Our guest blogger this week is
2009-04-12 by David Howell

Carmen Nanko-Fernández, assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago where she teaches courses in US Hispanic and pastoral theologies. She is the President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States.  Some of her publications are accessible online at the electronic Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology.





Pieta
2009-04-10 by David von Schlichten

For thirty-three years, I have studied the hands of God.

I am Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Amid the animal and hay smells on that chilly night, I held that baby close to me.

He stared up at me, occasionally blinking, the eyes of the Messiah.


Through the years, I prayed hard, “Please, God, help me to be a good mother.”

And the Holy Spirit did indeed use my hands. I cleaned up his barf and poop.

I held his hands as he tried to walk on his own.

I'd shake my finger at him when he would bring home a sheep

and want to keep it as a pet. “Can we, Mom? I'll take care of it.”


Joe and I watched with hushed amazement

as Jesus grew taller, stronger, smarter,

as he hammered and sawed wood,

as he taught teachers.

He had crushes on the local girls,

and we hoped he would marry one of them. That never happened.


I recall my son, now an adult, standing naked in the river and John

shoving him under with huge, hairy hands.

And my son set out to start a revolution, humble and bold.

He blessed and broke some boy's lunch and then fed thousands of people with it.

He took a dead girl by the hand and raised her to life.


Last night, my son used his hands to break and pass bread.

He used his hands to pass the cup. “Take this, all of you. Never forget.”


Today, I saw my son, the one I raised with my own hands, . . . .

I saw the nails –

I saw him hang in front of me.

I heard him scream.

Do you know what it is like to watch your child die,

knowing there is nothing you can do?


Now his body is down from the cross.

I hold him in my arms, a mother's pitiful piety.

Look what they did to my boy.

Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?

Surely this terrible Friday cannot be the end.

Surely there is more work for my baby's hands to do.





If Only
2009-04-10 by David Howell

If only Jesus had gone down the mountain after the transfiguration and headed back to Galilee.
 
If only he had been more discreet in his Sabbath healings.
 
If only his responses to the Pharisees had not been so biting and clever.
 
If only he had not been so indignant with the moneychangers in the temple.
 
If only Judas had understood the nature of his kingdom.
 
If only a rabbi sympathetic to Jesus had the ear of Caiaphas.
 
If only Pilate had not seen freeing Jesus as a way to assert his authority over the Sanhedrin.
 
If only he had not been scourged and mocked and suffered so horribly.
 
If only the fabric of events that led Jesus inexorably to die on the cross had not been so perfectly woven.
 
If only… then this would not be the Friday that is good, that breaks our heart year after year to reveal just how deeply we are loved by the holy.


John Sutton




GP Seminarian Sermon Voting Extended to April 15
2009-04-08 by David Howell

The top three vote recipients are:

They have prepared YouTube versions of the sermons. Click on the links above. After viewing all 3 sermons, please vote for one sermon here. If you do not have the code, please email us at office@goodpreacher.com. Subscribers (who are logged on) can get the password here.

Please vote on or before April 15 (extended from April 8).

Also we have a new recipe in the Divine Cuisine.





Fred Rose, Christ Dying and Rising
2009-04-08 by David von Schlichten

Thank you to guest blogger Fred Rose for his fecund blog posts. Please scroll down to take them in. Among other things, Fred calls us to reorient ourselves toward loving one another as Christ has loved us and to move away from the mean-spiritedness and silliness that we often slog around in.

For Good Friday, I will focus on "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" I will paint the picture of people in different situations crying these words and Jesus responding with his own cry coupled with the healing power of the cross.  I will post my sermon at the cafe shortly.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator 





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