Scripture Reflections

The Wilderness Within: Pope Francis, Moses, and Religious Liberty

The Wilderness Within: Pope Francis, Moses, and Religious Liberty

Retelling the story of the American People as a story that began in the pursuit of liberty, that progresses in seeking this liberty for all, and that shall always be an ongoing project to secure liberty so that dialogue and peace may become its fruits, makes the story of the United States a story of religious liberty.

The Questions of Jesus: "What are you discussing as you walk along?"

The Questions of Jesus: "What are you discussing as you walk along?"

The irony is remarkable as they tell their story to the only person who has absolutely no need of an account of the things that have taken place. But Jesus asks, and he listens.

The Questions of Jesus: "Have you anything here to eat?"

The Questions of Jesus: "Have you anything here to eat?"

This is the last fish Jesus saw before he ascended to heaven, and he ate it. I wonder how many fish he saw during his 33 years. A lot, for sure, but still there is some kind of definite number that we simply cannot know. What we do know, however, is that this was the last fish in that number, and it was broiled. Jesus eats a lot throughout Luke's Gospel, but this is the only time Luke tells us of him eating after the Resurrection. And this fish, which once swam around in a school and was caught and then broiled, was consumed by the glorified body of the Savior. No other fish in his school or in the all the seas of the world could claim that. Blessed are you among fish.

The Questions of Jesus: "Why do you call me good?"

The Questions of Jesus: "Why do you call me good?"

The rich man asked an important question and he asks it of the right person. He is looking for the life that is not fleeting and he asks the increasingly famous teacher for help in finding it. But how far is he willing to go to receive what he seeks?

The Questions of Jesus: "Do you want to be healed?"

The Questions of Jesus: "Do you want to be healed?"

I say I want to be healed, I want to be well, I want to live in the love of Christ. But do I, really? His ways are not my ways, and to be healed means to allow myself to be lifted up into his ways, where I will be made well.

The Questions of Jesus: "Does this shock you?"

The Questions of Jesus: "Does this shock you?"

Jesus is obedience incarnate. He is nothing other and nothing less than everything the Father gives to him. To consume his words, to consume his works, to consume his example, and, in the end, to consume his very life--his body, his blood--is to receive nothing other than his uninterrupted obedience to the Father.

The Questions of Jesus: "Who do the crowds say that I am?"

The Questions of Jesus: "Who do the crowds say that I am?"

Perhaps there is no greater threat to our own security than the gods we create out of our own expectations. These gods constantly swirl in our hearts and masquerade in our imaginations. There is the god of my own convenience; the god of my condition; the god of my hidden agenda; the god of my private religious worldview. These gods get broadcast far and wide by the "crowds", who present an divine image that serves some end that they or we or I seek for their or our or my own purposes.