Friday, February 09, 2007

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany – C4

Years C
Luke 6:17-26

I have appreciated the translations that say to the poor, hungry, sorrowing, reviled - "You are not cursed." When we leave it simply as "blessed are you", the affirmation soon becomes enough for the sayer to do. While one statement (you are not cursed) may be implied within the other (you are blessed), they touch different parts of us.

To be blessed means I'm in need of blessing and the question is whether that blessing is sufficient to cover what needs covering. There is something clearer about not being cursed.

At other times I am aware of not being cursed, but without the motivation to do anything about that state and I stand in need of a good blessing to free a direction of engagement.

How do you play back and forth between being blessed and not being cursed?

Within this may be some hints about the healing process. Some of those who came needed a vaccination of blessing to hold them through every diseased scene they will pass through. Others needed a seal of approval only received through a proclamation that they are not cursed. The healing arts really are an art form - knowing where to apply what.

Amid the crowd who came to hear and be touched, those looking for a word found themselves spoken to and those looking for a touch found themselves embraced.

= = = = = = =

Nationalism is militant hatred. It is not love of our countrymen: that, which denotes good citizenship, philanthropy, practical religion, should go by the name of patriotism. Nationalism is passionate xenophobia. It is fanatical, as all forms of idol-worship are bound to be. And fanaticism - l'infame denounced by Voltaire - obliterates or reverses the distinction between good and evil. Patriotism, the desire to work for the common weal, can be, must be, reasonable: "My country, may she be right!" Nationalism spurns reason: "Right or wrong, my country."
Albert L. Guerard, The Paradoxes of Nationalism.

let me have all things
let me have nothing
so goes a covenant service
let me be blessed
let me not be cursed
so goes plain speaking

my fear of woe
my fear of not being blessed
are revealed in possession
yes, all is mine
yes, all will be mine
are revealed in present desire

weal or woe
blessing or curse
show which nation we are part of
welcome or restraint
healing or captivity
distinguish good from evil

blessing for me
blessing for all
one calls forth the other
a curse for you
a curses for all
one compounds the other

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