Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Throughout the season of Easter, which ended on May 24th with Pentecost, the focus of our weekly readings was on Jesus describing what will take to live life after his resurrection. Now that we are in the season of Pentecost, or ordinary time, the focus of our reading has shifted to applying the message and mission of Jesus to our own lives. The next six months or so will be challenging, however, if we are open to the growth and transformation that God wants to create in us, these next months can also be deeply life-giving.
The Gospel reading for this week comes from Mark (Mark 3:20-35) explores the religious leaders who refused to accept that Jesus was from God, in spite of the miraculous works Jesus was doing. Rather than change their minds and their ways, they accused Jesus of using the power of evil to cast out demons. It is usually the case that when we start to blame and accuse others it’s because we don’t want to give up our way or our view. In the Old Testament (1Samuel 8:4-20, 11:14-15), the people of Israel decide that they don’t want God to be their king anymore. They want a human king because “everyone else is doing it” - all the other nations have human kings. Both of these readings challenge our allegiances. The question we face this week is this: Will we stay devoted to God while being open to the new things God is doing, or will we be determined that God must do things our way? The temptation to give our allegiance sparingly and half-heartedly is common and universal, but if we won’t face the challenge to be wholeheartedly faithful, we will never really discover the joy and freedom of committed allegiance to God’s Reign.
Calls For Allegiance
Lord Jesus Christ, whose greatest moments of triumph happen on the back of a donkey's foal and nailed to a bloody cross, We gather to prepare the way for You in our lives and in our world.
There are so many people and things that call for our allegiance so many kings seeking to rule over us. But, You ride into our experience as another kind of King a serving, humble and challenging King who calls us not to slavery, but friendship.
There are so many things that seek our energy and resources for their own sakes so many Kingdoms seeking our souls for their own glory. But, You ride into our experience heralding another kind of Kingdom a Kingdom where the least are the greatest, where the meek inherit the earth and where children are the best example of citizenship. a Kingdom which seeks to bring life, not drain it.
There are so many things that draw our attention. So many realities that seek our faith and assent. But, You ride into our experience revealing another kind of reality a reality where death does not have the last word. a reality where pride, selfishness and evil are defeated by love and self-giving. a reality which does not parade itself for all to see, but fills every moment, every situation and every thing with life, while waiting for us to discover it. And so, we cry, from our hearts Hosanna, Save us. Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.