has a way with a sneer. Nineteen times in 1 Corinthians 1, Paul mentions
wisdom, and each time we hear a growing sneer in his voice, until he nominates
Christ as the wisdom of God. The word "wisdom" is distasteful to him because it
is wooing the Corinthians to pursue a dead wisdom when they might turn to a
wisdom he calls the "source of life"--and come alive.
Paul writes that Christ is the wisdom of God, he's tapping into an ancient way
of speaking about God. He's drilling down into proverbs, where wisdom plays the
part of the creative spirit of God. Wisdom is begotten of God, the firstborn of
all creation, the very spirit alive in Creation, a feminine expression of God.
This isn't just some hocus pocus
stuff from the Old Testament, either. The New Testament writers are so
influenced by this thinking that they pay homage to Lady Wisdom everywhere.
In the incarnation, life,
death and resurrection of Christ we see that God is so for us and with us that
we can no longer be defined according to death, a religion-based worthiness
system or even the categories of late-stage capitalism.
Christopher Shea highlights a new study that analyzes the effect of U.S. grain and soy subsidies on the American diet. The study's abstract leads with its contrarian, we're-taking-on-Michael-Pollan angle:
Many commentators have speculated that agricultural policies have
contributed to increased obesity rates in the United States, yet such
claims are often made without any analysis of the complex links between
real-world farm commodity support programs, prices and consumption of
foods, and caloric intake.
So, the Blunt amendment got killed in the Senate. And good riddance: you wouldn't know it from the L.A. Times's writeup, but the measure was a good bit broader than a reversal of the Obama administration's contraception mandate (which itself would have been nothing to celebrate). From the amendment text (pdf):
A health plan shall not be considered to have failed to provide the
essential health benefits package...on the basis that it declines to
provide coverage of specific items or services because...providing
coverage (or, in the case of a sponsor of a group health plan, paying
for coverage) of such specific items or services is contrary to the
religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other
entity offering the plan.
In other words, essentially a line-item veto of whatever the boss is morally opposed to, based on church teaching or otherwise.
I’m taking a class on the Gospel of Luke this semester, and
one of my assignments is to engage in an ongoing spiritual practice
related to that particular Gospel. So for the entire semester I am
reading the Magnificat daily. It’s a passage that I’ve been drawn to in
recent years, but it has been particularly illuminating to be dwelling
on it during Lent this year, since it is typically confined to the Advent
season. Somehow the triumphal language of the justice that God has
already accomplished fits with the modern treatment of Advent as a
celebratory season. But Lent is a season of penance, which puts an
entirely different spin on the text.