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Showing posts from October 2, 2016

THE PARABLE OF THE SAMARITAN AND THE INN-KEEPER

We know this story already. Surveys show that this story is one of the two most Christians call their favorite. The other is the Prodigal Son. Both come from Luke. Those of us who have read and studied Luke know that this gospel has a particular bias for the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, the foreigner, and the outsider… A man is near death along the bloody way that connects Jerusalem and Jericho and the people we expect to stop and help ignore him. Two people actually help. The Samaritan and the Inn-keeper. Both nurse the man back to health. In the past 100 days, several thousand people have died. They were near death but because we, like the Priest and the Levite in the story, chose not to stop and chose to ignore them. We chose to let them die. We found them near death, victims of a menace we call drugs, but we chose to let them die rather than nurture them back to health. In the next 100 days, more will die. Thousands. Unless we, all of us, decide to be Samaritans and Inn…

OF GARDENS AND WEEDS

In Memory: Bishop Alberto Ramento
Luke 13. 18-19 Gaius Plinius Secundus (aka Pliny the Elder) in his Natural History 19.170-171 wrote that “mustard [sinapi kokkos] …grows entirely wild… and when it is sown, it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it, as the seed when it falls germinates at once.” John Dominic Crossan tells us that the mustard in the parable was a wild weed shrub that grew to about five feet or even higher. Even in their domesticated form they were a lot to handle. Mustard in a well-kept garden not only spread beyond expectations but also attracted birds of all forms thus disturbing the natural balance of a well-manicured garden, with the birds’ unpredictable feeding habits, and worse, their droppings. St. Francis of Assisi, who, as legend has it, was very close to wild creatures, and who, as the story goes, would not even hurt a fly, was also against the pulling out of weeds.
Gardeners, of course, did not want weeds in their gardens. They did not want wild mu…