bounds of death are no impediment for God’s salvific will. God will transit any
threshold to save, God will pierce any darkness to save God’s children.
the creator of the universe, God is patient, God is loving and God is kind.
is the spirit of mercy and of justice. Take comfort in the knowledge that God’s
justice is never present without God’s mercy, as God’s wrath is never present
from God; become like God: be loving, be merciful, be patient, and show kindness
not fall into the error of the Apostle.
Paul misses an important point in the reading for today; he makes a grievous
spirit of God lives in all people. There is no question about it. God, the
creator of the universe, the God of Jesus Christ, God dwells in all people.
not doubt it. We are all God’s children, and God loves every single one of us.
There is no exception.
spirit of Jesus lives in all people. We are all related to Jesus, he is our
brother. Our relationship to Jesus is an ontological reality that cannot be
abridged or denied. We do not have the power to undo it.
relationship to God and Jesus is a determinative factor in the nature of our
being, as all of our relationships are, no matter how remote or distant from us
in time and space they might be.
not forget this.
the Gospel for today and be mindful. God is not served by a false narrative
such as the narrative we are presented with in today’s reading. Therefore, we must
use reason to find a different meaning than the meaning which the narrative
story of Lazarus is pure myth, Jesus did not call a corpse from the tomb. The
story is either a complete fabrication, or Lazarus was not quite dead when he
heard Jesus call him.
must find the metaphor in the text, because to read it plainly is to subscribe
to a lie, which goes against the principles of the Church.
John the Lazarus narrative became convoluted by politics and the ongoing
disputes John’s community had with the Jewish people they lived in proximity
to, who they were doing everything in their power to distinguish themselves from.
John the narrative goes to the issue of who people believe Jesus was, the
Christ the Son of God, rather than who he actually was and what he actually
John’s community it was more important to believe the Church’s dogma, than to
live according to Jesus’s teachings, in this way they were no different from
the Pharisees and hypocrites Jesus struggled with.
the end, only our conduct matters, not what believe about Jesus, or his power
to raise the dead.
the end what matters is that we fill ourselves with the spirit that desires to
see everyone filled with life and wellbeing.
metaphor is this: We are all Lazarus, dead to the spirit of love, but if we
listen we will be able to rise from the tomb were our selfishness has brought
us, to emerge from that place of loneliness and alienation wherein we are
working contrary to the will of God.
can then embrace the light and move forward in God’s love.
Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from
your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will
know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your
graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I
shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have
said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.
Spirit of Him who Raised Jesus from the Dead is Living in ou
who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God.
Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual,
since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed
the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead
it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself
because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from
the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give
life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of Bethany with the two
sisters, Mary and Martha, and he was ill. It was the same Mary, the sister of
the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet
with her hair. The sisters sent this message to Jesus, ‘Lord, the man you love
is ill.’ On receiving the message, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will end not in
death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.’
loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he heard that Lazarus was ill
he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, ‘Let
us go to Judaea.’ The disciples said, ‘Rabbi, it is not long since the Jews
wanted to stone you; are you going back again?’ Jesus replied:
there not twelve hours in the day?
man can walk in the daytime without stumbling because he has the light of this
world to see by; but if he walks at night he stumbles, because there is no
light to guide him.’
said that and then added, ‘Our friend Lazarus is resting, I am going to wake
him.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he is able to rest he is sure to get
better.’ The phrase Jesus used referred to the death of Lazarus, but they
thought that by ‘rest’ he meant ‘sleep’, so Jesus put it plainly, ‘Lazarus is
dead; and for your sake I am glad I was not there because now you will believe.
But let us go to him.’ Then Thomas – known as the Twin – said to the
other disciples, ‘Let us go too, and die with him.’
arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already.
Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to
Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard
that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house.
Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died,
but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’
said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at
the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:
am the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies
he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you
believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the
Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’
she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in a low voice,
‘The Master is here and wants to see you.’ Hearing this, Mary got up quickly
and went to him. Jesus had not yet come into the village; he was still at the
place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were in the house
sympathising with Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed her,
thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw herself at his feet,
saying, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ At the
sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who followed her, Jesus said in great
distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart, ‘Where have you put
him?’ They said, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept; and the Jews said, ‘See how
much he loved him!’ But there were some who remarked, ‘He opened the eyes of
the blind man, could he not have prevented this man’s death?’ Still sighing,
Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus
said, ‘Take the stone away.’ Martha said to him, ‘Lord, by now he will smell;
this is the fourth day.’ Jesus replied, ‘Have I not told you that if you
believe you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus
lifted up his eyes and said:
I thank you for hearing my prayer. I knew indeed that you always hear me, but I
speak for the sake of all these who stand round me, so that they may believe it
was you who sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice,
‘Lazarus, here! Come out!’ The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with
bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let
him go free.’
of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in
My sensei always use to tell that we have to be
rich enough to pay attention.
Pay attention to what is going on around us, look
beyond the tip of your nose. Listen to the warning we are being given, comply
with the safety measures that are being recommended.
The sooner we all get on the same page, acting in
concert with one another the sooner we get through this mess.
Be mindful, the risks you take go far beyond
yourself and your family, the COVID-19 virus, if you come in contact with it, will
spread out from you, well beyond your sphere of influence.
Limit your exposure, practice social and physical
distancing. Do it for your sake, and for the sake of your family, yes do it for
those reasons, but do it for everyone else’s families as well, do it for the doctors
and nurses and emergency workers who are risking their lives for our sake.
They are heroes, honor their sacrifice.
Listen, and don’t listen.
Don’t listen to the selfish voices around you,
correct those , do it gently, but correct those who complain about their need
to be with people, to run around the lake, to have a drink with a friend,
because they do not want to stay secluded.
You are not being asked to risk your life, to take
up arms and go to war, you are only being asked to spend a couple of weeks, or
so with yourself.
You can do this, and the sooner we all do it
together the sooner we get through this and the sooner life will return to something
we recognize as normal.
Do not listen to the conspiracy theorists trying to
distract you with their colorful ideas about who dunnit and why, those people
are not trying to help you adjust to the circumstances or see our way through
Listen to the doctors, listen to the scientists,
listen to the men and women in the hospitals, do not listen to the politicians,
the media pundits, or the televangelists, trying to make a dollar off your
The readings for today begin with a proper
myth. However, a religion purporting to have been founded by the Spirit of
truth, cannot be rooted in this kind of mythology.
is too easy for the reader to overlook the wisdom predicated in this statement:
“God does not look at the man but at the heart,” and focus on the inconsequential
issues presented in the reading: “The spirit of God seized David and remained
with him thereafter.”
was nothing at all special about David, and God, the creator of the universe, God
is not a respecter of persons. God does not intervene in the course of human
events, God is not a kingmaker.
of us exist within God, and without God not one of us would be. God carried all
of us into existence, seized us from out of nothing and carried us into the
light, and from the first moment of our being God has been with us, as God is
to the psalmist.
the creator of the universe, God is the shepherd of all.
we walk in the ways of God, then we will be as a shepherd to our sisters and
this, our time in this world is not the end of all things. It transitory. If we
are hungry, we are hungry only for a time. If we thirst, it is but for a
moment. In times of scarcity we must show our generosity.
to those in need. Trust in God and find your peace.
is not only because God loves you that God guides you. It is for the God’s own
sake that God blesses you. God blesses and guides us so that we may in turn may
be a guide and blessing to others.
power of death and sin are temporary, it is only God that endures forever, and
we are the children of God.
divine spirit dwells within us.
God has set a table before you, share it with the world, turn your adversaries into
these words from the apostle; reflect on their meaning:
is exposed in the light will become light!
Gospel promises a time when their will be no darkness, when light will cover
everything, and everything will be transformed by the light, into light.
have a choice to make; we can wait for grace to break into our lives, or we can
give up our shameful ways, our greed and jealousy, our miserliness and hatreds.
came give them up and walk into the light on our own.
the spirit of grace guide you.
We are all walking in the way, and the way
does not exclude anyone. We are all moving inexorably toward God, the divine
source of all being.
mindful of the Gospel reading for today!
intrigue that is presented here casts a pall over the best parts of the Gospel.
it with care.
the good news of the way is interwoven with internecine conflicts,
legalisms and partisanship, its brightness is diminished.
do best when keep the preaching of Jesus to this core teaching:
way is light, I am the way, Christ is a light in the world.
the lighted way the blind will see, even those who have lived in
perpetual darkness will see clearly.
Gospel is hope. Any part of the Gospel that detracts from that hope, is
preaching that does not originate in the teaching of Jesus Christ. It is not a
part of the lighted way.
Lord said to Samuel, ‘Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse
of Bethlehem, for I have chosen myself a king among his sons.’ When Samuel
arrived, he caught sight of Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed
stands there before him,’ but the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Take no notice of his
appearance or his height, for I have rejected him: God does not see as man
sees: man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.’ Jesse
presented his seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not
chosen these.’ He then asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ He
answered, ‘There is still one left, the youngest; he is out looking after the
sheep.’ Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until
he comes.’ Jesse had him sent for, a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes
and pleasant bearing. The Lord said, ‘Come, anoint him, for this is the one.’
At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him where he stood with his
brothers; and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed with him from
that day on.
Exposed by the Light Will Turn into Light
were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of
light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right
living and truth. Try to discover what the Lord wants of you, having nothing to
do with the futile works of darkness but exposing them by contrast. The things
which are done in secret are things that people are ashamed even to speak of;
but anything exposed by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated
turns into light. That is why it is said:
up from your sleep, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.
The Blind Man Went Off and
Washed Himself, and Came Away with His Sight Restored
Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples
asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been
born blind?’ ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered ‘he was born
blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
long as the day lasts
must carry out the work of the one who sent me;
night will soon be here when no one can work.
long as I am in the world
am the light of the world.’
said this, he spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over
the eyes of the blind man, and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam’
(a name that means ‘sent’). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and
came away with his sight restored.
neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, ‘Isn’t this the
man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one.’ Others
said, ‘No, he only looks like him.’ The man himself said, ‘I am the man.’ So
they said to him, ‘Then how do your eyes come to be open?’ ‘The man called
Jesus’ he answered ‘made a paste, daubed my eyes with it and said to me, “Go
and wash at Siloam”; so I went, and when I washed I could see.’ They asked,
‘Where is he?’ ‘I don’t know’ he answered.
brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It had been a sabbath day
when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes, so when the Pharisees
asked him how he had come to see, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed,
and I can see.’ Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man cannot be from God:
he does not keep the sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How could a sinner produce signs
like this?’ And there was disagreement among them. So they spoke to the blind
man again, ‘What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened
your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet’ replied the man. However, the Jews would not
believe that the man had been blind and had gained his sight, without first
sending for his parents and asking them, ‘Is this man really your son who you
say was born blind? If so, how is it that he is now able to see?’ His parents
answered, ‘We know he is our son and we know he was born blind, but we do not
know how it is that he can see now, or who opened his eyes. He is old enough:
let him speak for himself.’ His parents spoke like this out of fear of the
Jews, who had already agreed to expel from the synagogue anyone who should
acknowledge Jesus as the Christ. This was why his parents said, ‘He is old
enough; ask him.’
the Jews again sent for the man and said to him, ‘Give glory to God! For our
part, we know that this man is a sinner.’ The man answered, ‘I don’t know if he
is a sinner; I only know that I was blind and now I can see.’ They said to him,
‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He replied, ‘I have told
you once and you wouldn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it all again? Do you
want to become his disciples too?’ At this they hurled abuse at him: ‘You can
be his disciple,’ they said ‘we are disciples of Moses: we know that God spoke
to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.’ The man
replied, ‘Now here is an astonishing thing! He has opened my eyes, and you
don’t know where he comes from! We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but
God does listen to men who are devout and do his will. Ever since the world
began it is unheard of for anyone to open the eyes of a man who was born blind;
if this man were not from God, he couldn’t do a thing.’ ‘Are you trying to teach
us,’ they replied ‘and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!’
And they drove him away.
heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you
believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I
may believe in him.’ Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to
you.’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him.
is for judgement
I have come into this world,
that those without sight may see
those with sight turn blind.’
this, some Pharisees who were present said to him, ‘We are not blind, surely?’
Today is the feast of Saint Patrick, today
we celebrate his sainthood, and the ascendance to heaven of a British man, of
Roman heritage, who lived sometime between the fourth and fifth centuries CE.
is the Patron Saint of Ireland, but he was not Irish at all, he was a Roman of
the Patrician class, from a family of rank, and privilege.
(Patricius) is credited with converting the people of Erin to faith in
the Universal Church, the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, in so doing he separated
the Celtic people from their Gaelic traditions, and subordinated them to the
Catholic Church in Rome.
is no wonder that he was named a saint for this, Patricius.
won with the Word what could not be accomplished by through war, by sword and
spear, by fire and blood.
should be noted that Saint Patrick has never been canonized, or even beatified not
by any Pope. Therefore Patrick is not officially a Saint of the Catholic
Church, and nevertheless, he is recognized in the annals of the Saints of the
Church of England, I hope that all my Irish kinfolk appreciate the irony of
is worthy of song.
tells us that Patrick was a humble man, a rare quality for those of rank.
History also tells us that he proofed the plan of spreading the faith by converting
Irish chieftains first. Patrick was a politician of great skill. Every
missionary who followed him, emulated this method.
spread the faith, he established churches and he earned the rank of Apostle, by
tells us that his mother was a relative of Saint Martin of Tours, the patron
Saint of Soldiers, Saint Martin of the Sword whose biography was written by
Pope Saint Gregory the Great, but we know that was a work of pure fiction. Saint
Martin never lived, even so, his story gave license for Christians to become
soldiers, to serve in the army, and as such it brought the Roman legions into
was said to have had “heroic piety,” praying day and night, in the mountains
and the woods, he prayed through the rain, and through storms of snow and ice,
he should be the patron saint of post men if this were true, but then again…all
hagiographies are lies.
story tells us that he spent six years as a captive and servant to a Celtic
Chieftain, the Druid named Milchu in Dalriada, where he mastered the language
of the common folk and learned all of their stories.
if you appreciate history you will know that it is much more likely that he
fled his home to wander abroad in order to escape the duties that were expected
of him as the son of a nobleman. Such departures were common in his time, they
were referred to as the “flight of the curiales.” Patrick was no captive at
all, he was a boy running from his responsibilities.
than being taken captive it is more likely that he paid for asylum in Milchu’s
house, and that he paid for the services
of tutors to help him learn the language.
Druids were great teachers and oral historians that much is true.
story of his escape (if it was in fact an escape from servitude), and
subsequent journey were of his own account. He cast the entire experience in
dramatic, even biblical terms, they served both to cover up his crime of
abnegation, and also to establish his fame.
is said that Patrick escaped from Milchu and then fled to the mainland of Europe
where he entered the priesthood and became a missionary. On his return to
Ireland however, the first place he went was to his former home in Dalriada.
Where, after some period of conflict with his former captor (or patron) and the
affectation of some miracles on Patrick’s part, Milchu immolated himself to
make way for the upstart, throwing himself on a fire after burning the
collected scrolls and mysteries of his people.
event may be seen in metaphorical terms as Milchu offering himself as a human sacrifice,
at the foundation of the church in Ireland.
how Patrick wrote it.
reality. the whole episode denotes the ritual destruction of the Celtic people
in favor of the ascending Romano-British invaders.
Easter Sunday, 433 a conflict of will ensued between Patrick and the Celtic Arch-Druid
Lochru, historians mythologized it as a battle of divine forces like the
contest between Moses and the Egyptians, or Elijah and priests of Baal, and it ended
with Saint Patrick magically hurling Lochru into the air, and breaking him to
pieces on a sharp rock.
was another ritual murder at the foundation of the Irish Church, another human
sacrifice to be sure. There is no other way to read this, it was a good old-fashioned
a side note, while speaking of his vaunted magic powers, not to be outdone by
Jesus, this same Patrick was said to have been able to raise the dead.
should be noted the Columbanus, who was the most significant representative of
the Irish Catholic Church after the Dark Ages, who lived and wrote and sent
missionaries from Ireland to Continental Europe, building Churches and founding
religious communities, makes no mention of Saint Patrick in his writing, not
once, not anywhere, Columbanus tells us that the Church in Ireland was founded
by a man named Palladius.
entire legend of Saint Patrick is little more than a myth designed to
subordinate the Irish heart to a British noble of Roman descent, and a
fictitious one at that.
mindful when you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day!