After Jesus' death on the cross, the disciples were not expecting his resurrection. Instead, they were hiding in fear- fear that the authorities would do to them precisely as they did to Jesus. But fear wasn't the only thing they felt. The eleven were also filled with sorrow and confusion. The man whom they believed to be the one who would save Israel and usher in the Kingdom of God had been killed before their very eyes. Did God make a mistake? Has God deliberately sabotaged his own plans? It is then that the risen Christ appears in the midst of the disciples. As he speaks to them he reveals the truth; namely, that his crucifixion wasn't a mistake. Rather, it was a part of the divine plan all along. Jesus then invites the disciples to work alongside God as the divine plan continues to unfold.
When the disciples first begin to follow Jesus, they don't know exactly who he is and what his mission is all about. It's as if they see him through a glass darkly- blurry and indistinct. It's only after his resurrection that the picture comes into focus and the disciples finally see Jesus as the Eternal Word of God made Flesh. There are, however, individual moments on their journey with the Lord when they catch small glimpses or insights into his true identity. Today's reading from Luke's Gospel is all about one such moment of special revelation. While three of Jesus' closest disciples are praying with him on a mountaintop, they see their Lord transfigured, engulfed in the glory of God. Today, we'll take a closer look at this story.
During her visit with her cousin Elizabeth, the pregnant Mary bursts into song: “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” Mary sings, “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Right from the opening words of the first stanza, we learn that this is a joyful song of praise— Mary is praising God. But why, exactly? And how is that relevant to us? Those are the two questions that I’m going to touch on over the course of the next few minutes as we take a deeper look at the Magnificat.
It is in God’s character to show mercy. Jesus— as God in the flesh— perfectly manifests this aspect of God’s character. He does so in our gospel story (Luke 17:11-19) by restoring ten leapers who implore him for healing. However, out of the ten leapers who receive the gift of healing, only one of them returns to give thanks to Jesus. What can we learn from this one, Samaritan leaper about the importance of gratitude? This is what Coralie explores in her sermon today.