hiroshima

Sacrifice

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Luke 12:32-40

“God is raging in the prophet’s words,” says Abraham Heschel. In the vision of Isaiah, the word of the Lord scorches every act of the people’s worship and prayer.

What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? Trample my courts no more. Bringing offerings is futile. I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity. Your appointed festivals my soul hates. Even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

This is the message to faithful temple-goers! How could things go so wrong? Read more

The Far End of the Net

Third Sunday After Epiphany
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jonah 3:1-5,10
Mark 1:14-20

Only one time in each three-year lectionary cycle do we get a chance to read the prophet Jonah (twice if you’re Episcopal or Catholic and following the lectionary). The entire story takes only 48 verses to tell, but by the time it’s done the reader has been taken on a whirlwind tour of the ancient world, explored the character of God, watched Israel wrestle with its calling to be a conduit of God’s grace for all of the nations rather than its terminus, and felt both sympathy and anger towards a self-centered prophet more concerned with his public standing as a prophet than with the destiny of an entire nation. Read more