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Posts Tagged ‘amazed’


Mark 6:1-6Jesus of Nazareth

Diego Velázquez: Christ Cricufied - The Prado Museum, Madrid

Diego Velázquez: Christ Crucified – The Prado Museum, Madrid

Friday, August 26, 2022

“What is this wisdom that is given to him?  What mean such miracles wrought by his hands?” . . .  And Jesus marveled at their unbelief.  (Douay)

“Where did this man get all this?  What kind of wisdom has been given him?  What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands?”  . . .  He was amazed at their lack of faith.  (NAB)

“This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joseph and Jude and Simon?  His sisters, too, are they not here with us?”  And they would not accept him. . . .  He was amazed at their lack of faith.  (Jerusalem Bible)

“Where did he get the things he is teaching?” they said.  How can he perform such miracles?”  . . .  He was amazed at their unwillingness to believe.  (William Barclay translation)

When I reflect on the Crucifixion, call to mind the image created by Diego Velázquez that tells us – much like Marks’s Gospel – of the stark reality of the love Jesus, this God-man, has for each of us. It seems to me that Velázquez has captured the unambiguous difference between the healing, merciful Christ and the Jesus of Nazareth who is disbelieved in his own town. The mystical eeriness produced by the floating cross coupled with the universality of Jesus’ half-covered face allow us to personalize this image with our own version of the very human Christ.

I imagine that our own lack of faith proves a heavy obstacle to the performing of miracles and to the healing of bodies and souls; yet Jesus of Nazareth abides. He still performs the impossible.

Let us invite this Jesus into our homes today and every day. Let us open our hearts and minds to the wild possibilities he dares to dream with us.  Let us gather together as his resurrected body to bring healing and hope to one another.


Use the scripture link above to explore other translations of these verses.

Adapted from a favorite written on June 8, 2008. 

Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/Crucified_Christ_(Vel%C3%A1zquez)

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Luke 24:1-12: Our Story – Part III, Resurrection Luke24-5-6

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

For the past two days we have reflected on the story of our lives. Today we remember the good news of Jesus’ story. 

We can never read this part of The Story too many times; the gift is too precious, the love too prized . . . and then he went home amazed at what had happened. 

We live in a world that is too casual about the miracles that happen before us constantly. Medicine has advanced; yet not enough to please all our wishes. We produce food in record amounts; yet millions go hungry each day. Energy sources seem limitless; yet we pollute the world and kill God’s creatures – and ourselves – in our greed. And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s goodness in our lives.

We go to the food market and there is an abundance; and we credit ourselves with the harvest. We go to clothing stalls where too many varieties of the same shoe tempt us to buy; and we complain that there is nothing to wear. We drive through neighborhoods with empty or underused homes; and we never seem to be able to house the homeless. And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s generosity in our lives.

We are self-centered beings who have difficulty seeing beyond our noses. We cry out for help when we need it, and casually put God as the last item on our agendas when times are good. In the peace that follows conflict we gear up for more strife. We become so accustomed to struggle that we forget to rejoice. Former enemies sit down to speak peace and we are too impatient when a world leader speaks to us and pre-empts a football game or a favorite show. A friend calls on the phone and we silently begrudge the time they ask of us because we have too much work to do. And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s love in our lives.

God is a loving God and this we know because even though we ruin the environment with our lack of care, the trees continue to return to foliage each spring cycle, the waters have smaller “dead zones” when they are given the time to rejuvenate, the souls of the faithful departed enjoy eternal communion with God in the New Jerusalem. And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s power in our lives.

We can never over-estimate the length and breadth and height and depth of God’s presence in our lives, especially when we contemplate this portion of The Story. So let us today, like Peter, go home at the end of our day . . . let us thank God for all that we are and all that we have . . . let us be amazed at what has happened in our lives . . . and witness to the miracle and the joy of the resurrection which the savior has given as gift to each of us. Amen.


A Favorite from  June 23, 2010.

Image from: http://straight-friendly.blogspot.com/

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Matthew 9:1-8: Healing Lameness

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Yongsung Kim: Jesus Healing the Crippled

Yongsung Kim: Jesus Healing the Crippled

John the Baptist was imprisoned and when he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?” (MSG) This week we are given an opportunity to give our own testimony.

Some men carried a paraplegic on a stretcher and set him down in front of them. Jesus, impressed by their bold belief, said to the paraplegic, “Cheer up, son. I forgive your sins.” Some religion scholars whispered, “Why, that’s blasphemy!”

This story brings us several important lessons. First, no matter the obstacle, there is always a way to Christ. Second, God’s compassion knows no boundaries. Third, we can hide nothing from the Spirit who knows our inmost thoughts.

Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why this gossipy whispering? Which do you think is simpler: to say, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . .” At this he turned to the paraplegic and said, “Get up. Take your bed and go home.” And the man did it. 

This story brings us an opportunity to grow with our failures. It brings us the gift of healing grace. And it brings us a reason to believe when so many doubt. Like the man in these verses, we must ask for God’s grace; we must practice mercy; and we must act in our belief.

The crowd was awestruck, amazed and pleased that God had authorized Jesus to work among them this way.

Have we become so jaded that we no longer allow ourselves to be awestruck, amazed or even pleased? Do we rejoice when God shows mercy to others? Do we have the courage to take up our familiar bed and move out in to the unknown world?

When we explore other translations of these verses from THE MESSAGE, we can explore the possibilities of healing lameness in ourselves and others.

 

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Matthew 9:32-34: The Mute

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tissot: Jesus heals a Mute Man Possessed by Demons

Tissot: Jesus heals a Mute Man Possessed by Demons

The crowds were amazed and said, “Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.”

As always, when goodness happens, evil will be lurking nearby, looking for an opportunity to douse the light, hoping that the darkness will take over. When we have no moral compass night and day look the same to us. Truth and lies have no boundaries. Deceit and honesty are difficult to discern. The innocent suffer as the wily take over. But this describes the world in which we live. In the Kingdom, the Beatitudes hold sway . . . the broken-hearted, the poor in spirit, the meek, the hungry, the thirsty, those who mourn and suffer persecution, the merciful, the pure of heart, those reviled in the name of goodness . . . all of these have value.

When we are confused or frustrated by the events around us we might turn to Matthew 5 to the new Rules for the Road that Jesus gives us so clearly. The inversion of values will not make sense to the unscrupulous or greedy, but what do we do when we are up against those who cheat a system meant for good or who look out only for themselves? How do we address such darkness? And must we speak or act when confronted by violence that takes advantage of the innocent?

Today we read about Jesus bring speech to a man who could not speak and we see that the crowds were amazed for never before had they seen such authority used to heal someone afflicted and disadvantaged. Those in power, on the other hand, are alarmed. We know the end of this story as does Jesus; still, he moves forward with his acts of healing, opening eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear. Are we as willing as he is to step into the darkness, bearing the light of The Word?

We are not Jesus, we tell ourselves. We are not expected to interfere with those who hold so much authority and power, we say as we comfort one another, so we will let someone else speak up. But is this the case? Are we – who have the gift of speech and the ability to use it – expected to remain mute in fear and confusion when we have the Beatitudes to guide us? Or might we use the words the Spirit gives us to bring clarity to obfuscation? Might we use our strength in Christ to shed light in the darkness? Might we use the power of Christ’s love, in solidarity with others, to bring about kingdom moments in a world waiting for freedom and honesty?

We have this to ponder today as we compare the translation above with other versions using the scripture link and drop-down menus. 

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Joel 3:17-21: Salvation for God’s Elect

Saturday, May 28, 2016Wonder-and-Amazement

The expression “God’s Elect” seems contrary to the message of Jesus about universal access to God and salvation. We are all given the option to listen, seek, obey and serve. So the expression we see here today may put us out of our comfort zone. We need to think about this.

From the NAB: “This prophecy is rich in imagery and strongly eschatological in tone. . . Its prevailing theme is the day of the Lord.”

From today’s MAGNIFCAT: “Jesus said: ‘I am the gate. Whoever enters me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture’.” John 10:9 The gate to the Lord’s sheepfold is narrow and cut in the shape of a cross. Yet Christ leads the flock safely through to the place of pasture he has prepared for us. . . Two distinct groups follow Jesus as he goes up to Jerusalem. Those who walked with him who ‘were amazed’ are the ones who live the prayer, ‘Look upon us, show us the light of your mercies. Give new signs and work new wonders.’ However, those who walked behind him ‘were afraid.’ Joining with Jesus who gives his life as a ransom for many changes our fear into amazement.”

With God and prayer, fear turns to amazement. We must remember this.

When we turn to God through our suffering, our wonder and awe are increased many-fold. When we see how God provides for us, our faith is increased many-fold. When we dream of prayers God might answer for us, our petitions are answered many-fold. When we love as God loves us, our love is increased many-fold. And so we pray.

Good and gracious God, grant us the patience, the wisdom, and the perseverance to seek the narrow gate and to enter it. May our fear turn to awe, and may we be continually amazed by your goodness. Amen.

Adapted from a Favorite from May 30, 2007.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 30.5 (2007). Print. 

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