I must stay with you today

31 October 2010
Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 26C (RCL)

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
Psalm 119:137-144
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
Luke 19:1-10

There is a major problem with the translations we have of this passage from the Gospel. Zacchaeus makes his statements about giving away half his goods and repaying anyone whom he has defrauded in the present indicative, not in the future tense or subjunctive mood. A good way of translating the sentence would be, “Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look here, I give the half of what belongs to me to the beggars, and if I have defrauded anyone, I pay them back fourfold.” Continue reading “I must stay with you today”


17 October 2010
Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 24C (RCL)

Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
2 Timothy 3:14 — 4:5
Luke 18:1-8

During the 1970s and 80s, during the “Dirty War” in Argentina, the “Mothers of the Disappeared” marched silently around the Plaza de Mayo in Beunos Aires with pictures of their disappeared children. Their silent witness eventually shamed the world, and helped to bring down the military junta in Argentina. The Mothers held there last march in 2006, saying that government was no longer indifferent to the fate of the disappeared, and was in fact trying to find Continue reading “Persistence”

Foreign born

10 October 2010
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 23 (RCL)

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Psalm 66:1-11
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Luke 17:11-19

The passage from Jeremiah must have been tremendously troubling for those who received it. Jeremiah had been a bit of a pest to the establishment in Jerusalem — all his gloom and doom predictions. And, of course, things came out just as he had said. Now, here they were in Exile (the elites, at any rate), and Jeremiah is telling them to build houses, have families, settle down — to accommodate, after excoriating them for accommodating while they were in Jerusalem. He is encouraging them to mingle into the population in Babylon, to do like immigrants have always had to do, live in the host culture, without making too much of a distinction. Take wives, have sons, take wives for your sons, give your daughters in marriage. Really?

The passage in Luke concerns the ten lepers, Continue reading “Foreign born”