Vineyards of En-Gedi | Uncategorized
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Homiletics Notes, Uncategorized / 08.11.2019

St. Paul connects faith and works in his final chapters of Romans. Putting the faith into practice is the phrase we use. "May the Word of the Lord speed forward and be glorified," and "you are doing and will continue to do." These phrases describe the evangelizing work of the Church, because this is the first and foremost work of the Church, certainly in the theology of this author. The image of the Word "speeding" ahead, or literally "running" or "rushing' seems rather slow compared to the spread of information in our internet and social media culture. While we have every opportunity to promote the Word, we are seemingly still at about the pace of 1st century AD. The point may also be that the Word wins the race and not I. We all like to think of ourselves as winners, in at least something. Can we imagine that God's Word should win this race, this pilgrim journey we are on to the heavenly city of Jerusalem? We are also a culture that loves speed! The faster, the bigger the better. Which makes of us a lazy culture because we expect and demand that some machine do it for us. We don't take the time in our rushing around, and then after all that speed, what is it exactly that people have been freed up do do? Exhaustion and crashing. How doe this Church culture promote forward the Word of God in our lives? ...

Uncategorized / 08.05.2019

This incident at Antioch of Pisidia reflects an aspect of Hellenistic culture, which was fascinated with religions and spiritualities of the East, the East being any non-Greek cults, rituals, and divinities. It would not be surprising if many people showed up in a synagogue to hear of this new and interesting religion. In any event the arguments were about the means to attain salvation, a particular Greek interest in Hellenistic culture. At the same time, the jealousy arose probably because of Paul's practice of using funds to address the needs of the local poor. The early apostolic community had quickly excelled in this practice, which threatened the power structures and dynamics of those who were either not assisting the poor or were not doing it as effectively and generously as the apostles. It is extremely important and valuable that the modern American church keep up its own history of generous giving to the poor. In this cultural moment of greed, this heritage is threatened. For today, the Church remains an effective organization addressing the needs of the poor, yet is hardly ever posted in the news or the pews. At the same time today there is an increased "new age" interest in alternative means to salvation or meaning in life. Paul's critique is that the members of the synagogue have rejected "their own", and so the kerygma is now being given to the Gentiles. For Paul this journey is decisive in his ministry and in the scope of salvation for all the peoples. ...

Homiletics Notes, Uncategorized / 06.05.2019

Last week I was not on the site here, because I attended the annual assembly of the Precious Blood Kansas City Province, our last assembly before the "new creation" of the merge. The four short verses of the Gospel which is not a resurrection story, perhaps follows from the three questions Jesus asks Peter from last Sunday, when Jesus tells Peter to feed and tend the flock. The pastoral care imageries extended here to cover knowledge, life, and protection of the flock. Knowledge, of course, in the Biblical context almost always stands for an authentic knowing through intimate relationship, here a call and response of shepherd and flock. Interwoven with this pastoral imagery is a teaching about the Father and the Son as intimate relationship, that borders on the nuptial. The three prayers of this Sunday's liturgy build on the relationship between flock and shepherd. The Communion Prayer notes "the sheep you have redeemed by the Precious Blood of your Son." ...