Have you ever been inordinately annoyed by someone else's clothing? I have, and in my experience this is a classic indicator of what this week's Leviticus reading calls “hating someone in my heart.” When I'm repressing anger or frustration, I suddenly notice the hideously out-of-date belt my relative is wearing, or the way-too-short-in-every-inseam pantsuit my co-worker has on. The clothes are never the true offense, of course, but they send off alarms: time to speak up.
Season after Pentecost | 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; (Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18; Psalm 1;) 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 22:34-46
In Jesus' time, a rabbi's yoke was a set of teachings—that which was required of you. The Lord's "easy and gentle" yoke makes most sense to me in light of our yearning for clarity about what is essential.
In this life, sanctification is gradual and difficult. Why would it be different in the life to come?
In my Century lectionary column for this week, I mention Scot McKnight’s description of the dual love commandment in Mark 12:28-33 (and synoptic parallels) as the “Jesus Creed”—which also happens to be the title of his popular book on the subject and the name of his blog. My sense is that our lectionary readings from the Leviticus holiness code and the Sermon on the Mount are summae of the gospel.
by John W. VestFebruary 17, 2014