The Calm Center

The Palm Sunday narrative is one of the few that is included in all four Gospels. We read the version in John. But there are significant differences. Matthew and John quote Zechariah’s saying about the king of Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey. All of them have the words of praise that greeted …

He goes before us

  In today’s Gospel reading (Mark 10:32-45) we hear Jesus tell his disciples the third and final prediction of his passion - and the most detailed. But notice what Mark wrote immediately before the start of our reading today: “And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and …

God’s π

Yesterday, March 14, marked the annual observance of Pi Day. It only works in the American way of writing dates, so it's mostly in this country that mathematicians get excited. But yesterday wasn't just March 14, it was March 14, 2015: 3-14-15 in the usual shorthand that we write dates, and Pi to four decimal places …

The Language of Seeing

The most remarkable words in today's Gospel reading (John 1:43-51) are these words spoken by Jesus:  “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” In painting this picture, Jesus is alluding to an incident in the book of Genesis (28:10-22) …

Lessons for Lent

In an interview several years ago, the famous German conductor Herbert von Karajan (1908-89), was talking about his early years as a musician. He made this remarkable statement: "Then came the decisive day when I discovered that my two hands weren’t enough to express what I wanted to express.” His two hands were not enough to …

An Open Ending

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is, in my opinion, the greatest of all the parables told by Jesus. Not only the greatest parable, but it is a genuine short story. It has more dialogue than any other parable that I can think of and fully developed characters that evolve in the process of the …