March 28, 2020

Let us destroy the tree in its vigor; let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will be spoken no more (Jeremiah 11:19). As we approach Holy Week, the church places our focus on the coming suffering and death of Jesus. Jeremiah here serves as a prototype of […]


March 21, 2020

Jesus addressed a parable “to those who were convinced of their own righteousness … and despised everyone else.” That final phrase drives home the point of the parable even more clearly. It’s when being convinced of our own virtue makes us look down on others that we show ourselves to have very little virtue of […]


March 14, 2020

This man welcomes sinners and eats with them (Luke 15:2). That was the complaint the Pharisees often made of Jesus. Jesus answers them with three parables describing the joy that accompanies those who are lost and finally found. The last, often called “the prodigal son,” might better be called “the prodigal father,” because he was […]


March 7, 2020

So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). This sentence is often used as a hermeneutical key to understanding the sermon on the mount as a whole. Jesus is laying out the way of life for his followers. This text is especially appropriate for Lent, as we try to obey what […]


February 29, 2020

The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus had just chosen his first four disciples. Luke told us earlier in this chapter that the Pharisees complained because Jesus forgave the sins of a paralytic. In today’s gospel, we reflect on a […]


February 22, 2020

[Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” This question of Jesus was addressed to his disciples. It’s too easy to look at this verse and think it is meant only for the first disciples. If that were so, the words would never have been written for us to read and […]


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Scriptural Reflections — Homiletics (March/April 2020)

March 1, 2020 First Sunday of Lent Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7; Psalm 51:3-6, 12-13, 17; Romans; 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11 The American ideal of fulfillment seems to be that of a person who can chart his or her own course without interference from anyone. As Frank Sinatra popularized it, “I did it my way.” Yet, unbridled individualism […]

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February 15, 2020

My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. We have skipped over the first feeding of a crowd of 5,000 men on the Jewish side of the lake to a second feeding of 4,000 people in the Decapolis. Jesus […]


February 8, 2020

Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile. These words of Jesus show his concern and kindness for his disciples. Even though he had been rejected by his home town, he did not nurse his disappointment but showed solicitude for his disciples. He had just sent them out two by two to […]


February 1, 2020

Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!” That may have been a compliment if David had just done something praiseworthy. He had, unfortunately, just committed adultery with a woman and had her husband killed. Nathan’s problem is that David was a king; accusing kings of wrongdoing could be dangerous to one’s health. Nathan, […]