Psalms 26, 28 * 36, 39; Proverbs 15:16-33; 1Timothy 1:18-2:8; Matthew 12:33-42
What a beautiful holiday weekend we had here in DC. The weather could not have been better. The city was amazingly quiet (as long as you stayed away from the tourist areas and the "Rolling Thunder" motorcycle parades). I had a quiet, reflective, yet still busy weekend: home improvement projects and long walks along the river, interrupted by Sunday services and preaching and phone calls and emails with parishioners.
On Saturday I was in the car running some errands and was listening to NPR. A program was being aired about parents caring for their seriously injured veteran children, who have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan very changed persons. It was an incredibly moving and disturbing piece of journalism, graphically describing injuries and limitations on the injured as well as addressing full-on the stress caused to the marriages of those parents who are now acting as nurses and caregivers and therapists. I was brought to tears listening to their stories of pain and loss as well as of their great strength and love. It was a different kind of Memorial Day Weekend story that focused on not those who have died in battle, but those who have been so badly injured that they are like dead, in regard to their pre-military life, and yet have been resurrected into a new and much more challenging life. A beautiful late spring/early summer day was balanced against these stories which themselves were a balance of loss and gain, of pain and love.
In today's Gospel reading Jesus is pretty pissed off at the Pharisees. He has pretty much had it with them and their myopic views and demands for signs. Much as Jonah was "resurrected" after three days in the belly of the whale (which is a hint of Jesus' resurrection three days after his brutal murder), Jesus is saying look around you, there are signs all around you. Those stories on NPR were sad, but their was also such great hope and love and optimism and strength and resilience in them: we just have to look to see them.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.