Captivities

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lamentations 1:1-6 OR 3:19-26 OR Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4
Psalm 137
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10

This week’s texts share, at least implicitly, the common theme of captivity. From Jeremiah’s lament over the destruction of Jerusalem and the hard life of servitude facing those exiled to Babylon, to the exiled Psalmist’s wondering about the very possibility of faithfulness for the remnant of God’s people living in a pagan land, to Paul’s words of encouragement to his young friend Timothy even as he (Paul) sits in prison awaiting execution, to Jesus (even Jesus!) reminding us that even when we do genuine good we are merely performing the duties of a bondservant who expects no adulation, we are reminded that whatever freedom we imagine ourselves having is always qualified by the fact of our allegiances or debts to persons or forces beyond ourselves. We are all, in some sense, captives. The question is, to whom or what are we captive? Read more