The first two chapters of Luke’s Gospel are widely cherished among Bible readers. They narrate the stories of John the Baptist’s conception and birth, the Annunciation to Mary and, of course, the Nativity and early childhood of Jesus. Situated in the midst of these profound events, however, is the humble occasion of Mary’s Visitation to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39–56).
Month: May 2019
The extraordinary images that fill the story world of the Apocalypse of John sparkle, simmer, and seethe with an electric, otherworldly glow that has helped to account for its perennial allure since it first appeared toward the end of the first century. The Apocalypse certainly contains many haunting images of death and destruction on a cosmic scale, as the images of locusts, frogs, hail, earthquakes, and falling stars recall the plagues described in the Book of Exodus (and those reprised by the sage in the Wisdom of Solomon 11:2–19:22).
Beyond images of fire and falling stars, the Book of Revelation develops an elaborate portrait of a Christ with many Faces who stands at the center of life—on earth and in heaven—alongside God the Father Almighty in the power of the Holy Spirit. When taken together, John’s visions convey to the Churches of Asia Minor a remarkable preview of God’s world, where the heavenly throne of God and the Lamb stands at its very center.
The words of the Gospel are so laden with meaning that they invite continual reflection on what we have heard and read. We must dive beneath their surface significance to discover what is applicable to the unfolding of our own call, vocation, and avocation. These sacred utterances are carriers of hidden wisdom. They stir the heart of every receptive listener. They point to the impenetrable depths of divine transformation. They remind us that no amount of faith formation can bring our search to closure. We pass through pockets of light between long stretches of darkness.
You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: All things in moderation. That’s the first key to living a balanced life. When applied to work and your personal life it means pretty much the same thing as when it is applied to diet. Consider eating in moderation: should you eat carrots or cookies? The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Over the long-term, most people can’t eat only one. You need both carrots and cookies in a balanced diet, and you need both work and a personal life in order to become the person God created you to be. They are intended, in fact, to be complementary, each building on the other and enriching the other.