Showing posts from February, 2018

Sermon Feb. 18/18: A new Conscience in Christ

In Genesis, we hear about Noah’s Ark. One of the most popular biblical stories filled with the images of the great flood, the building of ark, animals and a rainbow. Overcome with the more Hollywood image of this tale, we often forget that this is a story about God making a change in His own behavior. God promises to never use divine anger as a means of punishing his divine art piece, creation, and his reflected divine image, humanity.

The God of Israel, is moved with remorseful compassion. In other words, the very thing God set out to do was to create life, not destroy it. How do we know that God was moved by this event? God created the rainbow to be a reminder to God’s self to not give into anger and destroy his creation again—the rainbow is not for us to remember, but for God to remember his side of the contract.

The first temptation we need to resist, then, is believing that God is involved in any horrific acts of violence, and terror within the world in order to p…

Ash Wednesday: Treasures, Fasting, and Increasing God

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of our Lenten journey of fasting, praying, and almsgiving. These acts of penance, are ways in which we can open our hearts to receive God in a more abundant way. In these acts, we experience what God gave up so that we could gain a fulfilling life both in the present day and in eternal life. In today’s gospel, however, we are sternly reminded to practice these acts of penance with humility.   

Jesus warns his disciples not to by like the hypocrites. These pretenders of the faith preformed acts of fasting, prayer and alms giving as a way to gain or to exploit something. Their repayment was getting praise and glorification from others in the community—in essence, they were about using their faith to gain great publicity.

The God in Jesus is quite the opposite. Jesus does not charge us a price for our redemption. He becomes impoverished for our sake taking on the form of a human. He knows our sufferings, pain, illnesses, and he now hungers…

Jesus and the man with Leprosy: the Great Exchange

Over the past few Sundays in Mark’s gospel, we have heard about various miracles and healing in the context of Jesus’ ministry.On the one hand, these miracles represent the reality of God’s kingdom being established in the authority and the person of Jesus Christ.On the other hand, the miracles and healing administered by Jesus reveal to us the temperament of God.And today’s gospel reveals to us God’s self-sacrificing nature in healing the man with leprosy. Before we can understand the importance of Jesus’ healing, we need to understand how people suffered beyond their physical condition when diagnosed with leprosy.The Israelites thought that leprosy was a punishment from God for some type of sin that one may have committed. Strict legalism of the law of Moses was enforced, and the person with leprosy was removed and isolated from the community.The sentencing for this man’s infirmity was executed swiftly and, was unusually cruel. No one was allowed, including family and friends, to vis…