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Posts Tagged ‘preparation’


Matthew 22:1-14: The Wedding Feast

Sunday, August 4, 2019 

Tintoretto: The Wedding Feast

When I was a child, each time I heard this parable I thought the king to be a bit harsh.  How was the man tossed into the night to know that he should have dressed up for the party?  Hadn’t he been halted on his way down the road of life and invited suddenly to the Wedding?  Now as an adult I understand that the point of this story is about being prepared always.    It is about going about life as if each day holds an invitation for the Wedding.  It is about rising each morning knowing that we are called.  It is about taking the time each morning to put on the wedding garment before I step across my threshold into the world.  It is about checking the garment for readiness several times a day.  It is about laying out that garment each night as I go to my bed . . . in preparation for dinning the next day.

Christ is constantly prepared to receive us.  God the Father is constantly guiding and protecting us.  The Holy Spirit is constantly abiding and comforting us.  Can I not be constantly mindful of these great gifts of being called . . . being protected . . . being loved?

May we never be reduced to silence as is the guest in today’s parable.

May we always be ready and willing to go to the feast.

May we always strive for constancy . . . just as our God is always constant with us.


Image from: http://abcdfinnestad.blogspot.com/2010/06/parable-of-wedding-feast.html

Written on July 14, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.  For more on The Wedding Feast, click on the image above or go to: http://abcdfinnestad.blogspot.com/2010/06/parable-of-wedding-feast.html

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Ezekiel 12:1-12: Eyes and Ears

Thursday, August 18, 2016listen

More than once in scripture we are counseled to keep eyes and ears open. The prophets encourage us, Wisdom Books advise us, and Jesus recommends to us that transformation begins with listening and watching. How then, can we go wrong by keeping our eyes and ears open?

Today’s reading also describes a symbolic preparation for exile. We are advised to do as the prophet has done – dig a hole in the wall so that we might escape under cover of darkness. All of this leads us to an examination of self.

What is in our baggage?

Our modern psychology has given us vocabulary we might use to describe the worries and anxieties we bundle and carry with us each day. Perhaps when we escape we might leave much of this behind and take instead our hopes and dreams.

Escape from what?

We become pigeon-holed by the world just as we pigeon-hole others. Perhaps we might escape this stunting habit and take up instead the loving behavior Jesus teaches us.

Why in the dark?

As small children we may fear the dark as we ask patient elders to turn on lights to ward off monsters. The darkness is the place where we decide to submit to fear or trust. As adults, we asked to step into the darkness of the future, knowing that the light of Christ is all we need to light our way. Perhaps we might allow the light of our discipleship to pierce the darkness for others.

Where are we to go and what are we to do?

The ancient patriarchs and their families placed all trust in God. Perhaps we too might step into radical trust and join in solidarity with others as we join Christ in his Way.

Who is the prince among us?

The prophet Ezekiel tells us that there is a prince among us who will shoulder his burden and set out in the darkness, going through a hole that he has dug in the wall, and covering his face lest he be seen by anyone. Perhaps we might open our ears and eyes to the words of Ezekiel as he foretells the kingdom of Christ. Perhaps we might hear and see the goodness of God amidst the darkness of the world. Perhaps . . .

Tomorrow, our rebelliousness.

 

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012 – Titus 3 – Prepare

El Greco: The Apostle Paul

El Greco: The Apostle Paul

This brief letter has something to say to us about forming community.  Today we reflect on its third and last chapter.  Titus was an assistant to Paul mentioned in some of his other letters and also in Acts.  He began a Christian community on the island of Crete, and Paul counsels him about how he might advise these early Christians to live among deceivers and heretics . . . these are words we might use today.

Be under the control of magistrates and authorities . . . be obedient . . . open to every good enterprise . . . slander no one . . . be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. 

Paul reminds Titus and us that we have all been foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another.  No one but a saint escapes the downside of humanity.

The upside, the good news is that the Christ has come to walk among us . . . to be one of us . . . to take on our burdens which overwhelm us . . . because he is goodness and mercy in their most perfect form.

What are we to do to reach for such heights?  Avoid foolish arguments, genealogies, rivalries and quarrels about the law . . . After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic.  We are to devote ourselves to good works to supply urgent needs. 

The message is clear.  While we strive to follow Christ we cannot expect perfection in or of ourselves.  This perfection can be obtained only in and through Christ . . . because of God’s mercy and compassion and love for each of us.

In this Advent season, when the child comes to live among us . . . we might pause to consider our arguments and our foolish enterprises.  Now is the time to cast off anything which does not lead us to Christ.  It is the time to devote to good works that address urgent needs when all else fails us.  Now is the time to prepare.

Written on December 18, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

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