Posts Tagged ‘Messiah’

Zephaniah 1: De-Creation – Part VII

Holy Saturday, April 15, 2017

At that time I will explore Jerusalem with lamps . . .

From Richard Rohr’s A SPRING WITHIN US, we find a challenge that we might explore on this day when we await a loving God who has descended into hell for each of us.

“The Path of Descent could be called the metanarrative of the Bible. It is so obvious and so consistent and so constant that it’s hidden in plain sight . . . God isn’t really the great theme of the Bible. God isn’t really taught in the Bible; God is assumed. There’s never any question that there is a Transcendent Other. The problem is whether this God is good and trustworthy and how to remain in contact with this subtle Transcendence. The path agreed upon by all the monks, hermits, mystics, and serious seekers was a path of descent and an almost-complete rejection of the ego’s desire for achievement, performance, success, power, status, war, and money. The emptiness, waiting, needing, and expecting of the path of descent created a space within where God could show Godself as good, as loving, and faithful”. (Rohr’s italics. Rohr 112-113)

Rohr reminds us that God uses unlikely figures to lead. This new kind of power has no power. Rohr reminds us that we must stumble and fall before we stand and succeed. Loss and mourning teach us humility and grace. Rohr explains that the ego does not like to bear crosses or to suffer; yet these burdens bring us to a new place of self-discovery and sharing. Flawed and wounded women and men teach us more than the famous or wealthy. Rohr reminds us that the Messiah came to us as a defenseless child, dependent on others, a member of a marginalized and oppressed people.

Rohr urges us to discover how we might stumble so that we might grow, how we might lose and still remain faithful despite our doubts and fears. He urges us to discover, and to follow, the path of descent. He asks us to remain in this Messiah who descends into hell so that we might live. He asks us to allow ourselves to be de-created in Christ so that we might then be renewed in Christ.

On this Holy Saturday, let us be Remnant for God. 

Richard Rohr, OFM. The Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016. 

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Hosea 5Consequences

Tuesday, November 8, 2016lion-of-judah-hd-wallpaper

A Favorite from November 8, 2009.

“Hosea was one of the first prophets whose message was put into writing.  Nevertheless Hosea’s message, like those of Israel’s other ‘writing prophets,’ cannot be understood in isolation from the law and the books of Joshua and Judges, books to which Hosea often alluded”.  Zondervan 1428)

Addressing the priests and leaders directly in this chapter, Hosea speaks to the forces which shaped who and what Israel was, and how and why she acted.  Hosea calls us today to look at not only the root causes of our actions but the consequences as well.  Our own consequences as well as those for others.

A snare, a net, a trap set for the innocent.  Arrogance in believing that the voice of God does not arrive through the innocent.  Harlotry in maintaining a personal comfort level at the expense of the disadvantaged.  Unfaithfulness to the Lord.  Giving birth to illegitimate children and causes.

Using the name of the tribe of Ephraim as an equivalent for the whole of Israel, Hosea warns the people that when they turn for help to the leader they have chosen in place of God, he is not able to cure you, not able to heal your sores.  This warning from Hosea is stark and even frightening: It is I who rend the prey and depart, I carry it away and no one can save it from me.  I will go back to my place until they pay for their guilt and seek my presence.  Hosea is clear: If we choose to look out for own skins at the expense of those placed in our care, we will not again be wholly in God’s presence until we repent in a full and sincere conversion.  We can easily measure this conversion by the softness of our hearts, by our willingness to risk self in order to save others.

Looking at these Old Testament images and oracles we can fast forward to today.  We can examine our own lives for the times when we have collaborated with evil, when we have kept silence when lies are told, when we have been sycophants to present leaders rather than Disciples of Christ.

It will be the Lion of Judah – the Messiah – who will roar out of the south to gather in the lost sheep.  It will be this savior who will seek out those disadvantaged who were trampled and left for dead by those who looked after their own ease.   It is Christ today who attends to those whom we ought to have sheltered and aided.  It is Christ today to whom each of us must give a full accounting of who and what we are.  And it is Christ who will help us to see that the consequences we receive . . . are those that we ourselves have chosen.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE (NIV). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005. 1428. Print.

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Luke 2:36-38: God’s Yardstick – Anna The Prophetess

Never Forsaken

Anna Meets Christ Face to Face

Anna Meets Christ Face to Face

Friday, January 15, 2016

In these opening days of a new year, we look for ways to better see God’s yardstick in our lives, and for ways to leave the world’s yardstick behind.

There was also a prophetess Anna, the daughter of the tribe of Asher.  She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until the age of eighty-four.  She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.  And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. 

Simeon is not the only holy voice who recognizes the Messiah in the infant Jesus.  Simeon and Anna are “Israel in miniature, poised in anticipation of the new”.  (Mays 932) Yet despite the celebration of the moment there is a recognition of the suffering that will also take place.

God says: I do not want to dampen your joy or bring you sorrow.  I send Anna because I know that in your journey pain will always accompany rejoicing; and I want Anna to remind you that even when you believe I have duped you . . . you will have consolation.  I will never abandon you even though the harsh times may cause you to think that I will not return.  I will never leave you even though you may believe I have.  I want you to know that I need not return to you . . . for I have never left.  I am with you always. 

Anna’s appearance after the words of Simeon remind us that “Jerusalem will reject [Jesus] and will instead follow a way that will lead to disaster (19:41-44).  They will seem forsaken by God, but Anna is a reminder that the disaster is not God’s last word: Jesus remains for Jerusalem a sign of hope”. (Barton 930)

Enter the word hope into the blog search bar and explore other reflections that remind us of God’s constant presence in his precious gift of Jesus to the world.

Barton, John, and John Muddiman. THE OXFORD BIBLE COMMENTARY. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001. 930. Print.

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 932. Print.

This reflection was originally posted on 21 January 2013 and is re-posted today as a the last in a series of women who serve us as God’s yardstick. 

For another reflection on Anna, click on the image above or visit: https://pastorpilgrim.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/pilgrimage-to-bethlehem-anna/



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2 Peter 1:16-19: Our Testimony

Guido Reni: St. Peter Penitent

Guido Reni: St. Peter Penitent

Thursday, August 13, 2015

If we have doubted the value of God’s glory or the truth of Christ’s generosity of love so abundant that there is always some left over, we might listen to the words of one who lived side by side with Jesus. Peter is the one upon whom Jesus builds his church despite denying Jesus on the night he was arrested. And he is also the first to declare that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16) when Jesus asks his followers: Who do you say that I am? Our human doubt brings us the opportunity to make a declaration like Peter’s. Our life encounters with the risen Christ are not only gifts offered by a loving brother, they are opportunities to proclaim our own testimony of Christ’s glory . . . and of God’s love that always offers something left over.

In four different versions of these verses, Peter describes his Jesus experience.

We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we have been eyewitnesses of his majesty. (NAB)

We weren’t, you know, just wishing on a star when we laid the facts out before you regarding the powerful return of our Master, Jesus Christ. We were there for the preview! We saw it with our own eyes. (The Message)

For we have not by following artificial fables, made known to you the power, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eyewitnesses of his greatness. (DRA)

For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (NASB)

When we spend time with these and other translations, we have our own opportunity to give voice to our witnessing. We have a chance to proclaim God’s goodness and love. We have an invitation to declare our own story of Christ’s love so abundant that there is always some left over.

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Robert Zünd: The Road to Emmaus

Robert Zünd: The Road to Emmaus

Monday, May 5, 2014

Luke 24:25-27

Our Experience of Christ Part III

Jesus taught his disciples saying: “You foolish men! So slow to believe all that the prophets have said! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer before entering into his glory?” Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them all the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself”. 

God says: There was a man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and then went on a journey for a long time.  At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenant farmers to receive some of the produce of the vineyard. But they beat the servant and sent hom away empty-handed. So he proceeded to send another servant, but him also they beat and sent away . . . Then he proceeded to send a third, but this one too they wounded and threw out. The owner of the vineyard said, “What shall I do? I shall send my beloved son; maybe they will respect him”. But when the tenant farmers saw him they said to one another, “This is the heir. Let us kill him that the inheritance may become ours”. So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him”.  (Luke 20:9-15)

If we believe God to be away on a long journey we are mistaken. God dwells within each of us to guide and protect. If we believe that Jesus died in vain we would be incorrect. Jesus walks beside us to save and lead. If we believe that the Spirit hides in fear we have strayed from the very truth that lives in us. The Spirit calls and comforts, advises and consoles.

Let us not be mistaken. Let us not live in error.  Let us read more of the story recorded by Luke and determine for certain just how we characterize our own experience of the Christ who dies to save.

For more on Jesus on the road to Emmausclick on the image above or go to: http://www.jesus-story.net/emmaus.htm

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Never Before

christs-empty-tombEaster Sunday, April 20, 2014

John 7:40-52

Never Before

When Jesus enters Jerusalem, his presence creates division, particularly in regards to the origins of the Messiah. In these last few days of Lent we have reflected on how our encounter with Christ engenders questions and sparks discussion. Scripture has shown us how Jesus, followed by large crowds, is proclaimed the new king of a new kingdom. We have participated in the ancient liturgies of the Triduum and, along with countless generations of the faithful, we declare Christ the Messiah. Despite of, or perhaps because of, Jesus’ message of liberation and rescue, arguments separate us as we react to the call of the Gospel. Today we are reminded that: Never before has anyone spoken like this one.

On this day when we proclaim Christ risen from a world of death and darkness, what do we believe?

On this day when we say Jesus has entered our lives in a particular way, how do we enact the Gospel call to love those who hate us?

On this day when we celebrate the presence of God in our lives, how do we proclaim to the world that . . . the one who stands before us has never been seen before?

EmptyTombWishing Easter peace and blessings to all in the Noontime Circle.

Asking Easter joy and grace for all the faithful.

Trusting in Easter transformation for all of God’s creation.


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Holy Thursday, April 17, 2014

John 7:28

jesus healingA Prayer for Holy Thursday

Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him”.

The Messiah stands before us and cries out. How might we show him that we recognize him?

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. (Isaiah 25:1)

The Spirit lives within us, constant and abiding. How might we acknowledge the presence of God within?

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you. (2 Kings 20:5)

Our God calls to each of us. How do we respond?

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort. (Isaiah 66:13)

We ask for healing and salvation. How do we show our love and awe of the LORD?

I will never forget you, says the LORD. (Isaiah 49:15)

We are the well-loved Children of the Living God. How do we give thanks?

Whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)

We have the opportunity to witness to the presence of God. How do we show our gratitude and love?

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Can it Be?

Holy Wednesday, April 16, 2014

prayer-for-messiah2John 7:25-26

Can It Be?

Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah?

We have journeyed with the Prophet Amos to listen to God’s words and to reflect on the world’s woes. We have experienced Amos’ visions and seen the foreshadowing of the coming of the Messiah. We have examined life’s many pathways and determined how we might best live through the bounty or obstacles we encounter. We have opened our eyes and our ears to see and hear the Messiah.

On this morning before the Easter Triduum, we wonder if is possible that the gift of resurrection might lie before us.

On this noon before the Easter Triduum, we declare ourselves in hope of Messianic transformation.

On this eve of the Easter Triduum, we prepare to enter into the Messianic feast.



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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

vineyardAmos 9:12-15

A Prayer for Perspective

All the nations shall bear my name . . .

So let me begin to praise God now . . .

I, the Lord, will do this . . .

For all that God has done for me . . .

The ploughman shall overtake the reaper . . .

Just as the seasons turn so does God turn to us, all of us the children of God . . .

I will bring about the restoration of my people . . .

Once we understand the importance of humility . . .

They shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities . . .

Once we understand the depth of God’s wisdom . . .

They shall plant vineyards and drink the wine . . .

Once we understand the breadth of God’s reach . . .

057peachesThey shall set out gardens and eat the fruits . . .

Once we understand the height of God’s hope . . .

I will plant them upon their own ground . . .

Once we act in accordance with God’s plan . . .

Never again shall they be plucked . . .

Once we love as God loves . . .

Say I, the Lord, your God . . .

Say I, this child of God . . .


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