Christmas, Cycle A

Merry Christmas!!

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are some of the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Christmas Masses in 2017.  For about ten years prior to the pandemic, Fr Dennis Dillon SJ celebrated the Nativity Pageant Mass (you know … Charlie Brown and the Christmas pageant?).  🙂  His spoken homily was very brief, then he invited the children close near at the sanctuary.  He then performed and amiably chatted his way through a couple magic tricks sharing the wonder and awe of Christmas.  You could see the kiddos have excitement, joy, and wonder — see those emotions being bundled with their pageant experience and the coming of Jesus Christ.  Pretty cool.

The children themselves create the Living Word in ways our adult imagination fails, or has forgotten.  One year at the pageant, after the Annunciation, Gabriel threw her hands up in joy and bounced herself up and out of the choir loft after getting Mary’s “yes.”  It’s easy to forget the joy of heaven of sharing the good news, let alone someone accepting it! 

This year, when the narrator read that ” … Gabriel departed,” Gabriel dropped like a rock (whump!!), slunk up the stairs until the focus was on the Visitation occurring on the other side of the choir loft.  It’s easy to forget, holy or not, Mary said “yes” amidst some pretty challenging irruptions of God in her life.

***

The gospel readings for Christmas are tied to the Mass, e.g., Vigil, Night, Dawn, or Day, and come from the gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John.  The Christmas readings are listed for ABC, rather than a single cycle, like we read during Advent, e.g., Matthew’s gospel is the dominant gospel account in Cycle A this liturgical year.  It and the Gospel of Luke are the only two of the four which discuss the birth of Jesus.  Luke has the shepherds and angels, Matthew has the magi and more about Joseph’s interactions with the angels. 

For clarification, both the gospels according to Luke and Matthew have plenty of angels!  However, one would expect the angels to interact with the key people in the story, like Mary and Joseph.  The messengers of God interact with key people. What is unusual about our God and the account in Luke, is the angels proclaimed “glad tidings of great joy” to shepherds, at that time some of the lowliest members and most on the fringes of Jewish society.  This is God’s very different take on who the key players are in God’s eyes and heart! This is one more exclamation point by God that salvation is for everybody!  St Gregory of Nazianzus wrote that we are most made in the image of God when we love humans, preferentially the poor.  This is one more example of God doing so!

Fr Jim offered the reminder in the homily today that Jesus was born poor so the lowly shepherds AND magi could visit him.  Birth in a palace would have left the shepherds out in the cold.

So the following is from a 2017 10AM Christmas Day Mass, I believe, celebrated by D2.

Some of the poems Fr Dennis references over the years:

  • December by Gary Johnson (a favorite, used on Christmas Eve 2016)

In 2017, we reflected on —

  • The Nativity Pageant and Mass are a celebration of the children of the world.  The pageant and its fresh interpretation of the story by each year’s cast of children renews our faith.  Fr Dennis wore the stole of children to honor all the children — those who are children by age, and those who are children at heart.  Most importantly, he wore it to honor the One who came to be with us … as a babe!
  • Why would the Trinity do this, this mystical incredible idea of the Incarnation?  What was Jesus hoping to say with the Incarnation?  Solidarity. Jesus of the Trinity became incarnate to share the vulnerability of a fertilized cell on to his last breath on the cross to be in total solidarity with us humans, God’s created.  This form of solidarity means:
    • His mercy comes from within, from his full humanity and divinity
    • He felt himself at home with us in a very simple meal of bread and wine, and being divine could leave this expression with us in the Eucharist, so we can always be together in the Sacrament
    • He became helpless, like we are helpless and vulnerable
  • Because of Jesus’ mercy of Incarnation, we aren’t so helpless, and no one of us is ever alone.  Our facades of independence become a barrier to our divinity and acceptance of salvation.
  • In today’s Collect Prayer for the Vigil Mass for the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas!), we pray that because of God we “share[e] in the divinity of Christ.”  In other words, through the Incarnation, we are called to be divine, and the call itself as well as its manifestation is Grace, God’s Life within us, now. 
  • May Sarton’s poem, Christmas Light, feels extra resonant tonight … as it feels like the joys and the busy-ness of creating space for reflection or giving or service this autumn and Advent having finally ceded before the coming of the Babe, and his Peace. I sit with my “small silent tree” bedecked with ornaments glittering with family memories and

    I [feel] reborn again,
    I kn[o]w love’s presence near

    [Is] with me in the night
    When everyone ha[s] gone
    And the garland of pure light
    Stay[s] on, stay[s] on.
    .
  • Our featured image is John Swanson’s Nativity. He passed in September 2021. From his website: Mr. Swanson’s art reflects the strong heritage of storytelling he inherited from his Mexican mother and Swedish father. John Swanson’s narrative is direct and easily understood. He addressed human values, cultural roots, and the quest for self-discovery through visual images. These include Bible stories and social celebrations such as attending the circus, the concert, and the opera. He also depicted everyday life, city and country walks, visits to the library, the train station or the schoolroom. His parables optimistically embrace life and spiritual transformation.

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of

  • December 18, 2016 5PM
  • December 22, 2013 Noon

The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

In 2016, we reflected that —

  • the Nativity is only in Luke and Matthew, but all the gospels have his death and resurrection because that is central to his life and message.
  • However, culturally, Christmas has moved to a more central part of the story
    • The birth of Jesus isn’t “all happy” because of the Death of the Innocents, as well as the pain and danger of birth to mother and child.
    • There is cultural fun, too, in that there are different stories about the birth of Jesus (e.g., the Huron Carol) and that every child, each of us!, is a reaffirmation of the birth of Jesus.
  • In December by Gary Johnson
    • He alludes to many Christmas carols (see some below).
    • The allusions suggest our hopes of greater holiness and wisdom
    • the dark of night : the dark of the future
  • In Going to Bed by George Bilgere
    • It is not just a poem about every day matters; like Johnson’s, he ties the ordinary modern things to reverence
  • In the sum of it all, there is simple excitement in knowing Jesus is our Savior, and that is something to celebrate in and of itself.

In 2013, we reflected that —

  • Joseph is a righteous man, meaning that he follows the law, but doesn’t want Mary to face public shame.
  • This sense we get of Joseph being faithful to the law and conscious of the people involved is like Pope Francis, about placing the person first then the law, i.e., being pastoral.
  • Gary Johnson’s December poem utilizes snippets and words evocative of specific Christmas carols, resulting in a poem with smiles but also the richness of a realistic faith:
    • Adeste Fideles — “singing for the faithful to come ye”
    • Twelve Days of Christmas — “partridge in a pear tree // And the golden rings and the turtle doves.”
    • O Little Town of Bethlehem — “In the dark streets [lights shining]”
    • Adeste Fideles — “Not much triumph going on here.”
    • O Little Town of Bethlehem — “And my hopes and fears are met // “
    • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing — “And are there angels hovering overhead? Hark.”

Third Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Mass of

  • December 11, 2016 10AM

The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

In 2016, we reflected that —

  • In the gospel, there is the list of what Jesus tells the messenger to tell the imprisoned John the Baptist of what is happening — healing blind, lame, deaf, dead, etc…  Usually in a list the last item is the most important.  In this case, the last item is “the poor have good news preached to them.”  A good cause for reflection that it is in the same list as the others and in the place of prominence (the one that the listener will most likely remember).
  • Who could be scandalized by Jesus’ miracles?  Why are leaders so hostile?  It’s not just the miracles; it is what underlies them, i.e.,  that God is reconciled with us, and there is a Messiah. 
  • John the Baptist is the great cry in the wilderness but the least in the Kindom is greater.
  • Michael Blumenthal’s poem I Think Constantly of Those Who Were Truly Great is about the least in the Kindom of our times, and it has a lot of vocabulary builders!
    • quotidian = daily, ordinaryPerseus = an ancient Greek hero who slew Medusa (serpent head, and could turn you to stone) and flew the winged horse Pegasusmundanity = common, of the earth
    • übermenschlicke = good human, really humble, to the nth degree
  • Even John the Baptist is pointing to Jesus; the ordinary folks like us?  We’re still in the Kindom recognizing the presence of our Savior.
  • Something that I enjoyed from SALT Lectionary’s The Dawn Chorus reflection booklet this week:

When birds break into song and begin their glorious dawn chorus, you might wonder: Why do they sing in the first place? Here’s what we know. Birds sing for two big reasons: first, to mark their territories (This is my house!); and second, to attract a mate (Want to make a home together?). But some scientists believe birds also sing for the sake of delight. Charles Darwin, for example, wrote that birds sing “for their own amusement.” A third big reason, then, may be just that: birds sing because it gives them joy!

The same is true for humans. Especially when we sing with others, our brains release endorphins and oxytocin (the “bonding” or “love” hormone), which is known to reduce stress and increase feelings of trust and gladness. It’s no wonder Isaiah’s vision of a new world features the wilderness singing for joy!

Second Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of

  • December 4, 2016 10AM
  • December 8, 2013

The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

  • November, 1967 by Joyce Sutphen in 2016
  • Wild Geese by Charles Goodrich in 2013
  • Advent (for nelson mandela) by r. russeth

In 2016, we reflected that —

  • Waiting in Advent is
    • Expectation as hopeful waiting; God is present to us now and newly (and past … and future)
    • Waiting more peacefully as we look back on all that we have been given, in thanksgiving; waiting in hope is what sees us through these times
    • A practical sense of keeping hope alive with
      • a daily process of prayer
      • Sundays – 🙂 to see who would be there; seeing them there (good and bad), silent needs, and the community as a whole — we take strength and learn from one another.
      • rl notes the final comment about Sundays is significantly more poignant with our recent pandemic experience; how hard it was not to see each other … or our body language.
  • Joyce Sutphen’s November, 1967 poem captures our sense of gratitude for things in the past … in film, poetry, life, … We learn from the old and past to indeed be hopeful that God can bring about the miraculous.
  • It is like the shoot that springs from the stump: David.  Exile is a dead stump that brings forth life; it’s not logical.  🙂  But God can do remarkable, miraculous things … like bring out a new king, Jesus.  And God is constantly doing these remarkable, miraculous things.
  • There is the scary and encouraging line re chaff thrown into the unquenchable fire.  The unquenchable fire is like the burning bush: God’s light and heat in people without destruction.  (In a different homily once, Fr Dennis reminded us that John the Baptist was off the mark about the nature of Jesus as more condemnatory than the relatively gregarious, humorous, peaceful encounters we hear about.)
  • We are called to look for hopefulness, not just “better.”  Life goes on — remarkable things go on and arise, even out of things seeming dead.

In 2013, we reflected that —

  • Wild Geese is a bit like the work-a-day commitment of John the Baptist to his role, helping people prepare the way.  He preaches character and repentance — which is pretty hard work in preparation of Jesus and the Baptism of Holy Spirit and Fire He will bring.
  • Advent (for Nelson Mandela) by richard russeth offers the nobility and hope of the promise of Isaiah for Nelson Mandela, who had recently passed in 2013. Sorry … the text of this poem had been hard to find ten years ago. I had no luck this year.

First Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poem, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Masses of

  • November 27, 2016
  • November 29, 2013 Noon

The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

In 2016, we reflected that —

  • We receive apocalyptic phrasing (“swords into plowshares”) in Isaiah but they are nonetheless uplifting readings.
  • Gospel?  Stay awake! But what does that mean?
  • Advent is a time of rethinking / start over / retelling a story in our religious and personal and spiritual lives … and in retelling these stories we remember who we are and how God is in our life.
  • That kind of staying awake — a contemplative awake, an aware in gratitude awake (not fearful) — the kind we want more of!
  • Remember that Eucharist = thanksgiving, so we practice to turn more quickly to gratitude.
  • Poetry gets underneath where we are in our lives or their meaning.
  • Joyce Sutphen’s Country Roads
    • “as if we were waiting” evokes Advent
    • “for the waters to open” reminds us of the Red Sea or a river parting
    • “cross over Jordan” reference is the cross over to death in the psalms, the Hebrew scripture.
  • Other new life is the waiting to be seen or crossed over to.
  • This idea of “waiting for more” is waiting for the more who is once again the infant Jesus.

In 2013, we reflected that —

  • Each new birth is a sign of joy, of hope of a soul being given some purpose before God.
  • Advent is the waiting, the collapse of Mary’s pregnancy into 1 month.
  • Advent is the getting into the earthiness, the realness of God-with-us, of God being with us: The Incarnation is on His Way.  🙂
  • James Silas Rogers’ Rutabagas evokes this sense of Advent.  Each earthy taste of the dirt; the realness that won’t go away, like The Gift, the child Jesus Christ.

Our image is from our own Celeste Novak!

Thanksgiving Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Masses of

  • November 24, 2016 10AM
  • November 25, 2010

_______

The poem Fr Dennis Dillon, SJ references these years are:

In 2016, we reflected on —

  • the origins of Thanksgiving, as captured in The Writers’ Almanac for that same Thanksgiving Day.  He noted the complexities that surround the stories of origin, but asked us to stay tuned to the focus on gratitude of the celebration.
  • He also shared the story from earlier in his Jesuit life, of a parishioner from a parish of limited means, in an urban area.  The only name he received from her and others was “Bottle Mary.”  She had had tuberculosis and spent 14 years or so in a sanitarium, of which 3 to 4 years she was restricted to bed.  She would chat with all, cheerily.  Someone with no reason to be kind or good-natured, yet she was.  He had one photo with her … hulking over her at his 6’2″ or so, and she was small (in part due to so many years of poor health).
  • She is one of the people of his life that he turns to as a model of gratefulness, and encourages us to find those individuals in our own lives.
  • the E. E. Cummings poem encourages us to move outside our box, our comfort zones … and the last lines of seeing and hearing seem especially fitting to our gospel of healing today.

In 2010, we reflected that —

  • Our gratitude and joy often arise in the broader context of challenges.  Our personalities and quirks, our defining characteristics seem to come more from these experiences that challenge us.  Wendell Berry’s poem, The Sycamore, captures this sense beautifully.
  • At this Mass, Fr Dennis drew us close to the altar — about 100 of us gathered to the center of the church, near and with him.  We always held hands for the Our Father at our parish, but this was something much closer when we did so.  The Last Supper, a table of close friends, seemed closer … and thus Christ.  Then, just when we thought we were bound in … how do we manage communion like this … among 100?  Out he comes from the altar moves far enough down the center aisle, and the two queues form and flow, gradually unwinding from the altar & sanctuary and weaving into straight lines t to him for the Sacrament, and then head down the empty rows to return to their seats for the post-Communion reflection moment.
  • In that Mass, I began to understand how a Good Shepherd creatively holds the flock close to the Sacrament and to himself (without ever getting between the Creator and God’s Created) in a Christian love.  The Mass became a work of art in the hands of a creative spirit, rather than a dry checklist unimaginatively completed. The mystery of our faith was easy to feel in that Thanksgiving of thin space.

Today’s image is one of the bark of a sycamore, attributed to the web name of Dragana Gordic. I liked the complexity and simplicity, richness of color within a narrow range of palette.

Thirty-Fourth and Final Sunday of Ordinary Time,

The Solemnity of Christ the King Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poem, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Masses of

  • November 24, 2019
  • November 20, 2016 5PM
  • November 24, 2013 8:30AM

_______

The songs Fr Dennis Dillon, SJ references these years are:

In 2019 notes, we reflected that —

  • The end time themes, like the traditional When the Stars Begin to Fall, embed new hopes (“what a morning”) with the endings.  This is what we know from Christ’s life and death; it all brings newness and salvation.  There are no promises about the Way, just that it is the Way to and with Love Loving.

In 2013, we reflected that —

  • The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, is an observance originated in the 1920s by the Church as a statement against the totalitarianism of Russia, Germany, and Spain, which were persecuting and murdering those who weren’t syncophants to the state.  No personal dignity or sacredness.
  • With Christ as King, each of us has dignity.
  • The United States can feel different, but we had sanctioned and institutionalized slavery (no personal dignity or sacredness) which has simply changed form in our culture over the centuries; it has not been eradicated.  Racism remains a great weight.  Yet Christ was a huge call to Africans for freedom from exile, from slavery (Moses), for the Good News, for Christ’s Kingdom, and thus they could not be kept down in spirit because of Christ the King. Or perhaps more accurately, Black spirituality and abiding faith in Jesus raised up in dignity and love and forgiveness those who believe.
  • D2 played one of Jessye Norman’s versions of “Give Me Jesus.” 
  • The simplicity but power of the message, particularly arising out of the African-American … or any marginalized or oppressed people’s experience.  Jesus is enough.
  • The featured image is the original art, “Glimpses from the New Creation,” created by W David O Taylor.

Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C


Apologies to readers for the clumsy indenting and formatting. A bunch of technical updates at once and user limitations of skill and patience! 🙂

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Masses of


• November 13, 2016 10AM
• November 10, 2013


The poems Fr Dennis references these years are:


• 2016 homily — Slowly, Slowly, They Return by Wendell Berry
• 2013 homily — A Song on the End of the World by Czeslaw Milosz (transl. Anthony Milosz)
• 2013 homily — A Left-Handed Commencement Address (Mills College, 1983) by Ursula K Leguin

In 2016, we reflected that —


• it is a somewhat rare experience that we have these scriptures and all have shared a national (general) election (this past Tuesday, November 8, 2016).
• D2 encourages us to undertake an imaginative prayer with the last line of Malachi: … … There will arise // the sun of justice with its healing rays.
• Imagine the healing rays of the sun as well.
• The poem by Wendell Berry is kind of like a psalm of praise and the “tier after tier” of pine branches are structured like choir risers, upholding the “weightless grace” of birds.
• For rl, the poem and the fourth stanza, beginning “Receiving sun and giving shade // Their life’s a benefaction made, …” reminds me of the end scene of ORDINARY PEOPLE, in which the father (Donald Sutherland) and son (Timothy Hutton) receive sun and give shade to each other, in much needed love.

In 2013, we reflected that —


• rl did not write down her notes but only the poems!
• The poems wonderfully capture the insistence of today’s readings that sticking close with God in this world is neither easy nor bereft of joy because it is a path of vulnerability, counter to the ways of the world. The Way is difficult in all manners, and we will be tested and confronted for the sake of that relationship with God.
• The act of hope, the prayer, in the song “on the end of the world” in the final stanza of Milosz’ poem of the same name. A year or so later from this homily, Russia annexed the territory of Crimea from Ukraine, 70 years after Milosz wrote this poem in Warsaw, 1944. And now, not quite 10 years later Ukraine fights for its democracy and sovereignty again.
• Ursula K LeGuin’s “Left-Handed Commencement Address” is more direct, being in prose and directed to a specific audience, a group of young graduates, exhorting them to live in the paradigm of life rather than power.

Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poem, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Mass of

  • November 10, 2013 9PM

_______

The poem Fr Dennis references this year is:

In 2013, we reflected that —

  • At the time of the Maccabees , the Jewish people began to believe in resurrection (~200 to 100 B.C.E.). But, of course, humans being human — not all Jewish people did:
    • the Pharisees became the branch of Judaism that did believe in the Resurrection, and so this is the tradition Jesus was a part of.
    • the Sadduccees did not believe in the Resurrection and stuck tight to the first 5 books (the Pentateuch), which is why they begin their conversation with Jesus with “Teacher, Moses wrote for us …”
  • The Jewish people were not unique in this regard.  The Greeks of the time continued to press an engraved coin under the corpse’s tongue (only one side of the coin was engraved — cheaper production cost that way!) to pay the ferryman Charon for passage across the River Styx.  This is just one cultural example, among many, indicating how the Spirit or soul lies beyond corporeal death.
  • This sense of disintegration, flying away in spirit, and re-configuring in hope of new life is captured in Mary Oliver’s “Starlings in Winter.”  It reminds us of our hope in the life in the Resurrection.
  • This action of the starlings is called murmuration.

Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of

  • October 30, 2016 8:30AM
  • November 3, 2013

_______

The poems Fr Dennis Dillon, SJ references this year are:

  • 2016 homily — Fall by Edward Hirsch
  • 2013 homily — Harmony by Stuart Kestenbaum

We also remember that, in phrases of our time, Jericho was considered a “den of iniquity.” So, one abridged telling, as Fr Dennis points out below about our God, “Lover of Souls,” is that this amazing God loves each of us, anywhere, anytime. And that is a reassuring thought.

In 2016, we reflected on —

  • D2 visualizes scene with short, scurrying Zaccheus (Zuh-KEE-us) played by Danny DeVito.
  • D2 had thought it might have been an original notion, but then one of the websites he uses (Left Behind and Loving It) also mentioned it, and then more.  He found it reassuring that others thought the same thing.
  • Blog Point 1: it’s unclear in the original Greek whether he climbs the tree because Jesus is short or Zaccheus is short.  Changes the reading a bit … and our sympathies some, too.  Reassuring to know Jesus might have been short.
  • Blog Point 2:  the tense of his compensation is in the present tense, as in “I am [currently] giving four-fold” rather than the future tense, “I will pay four-fold.”  The former is a mark of enthusiasm rather than conversion, the latter of which is often how the passage is read.  (rl note — this is also discussed in the New Jerome Biblical Commentary.)
  • Zaccheus comes down from the tree right away, another mark of this enthusaism.  And, from the blog, Jesus calls him by name … by nickname!!  “Zacchi” rather than “Zaccheus.”
  • So … we love a personal God, who loves us.  This took D2 (or at least rl’s recollection of where it took his homily!!) to the phrase from the Wisdom reading “lover of souls.”  Loving us as we are.  Zaccheus’ story fits with this.
  • D2 chose a poem by Edward Hirsch about autumn starting with “Fall, falling, fallen.” 
  • It reminds me (rl) of being on my bicycle in autumn going down our beautiful wooded roads in the Michigan autumn.  The scene is available for everyone, but it feels like it’s right there, just for me, because I’m with God — using the eyes, heart, senses, legs, lungs, and bicycle God gave me the money to buy, … all of it — to share it back with God.
    • And, I leave the experience feeling beloved and loving in return with an open heart, filled with gratitude quietly overpouring, which seems how we ought to feel after Eucharist, too.
    • D2 celebrates a great Eucharistic Rite, too.  Bottomline is that it feels like he loves us (or at least loves being with us), and rightly or wrongly, it then is easier to imagine Christ wanting to be close to us.

In 2013, we reflected that —

  • If it was a film, he’d have Danny DeVito play the role of Zaccheus — self-important tax collector, short, wealthy, but wanting to have different experiences.
  • So!  In D2’s Ignatian Contemplation of the scene:
    • It was quite a sight to see a wealthy man up a tree!
    • When a person in the gospel is called by name, it usually means the person became a Christian (as the gospels were mostly written for Christians
  • Zaccheus’ story is traditionally thought of as one of coming to faith
    • Seems like he climbed the tree out of sheer curiosity (rl — maybe the same kind of attitude that King Herod in JC SUPERSTAR had — just wanted to see a miracle).
    • Jesus calls him out of the tree so Jesus can be a guest and, of course, people complain in one translation “stood there” but it can also be translated as “stood his ground.”
    • Zaccheus knew his scriptures and has not turned his back on them.
      • The penalty for fraud was 2x the valued restitution.
      • The penalty for thievery was 4x the restitution.
      • Zaccheus has been paying the more serious restitution as an act of faith and repentance.  (See 2016 notes discussing that this was declaration of what he was already doing not a pledge of behavior to come.)
  • D2 thought this story is a reminder that the oddest circumstances lead us to God, natural curiosity to God’s grandeur, and how God intervenes and gives meaning.
  • Noted that a musing on how John’s gospel would have told this story would have Jesus intending to go to Jericho to find Zaccheus;  Lucan Jesus happens to need to go to Jericho and Zaccheus happens to be the soul he finds and saves.
  • Kestenbaum’s poem of Harmony captures this Lucan vision of salvation.