Vineyards of En-Gedi | 2019 August
0
archive,date,paged,paged-3,date-paged-3,ajax_updown_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,transparent_content,qode-theme-ver-17.2,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.6,vc_responsive
Homiletics Notes / 06.08.2019

The Book of Wisdom is one of the last books to be composed in the Bible; it reflects Hellenistic culture, and so, it has its own context there. Overall, the message encourages the practice of the Jewish faith in the diaspora and in Palestine. Much like American culture overwhelms the church today (much of American Christianity is heretical by Gospel standards) and we succumb to and are shaped by the culture rather than the Gospel, we in a similar moment. Courage is the direct object of the first sentence of the first reading this coming weekend. We need courage in this culture to practice our faith. One part of the heresy is the belief that we can save ourselves, surrounded as we are by such advanced technology and abundance of resource wealth. In truth, we're not really waiting for salvation from the Lord, because we have taken matters into our own hands. The divine institution is is the sacramental structure of the Church, governing the path to God's salvation. Yet, we are far as Christians from "one accord", divided as we are into denominations, factions, sects, and even cults of individualism. Another part of the American heresy is the incorporation of the rugged individualist into Christianity. There's no Biblical basis. The one thing is true is "your people awaited . . . the destruction of their foes". This is a highly charged line in our culture today, given the rhetoric of the superiority of "The West" (whatever that means) and the lower status we attribute to brown and black peoples. Some see them as enemies, and this is another part of the heresy of American Christianity -- it's white supremacy threads that run through it. I include Catholicism here. This is not just an unfortunate part of our history, but remains subtly embedded in current practice, until we come clean and admit our racism, without adding any excuses. Then again, I am rather amused myself by the satire and sarcasm of Heinrich...

Homiletics Notes / 05.08.2019

Ordinary Time 19 C: The Gospel sayings are place by Luke among a long string of teachings, loosely held together under the theme of discipleship and the characteristics it requires of a person. The greed mentioned in last Sunday's Gospel, here becomes a opportunity for teaching on money, the ultimate earthly thing and teaching on stewardship as service. The servants are attentive and vigilant. The extreme saying about the Master beating the servants does not sit well in our culture; no more than those in the ancient world, we have had enough violence. For us the saying evokes images of child spankings or the unbearable situation of slavery in the modern world. The lectionary makes this part of the narrative option in the long version. Then next Sunday, Jesus appears to be even more extreme about the nature of his ministry and the coming of the reign of God. The best saying here is arguably this: "For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." The ancestors, Abraham, and the disciples walking with Jesus to Jerusalem are people whose heart is being formed in this heavenly treasure on the way. The Word of God is at work in us forming this same heart of a disciple, who is no long afraid of the things of this earth. ...

Homiletics Notes / 02.08.2019

The homily is not really about greed, but rather discipleship. A part of discipleship is holding things in perspective and proportion. This is discernment, for the disciple is always confronted with the way one ought to be in the world while living in the reign of God. Greed is too tempting a thing to talk about, and problematically may tend to turn the homily to the negative, and then miss the point altogether. The context of the journey to Jerusalem for Jesus is training in discipleship. Timothy Luke Johnson is spot on when he writes in Sacra Pagina, that the man in the crowd calling out his question, is clueless. Jesus turns the question into a teaching about the importance the reign of God, God's providential care over us, and the virtuous life which is wealth in the eyes of God. I'm sure we all have personal experience of greed or a story of corporate and political greed. After all, some !% have more wealth in the USA than the entire lower 50%. While all this is important when it comes to justice and concord in society, the real issue is racism, the notion that one kind of person is superior to another based on purely false human distinctions. This racism is the underpinnings of the rights to such greed; Colossians notes this truth in the last verse of the passage this Sunday. The man's question actually comes fully around, as Luke arranges this material, at the end of these saying of Jesus in Luke 12, 57-59, "Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?" Again, it is about the disciple discerning one's way through the world. ...

Homiletics Notes / 01.08.2019

Putting on a new self, of course, is one of the most difficult things in life. I just think of every time I've begun a diet; this summer, for example, it's how many nights in a row can I eat only a salad for supper. And that's among the simpler things. The older we get, the more we are set in our ways. Changing a personal trait, characteristic, or habit is very, very hard. So when Paul says in our Colossians passage to put on the new self, who is Jesus Christ, he lays down the challenge of discipleship. The old self must retreat and eventually vanish so that all is all in Christ, This is the life long work of prayer. When prayers is no longer just asking God for things and for favors, then prayer can become this depth of grace that actually results in putting on Christ. Just ask any of the saints, for this is how it is done. Vs. 13, the last verse in the passage, really fits the day. our country is in the throes of a white nationalist and supremacist rise, not totally unexpected always just below the surface. How many times Peter and Paul, following the practice of Jesus himself create a world without borders or human distinctions of any sort. The "here" must be the Eucharistic banquet, where all human made differences are set aside and no longer have any bearing, and even disappear. It is going to be very painful and many more people will be hurt and killed before it is over. White anger is totally unjustified as privilege and abundance have been theirs sine fine. The patriarchy and the whiteness are all of one fabric. How does the church and the disciple respond to this old situation? ...