99-100)

Aren’t these Psalm-verses shocking, in light of our Church’s understanding of “obedience,” I mean, to “teachers” and “elders”? Am I really supposed to gain/receive “understanding” beyond and “above all who teach me,” and “above my elders”?

Yes of course I am, eventually. Because that is the way we mature, in the circle of life. We are meant to mature and grow up, above and beyond our “teachers” and “elders.” They will die and pass on, but we will live on. We are never to disregard or dishonor them, but we are, nonetheless, meant to grow up and stand on our own two feet, in the light and in...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

  “And as he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed him.” (Mk 1: 16-17)

 

So, Simon and Andrew simply walk off from their job, leaving their nets, and follow Jesus. And He barely said anything to them – only the puzzling phrase I read above, which probably made little sense to them, “I will make you become fishers of men.” At this point the disciples know little if anything of Christ’s “teaching.” They are following Him, not a teaching.

 

I note today that of course, Christ brings us a salvific teaching and valuable “lessons” on how to live. But this is not exclusively, not even primarily,...

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