March 2010


John 13:21-35

 21When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

 22Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

 23Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

 24Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

 25He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

 26Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

 27And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

 28Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

 29For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

 30He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

 31Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

 32If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.

 33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

 34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

 35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

These are the words of God who has created us in freedom, preserved us in freedom, for freedom is the precondition of all true love. ‘’Do quickly what you are going to do’’ says the voice of love that loves so deeply and so dearly it will not impose its will, but empties itself, ready to receive whatever we choose to give. Judas turned and left. In every sense, it was night. Now it is we who sit at the favoured hand of Jesus, beloved guests at the table in whom his hopes now reside. The stewardship of God’s reign and realm, the life of God’s word reside in us. On countless occasions, in so many ways, we have received the bread from Jesus’s hand and walked away into darkness. For we, like Judas, will not trust in God. God will not force us. But with sad and troubled eyes watches in agony as we turn and walk away, clutching the bread of life. Accepting the gift and rejecting the giver.

John 12:37-50 

 

 37Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
   “Lord, who has believed our message
      and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

   42Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

 44Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

 47“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. 49For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

The opposite of faith is not doubt: the opposite of faith is fear. And people of faith ought always to be mindful of this reality, mindful of fear. Fear is most evident, most painfully prominent when we engage the thornier questions of human community. Resistance to change is often couched in words of fear. While some pose very real and good questions, others fear that the opening of doors and the possibilities would look as though the Church were condoning improper behavior. The greatest power in our society said Mark Twain is public opinion. Some elevated, he maintained to a stature of that surpassing God.

Jesus looked at the religious authorities and saw faith, caught like a prehistoric insect perfectly preserved in amber. It looked like a living faith, so perfect in every detail, that it was dead, constricted, good only as a relic. To Jesus, who was desperately seeking some evidence that his ministry was bearing fruit, that his gospel was bringing life like water to a parched field, it was a baron desert.

John 12:1-11 

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

 1Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pintof pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

 4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5“Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

 7“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. ” It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

 9Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.

Love does not always express itself in ways that conform to our own sense of morality or propriety. Love is sometimes hidden, elusive. And when it is, our own response reveals our sin. Hatred of those different from ourselves, and distain of their gifts, only reveals our own lovelessness. Love is not always easy and it is never simple; we who would love as Jesus desired and as Jesus did must learn to discern its many faces and facets.

 

Palm Sunday is the epitome of Lent: a day of great celebration, and a day of deep mourning. On this day, Jesus entered Jerusalem as its king while thousands rejoiced. Within a week, he would be dead, and his followers would be confused and scattered. For everyone who witnessed the events of that week 2000 years ago, it was a roller coaster ride—they knew nothing of Easter. We, on the other hand, have the hope of the resurrection, but also the knowledge that we are the reason for the crucifixion. Bright sadness. …


It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. On this day Jesus entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who spread their garments and branches of palm along his way.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Mark 11.1-10

As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany, on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them, “and as soon as you enter it, you will see a colt tied there that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs it and will return it soon.'” The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside a house. As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it. Many in the crowd spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus, and others cut leafy branches in the fields and spread them along the way. He was in the center of the procession, and the crowds all around him were shouting, “Praise God! Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Bless the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!” 

 

 


Prayer
I worship you Lord! You did not enter your holy city Jerusalem on the back of a war horse, but humbly and on a donkey. You knew that you were surrounded by murderers, yet you came in peace, and by your sacrifice you would utterly conquer death before the week had passed. You, oh Lord, are blessed and worthy of my praise. You have saved your people. I say, “you are my king!” … I long to live in the city where you sit on the throne! Establish your Kingdom, so that your people can live in peace. Jesus, I bow before you, and I will sing your praises until your Kingdom comes and is established, and forever after.

 

 

happy are we who are free from attachment, 

feeders on rapture shall we be,

like the gods of brilliant light.

The Buddha, from the Dhammapada

 

Out of the turbulence of the little tribal kingdoms of Celtic Wales and Brittany where life was precarious and short, where violence reigned, there comes the story of serenity and peace, speaking to us un poetic language of the possibility that here in this world of flesh and blood men can realize, if only for an instant, the presence of the kingdom of eternity which is ever at hand, can recapture the innocence of the beginning and anticipate the fulfillment of the end. Heaven and earth are linked in a single bond, and the world is a wedding; the angels of God ascend and descend upon the sons of men. Such a moment cannot last. The two spheres may even come too close together. It is not possible to maintain the original vision in all its brilliance. We have to return to the limitations of our lot. But in such an instant of vision, arising like the icons of Rublev from the cruelty and strife of human history, we glimpse something of the unmeasured possibilities of human life and its unfathomable mystery when it is lived in the growing realization of the presence and power of God.

The World is a Wedding :Exploration of Christian Spirituality

A. M. Allchin  Darton, Longman & Todd (page 21)

 

 

Perhaps statistics are not important but today my blog reached the 100 000 visitor mark…..

Here are some other figures

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