Monday, August 24, 2009

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Pentecost +13 – Year B

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

All or nothing at all! Digital life is a 1 or a 0 and ne'er the twain shall meet. Make a misstep with one rule and you've obliterated them all; there is no slippery-slope here, it's on the cliff or falling to death.

This ancient and still contemporary rule continues to bedevil and defile us to the point of suicide. Who among us can stand? [ - unless, of course, we have resources sufficient to access the "get out of jail free" mechanisms that can reboot us back to some previous set-point, return us to some honorary virginity.]

One of the sections left out, to shorten this reading and keep it uni-focal, is about the way in which our intentions get in the way of our intention. Let's start with an intention to live well. One of the rules for the well-being is my context, my social ecology, is care for parents (literal and figurative) who have gone before, weaken, die, and lead us to prepare for our own work of the day, weakness and death. It is all to easy to claim the resources we would use to care for them as resources we could and should spend on ourselves (forgetting the Russian Nesting Doll image of the generations). This shift from intention to intentions exemplifies a bringing a defilement out of our hearts. It takes no apparent external input to trigger this response.

A question we are left with is whether there is a way around evil intentions.

Here are three conversations with Vivian Paley that give very helpful insights regarding life's larger intention.

The first is a little tricky to get to. First go to episode 27 of This American Life, Cruelty of Children. Click on "Full Episode" and when it has loaded, move the timeline along to minute 46:55. I think you will find the work it takes to get here worth your while as you listen to Vivian talk about the trigger for her book, You Can’t Say You Can’t Play.

The second link is about cheating. Vivian talks with Susan Stamburg

Thirdly, Vivian is on the Diane Rehm Show talking about her book The Kindness of Children.

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