Our Lord Jesus Universal King Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 26th November 2023 (’02) : OUR LORD JESUS UNIVERSAL KING : A

1. EZEK34:11-12, 15-17 (What about the warm vv13-14?)

* Read 34:1-31! Yahweh’s passionate diatribe against TheOfficialShepherds!

* Why has this critique been bla-bla-ed, as if it applied, only to Israel’sShepherds?

* Or is it impossible to hear biblical oracles&stories as having any impact nowadays?

Apart from the occasional deemed worthy of authoritative&authentic interpretation!

* Is EZEK34:1-31 being carefully weighed&explored by each ‘pastoral council’?

* In this excerpt, what are the priorities&aptitudes of a ‘true shepherd’?

* ‘Yahweh’ says, I will do this&that! But who will courageously embody it?

* What aspects of this excerpt is my local neglectfull of?

2. THE PSALM : 22:1-3, 5-6 (Verse 4, arguably the best, omitted!)

* Read 22(23):1-6! ‘Yahweh’, VersatileShepherd! RestorationNurtureGuidance!

* For which situations in my local church is ‘Yahweh’sShepherding’ crucial?

* ‘YahwehNourisherProtectorGuideBenefactor!’: Better than ‘YahwehKing’?

* Tho’ perhaps the ‘king-metaphor’ suits&sits better than ‘nourisher&friend’!

* If I were a ‘sheep’ in the ‘flock’ which is the local church, how’d I describe it?

* NothingShallIWant(WithYahweh)!

What are The20Resources of my local church?

What are My15Needs as an adult disciple?

Which resources are ignored, which needs are unfulfilled?

3. 1COR15:20-26, 28 (What’s the problem with v27?)

* Read 15:1-58! His truly-courageous exploration of ‘Christ’sDeath’!

* To what extent have I been intimately familiarised with this great poem?

* HisMetaphors! SelfShowing/FeetOnTheVanquished/FirstFruits/DeathOfSeed/


* How can I explore more deeply the relatedness of ‘Christ&Adam’? Has Paul perhaps

simplified the ‘causality’ of each of these? &What of ‘Eve’? &’Mary’?

* Can he be sure ‘ChristKing’ will ‘put all enemies, especially Death, under HisFeet’?

* Is his mythological perspective over-tentative? Or just biblical?

4. MT25:21-46

* What have I been told about this shallowly-explored JesusStory?

* What is the narrative-relation between ‘TheSon-of-Man’ & ‘TheKing’?

* ‘TheKingdom!’: That ‘Yahweh-in-Jesus Behaviour’, that consists in

seeing ‘TheChrist’ in TheHungryThirstyStrangerSickPrisoned! &responding-in-love!

* ‘OnHisLeftHand!’: But if these had never been diligently-catechised, so as to value

&embody the succouring of ‘ThePoor’, as if it were the succouring of ‘TheChrist’?

* Because the underlying presumptions here, (namely, that recognition-of&responses-to

‘ThePoor’ are also to ‘TheChrist’), are worlds away from ‘normality’!

5. The presence&action of TheBlessedOne, is it like this?

‘Sir, something I’ve always wondered…’ ‘Friend, never conceal wish or query or comment from your friend!’ ‘Well, a previous thought! Which, your hidden dignity or your narrative-making or your struggle-to-heal or certain much-quoted sayings of yours to ones like Kephas or Magdalene, which was the most important aspect…’ ‘Friend, all&everything was the most important at every moment! To be present &awake&going-out-to-others in whatever ways I could! But what I loved&lived in a particular way was storytelling!’ ‘Sir, I would have thought that the struggle-to-heal…’ ‘My storytelling was central to that! Not as impressive, perhaps, as curing the sick, &healing the lame & the blind…’ ‘Yes, TheOneWhoBringsOutFromEgypt…’ ‘But in my stories, TheOneWhoSentMe was present, I was present, those who listened were unusually present, &we moved amongst&within them in an ordinary but extraordinary weaving, thread by thread, of a new seeing&touching-for-good, all people, rich&poor, holy&unholy, men&women&children, Jews&foreigners!’ ‘Sir, I’m so moved! I never thought of such a richness of divine wisdom!’ ‘Friend, ultimately only one story is needed, this is the one pearl! Remember the words of TheKing, “Embracing or repulsing anyone with any need whatever, you embrace or repulse Me!!”…’

6. RIDDLE But who is TheKing?

TheTrueShepherd of the neglected sheep?

TheDefeater of all enemies, including Death?

TheOne hidden in the ubiquitous poor?

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 19th November 2023 (’02) : 33rdSUNinORDINARY : A

1. PROV31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31 (Why the penny-pinching selection?)

* Read 31:1-31! KingLemuel’sMother’sOracle to him, about Discipline&Women!

* To what extent is 31:10-31 a ‘program’ for contemporary ‘home-makers’?

* What ‘mother’ is counselling ‘rulers’ (civil, ecclesial, &others) nowadays?

* What ‘agencies’ are setting the ‘agenda’ for wives&mothers?

* What are The15Obstacles&Challenges being encountered by women today?

* Why are mothers being excluded from ‘power-sharing’ in my local church?

* Especially in view of their wisdom! &their experience of body&sexuality&pain!

* In this excerpt, what assures ‘harmony’ between husband&wife (&vice-versa!)?

2. THE PSALM : 127:1-5 (Verse 6?)

* Read 127(128):1-6! Blessings of a man-devoted-to-Yahweh!

Specifically, prosperity in the land, the family, the grandchildren, &Jerusalem!

* Can I write a similar ‘blessing-song’ for a woman-devoted-to-Yahweh?

* Is this psalm a benevolent echo of the ‘woes’ on ‘Adam&Eve’? (GEN3:16-19!)

* ‘FearTheLord!’: To make ThePrioritiesOfYahweh one’s-own ‘priority’!

* Is the psalmist sure that prosperity&fertility&longevity invariably are the reward

of devotion-to-Yahweh? Or is there some pious froth here too?

* What is promised by my local church for ‘devotion-to-Jesus’?

3. 1THESS5:1-6

* In regard to TheCircumstances&Personages-ofTheEndTime, what do I know?

* Even in regard to TheEndTime of one’s own life, is it not quite vague?

* Surely ‘TheLord’sDay’ is in every moment & every situation?

But, am I sharpening my alertness&discernment, so as to recognise&respond to Him?

* Why is Paul so sure that ‘Christians’ are ‘sons-of-light&day’?

Or indeed, that ‘we do not belong to TheWorld-of-Darkness’? Just think of the 20thC!

* What disciplines&rituals are enabling me to ‘stay wide-awake&sober’?

* Who in my local church has Paul’s charism of ‘passionate self-assurance’?

4. MT25:14-30

* What interpretations have I been offered for this JesusStory?

* Is it possible that this more circumstantial ‘parable’ has been expanded by MT/or

his community, from an earlier brief story? What might this latter have been?

* What OT stories or similes or prayers might have inspired this ‘parable’?

* Who is the most significant character in mT’s story? &Why is this?

* Can I describe each character’s ‘one-track-mind’?

* Should the third servant have been blamed&punished for his course-of-action?

* How am I taking-on the urgent task of unfolding-for-others my inner resource?

5. The presence&action of the BlessedOne, is it like this?

‘Ah, boys-a-boys! that’s all I have t’ describe it, boys-a-boys!’ ‘Begod, many’s a time I heard th’ oul’ Canon say th’ selfsame words…’ ‘Aw, a prophet indeed…’ ‘…as he looked at the state of th’ churcha Christ! I take it y’ w’re above this mornin’, wearin’ y’r first communion suit til th’ bitter…’ ‘Look, I toldja before, I take exception…’ ‘OK, I owe ya! you do yours, I do mine!’ ‘Right-on, mate! Cheers!’ ‘So what’d th’ broth of a boy…’ ‘one a’ th’ stories, whatever they’re called, of Our Lord! Prob’ly aimed, he said, at th’ priests…’ ‘Oh…’ ‘…in the temple!’ ‘Wow, I was wonderin’ would ‘e ‘ve admitted it, if it was ‘is own crowd!’ ‘Anyway, these three codgers got talents from their owner…’ ‘…like playin’ th’ mouth organ an’ tap-dancin’…?’ ‘No, talents means loadsa moola! They hadta do business…’ ‘Prob’ly smugglin’ or drugs…’ ‘…then come back wi’ th’ praffits! one fella just put th’ loot in ‘is hankie, an’ buried it, an’ brought it back, an’ was ate-up an’ swallied an’ sput-out be ‘is owner!’ ‘Y’d think ‘e’d be glad t’ get ‘is own back…’ ‘No, the preacher said! It’s y’r faith from baptism! don’t jus’ cart it back! trade with it! an’ on an’ on an’ on, talkin’ hisself puce in th’ face to a chapel fulla dead frogs… Ah, boys-a-boys-a-boys…!!’

6. RIDDLE Who is the worthwhile role-model?

The capable wife? The devoted Yahwist?

The watchful ‘church’? The thrifty servant?

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 12th November 2023 (’02) : 32ndSUNinORDINARY : A


1. WISD6:12-16

* Read 6:1 – 8:21! Solomon’s description-of&desire-for Wisdom!

* What is comparable to this ‘Wisdom’ in my adult christian experience?

* How desirable or accessible is ‘Wisdom’?

* To what extent does She possess HerOwnReality&Realm&Rituals?

* What of the claim that She’s a divinity, of similar importance, say, as ‘Yahweh’?

* Why is Mary called ‘Seat-of-Wisdom’?

* Why was Adam denied access to ‘TheTreeOfKnowledge’,

whose fruit, in the perception of TheWoman, ‘was to be desired to make one wise’?

2. THE PSALM : 62:1-8

* Read 62(63):1-11! Song of desire&satisfaction to TheTempleDivinity, Elohîm!

* Do I recognise in myself any such longing for Elohîm, or Yahweh, or Wisdom?

* Can I name 10Men or Women who yearned insatiably for ‘God’?

* What indications in the psalm, why this poet ‘desires God’ so palpably?

* To what extent is ‘Thirst-for-God’ being inculcated in contemporary disciples?

* ‘GazeOnYou!’: Did some worshippers have ‘visions’ in TheTemple?

* Was nightly ‘RememberingOfGod’ a healing-of, or cause-of, ‘insomnia’?

3. 1THESS4:13-18

* Read 4:1 – 5:26! Paul’s exhortations&advices to one of his early ‘churches’!

* But what if ‘TheComingOfTheLord’ is not in the ‘future’, but continually-in-the-now?

* &If many of the other ‘events’ that Christians imagine as being in ‘the future’,

or ‘after death’, like JudgmentHellPurgatoryHeaven, are arguably in-the-now?

* RisingAgain! God’s awakening of Adults out of Torpor&Prejudice&Ignorance!

* In TheBehaviour-of-MyChurch, which is superior, life before, or life after, ‘death’?

4. MT25:1-13

* What’s TheKingdom-of-Heaven? ‘TheComingOfTheLord’? TheDayToDayEffort-

ToEmbodyTheStruggleOfJesus? TheCatholicChurch? TheRealm&StateOfHeaven?

* What about each of the main characters of this JesusStory?

Some of the women failed to provide for all eventualities!

Some of the women were ungenerous to other women, out of self-interest!

The bridegroom, arriving late, treated those-there-for-him with disdain!

Would any of them be dependable in a situation demanding love?

5. The presence&action of the BlessedOne, is it like this?

Mam left her youngest daughter Effie at Gran’s cottage earlier than usual, this particular Thursday! ‘A’m gettin’ a make-over, Gran! T’rrah!’ Effie ran in, sat neatly in her favourite highbacked chair, fresh as cornflowers in her nice blue dress, ‘Gran!’ ‘Welcome from my heart, asthore! What pearl has the ocean offered us today?’ It seems that Samantha&Boysie had another blow-up! he said she was puttin’ him down about his mother’s accent (‘Or may be it was her accident, Gran!’), she then poked his eye with her mobile, &Boysie ran off on his tractor, grogglin’ about a solicitor’s letter! ‘Then Gran, Sam came in all streamy to Mam, “Madge! somethin’ somethin’! tell us, is this somethin’ girl a wise or foolish virgin?”… Gran, I can’t say the somethins, but what’s a wise or foolish virgin?’ Gran dried her hands as she prepared for making wheaten bread, ‘Now that’s a deep question indeed! You can learn a lot listenin’ to Sam…’ ‘An’ us two then talkin’ about th’ pearls!’ ‘True enuff, we’re a great pair of pearl-polishers!’ ‘Gran, wise or foolish virgins!’ ‘Yes, luveen! Now, virgins, what do you think of?’ ‘Th’ Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus’ mammy! Tho’ she wasn’t foolish, was she?’ ‘Effie, she was very very wise…’ ‘Oh wasn’t it great for Jesus to have such a wise mammy! But Sam’s not a mammy, so why’d she ask Mam that question?’ ‘I think she had an old story in her head! Jesus told it, about bridesmaids goin’ to a weddin’!’ ‘Yes, Sam was a bridesmaid for Boysie’s uncle Henny…’ An’ sometimes they were called virgins as a nickname…’ ‘Oh…’ ‘An’ the wise ones brought all they needed…’ ‘Like make-up…’ ‘Yes, this an’ that…’ ‘ Oh, Gran! I’m outa breath with bridesmaids an’ virgins! Let’s start th’ bread!’ ‘An’ take it up some other time!’ ‘Great! great…!!’

6. RIDDLE Which headline do I embrace?

WatchForWisdom! ThirstForGod!

AwaitTheLordJesus! GoToMeetTheBridegroom!

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 5th November 2023 (’02) : 31stSUNinORDINARY : A

1. MAL1:14 – 2:2, 8-10 (What of the beginning of 1:14 & 2:3-7?)

* Read 1:1 – 4:6! The inflamed Voice-of-Yahweh, with Treats&Promises!

* What the principalComplaints of this prophet?

* How relevant to our contemporaryChurch, is this invective against ‘priests’?

* Read JOSH23:1 – 24:28! Circumstances&pattern of ‘TheCovenant’!

* Why is ‘TheCovenant’ so central & so crucial in Jewish/Yahwistic religion?

* Has my local church any ritual resembling (or excelling) ‘TheCovenant’?

* Who is speaking ‘threats&promises’ into my local church, like this prophet?

* Is it healthy that public ‘criticism of the church’ is largely media-driven?

2. THE PSALM : 130(131):1-3

* Might this psalm have inspired Jesus-of-Nazareth?

* In 30words, can I outline the ‘spirituality’ reflected in this prayer?

* What means do I use, so as to ‘calm&quieten my soul’?

* What methods of ‘soul work’ are being explored&inculcated’ in myChurch?

* What things are ‘too great&marvellous’ for a contemporary adultChristian?

* Is it more fruitful that the local church be ‘quiet&biddable’, or ‘watchful&critical’?

To let the ‘leaders’ lead unhampered, or to raise pungent questions?

3. 1THESS2:7-9 (Notice vv10-12!)

* Read 2:1-16! Who is ministering like this in my local church?

* In 25words, what was Paul struggling to bring about in Thessalonika?

* In a local church embedded in 21stC IrishSociety, is more effort needed, or less?

* What ‘goodnews’ are we proclaiming&embodying to ‘TheModernWorld’?

* What 5GreatObstacles are militating today against ‘God’sGoodNews’?

* In what ways is it ‘a living power amongst us who believe it’?

* If Paul were writing to my local church, what would he say?

4. MT23:1-12

* How ingrained in my local church is the custom of ‘double standards’?

* What are The3MainReasons for the habit of ‘PreachingThisButPractisingThat’?

* What is the equivalent of ‘Scribes&Pharisees’ nowadays?

* OneTeacher-TheChrist’!

Where is ‘TheChrist’ undistortedly available to me?

In what ways is ‘TheChrist’ teaching&nourishing&purifying my life?

What if ‘TheChrist’ is within me always, whispering&waiting…

5. The presence&action of TheBlessedOne, is it like this?

Confidential memorandum to TheMostExcellentHighPriest Caiaphas!

Dispatched by trusted messenger from BarShemayâ’, Stalker of TheNazarene (I spit)!

May Heaven’sSmile ennoble&magnify YourExcellency in all eyes&ears!

Your most humble&obedient servant is continuing to stalk TheNazarene (I spit), so as to keep YourExcellency always freshly informed about TheNortherner’s (I spit) attempts to subvert true piety & true religion! Although not privy to the angelic deliberations of TheInnerOrder, I have ceaselessly&tirelessly (May it never be accounted lèse-majesté) counselled the summary removal of this thorn in TheHolyBody of TheTotalTemple! Only this afternoon, the uneducated&uncouth upstart (I spit) contumaciously assaulted in public the divine authority of TheScribes&ThePharisees! He alleged they themselves do not practise what they preach to others! That they seek only the flatteries of TheFaithful, &the flaunting of Robes&Titles&Insignia! That they presume to arrogate TheFirstPlace in every celebration, whether religious or not! That the title of Rabbi&Father must be avoided! Then he encouraged that rabble that love to lick his feet (I spit), not to follow the pious example of TheScribes&ThePharisees! Oh!! YourPardon, Excellency! I can still feel the rage that engulfed me, body&soul!! Finally, the final insult from this would-be firebrand (I spit)! Surely referring to YourExcellency&TheInnerOrder, he shouted with raised fists, ‘TheGreatOnes will be dragged low, &TheLowly raised to TheThrones!’

Excellency! Need Your ever-humble servant write further?

6. RIDDLE What is the irrevocable struggle?

To nourish zeal for ‘Yahweh’sCovenant’? To seek a quiet&silent praxis?

To devote one’s total self to the local church?

To unfold&embody TheChrist in the modern world?

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 29th October 2023 (’02) : 30thSUNinORDINARY : A

1. EXOD22:20-26

* Are these ‘laws’ (See 20:22 – 23:33!) extra to, or more important than, TheDecalogue?

* Which of these ‘laws’ are still significant? &How are they being perceived?

* ‘Yahweh>Moses>ThePeople!’: What about the ‘individual’ in this ‘Chain-of-Power’?

* &What about Yahweh’s threatening&intemperate language for those who disobeyed?

* Are ‘interest-free loans of money’ currently available to poor people?

* Why do ‘christians’, even nowadays, nurse fantasies about ‘Jews&Money’?

* ‘TheCloak-as-Pledge!’: So much emphasis! Perhaps oppression of the needy was rife!

* What ‘supplementary law’ (15words) would lead to radical shift in my local church?

2. THE PSALM : 17:2-4, 47, 51 (Why such an ungenerous scrap?)

* Read 17(18):1-50(51)! The king’s victory-paean to Yahweh-his-Protector!

* But, considering the narratives of the kings, is it more than a pious insurance policy?

* ‘RockFortressShield!’: Is Yahweh nowadays still seen in such military terms?

* ‘Foes!’: Were the king’s ‘foes’ Yahweh’sFoes too? &TheChurch’s foes God’sFoes also?

* Why were kings ‘anointed’? &In what sense were they ‘Yahweh’sAnointed’?

* In what ways do I imagine Yahweh’s ‘life’?

* Write 35words on ‘Yahweh-my-Strength’! &Then 35words on ‘Yahweh-my-Beloved’!

* How will women (not to mention ‘commoners’) hear&interact-with this excerpt?

3. 1THESS1:5-10

* To what extent is my local church a headline&inspiration for other local churches?

* Who are The5GreatRoleModels for adult christian disciples in my local church?

* How am I going-about becoming an ‘imitator-of-TheLordJesus’?

* &Why did Paul consider himself to be an ‘imitator-of-TheLordJesus’?

* In what 5Ways is it counterproductive to be born&baptised a ‘cradle-catholic’?

* How is my local church visualising&performing ‘Catechesis-of-Youth for the 21stC’?

* How did people in Greece distinguish ‘Faith-in-Christ’ from ‘Faith-in-Dionysus’?

* Can I imagine Paul’s deportment&selfpresentation&lifestyle in Thessalonica?

4. MT22:34-40

* Which question would I more easily understand&deal-with?

Which is the greatest commandment in the biblical legal tradition?

Which is the greatest commandment as reflected in your actual behaviour?

Which is the greatest commandment as reflected in your local church?

* What distinguishes ‘Love-of-Yahweh’ from ‘Love-of-God’? Or indeed, ‘Love-of-Self’?

* AllHeart&AllSoul&AllMind!: Will this vagrant&unquiet resource ever be harnessed?

* What 10Ingredients in my ‘love-of-self’? Whom do I love, &who loves me, like this?

* Equating ‘AllHeartAllSoulAllMind’ & ‘AsYouLoveYourSelf’, aren’t the two one-only! 5. The presence&action of the BlessedOne, is it like this?

Attend TheImmanentBreath that nurtures all!
Seek&represent WisdomTheMother!
Compassion for all that lives&struggles&ails!
Midwife the coming-to-birth of truth's complexity!
Unfold for all the richnes of soul-embodied!
Heal by every means the pervasive wound!
Reveal the ways that entrap, the ways the free!
Engage with heart the poverty of self&others!
Remember forever the fathers'&mothers' resource!

6. RIDDLE What’s the greatest commandment?

LoveYourself in DeepestTruth! Gain-TheAdvantage-in-EverySituation!

Transgress-AllCommandments! All-for-God’sGreaterGlory!

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 22nd October 2023 (’02) : 29thSUNinORDINARY : A

1. IS45:1, 4-6 (Note the powerful, but omitted, vv2-3!)

* Read 45:1 – 46:2! Yahweh-polemic against TheOtherGods & TheirServants!

* ‘Cyrus!’: Ku-ra-ash means ‘shepherd’! Called ‘Anointed/Messiah-of-Yahweh’! Isaiah

imagined that He made him Emperor of Persia, so as to restore TheExiles to Judea!

* In what ways has the ‘politicised Yahweh’ inspired ‘church involvements’ in politics?

* How is ‘the divine right of kings’ still alive&well as a fantasy in Ireland?

* The insistence of monotheism, ‘There is no other god!’, has it a ‘downside’ also?

* But, in a more critical light, how weighty are Yahweh’s claims here?

* If 45:1-7 are heard in a psychological or mystical, not political, way?

2. THE PSALM : 95:1, 3-5, 7-10

* Read 95(96):1-13! Somewhat chauvinistic acclaim of ‘Yahweh’sAbsoluteSovereignty’!

* But does that which is called ‘Yahweh’ mutate according to socio-religious realities?

* ‘Cos at least ‘unconsciously’, any vested interest might ‘masquerade-as-Yahweh’!

* Do I perceive a gulf between the ‘fervour’ of liturgical rhetoric & my life’s nittygritty?

* What crouches in the gulf, keeping biblical&contemporary experience from meeting?

* How can I listen both critically&empathically to this ‘revivalist’ excerpt, unless I am

developing tools&skills of ‘presence&self-awareness&irony’, alone & with-others!

* Is this excerpt also pleading for a much less sedentary&passive&monolithic ‘liturgy’?

3. 1THESS1:1-5

* Read 1:1-10! Warmly-complimentary opening of his letter, ending on a sombre note!

* Who is currently writing/speaking strongly into the nittygritty of adults’ complexity?

* GodTheFather&TheLordJesusChrist! How can I deeply-listen to this ‘mantra’?

* In my local church, what 10Factors above-all are we ‘thankful’ for?

* ‘Faith-in-Action, Work-for-Love, Perseverance-in-Hope!’: Is this me, or just them?

* ‘Power&TheHolyBreath&UtterConviction!’ How being encouraged in all adults?

* ‘Brothers!’: Again it must be asked, does he appear to be writing only to men?

* Which divinity’s ‘goodnews’ am I actually living? Or have I checked the truth yet…

4. MT22:15-21

* What ‘interpretations’ have I been given for this story?

* What is the equivalent of this story in my local church?

* What was the precise nature of the trap the pious men set for Jesus?

* To what extent is their preamble about honesty&fearlessness&rank, also true of me?

* Can I indicate how Jesus habitually ‘dealt with questions’ (devious or not)?

* ‘Premissible!’: Who or what was referred to?&What is the equivalent nowadays?

* As opposed to ‘God’, who&what demands my allegiance&resource in IrishSociety?

* From my total resource, how do I perceive&apportion what belongs to God&Caesar?

5. The presence&action of the BlessedOne, is it like this?

Confidential memorandum to TheMostExcellentHighPriest Caiaphas!

Dispatched by trusted messenger from BarShemayâ’, Stalker of TheNazarene!

May Heaven’sSmile enrobe YourExcellency! Since being honoured with this ministry of Stalker-of-TheNazarene, I have often mentioned in dispatches, not as advice, of course, but as personal rumination, the utter need to ensure that properly-trained&briefed agents are always sent out to engage TheNazarene in lethal debate, thus either to entrap or discredit him! I observed a clear case yesterday of the gross unprofessionalism &ineptitude of a group of lay adjuncts (Herodians&Pharisees)! The seeming-innocent query put to TheNazarene, about the morality of paying imperial taxes, is one I realise TheInnerGathering have often carefully considered! A dangerous topic too, whose contagion&venom might all too easily implicate TheLord’sTemple! As ever, I watched &listened&absorbed with the utmost diligence! As ever, the finesse with which the hateful Northerner contorted the challenge, &created a deadly riposte against the interrogators! As a final flourish (I often envy his accursed flair&ingenuity! Whence his nearly-magical skills? From Beelzebub, I spit, perhaps?), he spoke a riddle in public that truly opens a hideous rift in our already-agitated situation! ‘What belongs to Heaven, &what belongs to Rome?’ Excellency, surely it is already time!! Fare well!!

6. RIDDLE Who&what actually gets the most of my total resource?

Caesar? TheLady? TheOtherGods? Yahweh? TheMarket?

God? MyHobbies? MyHealth? TheEarth? TheTrinity? TheBreath?

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 15th October 2023 (02) : 28thSUNinORDINARY : A

1. IS25:6-10

* Read 25:1-12! Yahweh, Scourge-of-Oppressors, Comfort-of-TheOppressed!

* ‘MountainAllPeopleBanquet!’: Not only for certain ‘chosen-ones’! (Read EX24:1-18)

* But does this sound too inclusive&egalitarian in a hierarchical power-structure?

* ‘MourningVeilShroudDeathTearsShame!’: This ancient prophetic ‘wishful thinking’!

Have we struggled hard to transform human woe? Or just lobbed it onto ‘heaven’?

* ‘Cos actually, what is hoped-for from Yahweh, is actually for ourselves to-do-in-love!

* In 25words, what’s the marrow of my ‘hope’ as an adult disciple?

* Can I trust ‘Yahweh’ when He says, or promises, or rants-about, things?

2. THE PSALM : 22(23)

* What are the peculiar characteristics of ‘YahwehShepherd’?

* How far is the ‘idealised’ portrait-of-Yahweh here, truly dependable, &verifiable

in my own adult experience? &What criteria do I apply to all ‘divine promises’?

* As regards sheep&shepherd, how is ‘the right path’ to be discerned?

* ‘HisName!’ The ‘power-of-yahweh’! To lead HisBeloved From-Bondage-to-Freedom!

* Were captured foes starved, &forced to watch the victors feasting sumptuously?

* What&where is ‘Yahweh’sHouse’ in my local church?

* Struggling into adult discipleship, what (if anything) is ‘Yahweh’sGreatestGift’ to me?

3. PHIL4:12-14, 19-20

* The tone&content of this, how do they affect my own experience of ‘being-disciple’?

Moment-to-moment, am I struggling to embody ‘awakenedness-to-being’?

Or am I OK with ‘occasional-devotional-catholicness’?

How have I been/am I being ‘initiated into adult-disciple-in-the-world’?

Mood-to-mood, crisis-to-crisis, mired-in-mire, what ‘always-empowers-me’?

How do ‘poverty&richness, hunger&satiety, sweet&bitter’ occur in me?

Who ‘shares my hardships&softships’? Do Jesus&TheLady know about them?

On balance, am I inclined to under- or over-confidence? &If so, what then?

4. MT22:1-14 (What? a ‘shorter form’ too!)

* What other ‘royal wedding’ stories or songs from TheBible (Or elsewhere)?

* What other ‘divine/royal rage’ stories? (‘Cos aren’t royalty reckoned divine!)

* Is ‘absolute power’ corruptive, as claimed? Or is it compatible with ‘compassion’?

* Today, which roles&archetypes&fantasies seem to be endowed with absolute power?

* In what ways have I been enabled to question&resist all ‘absolute power’?

* ‘Good&BadAlike!’: Why was his ‘garment’, but not his ‘inner disposition’, queried?

* ‘ManyCalled, FewChosen!’: Does an ‘elitism’ lurk in this innocent-sounding cliché?

* In what ways is the ‘power-structure’ of my local church, &of ‘TheChurch’, ‘elitist’?

5. The presence&action of the BlessedOne, is it like this?

Everyone will recognise&confess who is Master in this land! By TheHorns-of-TheAltar-of-Incense I swear it! Whatever is called for, TitlesEdictsExamples, I will at last consolidate my regal endowment in the ears&eyes of my subjects! so that beyond love or hate they shall all embrace me as in every respect their OverLord! I have mounted Heaven’sChariot, nothing impedes my advance! One such Example I offered four days ago, to illuminate for all the land my prowess in regard to the large business & the small! You will know that my prowess threatened&trembled the royal household ever since my birth! Add to this my destined proximity to TheAscension-of-TheThrone, Heaven’sChariot-on-Earth! My aged tottering father Majmij was counselled both by his InnerWhisper & TheWhispers of TheCautioners, to destroy me! Or if not (I myself destroyed every treacherous Approacher, whether women or man or child), then to continue to reign until I was no longer in proximity to TheAscension! Perhaps I nudged Majmij, perhaps Heaven called him, perhaps his soul’s-wick snufft-with-a-sigh, at all events when I mounted Heaven’sChariot a short time ago, I was determined to offer an Example to all my subjects, of my prowess in great&small! You’re already familiar with the dramatic circumstances of TheHighBanquet which I produced for TheCrown Prince’s SolemnNuptials! Very satisfying indeed! But the bright fang of that Example, concerning the slovenly peasant, will take longer in being percolated-abroad, but its penetration into the soul of my land will be all the deeper!!

6. RIDDLE Who gets to participate in the banquet? The clerical elite?

The symbolically naked? The divorced & the otherwise-irregular?

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 8th October 2023 (’02) : 27thSUNinORDINARY : A

1. IS5:1-7

* Read 5:1-30! But what would make me think this has any contemporary relevance?

* What other ‘vineyard stories’ & ‘disappointment stories’ in TheBible?

* Why does TheFriend blame&abuse TheVineyard for the SourGrapes? Had He

Himself done all He could? Or had He still lots to learn about ‘vineyards’? (cf ‘Eden’!)

* How do I understand the biblical Yahweh’s constant blaming&boasting&moodiness?

* Like TheSower, did He think things grow by throwing them on or into the ground?

* In my 21stC world, what is the equivalent of Yahweh’sVineyard, &of HisTantrum?

* Maybe all that invincible ignorance was just typically ‘jewish’, &not at all ‘christian’!

2. THE PSALM : 79:9, 12-16, 19-20

* Read 79(80):1-19! VineIsrael’s fervent plea to Yahweh for Restoration!

* Why did the poets refer to Israel as a ‘vine/yard’?

* Can I listen to this extract with the usual ‘true-church-nonchalance’? Or do I hear it

as an accurate mirroring of our own predicament as ‘people-of-yahweh’?

* But what if I’ve never been inculcated into the important ‘YahwehMythology’?

&Always regarded Jesus as a ‘god’ who literally ‘came down’! Not really a ‘jew’!

* Why do I still think that the ‘experience of Israel’ is of concern to a 21stC ‘church’?

* ‘BringUsBack!’: LIke a rejected wife, like a neglected vineyard, like a exiled child!

3. PHIL4:6-9

* Read 4:2-23! His reflections on their involvement with him in the ‘goodnews’!

* ‘No Need To Worry!’: But what is more endemic among our contemporaries!

* In 35words, my current understanding&experience of what I call ‘prayer?

* ‘Brothers!’: Is it thinkable that women weren’t addressed in his letters? (But, vv2-3!)

* What are The20PrincipalAnxieties represented in my local church?

* ‘LearntBeenTaughtHeardSeen!’: Who functions as such role models in my church?

* What actually gave Paul the authority to act&speak as he did?

* Compose a letter that he might send to my local church!

4. MT21:33-43

* This familiar Jesus-story has been re-told&re-contextualised&re-interpreted by MT!

Is it important that MT has Jesus pose the chiefpriests&elders a trap-question (v40!)?

Are the tenants punished for killing the son, or for withholding the grapes/wine?

This story is linked to IS5! But here, the grapes/wine is most desirable to all concerned!

What is the most excellent&desirable (&withheld?) aspect of my local church?

Is there an important sense in which MT’s story is potentially anti-semitic?

* TheKingdom! Not ‘TheCatholicChurch’, but the way of living-now of Jesus!

&That is collusively being substituted by the devotional worship-of-Jesus!

5. The presence&action of the BlessedOne, is it like this?

‘Well, no fun this weather, is it?’ ‘Begod, there was more nor enuff fun above there this mornin’, if y’ ass me!’ ‘Wha’…’ ‘If I heard i’ once, I heard it a dozen times! Funyard it was! First I thought it was a sorta swings an’ dodgems! But then they started atin’ each other…’ ‘Who…’ ‘…so I decided it was more like a slaughterhouse…’ ‘Wha’ was tha’ film…’ ‘Anyway, no fun in th’ funyard! in th’ end, whatever it was, no one owned it…!’ ‘Was it auctioned for charity?’ ‘It was give away t’ some crowd up at th’ north pole, I couldn’t catch th’ name!’ ‘That’s a quare one all right! Wha’ ‘d y’r man say?’ ‘Th’ usual kiss-me-hankie! “My dear people! What is more precious than th’ funyard of y’r immortal sowl! Never let a day pass without those three hail marys to our divine mother f’r holy purity!”…’ ‘Aw great! Tha’ calls f’r two ballsa malt! Kiss-me-hankie’s right! As th’ oul’ Canon ‘d say in ‘is own spick ‘n’ span, Comrades! An ounce a’ love ‘s better nor a ton a’ purity!’ ‘Aw he was th’ man f’r cuttin’ through all th’ bull! Guess what he ‘d a’ said about funyards? Comrades! he’d shout in that great Caruso voice a’ his…’ ‘Aw very much so! sing it out f’r ‘im…’ ‘Funyards hafta be used wisely, an’ not leck freckened teddybears! Go in there with y’r friend, practise true love, an’ make sure Our Lord’s always there too!!’ ‘Aw that man! Best thing in me whole life!’ ‘Me too, begod!!’

6. RIDDLE What is represented by TheVineyard?

The vulnerability of the potential unfolding of Yahweh-in-Jesus?

A dangerous resource that brings a curse if it’s frittered-away?

A desirable fantasy we imagine is there for-the-taking, &for-us!

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’05)

Sunday 1st October 2023 (’05) : 26thSUNinORDINARY : A

1. EZEK18:25-28!

What? ‘We choose our own life&death’? But are we really all that self-aware&free?

2. PS24:4-9!

Is this not somewhat up-beat? One-sided? &Semi-flattery of ‘Yahweh’?

3. PHIL2:1-11!

‘NoCompetition/Deceit! SelfEffacing…’ Is this ChristMind found in my local church?

4. MT21:28-32!

In the MindSet of my local church, who are the ‘archetypal sinners’, say, like the biblical ‘prostitutes’? &Even if they displayed ‘repentance’ would it be valued by us?

‘God, Cissie, what’re y’ doin’, sittin’ there leck a duck in a thunderstorm, wit’ no ball a’ malt between y’r jaws?’ ‘Aw, Gertie, I jus’ feel A’m no great shakes a’ th’ bag!’ ‘Wha’,,,’ ‘My fella, on’y this mornin’, as I was doin’ me hair, he went an’ called me a stewpit hoor’s melt…’ ‘Great, Cissie! He’s jus’ stuck ‘is own stewpit foot intil ‘is own stewpit gob…’ ‘Wah’…?’ ‘Wait til I tell ya… Head a’ wit read out th’ stuff from th’ man-above! &Guess wha’, th’ prostitutes, that’s nice-talk f’r hoors, them an’ th’ tax-people, ‘ll get inta Heaven first, before th’ priests or anyone else!’ ‘I don’t believe ya! Y’re jus’ griggin’ Cissie, th’ poor stewpit hoor… Make ‘re feel good…’ ‘No, me hand on me throat! That’s what th’ man-above said…’ ‘God, A’d love t’ shove that up my fella’s nose! But prob’ly not, ‘e hates t’ be bested! No one’s guff counts, except his…!’ ‘Lave ‘im be, Cissie! Wit’ all ‘is oul’ bolshy talk, he’ll not stop th’ sun from risin’, nor th’ hoors gettin’ inta Heaven, if that’s what th’ man-above proposes!’ ‘God, y’re right, Gertie! Why do I still take ‘is oul’ rant, as if it was th’ gospel itself, or somethin’…’


Don't worry about saving these songs!
&If one of our instruments breaks, it doesn't matter!
We have fallen into the place where everything is music!
The strumming & the flute notes rise into the atmosphere,
&Even if the whole world's harp should burn up, 
There will still be hidden instruments playing!
So, the candle flickers & goes out! 
We have a piece of flint & a spark!
This singing art is a sea foam! 
The graceful movements come
From a pearl somewhere on the ocean floor!
Poems reach up like spindrift 
& the edge of driftwood along the beach, wanting!
They derive from a slow&powerful root that we can't see!
Stop the words now! 
Open the window in the centre of your chest,
&Let the spirits fly in&out!

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’05)

Sunday 24th September 2023 (’05) : 25thSUNinORDINARY : A

1. IS55:6-9!

What enables me to discern if myThoughts&Ways are Yahweh’s? &To ensure they are!

2. PS144:2-3, 8-9, 17-18! (Pity this ancient piety-song, so grossly shredded! &Why?)

Great stuff about Yahweh! But, isn’t the point, How will this mind become mine, too?

3. PHIL1:20-24, 27!

TheGreatIntention! How will myWholeLife-become-Christ, nothing more nothing less?

4. MT20:1-16!

This ironic, highly circumstantial story, that challenges everyday expectations! Which character to identify with? In my world, is true generosity envied resented feared?


May myGreatness, root&branch&fruit, beHumility!
May I be Covenant-Kind, &Full-of-Compassion!
May Anger&Fear&Hatred never Camp-in-MyHeart!
May I be Just-in-Myself, &SeekJustice-for-Each!
May I NeverClose-my-Heart to AnyWhoCalls!
May I be Truly-Generous, to Enemies-as-well-as-Friends!
May MyWholeLife-become-Christ, Amen!!

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie