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 is an excerpt from my journal. March 15, 2007 The heading for this section in my bible is “Jesus Comforts the Sisters.” I just crossed it out. I don’t think your deepest intention and hope for them here is that they be comforted. Comfort is so little compared to whatever it is you’re really driving at in your interactions with them. No, you are not bringing COMFORT to the sisters—COMFORT would have been showing up a week earlier and sparing them Lazarus’s death scene, embalming, burial, and their own grieving, […]
Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart. In The People’s Companion to the Breviary, Psalm 51 comes up not only on days like Ash Wednesday, but every Friday morning, rain or shine. The Carmelites of Indianapolis, who created the People’s Companion, phrase verse 6 like this: “For you desire truth in my innermost being; teach me wisdom in the depths of my heart.” I have prayed this prayer many, many times. As I figure it, because God desires truth in my innermost being, God is willing to teach me wisdom. This is a prayer I would expect God to answer. Am I any closer to an answer? I don’t know, but I do continue to see my need to make the request. To see and act on deep truths that are revealed by growing self-awareness and awakeness—this […]
John 20:1 On Sunday morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 11–12 Mary Magdalene stood crying outside the tomb. She was still weeping when she stooped down and saw two angels inside. 14–15 [Mary] turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But she did not know who he was. Jesus asked her, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” 18 Mary Magdalene then went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord. She saw. In the darkness of night, in the darkness of a tomb, and in the darkness of confusion and grief, she saw. How does that work? —> I’m beckoned into the darkness —> I’m awakened to a sight —> perhaps, with grace, I’m led to a dim recognition of what it is I’m seeing (epiphany!) —> […]
Matthew 2:1–12 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. (NRSV) Sometimes the Epiphany holds still, and we can catch up with it.
John 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said unto them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost. I planted bulbs about a month ago, and this photo shows four tiny shoots above the ground. Can you see them? I can, but only because I have felt them with my fingertips. It dropped below freezing last week, which is rare for us, and I worried. But then I remembered that bulbs can survive much worse.
John 20:17 Jesus said, “Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’” Acts 1:9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. In York Minster, I remember seeing the soles of Jesus’ feet depicted on the ceiling, surrounded by a cloud. The last thing anyone saw of his physical body as he ascended! I can’t find any sign of such a thing on the Internet, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Here’s my version.
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 to “life,” and maybe she assumed that if Jesus was “alive” again, he would go back to being how he was before. For me, it’s easy to imagine these two options (and only these two options) for God: (1) God is dead, dead meaning DEAD, and therefore powerless and uncaring; or (2) God is alive, meaning active and powerful. This would be a never-fading, never-dying God who prevented suffering and death from happening in the first place. But what have we got? In John 11:1–44, Jesus allows Lazarus to die, […]
More on D. H. Lawrence’s “Pax”….
John 20:11–12 …As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been…