SUN 29th JAN 2023 (’02): 4th SUN IN ORDINARY TIME. CYCLE A
1. ZEPH 2:3; 3:12-13
- Read 1:2-3:20! A most enraged&violent outpouring of ‘Yahwistic Vitriol’ against Jew&Gentile! Barely mitigated by one or two phrases, &the end-song!
- In light of such ‘prophecies’, it must be asked if ‘Yahweh’ is at all ‘balanced’? Or how we in the ‘modern world’ can comprehend these dramatic mood-swings?
- To what extent is TheWrath-of-God still legal tender among ‘Christians’. Is it sometimes a projection of ‘authority figures’’, or a means of keeping ‘order’?
- Can I discern any ambivalence in the call to people to be ‘humble&lowly’?
- Unless it is supported&deeply-rooted by the most excellent ‘adult-education’?
2. THE PSALM 145:7-10 (Note again the subversive vv3-4!)
- Read 145(146) 1-10 Whatever about ‘princes’, can ‘YahwehHimself’ be trusted?
- As Job would ask ironically, how much of this excerpt is actually happening?
- Unless to the extent that contemporary ‘Embodiers-of-Yahweh’ are doing it!
- How is my local church enabling me to actualise any of this ‘wishful thinking’?
- ‘OppressedHungryPrisonersBlindBowedDown StrangerWidowOrphan!’ Is this list a mere rhetorical flourish? Or ‘spiritual chores’? Or serious reality still being avoided?
4. MT 5:1-12
How could God be actively-salvific in those with one foot in the grave?
How could the non-violent ever come to own this earth?
All the loss&death, when has God actually comforted a mourner?
Those who longed for justice like for food&drink, when have they found it?
When were the tolerant&compassonate folk not just taken advantage of?
Sure, many are single-minded & utterly-focussed, but is it God they gaze on?
Maybe loyalty-to-religion & wholeness-for-all are incompatible?
Persecuted for justice? Who can say is it truly virtuous, or something else?
5. The presence&action of the BlessedOne, is it like this?
Confidential memorandum to TheMost ExcellentHighPriest Caiaphas!
Dispatched by trusted messenger from ‘BarShemayâ’, Stalker of TheNazerene!
Greetings ‘May Heaven’sBlessings adorn YourExcellency’
Unworthy though I am, by any standards, I continue the work you entrusted to me, as Stalker-of-TheNazerene! I regret to say that the crowds are still flocking after him, in spite of the feeble efforts of certain parties (no names, Excellency) to discredit him! &in spite of the strangeness of his own words&behaviour! Much of the time, he merely offers riddles, no attempt to clarify anything, sometimes I wonder if these are coded messages to followers planted among the crowds! Yesterday for example, the first day of the week, TheNazerene climbed a low hill & sat there (rather pompously&mawkishly, I thought) teaching the hungry sheep, he calls it! Riddle after riddle, I just lost count! Here’s a few I recall (too dangerous to be seen writing on the spot)! ‘Why does Heaven favour only the wretched&resourceless’? TheBlessedOne will bestow all authority only on the meek of the land! If you hunger&thirst for justice, how could Heaven reject your cause? Why is TheBlessedOne more interested in those who mourn than those who laff? As he spoke these nonsenses, I could see people nodding, &at the end of the rigmarole they all cheered & threw their cloaks in the air! I fear he was speaking subversion&revolution, in coded language! I urge you once again, Excellency, let us be ready to slaughter him, &soon!’
Who can I say are truly called? TheLowly&Oppressed? TheFoolish?
The SingleMinded? Or those who just say their prayers?
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