Author: Kelly Johnson

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: What Wisdom Sees

Ignorance is bliss, they say, and it’s tempting sometimes to think the only a willful refusal to face reality can give us happiness. Find a way for yourself in the world, take pleasure where you can find it, and tune the rest out: it’s one recipe. But the texts today talk about a different sort of wisdom, and that is good news.

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The Queen of Heaven, the Queen of Soul, and Sex Abuse

It’s tempting to minimize the sin in order to honor the feast, but that’s the wrong move, as though to proclaim resurrection we need to say that death isn’t really all that bad. The truth of sin and proclamation of the good news aren’t contradictions. The Queen of Heaven, who is also the Mother of Sorrows, cries out that God has “shown the strength of his arm, scattered the proud in their conceit.” Oh, Mary, don’t you weep. However deep the sin we sink in, grace is deeper still.

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Good News and the News Cycle: The Sermon that Shook the Internet

An African-American preached God’s word in the still-unshaken remnant of a colonial empire, to a congregation not notable for their marital fidelity or their evangelical warmth, and he spoke with tenderness and passion and hope. He didn’t flatter or pander. He didn’t cajole or castigate. He didn’t talk about them at all. He talked about the power of God’s love to renew a tired old world. He spoke of the wisdom of slaves who knew the healing balm of Gilead to a congregation whose suffering is more often related to excessive wealth and fame, not to oppression.

And it shook people, which was not what anyone expected of a sermon at a royal wedding.

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