Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Comparing Scripture’ Category


Isaiah 18:4-6: Silent as Dew

Monday, June 19, 2017

The prophet Isaiah relays to us words from the creator, describing his presence as silent as the dew during harvest. A sustaining force that does not boast or bluster, but faithfully nourishes in the quiet morning hours.

For here’s what God told me:

“I’m not going to say anything,
    but simply look on from where I live,
Quiet as warmth that comes from the sun,
    silent as dew during harvest.”

And then, just before harvest, after the blossom
    has turned into a maturing grape,
He’ll step in and prune back the new shoots,
    ruthlessly hack off all the growing branches.
He’ll leave them piled on the ground
    for birds and animals to feed on—
Fodder for the summering birds,
    fodder for the wintering animals”.

 The prophet Hosea reminds us that God is faithful not as the brilliant sun, but with the softness of the dewfall.

I will be like the dew for Israel. (Hosea 14:6)

The prophet Zechariah tells us that heaven’s peace arrives each morning not with a rush of wind, but with the quietness of the dewfall.

For there will be a sowing of peace: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its crops, and the heavens will yield their dew. I will give all these things to the remnant of this people to possess. (Zechariah 8:12)

These prophets remind us that God’s persistent and nourishing presence is not always loud and overpowering . . . but is often quiet and perhaps even silent as is the morning dew.

When we compare more translations of these verses by using the scripture links and the drop-down menus, we find that God’s presence is penetrating, like the dewfall.

 

Read Full Post »


John 6:51-58: Body of Christ

Corpus Christi Sunday, June 18, 2017

I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life.

We have explored Trinity as oasis, Trinity as relationship, Trinity as diversity and creation. We have examined the importance of the three-legged triad and how it generates divine energy. Yesterday we reflected on how everything is holy – even our shortcomings and sins – when we bring them to the Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit. In return we find God’s gift of uncreated grace.

“You can’t manufacture [uncreated grace] by any right conduct. You can’y make God love you one ounce more than God already loves you right now. You can’t. You can go to church every day for the rest of your life. God isn’t going to love you any more than God loves you right now. You cannot make God love you any less, either – not an ounce less . . . We can’t diminish God’s love for us. What we can do, however; is learn how to believe it, receive it, trust it, allow it, and celebrate it, accepting Trinity’s whirling invitation to join in the cosmic dance”. (Rohr and Morrell 193)

Today we celebrate the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice of self for us. Christ’s return to and for us as the embodiment of God among us. As we move through our day, let us consider how we bring into expression God’s fierce fidelity, the Spirit’s passion and Christ’s gift of uncreated grace in the elaborate yet simple divine dance of transformation.

I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life.

To more fully understand the eternal dance of love, we might want to spend more time with Rohr’s and Morrell’s description of this dance in THE DIVINE DANCE: THE TRINITY AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2016. Print.  

When we compare varying translation of these verses from THE MESSAGE, we open ourselves to uncreated grace, to the divine energy of  transformation.

Read Full Post »


Salvador Dali: The Sacrament of the Last Supper

2 Corinthians 1:20-24: Everything is Holy Now

Saturday, June 17, 2017

“Once you learn to take your place inside the circle of praise and mutual deference, all meaningful distinctions between secular and sacred, natural and supernatural, fall away. In the Divine Economy, all is useable, even our mistakes and our sin. This message shouts from the cross, and we still did not hear it! Everything is holy now. And the only resistance to that divine flow of holiness and wholeness is human refusal to see, to enjoy, and to participate”. (Rohr and Morrell 189-190)

Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident.

In Salvador Dali’s depiction of the Last Supper, we see the Trinity. The outstretched arms of the Father take in the holy newness of the meal; the good and faithful Son offers himself in the bread and wine; and the Holy Spirit nestles between Jesus’ right hand and cheek. We may need to enlarge and move the image in order to better see this small white dove. In the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. where this painting hangs, visitors are free to step forward and backward in order to bring the Spirit into focus, an exercise that reminds us that although we may not always feel a part of this mystery, it is nevertheless there. We also find that all twelve apostles are present, meaning that Judas Iscariot – who later betrays his friend with a kiss – is also present. Which figure is he? We have no way of knowing. Another mystery that Dali presents to us.

God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By the Spirit God has stamped us with God’s eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.

“What it comes down to is that we are each a transmitter station, a relay station . . . Once I was able to move from pyramid thinking, by reason of the Trinity – ah! Then my mind let go of its own defenses and stopped refusing the universal dance”. (Rohr and Morrell 190)

We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours.

“The love in you – which is the Spirit in you – always show says yes. Love is not something you do; love is someone you are. It is your True Self. Love is where you came from and love is where you’re going. It’s not something you can buy. It’s not something you can attain. It is the presence of God with you, called the Holy Spirit”. (Rohr and Morrell 193)

Rohr, Morrell, and Dali tell us that everything belongs, and everything is holy, even our sins and failures. Rohr, Morrell, and Dali also remind us we are part of this sacred triad. We also kneel as Christ blesses us. We also are swept into the enormous arms of God. We have only to be open to this divine energy in the holy now.

When we compare varying translation of these verses from THE MESSAGE, we begin to sense the reality of God’s pledge that everything is holy. Tomorrow, Corpus Christi and uncreated grace.

Rohr, Richard with Mike Morrell. THE DIVINE DANCE: THE TRINITY AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2016. Print.  

Read Full Post »


John 1:1-18: Divine Energy

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
    God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
    in readiness for God from day one.

Here is a bit of advice from Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell. “You can . . . reread the prologue to John’s gospel, and every time you see the term ‘Word’ or Logos, substitute Relationship or Blueprint, instead, and it will really help you get the message . . . This exact model of relationship is then intended to be passed on to us in what Jesus calls the ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’. The Holy Spirit is the relationship between Father and the Son. It is this relationship itself that is gratuitously given to us! Or better, we are included inside this love. Wow. This is salvation in one wonderful snapshot”. (Rohr and Morrell 186)

Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.

If we might take this in, we realize that it is almost too wonderful to believe, and yet, it is the reality in and by that, we are called to live. We might have some fears about how we are to surrender to this divine energy. So Rohr and Morrell continue.

God was in the world,
    the world was there through him,
    and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
    but they didn’t want him.

“This same relationship shows itself in other myriad forms, such as endless animals and wildflowers, mountains and trees, every cultural attempt at art and science and medicine, all positive street theatre, and every movement of renewal. Every one of these manifestations expresses this endless desire to express new forms of life and externalized love. All things good, true, and beautiful are baptized in the one, same Spirit. The Holy Spirit shows herself as the central and healing power of absolute newness and healing in our relationship with everything else”. (Rohr and Morrell 186)

No one has ever seen God,
        not so much as a glimpse.
    This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
        who exists at the very heart of the Father,
        has made him plain as day.

This divine energy wants all that is good for us. This divine energy brings all that is holy together in us so that goodness might overcome the darkness. This divine energy will never give up, and will never give in. This divine energy is God’s enormous and all-encompassing love as seen in the creator, the redeemer and the healer. This divine energy lives and loves in us.

When we compare varying translation of John’s prologue, we open ourselves to the divine energy of the Trinity. Tomorrow, everything is holy now.

For photos of Arizona sunsets in the southwest USA that echo divine energy, click on the image above and reflect on the divine energy of creation, or visit: http://www.arizona-leisure.com/arizona-pictures.html 

Rohr, Richard with Mike Morrell. THE DIVINE DANCE: THE TRINITY AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2016. Print. 

 

 

Read Full Post »


Matthew 5:3-12: Trinity of Three

Thursday, June 15, 2017

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and God’s rule.

“Think about it”, Rohr and Morrell tell us, “It’s election season, and you feel passionate about your favorite political candidate. You represent ‘first force’ in the Law of Three – you’re in the candidate’s corner. Your co-worker – or maybe your parent – backs the other candidate of the other political party with equal passion. They represent ‘second force’. The way we live so much of our lives stops right there . . . But the Law of Three asks the question we’ve been asking: What if we didn’t live in a binary universe, but instead a ternary universe?” (Rohr and Morrell 92)

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. You’re blessed when you care. You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

Rohr and Morrell continue to explore the world of three as an alternative to the world of two in which we live. If we spend time with Rohr, we know that he always ask us to include rather than exclude, to say, “yes, and” rather than “either, or”. Rohr reminds us of the Franciscan guiding thought that we do best in this binary world when we sink to the bottom to align ourselves with the poor, the mourning, the marginalized; and we suffer most when we insist on governing the people and circumstances that surround us.

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. 

Today we examine the Beatitudes while thinking of the Law of Three that Rohr and Morrell propose. How do we perceive God? As Creator only? As Savior only? As the Holy Spirit alone? How do we put together these three persons as one in us? And how do we allow these three to call us to live in union with them, and with all of creation?

The Beatitudes in today’s reflection are from THE MESSAGE. When we compare this translation with others, we allow all three voices to speak to us. Tomorrow, divine energy.

Rohr, Richard with Mike Morrell. THE DIVINE DANCE: THE TRINITY AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2016. Print. 

 

Read Full Post »


1 Corinthians 12: Trinity in Us

Manet: The Angels at Christ’s Tomb (Inspired by El Greco’s Holy Trinity)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We continue with commentary by Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell in THE DIVINE DANCE. “God’s goal, it seems to me . . . is the making of persons, not the making of a uniform mob, which means there is clear diversity and a kind of what I’m going to call open-endedness in all of nature, and to the very nature of this creation. In other words, heaven is precisely not uniformity”. (Rohr and Morrell 61)

We see great variety in God’s plant and animal life that surrounds us; and each year we discover and classify thousands of new species. How is it possible for us to believe that God wants us to walk in lock step along The Way Christ shows us? Why would God who loves great change and multiplicity want to stifle creation by crushing it into uniformity? Might we see that this triune God calls us to the same variation we see in God’s three persons as one?

I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. 

Today we examine the idea that God’s creation is a reflection of God’s own multiplicity, and when we consider varying translations of these verses, we also consider the effects of God’s goodness and generosity in our lives. Tomorrow, the law of three.

For more on the connection between Manet and El Greco, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_of_El_Greco

Rohr, Richard with Mike Morrell. THE DIVINE DANCE: THE TRINITY AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2016. Print. 

For more on the species we discover each day, visit: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/new-animal-species

 

Read Full Post »


1 Corinthians 12: Trinity as Diversity

El Greco: The Holy Trinity

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell, bring us a vision of the Trinity that may surprise us. “One of the most wonderful things I find in this naming of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is its affirmation that there is an intrinsic plurality to goodness . . . Goodness isn’t sameness. Goodness, to be goodness, needs contrast and tension, not perfect uniformity. If Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all God yet clearly different, and we embrace this differentiation, resisting the temptation to blend them into some kind of amorphous blob, then there are at least three shapes to pure goodness”. (Rohr and Morrell 61)

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served.  

Today we examine a thesis that God’s nature is diverse by intention and not accident. When we explore varying versions of these words, we open ourselves to the possibility of this diversity in God. Tomorrow, God’s diversity in us.

Rohr, Richard with Mike Morrell. THE DIVINE DANCE: THE TRINITY AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2016. Print. 

 

Read Full Post »


John 14: Trinity as Relationship

Monday, June 12, 2017

Do not be worried and upset,” Jesus told them. “Believe in God and believe also in me. For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, “Show us the Father”? I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. This is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. 

In THE DIVINE DANCE, Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell tell us, “We’re not of independent substance; we exist only in relationship. How countercultural! To the Western mind, relationship always looked like second or third best: “Who wants to be in a relationship? I want to be a self-made man”. (Rohr and Morell 45)

Taking in these words, we begin to understand why so many of us struggle to believe, to hope and to love in Christ. Our external world consistently tells us that we must excel, beat out, create, be first, be on alert, be strong, and beware of all that connects us to one another.

Taking in these words, we begin to see the clash that an intimate relationship with the Trinity will bring to us. This triad of strength through interdependence goes against the culture that surrounds us. Our internal communication with God reminds us that nothing we have and are comes from ourselves. All is a gift from God.

And so we ask, can we possibly believe this? Can we possibly hope in this? Can we possibly live this?

Today we examine Chapter 14 of John’s Gospel to look for signs of the relationship Jesus has with the Creator and the Spirit. Throughout the week, we continue to look at the divine dance Rohr describes.

When we explore varying versions of these words, we open ourselves to our special relationship with God.

Rohr, Richard with Mike Morrell. THE DIVINE DANCE: THE TRINITY AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2016. Print. 

Read Full Post »


John 14: Trinity as Oasis

Mosaic over the entrance of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Budva, Montenegro

Trinity Sunday, June 11, 2017

Richard Rohr, with Mike Morrell, describes the Trinity of Creator, Redeemer and Spirit as a perfect model for our own human relationships. The mystery of these three separate person unified in a single triad demonstrate for us how we enter into our own relationships. In their forward, Rohr and Morrell make the point that relationships are “exhilarating, frustrating, exposing, and too beautiful for words”. (Rohr and Morrell 21)

Taking in these words, we consider the power of the Creator, the compassion of the Redeemer, and the love of the Spirit. When each of these separate persons make room for the other two, they expand; they do not diminish. Can we imagine our own expansion in our intimate relationships rather than our disappearance? Might we make room for others without losing who we are? Can we shelter in the oasis of our relationships? Or do we avoid this trinity of creation, incarnation, transformation? Might we find the oasis of the peace we pursue, when we seek to understand the mystery of God’s Trinity?

Huacachina, Peru

Today we examine Chapter 14 of John’s Gospel to look for signs of the Trinity. Throughout the week, we will look at this divine dance as described by Rohr.

Click on the oasis image to read about how this tiny town survives the desert.

When we explore varying versions of these words, we open ourselves to God’s mystery.

Rohr, Richard with Mike Morrell. THE DIVINE DANCE: THE TRINITY AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2016. Print. 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: