Trinity Sunday (Year B) May 31 (Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Psalm 33; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20)
Do I matter in the eyes of God? Does God care about what happens on Earth? Does God even exist? These and similar questions have tormented people for millennia. There never was a time when faith was untroubled and clear, and to think so is a sign that one lives in a fantasy world.
Pentecost Sunday (Year B) May 24 (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23)
In every age and in every place, the Holy Spirit has been present, doing the work of God and advancing spiritual consciousness. One need but read Luke’s infancy narrative to realize that nearly all of the individuals mentioned in the run-up to the birth of Jesus were guided by and filled with the Spirit.
Ascension of the Lord (Year B) May 17 (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Mark 16:15-20)
Acts I of Luke’s magnificent account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus ended with the commission to the apostles in the upper room, the joyful reaction of His followers and the ascension of Jesus. When the curtain went up in Act II, Luke revisited the time between the Resurrection and the ascension. This time we are treated to a detailed account of what turns out to be a leisurely 40 days of instruction on the kingdom of God.
Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year B) May 10 (Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17)
Human beings have long laboured under the illusion that God is just like us, complete with human emotions, prejudices and ideas of justice. Fortunately, they are wrong, and God often demonstrates this in dramatic ways.
Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B) May 3 (Acts 9:26-31; Psalm 22; 1 John 3:18-24; John 15:1-8)
Small wonder that Saul — later Paul — was feared by the Jerusalem community. They wanted nothing to do with him, for he had terrorized the community of believers in Christ relentlessly. By his own admission in his letters, Paul had hunted them down and arrested them, voting in favour of the death penalty at their trials.
Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year B) April 26 (Acts 4:7-12; Psalm 118; 1 John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18)
There is a rather cynical observation that no good deed ever goes unpunished. The incident in Acts seems to support those sentiments. No sooner had Peter healed a crippled man than he found himself under arrest and standing before the authorities to answer charges. He protested that they were merely doing a good deed and healing the poor man.
Passion (Palm) Sunday (Year B) March 29 (Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 14:1-15:47)
Receiving instruction directly from God is not a ticket to an easy or conflict-free life. The Suffering Servant of Isaiah is a case in point. This Servant was most likely an unknown prophetic figure in the community of Israelite exiles in mid-sixth century B.C. Babylon. He must have been an exceptional individual, since he was the source of comfort and encouragement for so many.
Third Sunday of Lent (Year B) March 8 (Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 22-25; John 2:13-25)
The Ten Commandments are often viewed as obsolete and out of touch with the modern world. They are unfortunately treated as if they were the 10 suggestions rather than commandments. Even those who use them as weapons in the culture wars of our times are sometimes hard-pressed to name all of them.