Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19; (Jeremiah 23:23-29; Psalm 82;) Hebrews 11:29-12:2; Luke 12:49-56
1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14; Psalm 111; (Proverbs 9:1-6; Psalm 34:9-14;) Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58
Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; (Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67;) Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28
How do we determine and define what is pure and wholesome?
When my daughter was in grade school, her teacher included a unit on table manners. The rule that amused me was, “When served food, you should never ask, ‘What is this?’” I don’t think I’ve asked that question aloud, but I’ve certainly thought it, especially at potlucks.
A kneeling woman does not have far to fall, and by all rights Jesus' insult should have floored her on the spot.
In this reading from Luke we confront stark and conflictual sayings of Jesus that sit poorly with contemporary images of God. Our culture seems to prize a God with an infinite capacity for empathy, a God who is “nice.” Luke challenges this thinking. He offers a glimpse of redemption for a world that is anything but nice—and that needs much more than a nice God to redeem it.
How do the blessed feel when they think of the damned?