Trust Dad

Genesis 22:1-14 – The 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time – for Sunday, June 29, 2014

“After these things God tested Abraham…” (Genesis 22:1)

Caravaggio's "Abraham and Isaac."
Caravaggio’s “Abraham and Isaac.”

Isaac’s name, the son of Abraham and Sarah, meant “laughter.”

I’m glad the name didn’t translate into talkative or verbose.

Maybe Isaac was a smiling, giggling child and oft justified his name’s promise. Certainly Isaac’s name came from his mother Sarah, who’d laughed at (not with) the messengers from God when promised she’d soon become pregnant in her, er, “golden years.”

Laugh Isaac might have, but based on the Biblical witness, the kid wasn’t a talker. Between Isaac’s birth to his elderly parents and his twin sons’ births when he was 60 years of age, Isaac spoke once in Genesis’ verses. Of note, the second time this revered patriarch of the Hebrew people opened his mouth had to do with muttering a deceit. In Genesis 26:7, well after his twins Jacob and Esau were born, Isaac lied about his wife Rebekah to people he feared: “She is my sister.”

Maybe he was better off when he kept his mouth shut? Continue reading →

Doubt Whispers

Matthew 28:16-20 – Trinity Sunday & 1st Sunday of Ordinary Time – for Sunday, June 15, 2014

“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” (Matthew 28:17)

doubt-300x276Jesus, alone on a mountain with the inner circle of eleven disciples, tells them to, “Make disciples of all the nations.” It’s called the Great Commission. And then Matthew ends.

How did Jesus feel about giving that instruction? Or what did Jesus think about the glaring absence of Judas, the traitor who made the twelve become eleven? Was he confident or nervous about Peter’s leadership? We don’t know, for here—as elsewhere—the Gospel writer doesn’t share much about Jesus’ interior thoughts. Frequently, the faithful reader only knows Jesus’ spoken words. Maybe Jesus’ silence could be called the Gospels’ great omission?

But we do know something about “the eleven” at the end of Matthew.

They worshiped Jesus. The ancient Greek could also be translated as “bowed.” Whether it’s translated into English as the more emotionally charged worship or the physical action of bowing, all of the disciples apparently participated in this final response to the risen Christ.

Along with worshiping/bowing, some of Jesus’ inner circle—maybe ten of the eleven, maybe only one—felt . . . doubt.

All worshiped, some doubted. Continue reading →