October 15, 2018

In Luke’s Gospel Jesus “opens up” the Scriptures for two disciples on the way to Emmaus after the Resurrection. But which Scripture stories did he interpret? Perhaps the story of Achan was one. The previous post in this series mentioned that such stories might be famous or not, noble or not. This story is less than famous and much less than noble. You won’t hear Achan’s story in church; at least, it isn’t in the lectionary that Catholic and many… Read more

October 12, 2018

It’s October 12, the day an Italian explorer made landfall in what would become the Americas. It’s also a good day to commend the citizens of Mankato, Minnesota. Mankato’s City Council last June voted to name the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day. “Nearly 50 people broke out in applause,” the Mankato Free Press reported. Mankato, a medium-size city in Southeastern part of the state, joins other Minnesota cities, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Red Wing,… Read more

October 10, 2018

Introduction to the series Why did Jesus die? Jesus died to save us from sin and death.  In the Gospel of Luke Jesus has his own an answer to this question. He explains it to two disciples as they walk to Emmaus, unaware of the resurrection, which has recently taken place. Unfortunately, he doesn’t explain it to us, Luke’s readers.  In a series of posts I will make some guesses about the Scriptures that Jesus might have “opened up” for… Read more

October 8, 2018

There are many theories of atonement in the history of Christian theology. Jesus reconciles us to God. Jesus saves. But how does that work? Whatever theory one chooses, this post claims, disciples must be an essential part. Without disciples Jesus’ work and his suffering are for nothing. Twenty-third in a series on “The Worldly Spirituality of Mark’s Gospel” with help from Ched Myers’ Binding the Strongman: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus. The Introduction and a Table of… Read more

October 5, 2018

Abortion does not stand apart among sins that need challenging in the theater of American politics. Catholics have fortnights and novenas and prayer vigils and letter-writing campaigns for unborn babies. We ought to do the same for a number of other issues. As a practical matter, concerned about abortion, ought to go with concern about racism, health care, care for the earth, etc. All of these lead to an increased number of abortions. In fact, if America doesn’t change its… Read more

October 3, 2018

Jesus enters Jerusalem knowing authorities there wanted to kill him. For about four days he skillfully avoids capture. Then, having left his disciples a memorial of himself in the form of a meal, he gives himself up. Both the first and the last parts of that puzzling behavior call for explanation. Here I suggest that the practice of civil disobedience in our day may provide a helpful analogy. Twenty-second in a series on “The Worldly Spirituality of Mark’s Gospel” with… Read more

October 1, 2018

Some people are auditory learners, some visual. Some, like me, relate to the world primarily through the sense of touch. That sense turns out to be the key for the continuation of Jesus’ story as Mark tells it. Touch is what makes the connection the Church has with Jesus real. It’s like the matter of a sacrament, given form by Jesus’ teaching, which alone couldn’t keep the discipleship community together. The memory of Jesus’ touch gathered them once again after… Read more

September 28, 2018

What legacy, what kind of world, are we leaving for our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren? I have asked myself that question often. It’s a good question that global warming, perhaps prime among a number of issues, raises disturbingly, But I’ve only been thinking three generations ahead. An Indian chief says that’s not good enough. I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio’s Fly Over” series, recording voices at various stops on a trip down the Mississippi River. The final episode,… Read more

September 26, 2018

The so-called “Little Apocalypse” in Mark is no prediction of a distant future end of the world. It is the rejection of an oppressive order centering around the temple and also a rejection of a violent attempt at restoration. Neither priests nor rebels could imagine a world without the temple, but Jesus can. Twentieth in a series on “The Worldly Spirituality of Mark’s Gospel” with help from Ched Myers’ Binding the Strongman: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus…. Read more

September 24, 2018

Separation of church and state is not a first-century idea. Rendering something to Caesar and another something to God, getting along well enough with both Rome and the temple establishment, is not Jesus’ way. Nineteenth in a series on “The Worldly Spirituality of Mark’s Gospel” with help from Ched Myers’ Binding the Strongman: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus. The Introduction and a Table of Contents are HERE. Jesus knows how the world works. There’s the overarching power… Read more

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