Archive for the ‘April 17’ Category

Feast of Daniel Sylvester Tuttle (April 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  Daniel Sylvester Tuttle

Image in the Public Domain

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DANIEL SYLVESTER TUTTLE (JANUARY 26, 1837-APRIL 17, 1923)

Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

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We were most civilly and courteously treated in this call, but I was not asked to call again.  I did not detect any violation of grammar or of good sense or of good taste on his part during our call.  He is so powerful a man in everything here, and so unscrupulous a man, I fear, in most things, that my policy will be to have as little as possible to do with him.  With his keensightedness he must know, that if not in will yet in reality, by our services and our school, we are putting our clutches to his very throat.

–Bishop Tuttle, writing to his wife, after meeting Brigham Young, July 10, 1867

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Daniel Sylvester Tuttle was a bishop for nearly 56 of his 86 years–about 65 percent of his lifetime.

Tuttle, who studied to become a teacher, joined the ranks of Episcopal priests.  He, born at Windham, New York, on January 26, 1837, graduated from Columbia University, New York, New York, in 1857.  He taught at the Columbia College Grammar School and worked as a private tutor in New York City before matriculating at the General Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in 1862.  Our saint, ordained a deacon in 1862 and a priest the following year, served at just one congregation–Zion Church, Morris, New York–first as the Curate then as the Rector.  He married Harriet Minerva Foote (1841-1899) in 1865.  The couple had children.

In late 1866 the House of Bishops elected the 29-year-old Tuttle the Missionary Bishop of Montana, with responsibilities also in Utah and Idaho.  On May 1, 1867, at the age of 30 years (the minimum age for an Episcopal bishop) he commenced his episcopate.  Our saint proceeded to establish Episcopal churches and other institutions–including St. Mark’s Cathedral (the first non-Mormon church in Utah), St. Mark’s School, and St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City–on the frontier.  Life for Tuttle and his family in the West was primitive, certainly compared to conditions in New York City.  In 1880 his title changed to Missionary Bishop of Utah and Idaho; Montana became the responsibility of another bishop.  Tuttle, who, after meeting Brigham Young, considered the Mormon leader “unscrupulous” and someone to avoid, built up The Episcopal Church in his jurisdiction in such a way as to win the respect of many Mormons.  An official Latter-day Saints source called the bishop “a consistent adversary.”  His task, as he understood it, was to build up The Episcopal Church, not to tear down the Mormon Church:

My plan for dealing with Mormonism, and for putting down Mormonism, immoral as it is, infidel as it is, heathenish as it is, in God’s own time, is by preaching the full truth of the everlasting Gospel, as contained in the Holy Bible and embodied in the Church, and by striving constantly, with His help, to do unto others as I would that others should do unto me.

Tuttle translated to the Diocese of Missouri in 1886.  There he remained for the rest of his life.  During his tenure the diocese, out of necessity, divided, giving birth to the Diocese of West Missouri  in 1890.  Our saint was a busy man, for he doubled as the acting Missionary Bishop of Salt Lake (with responsibilities in Utah and parts of Nevada and Wyoming) from late 1903 to late 1904 and as the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church from 1903 to 1923.  He was the last man to serve as the Presiding Bishop on the basis of seniority; the General Convention changed the system in 1919.

Tuttle died in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 17, 1923.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 4, 2017 COMMON ERA

INDEPENDENCE DAY (U.S.A.)

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Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Daniel Sylvester Tuttle,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock;

and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace grow into the stature of the fullness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 23

1 Peter 5:1-4

John 21:15-17

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 718

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Feast of Max Josef Metzger (April 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  Max Josef Metzger

Image in the Public Domain

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MAX JOSEF METZGER (FEBRUARY 3, 1887-APRIL 17, 1944)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

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It is honorable to die for one’s country, but still more honorable to die for righteousness and peace.

–Max Josef Metzger

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Father Metzger comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via Robert Ellsberg, author of All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (New York, NY:  The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997).

Max Josef Metzter, born in the German village of Schopfheim on February 3, 1887, discerned his priestly vocation at an early age.  He, ordained the priesthood in 1911, served as an army chaplain in 1914-1915, leaving military service during World War I due to ill health.  The lasting effect of the Great War upon our saint was to transform him into a pacifist.  He devoted the rest of his life to the cause of peace and disarmament, among other causes.  He worked with the White Cross, a mission to the downtrodden.  Our saint also founded the World Peace League as well as the World Congress of Christ, an ecumenical peace movement.  He was also a pioneering ecumenist, for he promoted Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue and reconciliation.

Metzger opposed Nazism from the beginning.  The Gestapo asserted him several times, the final time being in June 1943.  His specific offense was to write foreign bishops to ask them to help secure a negotiated settlement of the war.  The courier, unfortunately, was an agent of the Gestapo.  Metzger, convicted of treason, went to his fate (martyrdom via beheading) on April 17, 1944.  His final spoken prayer was

Now, Lord Jesus, I come.

Our saint was 57 years old.

The example of Father Metzger raises some challenging issues.  As Voltaire reminds us down the corridors of time,

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

Likewise, to quote The Use of Force in International Affairs (1961),

If what your country is doing seems to you practically and morally wrong, dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

I rank Metzger among the German patriots.  Patriotism does not necessarily entail supporting the government or the administration.  This is especially true when the government is a genocidal dictatorship.

To praise those who resisted the Third Reich is easy in North America in 2017.  After all, finding someone, regardless of political affiliation, who looks upon Nazi Germany with moral revulsion is a simple task.  More challenging is to ask how one, if one had been in Nazi jurisdiction at the time, would have acted.  One might hope that one would have had the moral courage to resist the Third Reich, but one might be inaccurate.  How easy is it after all, to go along and get along, to keep one’s head down and be passive?  Yet, as the late Howard Zinn reminded us, one cannot be neutral on a moving train.

Father Metzger took a moral stand and paid the ultimate price.  His conscience did not permit him to attempt to be neutral on a moving train.  Many of us are so fortunate as not to have to take such risks.  Others, however, must, due to their circumstances, make such decisions.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 4, 2017 COMMON ERA

INDEPENDENCE DAY (U.S.A.)

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Holy and righteous God, you created is in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Max Josef Metzger,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ,

our Saviour and Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Emily Cooper (April 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Image in the Public Domain

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EMILY COOPER (1839-APRIL 17, 1909)

Episcopal Deaconess

The Episcopal Church added the commemoration of the life of Emily Cooper to the calendar of saints in 2015.

Discussions regarding the establishment of the female diaconate in The Episcopal Church began in 1868 and terminated with the approval of the germane canon at the General Convention in 1889.  Prior to 1889, however, some women had already become deaconesses.  One of the earliest Episcopal deaconesses was our saint, part of a group of four women who became deaconesses during a ceremony at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, New York, in June 1873, after two years of preparation.

Cooper, a 44-year-old widow in 1873, returned to her native Kentucky to serve as a deaconess.  In 1880 she became the director of the new Home of the Innocents, Louisville, a diocesan home for cast-off children–the abused, the sick, the dying, and the abandoned.  For about 24 years our saint led her staff in this good work.  Some of the abandoned children lacked even names; she named them.  Cooper also assisted at the baptisms of 244 children.  Our saint retired in 1904.  She spent her final years at the Orphanage of the Good Shepherd.  She died, aged about 70 years, on April 17, 1909.

The Home of the Innocents continues to operate as it expands its facilities and services.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 4, 2017 COMMON ERA

INDEPENDENCE DAY (U.S.A.)

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God of the holy innocents, we thank you for the motherly witness of your deaconess

Emily Cooper, who, in naming and baptizing did not forget the children:

Draw our hearts and minds also to the plight of little ones,

always remembering your Son’s teaching that in receiving a little child in his name,

we receive Christ himself, who lives and reigns with you

and the Spirit, as one, caring for ever and ever.  Amen.

Zechariah 8:3-12, 16-17

Psalm 146 or 22:22-27

1 Peter 4:7-11

Mark 10:42-52

A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016)

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Feast of Wilbur Kenneth Howard (April 17)   Leave a comment

Flag of Canada Current

Above:  The Flag of Canada

Image in the Public Domain

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WILBUR KENNETH HOWARD (FEBRUARY 29, 1912-APRIL 17, 2001)

Moderator of The United Church of Canada

Wilbur Kenneth Howard followed Jesus and resisted racism.

Howard was a native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  He entered the world on February 29, 1912.  His father and brother were railway porters, for that profession was among the limited range of careers open to African Canadians in the early part of the twentieth century.  Our saint, educated at Brock Public School then at Bloor Collegiate School then at Victoria College (B.A., 1938) then Emmanuel College (B.D., 1941), all in Toronto, pursued a different path.  When he was younger a White family had invited him to attend church with them.  He had accepted, and therefore found his path into The United Church of Canada.

Howard was in a difficult situation in 1941.  He had graduated from seminary yet not one congregation offered him a position.  The reason was racism.  The denominational officialdom at the General Council Office hired Howard to be the Boys’ Work Secretary of the Ontario Religious Education Council.  For the next 24 years our saint worked in the field of Christian education.  In 1949 he became the Christian Education Secretary for the Manitoba Conference of The United Church of Canada.  Four years later he accepted a new position, Associate Editor of Sunday School Publications for the denomination.  That work lasted for 12 years, during which he influenced the content of the curriculum.

From 1965 to 1980 Howard worked on the parish level and found acceptance there.  For five years he was one of three ministers at Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Toronto.  In late 1970 he transferred to Emmanuel United Church, Toronto, where he remained for about ten years.  Our saint also served beyond the parish level, first as the President of the Montreal-Ottawa Conference in 1972 and 1973.  On August 19, 1974, the General Council of The United Church of Canada made history by electing Howard to the office of Moderator.  He was the 26th Moderator and the first one to be African-Canadian.  During our saint’s three years as the denominational moderator he worked part-time at Emmanuel United Church.  He retired from active ministry in 1980.  He was 68 years old.

Howard received degrees subsequent to his seminary program.  In 1969 he received the Doctor of Divinity degree from Victoria University, Toronto.  Six years later the University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, granted him the Doctor of Letters degree.

Howard was a quiet man who lived simply, demonstrated his willingness to listen to others, and considered the ministry of the church to be a matter best suited to teamwork, not obedient minions following the orders of a dominant figure or figures.  His concerns included evangelism, social justice, environmental stewardship, and the needs of third-world countries.  He also abhorred inter-religious hostility and favored mutual understanding and, when possible and proper, cooperation.

Our saint, who received the Order of Ontario in 1991, received the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease and moved into a retirement community in the early 1990s.  He died in Toronto on April 17, 2001.  He was 88 years old.  The city council observed a moment of silence in his honor, as they should have done.

I can only imagine how much spiritual fortitude Howard must have had to muster to endure the racist indignities to which others subjected him.  I have endured trials much less difficult and struggled with grudges.  Our saint, however much he struggled with others and himself, emerged as a man of much grace.  That fact warrants high praise.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM OF CARRHAE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS, MISSIONARIES TO THE SLAVS

THE FEAST OF JOHANN MICHAEL ALTENBURG, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR, COMPOSER, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF VICTOR OLOF PETERSEN, SWEDISH-AMERICAN LUTHERAN HYMN TRANSLATOR

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servant Wilbur Kenneth Howard,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:25-45

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 60

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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for April   Leave a comment

Daisies

Image Source = WiZZiK

1 (Frederick Denison Maurice, Anglican Priest and Theologian)

  • Giuseppe Girotti, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Ludovico Pavoni, Roman Catholic Priest and Educator
  • Syragius of Autun and Anarcharius of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Bishops, and Valery of Leucone and Eustace of Luxeuit, Roman Catholic Abbots

2 (James Lloyd Breck, “The Apostle of the Wilderness”)

  • Carlo Carretto, Spiritual Writer
  • John Payne and Cuthbert Mayne, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs
  • Joseph Bernardin, Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago

3 (Luther D. Reed, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Liturgist)

  • Burgendofara and Sadalberga, Roman Catholic Abbesses, and Their Relatives
  • Marc Sangnier, Founder of the Sillon Movement
  • Reginald Heber, Anglican Bishop of Calcutta and Hymn Writer

4 (Benedict the African, Franciscan Friar and Hermit)

  • Ernest W. Shurtleff, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • George the Younger, Greek Orthodox Bishop of Mitylene
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Leader (also January 15)

5 (Emil Brunner, Swiss Reformed Theologian)

  • Mariano de la Mata Aparicio, Roman Catholic Missionary and Educator in Brazil
  • Pauline Sperry, Mathematician, Philanthropist, and Activist; and Her Brother, Willard Learoyd Sperry, Congregationalist Minister, Ethicist, Theologian, and Dean of Harvard Law School
  • William Derham, Anglican Priest and Scientist

6 (Marcellinus of Carthage, Roman Catholic Martyr)

  • Benjamin Hall Kennedy, Greek and Latin Scholar, Bible Translator, and Anglican Priest
  • Milner Ball, Presbyterian Minister, Law Professor, Witness for Civil Rights, Humanitarian
  • Nokter Balbulus, Roman Catholic Monk

7 (Tikhon of  Moscow, Russian Orthodox Patriach)

  • Jay Thomas Stocking, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • John Baptist de La Salle, Founder of the Christian Brothers
  • Montford Scott, Edmund Gennings, Henry Walpole, and Their Fellow Martyrs

8 (Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, Patriarch of American Lutheranism; His Great-Grandson, William Augustus Muhlenberg, Episcopal Priest, Hymn Writer, and Liturgical Pioneer; and His Colleague, Anne Ayres, Foundress of the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion)

  • Johann Cruger, German Lutheran Organist, Composer, and Hymnal Editor
  • Julie Billiart, Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame
  • Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury

9 (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Lutheran Martyr

  • Casilda of Toledo, Roman Catholic Anchoress
  • John Samuel Bewley Monsell, Anglican Priest and Poet; and Richard Mant, Anglican Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore
  • Lydia Emilie Gruchy, First Female Minister in the United Church of Canada

10 (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Roman Catholic Priest, Scientist, and Theologian)

  • Henry Van Dyke, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist
  • Howard Thurman, Protestant Theologian
  • Mikael Agricola, Finnish Lutheran Liturgist, Bishop of Turku, and “Father of Finnish Literary Language”

11 (Dionysius of Corinth, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • Charles Stedman Newhall, U.S. Naturalist, Hymn Writer, and Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister
  • Heinrich Theobald Schenck, German Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer
  • Henry Hallam Tweedy, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer

12 (Henry Sloane Coffin, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Theologian, and Hymn Translator; and His Nephew, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Social Activist)

  • André, Magda, and Daniel Trocmé, Righteous Gentiles
  • David Uribe-Velasco, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Zeno of Verona, Bishop

13 (Joseph Barber Lightfoot, Bishop of Durham)

  • Henri Perrin, Worker Priest
  • Hugh of Rouen, Roman Catholic Bishop, Abbot, and Monk
  • Rolando Rivi, Roman Catholic Seminarian and Martyr

14  (Edward Thomas Demby and Henry Beard Delany, Episcopal Suffragan Bishops for Colored Work)

  • Anthony, John, and Eustathius of Vilnius, Martyrs in Lithuania, 1347
  • Fulbert of Chartres, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Wandregisilus of Normandy, Roman Catholic Abbot, and Lambert of Lyons, Roman Catholic Abbot and Bishop

15 (Olga of Kiev, Regent of Kievan Russia; Adalbert of Magdeburg, Roman Catholic Bishop; Adalbert of Prague, Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr; and Benedict and Gaudentius of Pomerania, Roman Catholic Martyrs)

  • Damien and Marianne of Molokai, Workers Among Lepers
  • Flavia Domitilla, Roman Christian Noblewoman; and Maro, Eutyches, and Victorinus of Rome, Priests
  • George Frederick Handel, Composer

16 (Bernadette of Lourdes, Visionary)

  • Calvin Weiss Laufer, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymnodist
  • Isabella Gilmore, Anglican Deaconess
  • Lucy Larcom, U.S. Academic, Journalist, Poet, Editor, and Hymn Writer

17 (Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church)

  • Emily Cooper, Episcopal Deaconess
  • Max Josef Metzger, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Wilbur Kenneth Howard, Moderator of The United Church of Canada

18  (Roger Williams, Founder of Rhode Island; and Anne Hutchinson, Rebellious Puritan)

  • Cornelia Connelly, Foundress of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus
  • Maria Anne Blondin, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne
  • Roman Archutowski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1943

19 (Murin of Fahan, Laserian of Leighlin, Goban of Picardie, Foillan of Fosses, and Ultan of Peronne, Abbots; Fursey of Peronne and Blitharius of Seganne, Monks)

  • Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr
  • Emma of Lesum, Benefactor
  • Olavus Petri, Swedish Lutheran Theologian, Historian, Liturgist, Minister, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and “Father of Swedish Literature;” and his brother, Laurentius Petri, Swedish Lutheran Archbishop of Uppsala, Bible Translator, and “Father of Swedish Hymnody”

20 (Johannes Bugenhagen, German Lutheran Theologian, Minister, Liturgist, and “Pastor of the Reformation”)

  • Amator of Auxerre and Germanus of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Bishops; Mamertinus of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Abbot; and Marcian of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Monk
  • Christian X, King of Denmark and Iceland; and His Brother, Haakon VII, King of Norway
  • Marion MacDonald Kelleran, Episcopal Seminary Professor and Lay Leader

21 (Roman Adame Rosales, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1927)

  • Conrad of Parzham, Capuchin Friar
  • Sidonius Apollinaris, Eustace of Lyon, and His Descendants, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • Simeon Barsabae, Bishop, and His Companions, Martyrs

22 (Gene Britton, Episcopal Priest)

  • Donald S. Armentrout, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Scholar
  • Kathe Kollwitz, German Lutheran Artist and Pacifist
  • Vitalis of Gaza, Monk, Hermit, and Martyr

23 (Toyohiko Kagawa, Renewer of Society and Prophetic Witness in Japan)

  • Johann Walter, “First Cantor of the Lutheran Church”
  • Walter Russell Bowie, Episcopal Priest, Seminary Professor, and Hymn Writer

24 (Genocide Remembrance)

  • Egbert of Lindisfarne, Roman Catholic Monk, and Adalbert of Egmont, Roman Catholic Missionary
  • Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Capuchin Friar and Martyr
  • Mellitus, Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury

25 (MARK THE EVANGELIST, MARTYR)

26 (William Cowper, Anglican Hymn Writer)

  • Robert Hunt, First Anglican Chaplain at Jamestown, Virginia

27 (George Washington Doane, Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey; and His Son, William Croswell Doane, Episcopal Bishop of Albany; Hymn Writers)

  • Antony and Theodosius of Kiev, Founders of Russian Orthodox Monasticism; Barlaam of Kiev, Russian Orthodox Abbot; and Stephen of Kiev, Russian Orthodox Abbot and Bishop
  • Christina Rossetti, Poet and Religious Writer
  • Remaclus of Maastricht, Theodore of Maastricht, Lambert of Maastricht, Hubert of Maastricht and Liege, and Floribert of Liege, Roman Catholic Bishops; Landrada of Munsterbilsen, Roman Catholic Abbess; and Otger of Utrecht, Plechelm of Guelderland, and Wiro, Roman Catholic Missionaries

28 (Jaroslav Vajda, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer)

  • Jozef Cebula, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1941
  • Pamphilius of Sulmona, Roman Catholic Bishop and Almsgiver
  • Peter Chanel, Protomartyr of Oceania

29 (Catherine of Siena, Roman Catholic Mystic and Religious)

  • Bosa of York, John of Beverley, Wilfrid the Younger, and Acca of Hexham, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • James Russell Woodford, Anglican Bishop of Ely, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer
  • Timothy Rees, Welsh Anglican Hymn Writer and Bishop of Llandaff

30 (James Montgomery, Anglican and Moravian Hymn Writer)

  • James Edward Walsh, Roman Catholic Missionary Bishop and Political Prisoner in China
  • John Ross MacDuff and George Matheson, Scottish Presbyterian Ministers and Authors
  • Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, Poet, Author, Editor, and Prophetic Witness

 

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.

Wednesday in Holy Week   Leave a comment

Jerome Pradon as Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar (2000)

(A Screen Capture I Took via PowerDVD)

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March 28, 2018

April 17, 2019

Collect and lections from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer

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Follow the assigned readings with me this Lent….

Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Isaiah 50:4-9a (New Revised Standard Version):

The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher,

that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.

Morning by morning he wakens–

wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

The Lord GOD has opened my ear,

and I was not rebellious,

I did not turn backward.

I gave my back to those who struck me,

and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

The Lord GOD helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

he who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?

Let us stand up together.

Who are my adversaries?

Let them confront me.

It is the Lord GOD who helps me;

who will declare me guilty?

Hebrews 9:11-15, 24-28 (New Revised Standard Version):

But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.  For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occured that redeems them from the transgressions of the first covenant.

For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for when he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world.  But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Psalm 69:6-15, 20-21 (New Revised Standard Version):

Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me,

O Lord GOD of hosts;

do not let those who seek you be dishonored because of me,

O God of Israel.

It is for your sake that I have borne reproach,

that shame has covered my face.

I have become a stranger to my kindred,

an alien to my mother’s children.

It is zeal for your house that has consumed me;

the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.

When I stumbled my soul with fasting,

they insulted me for doing so.

When I made sackcloth my clothing,

I became a byword to them.

I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate,

and the drunkards made songs about me.

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.

At an acceptable time, O God,

in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.

With your faithful help rescue me from sinking in the mire;

let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.

Do not let the flood sweep over me,

or the deep swallow me up,

or the Pit close its mouth over me.

Insults have broken my heart,

so that I am in despair.

I looked for pity, but there was none;

and for comforters, but I found none.

They gave me poison for food,

and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

John 13:21-35 (New Revised Standard Version):

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.”  The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking.  One of his disciples–the one whom Jesus loved–was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.  So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”  Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”  So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.  After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him.  Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.”  Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.  Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or that he should give something to the poor.  So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out.  And it was night.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.   If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.  Little children, I am with you only a little longer.  You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

OR

Matthew 26:1-5, 14-25 (New Revised Standard Version):

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.  But they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”

[Note:  Verses 6 to 13 tell of an unnamed woman anointing Jesus’ head with “a very costly ointment” at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany.]

Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?”  They paid him thirty pieces of silver.  And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to eat the Passover?”  He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'”  So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”  And they became greatly distressed and began to say to one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?”  He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.  The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to the one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!  It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”  Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”  He replied, “You have said so.”

The Collect:

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped, and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

+++++++++++++

Judas Iscariot was a disappointed man.

Jesus was not the person Judas wanted him to be.  Judas did not understand the true meaning of Messiahship.  This is understandable, given the context, which was Roman occupation.  To expect a Messiah who was a national liberator was not unusual, given those circumstances.  This was a common expectation, after all.  Yet something else was wrong with Judas, for he betrayed Jesus.

Judas had some severe character faults–namely, greed and dishonesty.  And so the fatal cocktail of ingredients came into being.  Yet Judas played an important role in salvation history.  Let us remember this always.

Jesus commanded his Apostles to love one another as he loved them.  He loved them and everyone to the point of self-sacrifice.  History and tradition tell us that, of the eleven surviving Apostles, only John did not become a martyr, and that he endured his share of suffering.  And Matthias, Judas’s replacement, became a martyr.  Martyrdom, although not every Christian’s ultimate call, remains a real possibility for many Christians today.

In an earlier devotion I wrote of disappointment with Jesus.  I stated that Jesus was and is the person he should be.  He was and is what he should be.  Therefore, any disappointment with him indicates erroneous expectations, not any fault with Jesus.  Does Jesus disappoint us?  If so, we need to examine ourselves spiritually and seek divine aid in correcting this matter.  Let us not betray Jesus, too.  Rather, may we follow Jesus, whatever that entails.

KRT

Posted March 26, 2010 by neatnik2009 in April 17

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