Who is Jesus for you? – Br. John Braught

Br. John BraughtThe Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle
Matthew 16:13-19

For many prayerful people, God’s love is largely theoretical. They can intellectually grasp that God is love, but they do not feel it. I have been among this class of people, and I have listened to others express a similar lament. When someone tells me they intellectually know that God is love but they do not feel it, I ask them the same question that was put to me when I felt this way: “Who is Jesus for you?” Often, this question takes people by surprise. Often, (and it was the case for me) there is an uncomfortable silence, and a level of uncertainty is expressed. For many prayerful people, Christians among them, even people who love God, and who desire to follow God; many of them remain ambivalent about Jesus. Continue reading

Respond While There’s Still Time – Br. David Vryhof

davidv150x150When Jesus speaks to the people, he uses metaphors he is sure they will understand.  In today’s gospel he uses the image of a door that is partially opened and about to be closed.  He urges his audience to strive to enter this “narrow door” while they have the opportunity, because there will come a time when the door is closed to them and they will no longer have access through it. Continue reading

Jesus’ Revelation to Infants – Br. Curtis Almquist

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Matthew 11:25-27

‘At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants…’

Who are “the wise and intelligent” to whom Jesus is referring?  Any one of three groups who held power.  One, the scribes and Pharisees who were the educated, Jewish elite.  Second, the Greeks, whose intellectual prowess was recognized even by Rome.  And thirdly, Rome, which was the occupying and controlling force in Palestine.  To a Roman ear, when Jesus, the peasant, prays aloud to the God whom he calls “Father,” – Papa – I thank you, Papa, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things – his revelation – from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants – Jesus is an idiot to the Greeks[i], blasphemous to the Jews, and treasonous to the Romans because Caesar, only Caesar Augustus, was called “God from God.”[ii]

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