Monday, January 16, 2017
Scripture as validated by experience and experience as validated by Tradition are good scales for one’s spiritual worldview. (Sunday)
The Bible is the best book in the world and the worst book in the world. It is the worst when it is used for bullying and self-justification; it is the best when it is used for the healing of the world and for transformation of the self. (Monday)
Jesus taught us how to see, what to emphasize, and also what could be de-emphasized or ignored. Jesus himself is our hermeneutic! (Tuesday)
The very inclusion of the Hebrew Bible into the official canon of the Christian Bible is forever a standing statement about inclusivity. (Wednesday)
The genius of the biblical revelation is that we come to God through “the actual,” the here and now, or quite simply what is. (Thursday)
We have created an artificial divide or dualism between the spiritual and the so-called non-spiritual. This dualism is precisely what Jesus came to reveal as a lie. (Friday)
Practice: Lectio Divina
Jesus knows how to connect the dots and find out where the sacred text is truly heading, beyond the low-level consciousness of a particular moment, individual, or circumstance. He knows there is a bigger arc to the story—one that reveals a God that is compassionate and inclusive.
Jesus doesn’t quote lines that are punitive, imperialistic (“My country is the best!”), wrathful, or exclusionary. He does not mention the list of 28 “thou shall nots” in Leviticus 18 and 20, but chooses to echo the one positive command of Leviticus 19:18: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”
The longest single passage he quotes (in Luke 4:18-19) is from Isaiah 61. Jesus closes with the words “proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,” deliberately omitting the next line—“and the day of vengeance of our God”—because he did not come here to announce vengeance.
This is what the Spirit teaches any faithful person to do—read Scripture (and the very experiences of life) with a gaze of love. Contemplative practice helps you develop a third eye that reads between the lines and finds the thread always moving toward inclusivity, mercy, and justice.
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