The Gospel writers knew a thing or two about subtlety and subversive messaging. They were arguably more intelligent and insightful than the majority of their readers. We could be inclined to skim-read verses 1-2 of this passage, silently imploring Luke to get to the point.

A few months ago, our glorious leader and founder of this blog, Scott Evans, told me about how he brings more people into this conversation by getting students he works with at UCD engaged in the project. I was inspired to try pulling some of the pupils from Wilson’s in too.

There’s an old saying of unclear origin that says you should never discuss politics or religion either at the dinner table or in polite company. As a maxim, it has held for a long time because it was thought to be uncouth to dive in to topics that could arouse such passionate responses in courteous conversation (though Trump, Brexit and 2018 have made it hard to stick to).

When I was 18, I was convinced I needed glasses. I waited for weeks to tell my parents, as I struggled to study and get homework done and suffered from constant headaches. I didn’t tell them because I thought I could cope. I could handle the work and the headaches.

It’s always a little unnerving when someone tries to control your reaction before they have even asked their question. It sets mental alarm bells ringing because if they were bringing you good news or asking you to do something you wanted to do then they wouldn’t need to tell you how to react.

What on earth is going on in this passage?

Readers can’t escape the fact that this text is about divorce. We can try as much as we want to abstract a generalized principle from the text about the nature of relationships. If we’re going to be faithful to the text, we must, in a sense, take what Jesus says seriously.

For the last while some of my friends and I have been handing in masters theses. These are the paper manifestation of pain, panic, and procrastination, along with occasional flashes of confidence that we might have a clue what we’re talking about.

I first approached this passage with some incredulity. The followers of Jesus, his disciples, the very men first chosen to hear the Son of Man’s teachings, are arguing about who is the greatest amongst themselves. Greatest in what? Knowledge? Who can run the fastest?

The Holy Spirit has descended on the first disciples, those who would come together to form a new community centered around their Crucified and Risen Messiah. Does this Holy Spirit pouring out have any connection to Jesus’s words on Sabbath?

I sat in a meeting last week and we had all come to the table feeling tired, distracted, and trying to beat the post lunch slump.  With that a friend spoke up and suggested it might be good to pray to focus, reflect and centre ourselves.