In Luke’s Gospel, many of Jesus’ encounters with people are described in terms of whether or not they have faith. Yet this week’s story of the widow of Nain stands in contrast: the person in need never asks for help.
In Galatians, Paul is confrontational. While we should be more cautious about calling other people "foolish," we can learn from him that tolerance shouldn't depend on denying one's faith, and being grounded in one's faith shouldn't lead to intolerance or coercion.
When we are overwhelmed by our daily struggles, when we get weary because of the dehumanization that results from hatred and greed, Proverbs 8 and Psalm 8 remind us how God conceives of us as human beings crowned with glory and honor.
In Acts comes Luke’s imaginative way to build upon ancient stories. The tongues of fire are no longer seen from afar on top of God’s mountain. And the multiplicity of languages becomes God’s vehicle for bringing salvation to the entire world.
The reading from Revelation 22 concludes the book’s resurrection songs: the baptized enjoy the fruits of the tree of life. But the tree is not merely one of the countless archetypal trees that religions and cultures everywhere have imagined.