In this week’s Gospel lesson, Jesus says to the people,
Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No... Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No.
It seems counterintuitive, but Lent is all about abundance. When we focus on a time of renunciation and discipline, these are not ends in themselves, but the conditions necessary for the enrichment of our imagination.
On September 9, when many of our members return from Labor Day vacations or summer travels, the gospel text from Mark and the sacrament of communion might be a powerful combination to welcome folks back to the gospel-centered community.
Whether she knows it or not, the Syrophoenician woman’s reference to the table is a persuasive image for her audience. The table stands at the center of Jesus’ ministry.
Repent or perish. I’ve worked my entire career to avoid using this phrase from Luke 13:5. I’ve been afraid that if the Christian message is reduced to these three words, people will hear in them only an angry God, a God who uses any excuse to punish us.