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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 10/14/2012 -- THE GOOD NEWS  (Read 3290 times)
Alan
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piggysiggy
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« on: October 14, 2012, 05:25:19 AM »

October 14, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

THE GOOD NEWS

   
Luke’s Gospel is the most broad-minded and the most forgiving. Every
chance he gets, Luke has Jesus forgiving people, right up to the good
thief on the cross. Luke is quite ready to see God as generous,
gratuitous, and merciful. Mercy and inclusivity—Jesus’ ministry to
outcasts, to Gentiles, to the poor—are emphasized a great deal in
Luke. Luke’s Gospel is also called the gospel of women. Far more than
any other evangelist, Luke brings women into Jesus’ life and shows
Jesus’ very positive way of relating to women, especially for his time
and culture.

Luke’s has also been called the gospel of absolute renunciation. For
Luke, to be a disciple one has to let go of everything—not just money
or other external idols, but inner idols and ego concerns as well. Luke
advocates radically new social patterns of relationship. His is an
upside-down gospel: “The first will be last and the last will be
first” (Luke 13:30 [1]). Luke uses every story he can to show that what
impresses people does not impress God, that people who think they are at
the top are often, in God’s eyes, at the bottom, and that people who
think they are at the bottom are, in God’s eyes, often at the top.

Prayer:
Teach me to be humble and live simply.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Alan
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 04:50:54 AM »

October 15, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

THE GOOD NEWS

   
The Bible can be summed up as interplay between fear and faith. In
general, people are obsessed and overpowered by fears; they fear what
they cannot control. God is one of our primary fears because God is
totally beyond us. The good news, the Gospel, according to Luke, is that
God has breached that fear and become one of us in Jesus. God says, in
effect, “It’s okay. You don’t have to live in fear of me.” God
not only takes away all human shame, but even identifies with that shame
by changing sides from all cultures, religious and secular, and
identifying with the sinner, the rejected, the prostitute, the
foreigner, and the leper.

This change of sides is absolutely consistent in Luke's Gospel, starting
with Mary herself who calls herself “lowly” in two places (1:48 [1], 52 [2])
and a recipient of God's “mercy” in three places (1:50 [3], 54 [4], 58 [5]). It
starts to be culpable blindness when Christians have spent so much time
trying to prove they are worthy and not in need of such mercy. Luke has
Judas participating in the Last Supper (22:21 [6]) yet we still waste time
trying to exclude supposedly “unworthy” people from the Eucharist.
Tell me, who is worthy?

Prayer:
Teach me to be humble and live simply.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Alan
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 07:15:28 AM »

October 15, 2012

...

God says, in
effect, “It’s okay. You don’t have to live in fear of me.” God
not only takes away all human shame, but even identifies with that shame
by changing sides from all cultures, religious and secular, and
identifying with the sinner, the rejected, the prostitute, the
foreigner, and the leper.
This is sooo true.  We are told to "fear" God, but I'm getting from most people that it's actually like being afraid of what He's going to do at any given moment because we never know if He will approve of what we might do at any given moment.  We deny ourselves the true freedom in "free will" because we're paranoid that we will exercise our will in a way God doesn't like.  And maybe not even know we did it!  We are ashamed of ourselves at any given moment even if we aren't doing anything wrong, because we just know deeep in our hearts that we are rotten to the core -- and why is it that we get that way?  Does "fire and brimstone" come to mind?

The only acceptable definition for a healthy "fear" of God, IMO, is a sense of awe. 

Quote
Luke has
Judas participating in the Last Supper (22:21 [6]) yet we still waste time
trying to exclude supposedly “unworthy” people from the Eucharist.
Tell me, who is worthy?

Thank you.  We tell our kids to be like Jesus, but to stay away from known sinners.  That's a contradiction, and it gives our kids an impossible order to follow.  But we think if we use will power, and hang around only other people whose sins we're not aware of, that's going to get us somewhere spiritually.  All it will do is get us to Judgment City, where it will be found we have been playing judges since we learned to discriminate between right and wrong.  It is unlikely it will get you into the kingdom.  I guess at least if we're lucky we will recognize that's where we are and use it to self-mortify.

Alan
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 08:05:20 AM »

October 16, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

THE GOOD NEWS

   
Luke tells us that Jesus walked the journey of faith just as you and I
do. He did not have all the answers down pat beforehand. That’s the
compelling message in each of the various moments where Jesus needed
faith—during his temptation in the desert, during his debates with his
adversaries, in the garden, and on the cross. We like to imagine that
Jesus did not flinch, doubt, or ever question God’s love. The much
greater message is that in his humanity he did flinch, have doubts, and
ask questions—and still remained faithful.

You see Jesus’ faith first tested in the temptation scenes in Luke
4:1-13. The question is basically this: “Can God be trusted, is God on
our side?" That is the great question that the human race is always
asking. We hear Jesus in effect answer, “Yes, God is totally on your
side. In fact, God is more on your side than you are on your own.” One
only knows this to be true in the book of life, by trial and error, over
many years. Children “believe” while elders “know.”

Prayer:
Teach me to be humble and live simply.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 07:08:19 AM »

October 17, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

THE GOOD NEWS

   
Jesus uses storytelling to change our world view, which is common among
all spiritual masters. The evangelists call them parables. A parable
confronts our common and convenient world and subverts it. It doesn’t
call for discussion, debate, or further questions; it is not
God-as-information and quick answers. Rather it is
God-as-invitation-revolution-and-challenge. A parable calls us to
insight, freedom, and decision. A parable doesn’t lead us to endless
analysis; it’s either a flashing insight or it’s nothing.

Jesus is never afraid to put things in a hard and ego-demanding way.
He’s not afraid of using a word that’s inevitably going to be
misunderstood. He puts big truth out there; dealing with it is the
listener’s problem. He is saying, in effect, “Struggle with what
I’m saying!”

In general, Jesus doesn’t spend a great deal of time qualifying his
points and making sure that everybody understands him clearly according
to the recent political correctness. I am afraid liberal people are just
as trapped in political correctness as are conservatives. Liberals often
want you to say what will be inoffensive to any ego, and their false
self is easily offended. (If you do not offend any ego whatsoever, you
are supposedly being Christian!) In fact, Jesus offends the rich, the
arrogant, the superior, the righteous, and the supposedly orthodox.

Prayer:
Teach me to be humble and live simply.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
ncjohn
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 07:48:05 AM »

Amen to that.

In the end it's all about the intent with which you say something. Are you trying to tear down or build up? I've seen far too many people tearing down, claiming to be doing so out of love when it is quite clear that it is really to make themselves feel superior at the expense of someone else.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 05:09:56 AM »


Richard's Daily Meditations

THE GOOD NEWS
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist

   
The Gospel cannot happen in your head alone. You never think yourself
into a new way of living. You invariably live yourself into a new way of
thinking. The gospel is about relationship and lifestyle. Unless there
is someplace on this earth where it’s happening between you and
another person, I don’t believe you have any criterion to judge
whether it’s happening at all. Unless you’re in right relationship
with at least one other person on this earth, unless there is some place
you can give and receive love, I don’t think you have any reason to
think you’re living the gospel.

Is there at least one place in your life where you are giving and
receiving love? If it happens in one place, it can happen everywhere. If
you are truly capable of loving one person, you’re capable of loving
more than one, and eventually even your enemy, and finally all. Love is
one piece. Love is all or nothing. You either express love or you
don’t. The flow is either outward or it is inward. Luke illustrates
this most especially in his unique and utterly subversive presentations
of the “Good Samaritan” (10:29-37 [1]) and the “Prodigal Son”
(15:11-32 [2]).


Prayer:
Teach me to be humble and live simply.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 05:44:09 AM »

October 19, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

THE GOOD NEWS


All of Jesus’ guidance for ministry, his seeming “tips for the
road,” are very concrete and interpersonal. They are all about putting
people in touch with specific people, and especially with people’s
pain. Person-to-person is the way the Gospel was originally
communicated. Person-in-love-with-person, person-respecting-person,
person-forgiving-person, person-touching-person,
person-crying-with-person, person-hugging-person, person-hurting-person:
that’s where the Divine Presence is so beautifully revealed.

And from the concrete and personal it universalizes! What is true here
and now is true everywhere and always.

Prayer:
Teach me to be humble and live simply.
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 08:28:06 AM »

October 20, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

THE GOOD NEWS

Luke illustrates Jesus’ message with a central metaphor: “the sign
of Jonah” (Luke 11:29-32 [1]). Without the sign of Jonah—the pattern of
new life only through death—Christianity remains a largely impotent
ideology, another way to “win” instead of how to turn all failure
around. Christianity, reflecting cultures, largely became a language and
practice of ascent instead of the treacherous journey of descent that
characterizes Jonah, Jeremiah, Job, John the Baptizer, and Jesus
himself. All falling is potentially and ideally “upward”! Jesus
redeems and transforms all human failure and utterly democratizes the
human journey.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+11:29-32&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Unfortunately the “way of the cross” became “what Jesus did to
save us”—or even a necessary heavenly transaction (“atonement
theology”)—instead of the necessary pattern that is necessary and
redemptive for all of us here and now.

Basically, what Jesus is teaching and living is this: Do not trust any
spiritual teaching which does not lead you into the belly of the whale
at least once—and lead you out the other side with a deeper message
and a very clear God identity. The “sign of Jonah” is the “only”
sign (11:29 [2]) that Jesus says he will give us. It is rather amazing that
the ego has been able to avoid this totally clear message from both
Jesus’ life and Luke’s Gospel. Many spiritual teachers and leaders,
and even clergy, have spent their whole life avoiding such suffering and
failure. One wonders what their witness to resurrection might be.

Prayer:
Teach me to be humble and live simply.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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