By the time we reach this part of Luke’s gospel, we readers are none too surprised at the scene presented before us. Jesus, going about his day, is stopped by a group of ten lepers, who ask for mercy. Upon seeing them, he tells them to go to the priests of the temple.

I love when Jesus talks to his disciples. It is always so refreshingly human. I like to picture myself as one of them and ask, ‘Would I say that?’. The Gospel writers so often paint the disciples as a group of loveable side kicks who are consistently slower on the uptake and forever confusing themselves so, I’d rather the answer was no.

It is important to note that the rich man in this story is not condemned for treating Lazarus with contempt or evil, but for doing nothing. This reminds me of the (possibly over-used) quote: ‘the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.’ What are we silent about?

When my wife read the Gospel reading from the lectionary for this week, she asked a brilliant question: ‘Why is it every time I read one of these passages, I feel like I hate it and then end up becoming a better person as a result of it?’

As a recovering chronic loser, this is a sentence I have heard myself utter more than once. There are the things that are lost, forever-ever, that will not be found. Then, there are those that you know are Somewhere, but that Somewhere is, at present, a mystery. I was struck by the sense of the second being true in this passage.

I don’t like to be told what to do, particularly when I don’t understand the command. I like to know why I’m doing something, I like to have as much insight as I can; I like to see the big picture. This is why I feel terrible for Phillip in this passage. 

The lectionary reading for this week shows us Jesus in Jerusalem after an unknown festival. He arrives at a pool called Bethzatha, where invalids lay. Now, in the time of Jesus, illness was often blamed on sin, either that person had sinned, or their parents.

Every time I sit down to write one of these reflections, it goes one of two ways. It is either a joy that takes me completely outside of my every day, or it is torture. When it feels like torture, when I have nothing wise (which is most of the time), I stitch together thoughts that I have, and thoughts that others have had, and pray that God will make it more than the sum of its parts for at least one other person. 

One of my professors, Dr. David Downs, noted how quickly we celebrate the crucifixion as the center for Christ’s saving work, while talking about resurrection as an appendage to the Christ event. So perhaps the question I want to pose is what role the resurrection plays in our theology.

This passage offers us a great deal of comfort as well as a command. Jesus’ compassion towards Thomas is evident in his showing up a second time to give Thomas the chance to see him. He also assures us that if we forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven.

I have to be honest, I had no idea what Palm Sunday was before starting this blog. I knew it was something that the church celebrated every year, was part of the lead up to Easter and I had a vague idea it should have something to do with palm leaves.

For the year after I finished college, I worked in a florist. One of my jobs there was to take orders over the phone. Mostly I talked to men one or two days before (or on the morning of ) birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day. My favourite part was when I got to ask them what they wanted to write on the card.

TECHNOLOGY has almost killed the art of getting lost. Almost all of us have a map of the whole world in minute detail sitting in our pocket. Our phones set our path to home and this passage is all about home, journeys away and how we find our way back.

IF JESUS’ parables were songs, I don’t think that the parable of the barren fig tree would have made it in onto his ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation. Its tone and trajectory often make people uncomfortable. Reading it through Western eyes in the twenty-first century, in particular, makes it ripe for misinterpretation.

As disciples, though we often ask like Peter to commemorate the mountaintop experiences, we must follow the instruction of our Savior. That does not mean that we necessarily follow the exact events and moments of his life. It does mean we follow the paradigm and life that culminates in the cross.