The Divine Protest of Pentecost: The Politics of Language and Respectability (Homily for Pentecost, Year B)

By Madison Baran (Flickr Creative Commons Copyright)

The God of Pentecost doesn’t have an official language. This is the shocking revelation of the day of Pentecost, but one often  lost amid the day’s more bombastic metaphors of rushing winds, descending doves and intoxicated disciples with tongues touched by fire. But in a country with a history of suppressing other languages in the [Read More...]

When Things Fall Apart: The Theodicy of Jesus, Judas, and Betrayal (Lectionary Meditation for Easter B7)

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John 17:6-19 — Year B — Easter “Except the one destined to be lost.” In that one tiny clause, Jesus attempts to explain away his failure, the one given to him but was lost. The one that got away. Judas Iscariot. His betrayer. His disciple. His friend. Earlier in John, Jesus had explained exactly what [Read More...]

The Shepherd Who Casts Us Out: A Homily for Good Shepherd Sunday

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Easter 4B — Good Shepherd Sunday — John 10:1-18 The Lectionary only offers a selection of the Good Shepherd discourse this week, but I have included verses 1-10 as well. This homily was written with collaboration and reflection from two the high school students at my local parish. Be honest, when you heard the readings [Read More...]

The Grief of Peter: A Good Friday Soliloquy (Homily)

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I think a lot about that night, the night the soldiers came. In the quiet, I can still hear their steady footfalls approaching, that rhythmic shuffle of their metal breastplates, spear, sword, and shield. When I close my eyes, I can still see their torches blazing like evil eyes warning of coming misfortune. And I [Read More...]

BREAKING NEWS: Protests Turn Violent in Jerusalem

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Temple Protests Turn Violent Angry Rioters Smash, Loot Local Businesses Jerusalem — Authorities are searching for the leaders of an anti-government protests that turned violent yesterday, disrupting Jerusalem’s annual Passover observance. The leader of the unauthorized and anarchist demonstration, Jesus bar Joseph of Nazareth, is wanted on suspicion of vandalism, looting, disturbing the peace, and [Read More...]

Vanishing Jesus and the Christ of the Deserted Place (A Lectionary Reflection for Mark 1:29-39)

Epiphany 5B — Mark 1:29-39 When the people most sought him, Jesus ran away. When the people finally got an inkling, a glimpse of who he was, Jesus disappeared. When people at last realized that there was something different about this teacher and healer, Jesus vanished, eager almost in his need to be absent and alone. Unwilling to be [Read More...]

An Ordinary Name: A Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Name

Creative Commons Copy Right by Alan O'Rourke

Back in 2013, a judge blocked a mother’s name for a child on religious grounds. She wouldn’t allow the mother to name her child ‘Messiah,’ because the judge felt it was a name reserved only for Jesus. It was probably the oddest judicial ruling I’d ever heard. It was almost as if the judge believed that names themselves had some sort of special [Read More...]

The Cowardly Wise Men: A Reflection for Epiphany and the Holy Innocents

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When the Magi chose to deceive Herod, return home a different a way, and save the child Jesus, they unwittingly doomed countless children to slaughter and countless more parents to lives of eternal grief. Their choice may have saved the One but it killed scores. When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the Magi, he flew [Read More...]

#StayWokeAdvent, Ferguson & Apocalypse: A Lectionary Reflection

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Follow #StayWokeAdvent contributions here and add yours, too! Oh that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence — As when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes the water to boil — Isaiah 64:1-2a  Advent 1B The fires of justice have been kindled in the [Read More...]

The Breaking of the Bridesmaids: Rethinking a Problematic Parable (Lectionary Reflection)

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Matthew 25: 1-13 | Proper 27 | Year A (When the gospel is read, have different readers interrupt the gospeller with the italicized verses of Scripture. Visually, either have the disrupters stand, almost in protest, and remain standing through the reading. Conversely, have the disrupters process behind and surround the gospeller.) At that time the kingdom of heaven [Read More...]


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