The weather in the Richmond area has been wonderful, with cool nights and warm days, modest amounts of rainfall and not much wind. I’ve been busy removing snake strawberries and wild violets out of my back yard with a hand tool (since all the chemicals which will get rid of both will also kill the abundant growth of clover which keeps the yard looking green!
In the last 24 hours, I have posted a Podcast Homily for Fifth Sunday After Easter (Rogation Sunday) and completed, uploaded, and linked Episode Forty-four in the Bible Study series on the AIC You Tube channel. The Podcast homily includes discussion of more New Testament wisdom from James 1:22-27 and more from the Gospel of St. John (16:23-33), which contains Jesus’ promise not to speak in parables and His promise concerning whatever we ask of the Father in His Name. Listen to the Podcast Homily
The Bible Study episode continues the discussion of the words Jesus’ uses to express concepts of time, on this occasion the Greek mikron, or “in a little while,” the meaning of which was very confusing to the Disciples, and hora, in this case translated as “time.” Other topics includes two final Unique “Small” Details: Jesus’ explanation to Pilate on the location of His Kingdom and His assignment of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the care of the “beloved Disciple” John; and the first of Five Unique Events: the Visit of Nicodemus. The video includes a picture of the House of Mary at Ephesus. Watch Episode 44 Listen to the Podcast version
The Visit of Nicodemus is illustrated using the stained glass window by Franz Mayer of Munich at St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel, Richmond, VA, from the AIC Bookstore publication, Paintings on Light: the Stained Glass Windows of St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel. The Mayer artist include such details as the dark blue sky with stars to suggest the evening visit described by St. John. Jesus stands over a seated Nicodemus, whose robes are embellished with elaborate borders. The raised right hand/arm suggests Jesus is granting a Blessing on the Pharisee who became a defender of Jesus and who brought aloe and scented herbs for His burial.
Episode Forty-four is the next-to-last episode on the Gospel of St. John before I resume production of the revised series, Revelation: an Idealist Interpretation. The final four Unique Events are the Restoration of the Adulterous Woman; the Foot Washing of the Disciples; Jesus’ institution of the Sacrament of Confession/Penance; and His post-Resurrection meal with the remaining eleven.
The Podcast Homily includes my adaptation of a liturgical prayer of Thanksgiving from the tradition of the Maronite Catholic Church in Lebanon. St. John Maron lived in the late 7th and early 8th Century. The Church named in his honor uses an Eastern Rite liturgy but accepts the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in ecclesiastical matters. It is a sign of our secular-dominated times that Christians no longer pray in this highly-respectful, reverential tone that grants to God sovereignty in all things:
GRANT US, O Lord God, that as we assemble here today, our minds released from worldly thoughts and our attention turned to Thee; we may stand in Thy presence with tranquility, offering ceaseless praise and uninterrupted thanksgiving and acknowledging the loving-kindness through which our lives are directed, ruled and protected and our souls saved; to Thee we offer praise and thanksgiving; now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
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