How can Paul navigate the choppy waters of a pagan environment, with its idols and temples? The obvious place to start is the Shema.
Season after Pentecost | 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Amos 7:7-15 (Psalm 85:8-13); Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29 | Semi-continuous first reading: 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19 (Psalm 24)
National Organization for Marriage board chair John C. Eastman recently called adoption a “second-best option” for children. He was speaking to the Associated Press about Chief Justice John Robert’s position on the rights of same-sex couples: “Certainly adoption in families headed, like Chief Roberts’ family is, by a heterosexual couple, is by far the second-best option.” The comment reveals less about adoptive families than about Eastman’s willingness to jettison religious tradition for political gain.
Reading through the gospel for this week is sort of a horrific treat. The beheading of John the Baptist is nothing if not a great story—drama, intrigue, tension, conflict, resolution. Even as a flashback (“John, whom I beheaded, has been raised!”) to explain Herod’s response to Jesus’ ministry, it’s the kind of story one doesn’t want to read and yet cannot stop reading. But compelling as it is, I don’t necessarily want to preach about a head on a platter.