Someone once reminded me that the most important part of a gravestone is the dash that comes between the year someone was born and the year they died. That dash represents everything that happened over the course of that person’s life. Unfortunately, most people don’t stop to think about their legacy until long after their legacy has already been determined in the minds of the people around them.Read More
Deflated and Defeated
Have you ever packed a suitcase and then had that niggling feeling that you are forgetting something? Something’s missing but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
The rich young man who approached Jesus was lacking something. He didn’t know what it was either. He politely knelt before Jesus and asked what he needed to do to have eternal life. Jesus reminded him of the commandments.Read More kingdom, wealth, Eternal life
Road to Humility
Fear can put crazy thoughts in our heads. Panic and undue expectation can fill us with dread. Sometimes we can even get sick from anticipation.
When Jesus, his disciples and the other followers headed to Jerusalem, there was a feeling of foreboding in the air. Jesus sensed the anguish of the disciples and wanted to help them gather their thoughts so they could start to deal with what was about to take place.Read More fear, humility
In Pursuit of Christ
Jericho symbolized victory to the people of Israel. But not everyone felt victorious. Blind Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, forced to earn his keep by begging on the street, heard that Jesus of Nazareth, was in town. A crowd followed Jesus as he made his way down the street. Bartimaeus tried to attract the attention of Jesus by calling out. Some tried to hush up the loud, obnoxious cries of the blind man.Read More healing, miracle, following
This event in the life of Jesus is often referred to as the Triumphal Entry. A quick reading of the passage seems to confirm the appropriateness of that title. Nevertheless, such an interpretation raises some difficult questions. How can Jesus be received so positively at the beginning of the week, when at the end of the week the crowds will call for his blood? This festival took place every year, with the same songs, the shouts of “Hosanna,” and the waving of palm branches.Read More kingdom, Messiah, deliverance, Hosanna
The Barren Temple
Many people find this incident with the fig tree baffling. Why does Jesus curse it? What did the poor tree do to deserve such judgment? What is even stranger is that it was not the season for figs, so Jesus had no reason to expect to find any. What are we supposed to learn from this?
The key to properly interpreting this story is found in a literary technique that Mark frequently uses throughout his Gospel.Read More prayer, Temple, fruit, purity
A Contemporary Quandary?
In his book The Shattered Lantern, Ronald Rolheiser observes that many people suffer from a kind of functional agnosticism. Even those who profess to believe in God may struggle to detect, perceive and experience his presence.
Rolheiser examines cultural conditions that are decreasing our capacity to “imagine or feel God’s existence.”Read More morality, foolishness, wisdom