The Camel It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ words.
On a serious subject like marriage, and a tragic one like divorce, you cannot be simplistic or judgmental. Divorce is everywhere, claiming almost half the marriages in our time.
Mark 9:38-48What did the passage from Mark mean back then, when it fell from the lips of Jesus? Jesus was not recommending mutilation.
If I were to stop you and ask you to describe a successful person, I dare say most of you would think in terms of income. Success for most of us means income and wealth, and financial prosperity means success in our society.
Who Do You Say that I Am? There is an interesting question in today’s Gospel: Who do you say that I am? Have you ever tried to answer the question, who do you think Jesus is?
Jesus seems to be doing some strange things. We read in the Gospel time and time again that Jesus just touched a person to cure them, or said, “Be cured. Your faith has made you whole.” Today we see Jesus spitting and touching a man’s tongue.
There is an old epic poem that some of us read in school called Beowulf. The story is about a warrior who battles monsters that are destroying lands and killing people because their joy disturbs the monster. The warrior ultimately emerges victorious.
The question in this morning’s Gospel is one that every generation of believers has had to face at one time or another: will you also go away?
I was staying at the Intercontinental Hotel in Columbia one time. It was a well-guarded hotel, for outside the walls the area was teeming with many people. There were poor people begging in the streets, and drug addicts all around. Inside, it was an entirely different world. It was safe, bright, and comfortable.
Your friend has not returned your call for three days. You know they are going through a difficult time, but now you are worried.
Let’s begin by asking a question: were you ever hungry for something but you didn’t know what? You know, you see the ads on TV and you go to the refrigerator, and open the door, and look at everything on the shelves, and say, I’m hungry for something, but not that melon, or that chicken. Or were you ever thirsty for something and did not know what for?
Scripture tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. That goes for people as well as events. It has been two thousand years since Philip and Andrew from our Gospel story walked this earth, but we all know people just like them.
Samuel Coleridge was an English poet. One day as he woke up he remembered he had dreamed the lines of a poem, even the title, Kubla Kahn. He did not have to compose the lines, they were all in his head.
Amos in our first reading is having a hard time. He has been sent by God to tell the king and government that they should start mending their ways, but no one will listen. The land is at peace, the harvests have been good, and the land is flowing with milk and honey.
Today’s situation in the Gospel must have been very painful for Jesus. He had gone home for a short visit, but instead of receiving a warm welcome He was greeted with a cold shoulder.