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Posts Tagged ‘Trinity’


Romans 6:1-11: Seek Freedom from Sin: Seek Life in God

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Today’s reading is Paul’s defense against the idea that to live as Jesus lived is to live without regard for the Law of Moses or without regard for Jesus’ own act of fulfilling that Law.  This new covenant does not promote moral laxity; rather it brings the opportunity to live a full life of union with the law, with the spirit of the law more than the letter.  Paul also goes on to remind us that we all receive the gift of resurrection through Christ.  He delineates ably an argument to those who say that life in Christ and in the Spirit lacks morality because it forgives . . . he shows us that life in Christ is the exemplar of morality . . . if being lived well.

So many times we forget that we ought to tend to our spiritual health as assiduously as we do our physical, emotional or mental health.  We practice yoga, eat organic food, look for advice, and forget to make a stillness in our lives where we can best listen to the voice which speaks within.

Humans so often seek to separate and divide.  God always seeks to unify.  God brings us freedom from a life of division.  He brings us life in Christ and union in the Spirit.  Jesus came to live with us as God’s Word.  Christ remains among us as God’s Spirit.  Christ lives in us, in spite of us, always with us, ever keeping us in God’s love.  Life in God is freedom, freedom to become our best potential, freedom to fulfill God’s best dream for us.  Let us seek freedom to live in God.

Adapted from a Favorite written on November 6, 2017.

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Proverbs 23:1-25Words

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Favorite from September 30, 2010.

Toil not to gain wealth; cease to be concerned about it; while your glance flits to it, it is gone! . . .

Remove not the ancient landmark, nor invade the fields of orphans; for their redeemer is strong; he will defend their cause against you . . .

Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge . . .

Get the truth and sell it not – wisdom, instruction and understanding . . .

Let your father and mother have joy; let her who bore you exult . . .

We are also told to beat our boys with a rod so that they do not die.  Of course when we consider the context of this advice we can see the wisdom in it.  Today we know that brutality only begets depression and initiates waves of violence.

The Book of Proverbs has much to say to us.  It is best taken in parts and considered in light of its era.  When allowed to rest in our hearts for a time, it nurtures the seeds of wisdom planted within by the Maker, redeemed and transformed by the Savior, and cherished and graced by the Spirit.  We have only to open our hearts and ears; we have only to meditate on the Word . . .  to know that goodness created us . . . and longs to live within us.

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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.  

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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. 

 

 

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1 ThessaloniansThe Call

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Roman Market in old Thessaloniki - with new Thessaloniki in the backgroud

The Roman Market in old Thessaloniki – with new Thessaloniki in the background

A Favorite from April 22, 2009.

This is likely the first letter of the New Testament canon to be written around the year 50.  It is appropriate to spend time with this letter at this time of the year as it is flush with the exuberance of the early church and rather than address the profound theological concepts we find in later letters, Paul addresses the characteristics exhibited by the early Christians.  He writes especially about the joy and gratitude which these early people experienced as they waited for Christ’s return – – – which they thought was imminent.  What changes would we make in our lives if we lived as if we understood this concept of return and accounting?  How would this change our stewardship of the gifts we have been given?

The Biblia de América points out that this is a pastoral letter more than anything else and it is modest in its length and tone.  Paul’s’ themes are the mission, development and consolidation of the Church, the Trinitarian nature of the ordinary life, the mystery of evil, and the importance of salvation.  In order to put this letter into some context, we might read about his stay in Thessalonica in Acts 17 as part of his second missionary journey.  The city was a strategically situated port with trade to other parts of the Mediterranean.

Paul exhorts the faithful to refrain from sexual immorality if they are to live a Christian life.  He encourages mutual charity if they are to exhibit Christian love.  He inspires prayers for those who have already died and who are resurrected in Christ Jesus if they are to live in Christian hope.  He urges that the faithful remain faithful, even in the face of so many pressures which call them away from the Trinity.  We might heed his words today for we struggle with the same issues in the same way.  We have not come too far from where the early Christians stood.

Paul calls us to consolidation with those who live in Christ.

Paul calls us to love our enemy.

Paul calls us to be good stewards.

Paul calls us to remain strong against the negative influences of the times.

Paul calls us to Christ.

Let us spend a bit of time today reflecting on the call we feel to be faithful, hopeful, and loving in Christ’s body and resurrection.  What do our actions say about who we are . . . and what we believe?

LA BIBLIA DE LA AMÉRICA. 8th. Madrid: La Casa de la Biblia, 1994. Print.

To learn more about Thessaloniki, click on the image above or visit: http://romeartlover.tripod.com/Thessalo.html 

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Luke 1: God’s Yardstick – John the Baptist

naming of john baptist

Fra Angelico: The Naming of John the Baptist

In All We Say and Do

Thursday, January 28, 2016

We continue to see God’s yardstick in the New Testament.

John the Baptist gives all that he has and all that he is to serve both the divine creator and Jesus, God among us. Today we consider how we might measure up to this yardstick.

He’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he leaves his mother’s womb.

Might we allow the Spirit to fill us with God’s consolation and serenity?

He will turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God.

Might we allow our lives to live out God’s call to all of creation?

He will herald God’s arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics.

Might we allow Christ to manifest himself through us in all we say and do?

He’ll get the people ready for God.

Might we believe that we, like John the Baptist, can bring a measure of love into the world?

To explore more of Luke 1, click on the Scripture link here or above. 

Tomorrow, Peter.

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Zechariah 14: Apocalypse – Part V

The Sistine Chapel, The Vatican: Michelangelo's Prophet Zechariah

The Sistine Chapel, The Vatican: Michelangelo’s Prophet Zechariah

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The fight for Jerusalem that Zechariah predicts is already begun . . . and we are celebrants in the newness of what is coming into being.  Let us gather ourselves to face the disasters that life brings to us, for it is in these disasters that we find this new life. Let us find our places in God’s new city, for it is in this new place that we find new meaning. And let us rejoice and be glad for we know what to do when cataclysm strikes; it is in this cataclysm that we discover the refuge that is the house of the Lord of hosts.

Past, present, future. Let us step forward into the newness of our transformation. Past, present and future. Let us step away from our childish predictions of a future that is too simple. Past, present and future. Let us rest in the moment when we fully experience the three-person God who is more real and more certain than any savior we might conjure up on our own. Let us rest in the present to celebrate the God who always was, always is and always will be the peace and hope and joy of the world.

Enter the word restoration into the blog search bar and explore the idea of cataclysm bringing joy into our lives. 

Tomorrow, the feast of Corpus Christi.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. 425. Print.   

Adapted from a reflection written on Friday, July 10, 2009.

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Zechariah 14: Apocalypse – Part IVcorpuschristi

Friday, June 5, 2015

Return from exile is celebrated but the celebration is taking place amid the ruin of former glory because our newness is more important than what was. In our child-like, dual minds we see the world as negative and positive, off or on, with or against, good or evil, black or white, up or down. When we give ourselves over to our Triune God we begin to understand that these opposites exist side by side and even intertwined. We also begin to see that God’s plan, God’s promise and God’s love are capable of turning any harm – natural or human-made – into a force for beauty and goodness. This is the promise of the Easter resurrection, and it is the miracle of Pentecost indwelling.

We are nearing the Feast of Corpus Christi when we celebrate this gift of Jesus’ presence in gift of Eucharist. I will feed my people with finest wheat and fill them with honey from the rock (Psalm 81:16) We are one with Christ in the gift of bread and wine. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believe this has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (John 6:47-50)

We have been transformed and made anew, and this miracle of redemption that Zechariah describes already exists today in that each of us is the libation bowl poured out for Christ.  We are each a vessel fashioned by God’s hands and brought into existence for God’s purpose.  We each are the hope of the Spirit to the world.

Past present, future. Let us remember the holy trinity of our lives: all that God has created and gifted, all that is here with us in the Spirit, and all that is promised by Christ in our lives to come. Then, when apocalypse befalls us, let us offer all that we have and all that we are to the triune God: courageous creator, compassionate savior and blessed comforter.

To read about how different cultures celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, click on the image above or visit: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/common/corpus-christi

Tomorrow, transformation.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. 425. Print.   

Adapted from a reflection written on Friday, July 10, 2009.

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Zechariah 14: Apocalypse – Part Itrinity-310931_640

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Apocalypse, coming from the Greek for revelation, is an announcement of a truth revealed.  Apocalyptic literature is full of mystery, is usually veiled in symbolic language and is often interpreted by an angel of God (Senior 425).  It deals with the heavenly world, the future, and describes a final judgment in which there are winners and losers.  It is sometimes incomprehensible, frightening and misunderstood.  The Apocalypse we see in today’s reading is the fight for Jerusalem which ushers in an era without storm, turmoil or deceit.  It brings a time of peace, unity and celebration.  It is a day when every libation pot shall be holy to the Lord.

Past, present, future. Let us remember the holy trinity of our lives: all that God has created and gifted, all that is here with us in the Spirit, and all that is promised by Christ in our lives to come. In this way we will know what to do and what to say when apocalypse befalls us, as it surely will. And let us offer all that we have and all that we are to the triune God: courageous creator, compassionate savior and blessed comforter.

Tomorrow, more from Zechariah.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. 425. Print.   

Adapted from a reflection written on Friday, July 10, 2009.

For interesting insights into apocalyptic beliefs, their evolution and how they shaped the western world, visit the PBS Frontline page at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/ 

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