Archive for the ‘March 11’ Category

Feast of Blessed Pal Prunnushi (March 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Pal Prunnushi

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED PAL PRUNNUSHI (OCTOBER 2, 1881-MARCH 11, 1948)

Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1948

Blessed Pal Prunnushi is one of the more recent additions to the Roman Catholic calendar of saints.

Prunnishi, born a subject of the Ottoman Empire, died in another country, still his homeland.  He, born in Shkodrë, Albania, on October 2, 1881, studied theology in Schoz, Austria; Caldaro, Italy; and Grac, Austria.  Our saint, a Franciscan, became a priest.  The ordination occurred in Shkodrë on March 25, 1904.  He went on to serve as a parish priest and as a provincial vicar.

In 1946 the Communist government of Albania nationalized most religious institutions and began to suppress all dissent against this policy.  Prunnushi remained loyal to the Roman Catholic Church, thereby making himself a criminal.  Agents of the government arrested him on November 15, 1946.  When authorities got around to staging a show trial, they were ready to order our saint shot.

Prennushi died on March 11, 1948.  He was 68 years old.

Pope Francis declared our saint a Venerable then beatified him, both in 2016.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 19, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SARGENT SHRIVER AND EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER, HUMANITARIANS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS DEICOLA AND GALL, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS; AND SAINT OTHMAR, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AT SAINT GALLEN

THE FEAST OF ELMER G. HOMRIGHAUSEN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, AND PROFESSOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF HAROLD A. BOSLEY, UNITED METHODIST MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF HENRY TWELLS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Generous God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives for their faith.

Inspire us with the memory of those martyrs for the Gospel

[like Blessed Pal Prennushi] whose faithfulness led them in the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives to your Son’s victory over sin and death;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Francis Wayland (March 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Francis Wayland, II

Image in the Public Domain

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FRANCIS WAYLAND, II (MARCH 11, 1796-SEPTEMBER 30, 1865)

U.S. Baptist Minister, Educator, and Social Reformer

Francis Wayland, II, comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Francis Wayland, II, the leading antebellum U.S. Baptist intellectual, was a son of Sarah Moore (1770-1836) and Baptist minister Francis Wayland (1772-1847).  Our saint, born in New York, New York, on March 11, 1796, graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1813.  During the next four years he studied medicine in Troy then in New York City, then theology at Andover Theological Seminary.  Our saint, unable to continue at Andover for financial reasons, returned to Union College as a tutor in 1817.  There he remained until 1821, when he accepted the offer to become the pastor of First Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts.   During the next five years Wayland earned his reputation as one of the country’s greatest preachers.  Two of his published sermons from these years were The Moral Dignity of the Missionary Enterprise (1823) and The Duties of the American Citizen (1825).  Then, in 1826 and 1827, Wayland taught natural philosophy at Union College.

Wayland married for the first time in the early 1820s; he wed Lucy Lane Lincoln (d. 1836).  They had two sons and one daughter–Francis, III (1826-1904), Emma (1828-1829), and Heman Lincoln (1830-1898).

Wayland was a progressive of his time.  He was an abolitionist and a proponent of temperance and prison reform.  True to his Baptist heritage, he insisted on the separation of church and state.  Our saint combined that principle with a classical notion of public virtue.  He was, therefore, able to speak of religious principles in general terms and how they played a role in society on one hand while reserving sermons for church gatherings.  Wayland spoke of a civil religion for public life and of Christianity from the pulpit.  He staunchly opposed the imposition of any form of Christianity or any other religion upon the population.  Accordingly, he linked freedom and economic freedom to public morality and intellectual attainment:

It is almost superfluous, however, to add, that a free constitution is of no value, unless the moral and intellectual character of a people be sufficiently elevated to avail itself of the advantages which it offers.

–Quoted in Mark A. Noll, America’s God:  From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2002), 222

This faith-fueled commitment to improving public life led our saint to become a prominent pioneer in public education, as well as in the movement to found public libraries.  In 1830 Wayland became the first President of the American Institute of Instruction.  He was also active in planning school systems in Providence and throughout the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.  His gift (in 1851) to establish a public library in Wayland, Massachusetts, prompted an official, statewide effort to found more public libraries.

Wayland served as the President of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, from 1827 to 1855.  He expanded the curriculum, offering students options and making science a more prominent subject in the curriculum.  Our saint also presided over construction projects and the growth of the faculty and the student body.  He banned alcohol from dormitory rooms, too.  Wayland, a formidable figure, never imposed his faith on anyone, but he taught Bible studies and preached in the chapel.  He also taught, lecturing in ethics, psychology, and political economy.  Wayland wrote textbooks in philosophy, morals, and political economy, too.

Wayland remarried in the late 1830s; he wed Hepsibah Susan “Hepsy” Howard (1801-1872).  The couple had a son, Howard (1840-1874).

After the trustees of Brown University forced Wayland into retirement in 1855, he remained active in public life.  He pursued humanitarian/social reform causes, especially prison reform.  Our saint also served as the pastor of First Baptist Church, Providence, Rhode Island, in 1857 and 1858.

Wayland died in Providence, Rhode Island, on September 30, 1865.  He was 69 years old.

Unfortunately, we live in polarized times.  Polarization encourages disrespect for those with whom one disagrees.  At times this disrespect crosses the line into dehumanization.  The life of Francis Wayland, II, offers a vision of a way forward.

Wayland stood by his principles.  He did so while being respectful of his debating partners, though.  In his written debate over slavery with Richard Fuller of South Carolina, for example, our saint condemned the evils of slavery.  Wayland never judged Fuller, however.  Our saint was civil.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 19, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SARGENT SHRIVER AND EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER, HUMANITARIANS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS DEICOLA AND GALL, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS; AND SAINT OTHMAR, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AT SAINT GALLEN

THE FEAST OF ELMER G. HOMRIGHAUSEN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, AND PROFESSOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF HAROLD A. BOSLEY, UNITED METHODIST MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF HENRY TWELLS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Lord Hod, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of the Confession of St. Martha of Bethany (March 8-April 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Icon of the Raising of Lazarus

Image in the Public Domain

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A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is one of my hobbies, not a calendar of observances with any force or a popular following.  It does, however, constitute a forum to which to propose proper additions to church calendars.

Much of the Western Church observes January 18 as the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter the Apostle, the rock upon which Christ built the Church.  (Just think, O reader; I used to be a Protestant boy!  My Catholic tendencies must be inherent.)  The celebration of that feast is appropriate.  The Church does not neglect St. Martha of Bethany, either.  In The Episcopal Church, for example, she shares a feast with her sister (St. Mary) and her brother (St. Lazarus) on July 29.

There is no Feast of the Confession of St. Martha of Bethany, corresponding to the Petrine feast, however.  That constitutes an omission.  I correct that omission somewhat here at my Ecumenical Calendar as of today.  I hereby define the Sunday immediately prior to Palm/Passion Sunday as the Feast of the Confession of St. Martha of Bethany.  The reason for the temporal definition is the chronology inside the Gospel of John.

This post rests primarily on John 11:20-27, St. Martha’s confession of faith in her friend, Jesus, as

the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.

The combination of grief, confidence, and faith is striking.  It is one with which many people identify.  It is one that has become increasingly relevant in my life during the last few months, as I have dealt with two deaths.

Faith frequently shines brightly in the spiritual darkness and exists alongside grief.  Faith enables people to cope with their grief and helps them to see the path through the darkness.  We need to grieve, but we also need to move forward.  We will not move forward alone, for God is with us.  If we are fortunate, so are other people, as well as at least one pet.

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Loving God, who became incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth

and enjoyed the friendship of Saints Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany:

We thank you for the faith of St. Martha, who understood that

you were the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who was coming into the world.

May we confess with our lips and our lives our faith in you,

the Incarnate, crucified, and resurrected Son of God, and draw others to you;

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Jeremiah 8:18-23

Psalm 142

1 Corinthians 15:12-28

John 11:1-44

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 18, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE

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Feast of Sts. Aengus the Culdee and Maelruan (March 11)   Leave a comment

aengus

Above:  St. Aengus the Culdee

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT AENGUS THE CULDEE (DIED MARCH 11, 824)

Hermit and Monk

Also known as Saint Angus the Culdee, Oengus the Culdee, Oengus the Culdee, Oengus of Clonenagh, Dengus, et cetera

His feast day = March 11

co-author with

SAINT MAELRUAN (DIED IN 791)

Abbot

His feast transferred from July 7

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St. Aengus, born near Clonenagh, Ireland, became a culdee, or hermit, near the River Nore.  There he allegedly communed with angels.  Eventually St. Aengus became a monk at his home town.  He attracted so many disciples that he decided to transfer to Tallaght Abbey, near Dublin.  The founder and abbot of that monastery was St. Maelruan.  The two saints wrote the Rule of the Celidhe De (a monastic rule for hermits) and the Martyrology of Tallaght.  St. Aengus also composed the Feilire, a version of the martyrology in verse.  After St. Maelruan died in 791 St. Aengus left Tallaght Abbey and returned to life as a hermit.  Eventually he became a bishop.  St. Aengus died on March 11, 824.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 14, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MACRINA THE ELDER, HER FAMILY, AND SAINT GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE YOUNGER

THE FEAST OF CIVIL RIGHTS MARTYRS AND ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF KRISTEN KVAMME, NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT SAVA I, FOUNDER OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND FIRST ARCHBISHOP OF SERBS

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O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we,

inspired by the devotion of your servants Saints Aengus the Culdee and Maelruan,

may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 722

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Feast of John Swertner and John Mueller (March 11)   2 comments

Moravian Logo

Above:  The Logo of the Moravian Church

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JOHN SWERTNER (SEPTEMBER 12, 1756-MARCH 11, 1813)

Dutch-English Moravian Minister, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymnal Editor

worked with

JOHN MUELLER (A.K.A. JOHN MILLER OR JOHN MULLER) (1756-1790)

German-English Moravian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor

With this post I add to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days two Moravian ministers in the British Isles.

John Swertner, a native of Haarlem, The Netherlands, debuted on September 12, 1756.  The son of a Moravian minister studied at the Moravian school at Zeist then the seminary at Barby, answered a call to England, where he spent most of the rest of his life.  Swertner, son-in-law of the Calvinistic Methodist-turned-Moravian evangelist John Cennick (1718-1755) and husband of Elizabeth Cennick, worked in various capacities for the Moravian Church at Fulneck, Yorkshire, London, and Fairfield, in England, and Dublin in Ireland.  He, ordained in 1779, edited the British Moravian hymnals of 1789 and 1801.  His partner in editing A Collection of Hymns, for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren (1789) was John Mueller (1756-1790), a.k.a. John Miller or John Muller.

Mueller/Muller/Miller, a native of Hennersdorf, in Germany, also ministered in England.  Information about him proved scarce during the research phase of the development of this post.  I was successful, however, in locating two complete hymn texts by him in the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923).  The first was a Christmas hymn from 1789:

Christ the Lord, the Lord most glorious,

Now is born; O shout aloud!

Man by Him is made victorious;

Praise your Saviour, hail your God!

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Praise the Lord, for on us shineth

Christ the Sun of righteousness;

He to us in love inclineth,

Cheers our souls with pardoning grace.

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Praise the Lord, Whose saving splendor

Shines into darkest night;

O what praises shall we render

For this never-ceasing light.

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Praise the Lord, God our Salvation,

Praise Him Who retrieved our loss;

Sing, with awe, and love’s sensation,

Hallelujah, God with us.

The other hymn also dated to 1789:

O, that we all could quite fulfill

Our Saviour’s testament and will;

To love each other we desire;

Come, sacred love, our hearts inspire.

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We join together heart and hand,

To walk towards the promised land;

For this appearance may with care

Each member day and night prepare.

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Till we the Lord, our Righteousness

Shall see in glory face to face,

The bond of peace may we maintain,

And one with Him, our Lord, remain.

Swertner’s contributions to hymnody proved influential.  The Collection of 1789, which he and Mueller/Muller/Miller edited, contained 887 hymns, down from 1055, the count in A Collection of Hymns of the Children of God in All Ages, From the Beginning Till Now; Designed Chiefly with the Brethren’s Church (1754), the preceding British Moravian hymnal.  Swertner and Mueller/Muller/Miller altered many older translations of German hymns and provided new translations of other German hymns.  The purpose of these changes was to avoid excessive emotionalism, enthusiasm, overly sentimental devotion, which had characterized previous Moravian hymnody.  A Collection of Hymns, for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren–New and Revised Edition (1801), with its supplement of 1808, was also in use in North America.  (Swertner did not edit the supplement of 1808).

Swertner also wrote and translated hymns.  I have added two of his texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Swertner died at Bristol, England, on March 11, 1813.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 14, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT VENANTIUS HONORIUS CLEMENTIUS FORTUNATUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF POITIERS

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY ANN THRUPP, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially John Swertner and John Mueller)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Feast of Mary Ann Thomson (March 11)   Leave a comment

GEO_Globe

Above:  A Globe

Image Source = Christian Fischer

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MARY ANN THOMSON (DECEMBER 5, 1834-MARCH 11, 1923)

Episcopal Hymn Writer

Mary Ann Faulkner, born in London, grew up in an Anglican rectory.  She, married to John Thomson, first librarian of the Free Library of Philadelphia (opened in 1894), wrote at least forty hymns, which she published in The Living Church and The Churchman.

Perhaps Thomson’s most famous hymn is “O Zion, Haste (1868):

O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling,

To tell to all the world that God is Light;

That He who made all nations is not willing

One soul should perish, lost in shades of night.

Refrain:

Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace,

Tidings of Jesus, redemption, and release.

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Behold how many thousands still are lying

Bound to the darksome prison house of sin,

With none to tell them of the Saviour’s dying,

Or of the life He died for them to win.

Refrain

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Proclaim to every people, tongue, and nation

That God, in whom they live and move is Love:

Tell how He stooped to save His lost creation,

And died on earth that man might live above.

Refrain

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He comes again; O Zion, ere thou meet Him,

Make known  to every heart His saving grace;

Let none whom He hath ransomed fail to greet Him,

Through thy neglect, unfit to see His face.

Refrain

Thomson began to write this great missionary hymn one night in 1868, as she stayed up late with a child who was ill with typhoid fever.  She had the hymn tune in mind yet took until 1870 to get the words just right.  All that time was worth it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 22, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF RAYMOND E. BROWN, BIBLE SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF LUCA MARENZIO, COMPOSER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Mary Ann Thomson and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B   Leave a comment

Above:  Moses and the Snake

Sins and Suffering

MARCH 11, 2018

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Numbers 21:4-9 (New Revised Standard Version):

From Mount Hor the Israelites set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses,

Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.

Then the LORD sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said,

We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD to take away the serpents from us.

So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses,

Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.

So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

and his mercy endures for ever.

2  Let all those whom the LORD has redeemed proclaim

that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.

3  He gathered them out of the lands;

from the east and from the west,

from the north and from the south.

17  Some were fools and took to rebellious ways;

they were afflicted because of their sins.

18  They abhorred all manner of food

and drew near to death’s door.

19  Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress.

20  He sent forth his word and healed them

and saved them from the grave.

21  Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy

and the wonders he does for his children.

22  Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving

and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (New Revised Standard Version):

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ– by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God– not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

John 3:14-21 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus said to Nicodemus,

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.

The Collect:

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year A:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-a/

Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

Numbers 21:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirtieth-day-of-lent/

John 3:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/second-sunday-in-lent-year-a/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/tenth-day-of-easter/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/eleventh-day-of-easter/

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Sometimes there is a link between one’s sin and one’s suffering. Actions do have consequences, after all.  But, as we read in Job and the Gospels, one’s sufferings, diseases, and disabilities do not always result from one’s sins.  Reason and experience confirm this conclusion.

Some suffering results from the sins of others.  Suppose, for example, that somebody steals my car, causing me inconvenience at least and perhaps suffering.  I was just minding my business, but the other person’s greed has hurt me.  Likewise, one can come down with lung cancer because of the cigarette smoke of others.  Living well is no guarantee against all bad ends.

Then there are the cases where suffering has no apparent cause.  Why are some people born blind, for example?  Jesus faced this question.  Nobody needed to have sinned for the blindness to have resulted.  So let us refrain from assuming that a person’s suffering has resulted from something he or she has done, for we run the risk of judging others unjustly.  Our knowledge is limited, but God’s is not.  And God is also prone to forgiving generously.

KRT

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Published in a nearly identical form at LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR