I've been struck this Lent by the movement in our Sunday Gospel readings. Like an ocean current, they have been drawing us along Jesus' journey toward Jerusalem and the cross. We began by being sent with him into the wilderness, where we are tempted and tried. In the desert we learn to clarify what is … Continue reading The Wheat Bears Its Fruit in Dying
Lent is a time in the Church year when we think a lot about what we do. Christians often take up a new sacred practice during this season, like being more intentional with their prayer life or giving more generously to charity. Or, we might instead give something up, like shopping or certain foods. Lent … Continue reading God’s Economy
Humans seem to be an inherently religious species. No human culture has ever existed without some form of religious expression. And yet it's difficult to define what exactly the word 'religion' means; it's one of those words whose meaning seems to be best thought of as "I know it when I see it." Of the … Continue reading Jesus and the End of Religion
Yesterday, I wrote about how Jesus' cleansing of the Temple and, more importantly, his interpretation of it, marks in a sense the 'end of religion'. He had come up against the limitations of the sacrificial and ritual system of his people and offered a new expression of what it means to be faithful. What is … Continue reading Religion is Dead! Long Live Religion.
So far our Lenten Sunday readings have been giving us a crash course in temptation. Last week's Gospel reading told the story of Jesus' temptation in the desert. Today we have the story of Peter rebuking Jesus for saying he would be rejected and put to death. Here we see temptation in a subtler, but … Continue reading Get Behind Me, Satan!