A few years ago, when I was researching a story
in Veracruz, Mexico, the proprietor of a small cantina and I struck up a
conversation. When talk turned to religion, Señor Gonzalez shyly asked if I
would like to see one of his most highly prized treasures.
The gospel reading for October 31 comes toward the end of
what most Lucan scholars call Luke's travel narrative. It begins ten chapters
earlier at 9:51, where Luke tells us, "When the days drew near for Jesus to be
taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem."
One would expect to follow Jesus' progress on a map—but the
coordinates make no geographical sense.
My friend, Larry Kamphausen, posted an interesting essay on his blog recently. You can read it here. He's struggling publicly with what it means to be stuck, caught between two (or more) ecclesial realities. He says:
The people of God were slaves in Egypt when God heard their cries and sent Moses to lead them. But their hardships were not over. For 40 years they wandered in the wilderness. Moses died; Joshua took his place (Joshua means "God saves") and led the people over the Jordan and into the Promised Land. But their hardships were still not over.
When he’s at home, Rowan Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury, begins each day with a short meditative walk, or sometimes with some slow prostrations, followed by 30 to 40 minutes of sitting on a low stool to repeat the Jesus prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner”). Usually he repeats the words silently, saying them while breathing out. “Over the years increasing exposure to and engagement with the Buddhist world in particular has made me aware of practices not unlike the ‘Jesus Prayer’ and introduced me to disciplines that further enforce the stillness and physical focus that the prayer entails,” says Williams (New Statesman, July 8).