Reading from the Gospels, Year B, Proper 19/Ordinary 24/Pentecost + 15: Mark 8.27-38
I am blissfully holed up in an island house with a group of my seminary girlfriends, where we’ve been been spending the holiday weekend, as planned, talking and eating and walking and resting and reading and talking and eating some more. Today has offered gorgeous weather. Seafood pasta will be on the table in a few minutes. I’m at the computer—briefly—and writing to the sound of lively conversation between the women at this table and the women in the kitchen and to the wondrous sound and smell of garlic and butter sizzling in the skillet. These friends, who have known me nearly half my life, are some of the folks who help me remember who I am and what I hold most important.
Next Sunday’s gospel lection beckons us to ponder what we hold important, what we give our attention to, and what we’re doing with, as Mary Oliver puts it, our “one wild and precious life” (from “The Summer Day”). As the garlic sizzles, I invite you to visit a couple of reflections I’ve written on Jesus’ words to Peter about divine things and human things, and losing one’s life and saving it. A slightly shorter portion of Sunday’s gospel turned up during Lent of this year (Mark 8.31-38); you can click on “Lent 2: In Which We Set Our Minds Somewhere” below to visit my reflection on this passage. Below that, “To Have without Holding” offers a reflection on Matthew’s version of this story (Matthew 16.21-28), which appeared as a gospel lection last year.
Time for that seafood dinner and savoring the pleasures of the table with good friends. May the coming week offer you much sustenance and many delights.
[To use this artwork, please click on the images. Thanks!]