Dana Kramer-Rolls

The Sword of Peace?

The Sword of Peace?

“Most of the prophets were rewarded with death. Nobody likes to be told things they don’t want to hear, especially kings. But prophets are called by God, and serve God as faithful servants, and do not count the cost. So their reward comes from a place where no perishable thing exists, but in eternity. Still, as suggested elsewhere, no servant is above his master. Jesus is spat on, pelted with rocks, insulted, killed. Expect the same. And since all actions by any disciple reflect the actions, in honor or shame, of the entire family, whomever does even a little thing, offering water to the vulnerable, is doing it in the name of the Jesus family. Water. The water of life. The water with which you will never again thirst. The water of baptism. And from there Jesus and his own fanned out to preach the Gospel. We are also charged to do the same.”

Humility, Service, and Change

Humility, Service, and Change

“Right now, in the United States we are wrestling with systemic inequality, focused on systemic racism of the Black people who were enslaved in the U.S., and whose descendants can’t hide or pass, as others have (Jews, Irish, Italian), because of their skin color. We are marching, writing, gathering in study groups, reading, and looking inward in new ways. We are hearing angry voices. Cries to deconstruct the historical artifacts which extolled those who perpetrated this enslavement. Those whose ancestors lost the Civil War are angry. And Black people, whose ancestors were survivors of that war, and who are still being subjugated by law and practice, are angry. And here we are.”

Peter and Paul: Two Lives Blessed by Penance

Peter and Paul: Two Lives Blessed by Penance

“The message is simple. Round up, care for, teach, and feed my sheep. We see it in the reading from Ezekiel where shepherd, sheep, and instructions for the care of them, are repeated 18 times (Ezek 34:11-16). A shepherd leads a hard life. Cold nights. Hot days. Little food. The pay is poor, the work is dangerous. Predators, poachers, bandits. You are always on watch. And you must especially care for the weak, the ewes, the lambs. It is not your flock, but your Master’s.”

The Price of Freedom

The Price of Freedom

Paul sums it up in the Epistle, Romans 3:21-31, righteousness through the Law and circumcision and the righteousness through faith of the uncircumcised, when he writes, “since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.”

Wrestling with Endurance in Time of War

Wrestling with Endurance in Time of War

“Jesus’ disciples, his chosen, his friends, were bullying her. Chasing her away. She was a Canaanite. Probably had the wrong gods. Unclean. Looked wrong. Sounded wrong. Smelt wrong. Couldn’t let her defile their Master. Annoying woman, and we know what female dogs are called. Is that why she quoted the folk saying about dogs under the table? Jesus lets it go on a little.”

The Visitation: The Discipline of Patience

The Visitation: The Discipline of Patience

“Today’s Eucharistic Gospel (Lk 1:39-49) tells of two women, one young and one old, both pregnant for the first time. Danger to both their lives in a world where losing a baby was as common as the death of a mother after a successful live birth. And social shame overhanging both women. Mary, hardly married, although they had found a nice solid devout local craftsman for her. Who didn’t know what he was getting himself into, but had faith in his dreams. Because sometimes dealing with God is like that. And Elizabeth, her shameful barrenness finally overcome, but with a priestly husband struck dumb at the altar of the Holy One of Israel. “And what was that all about?” her neighbors whispered amongst themselves.”

Crossing the Jordan: Learning the Joy of Obeying God

Crossing the Jordan: Learning the Joy of Obeying God

“Peter’s mother-in-law understands. She gets up to fulfill her role as one who cares for those under her roof, be it with soup or a clean bed for these friends of her family. A role which gives her pride and satisfaction. Or perhaps she sees in Jesus much more, and the call to serve him leaps beyond a social role. She wants to serve him, as Jesus himself is called to serve her as the doctor of her body and her soul. As he himself serves his Father, for his Father’s glory.”

To Filioque or not to Filioque

To Filioque or not to Filioque

“Many theologians and mystics have taught ways to separate the two. A classic textbook is St. Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, with its daily examination of conscience (Examen) to stay on track. But actually learning how to live in this messy world full of messy people, and to hear God’s voice within you, takes practice, prayer, and trusted teachers and companions. “

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