Friday, March 27, 2015
Jesus' cry of abandonment on the cross is not in his own words, but in the words of the first line of Psalm 22. By quoting the opening line Jesus is implicitly referring to the whole psalm which ends with an expression of confidence in God:
"My souls lives for the Lord!
My children will serve,
will proclaim God to the future,
announcing to peoples yet unborn,
The first line, "My God, my God, why have your abandoned me," still expresses the extreme alienation from God that Jesus feels in his suffering and death. He has not, however, lost his confidence in his Father's love.
We may have felt the same kind of abandonment, but that doesn't mean that we have lost our confidence in God's saving love.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
In our neighborhood colt's foot is the flower most eager for spring. As I walked this afternoon, the sun brought these blooms to my attention. They lift my healing heart. This year I am as eager as they for spring to take hold.
Cautious, they grow very close to the ground amid dead leaves or often in the gravel alongside the road. They know how quickly spring warmth can slide back into winter's cold. When I started my walk, it was 66 degrees. When I finished it had dropped to 55 and the wind was blowing hard, bringing the predicted rain, that is to turn to snow tonight.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
"Following him was a certain young man, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked." (Mark 14:51-52) He would rather be seen naked than be seen as follower of Jesus. Throughout his Gospel Mark has been showing Jesus more and more isolated. After Jesus is arrested, Mark underlines his abandonment with this incident.
At the end Jesus cries out, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me!"
Jesus suffers abandonment to save us from being abandoned.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
These sunny days are melting the lake.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 sounds like Vatican II's description of conscience. God says, "I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives how to know the Lord."
God precedes this by saying that he will make a new covenant with the people, different from the one on Sinai which they broke. This new one will not be external but internal.
This sounds like law and order morality giving way to conscience, as Kohlberg and Rohr might describe it.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
In his Confession (a sort of autobiography) St. Patrick, a teenager, is escaping from slavery in Ireland when one night he has a sort of mystic experience: "I saw the sun rising in the sky and while I was crying out 'Elijah! Elijah!' with all my strength, the radiance of that sun fell upon me and at once dispersed from me all paralysis, and I believe that I was aided by Christ my Lord and his Spirit was at that moment crying out on my behalf." (The Latin word for "Elijah" sounds like the Greek word for "sun.")
St. Patrick, pray for us.
Monday, March 16, 2015
"Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but, if it dies, it produces much fruit," says Jesus as he is coming to understand that his dying will bring new life, not only to him, but to the world.
Winter's ice melts into spring's flow. The fallow fields of winter eventually spring to life.
I used to think that we emphasized suffering too much in our thinking about the spiritual life. I see now that suffering is a necessary part of our relationship with God. It is the only way to new life.