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God’s will

When someone is sick, people start talking about God’s will. Thy will be done. What does it mean? I’ve heard it used several ways: “Thy will be done” as a magical prayer. It’s easy to fall into the belief that if I say this special prayer before a frightening, uncertain event, then the outcome is God’s will—even if the outcome […]

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Redemptive sadness

I spent three nights last month at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California. The Mercy Center has several walking paths that were created years ago by Father Thomas Hand, S.J. One of the paths, called the Water Way, leads you down a slope and into an area shadowed by trees, then along a dark creek that is criss-crossed with fallen branches […]

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No, it’s not about comfort.

John 11:1–45 v. 37: But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” It’s the fifth Sunday in Lent, and the first anniversary of my dad’s death. The story of Lazarus’s death and resurrection (or resuscitation?) was very alive to me during March of last year. Here […]

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Looking for someone else

John 20:14 At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus, I don’t want this to be you. I would guess that Mary saw only two options: Jesus was either dead, or he was alive. She had seen him die and knew he was dead. Then he came back […]

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Staying with Jesus

John 19:38–42 [My paraphrase…] Two wealthy men who’ve been pretending not to be Jesus’ disciples come forward to claim his dead body, prepare it for burial, and lay it in a tomb. I’ve been working my way through the gospel of John, and for round about a year I’ve been mired in the crucifixion. Jesus’ willingness to suffer astonishes and […]

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