Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010


Luke 13:31-35

Some Pharisees came and said to Jesus, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you." He said to them, "Go and tell that fox for me, 'Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.' Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

The Pharisees say to Jesus, “Herod wants to kill you.” No mincing of words here. They have a clear message, you are going to die.

Jesus calls Herod, the political leader, a Fox. He is a name caller. He is specific, concrete, never abstract. Herod is sly, cruel and preys on the weak. He does not say Herod is a bad guy. He calls him a name, a fox.

Jesus heals people and gives exorcisms. That is his job, his work, his vocation. He doesn’t say, “I’m working.”

Greg the the mathematician stares off into space for an hour. His wife yells at him, “What are you doing?” Greg says, ‘I’m working.” His wife may have been more satisfied if he had said, “I am working on a spatial math problems in my head.”

Jesus doesn’t say, “I’ll leave soon.” He says, “I’m out of here in three days.” Not one, not two, but three days.

A man says to his lover, “I just need some space.” Here we have vague, non-specific communication. He really means he is angry with his lover, or he is feeling guilty about something. He is thinking of leaving. By being vague and non-specific, he avoids the truth. We allow people to be vague. We need to be able to ask for specific information. We can be honest enough to be plain spoken and clear.

Politicians- “We are fighting terrorism. “ That is vague, unclear and open to restrictions of our human rights. President Obama does not use War on Terrorism. He is fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. I still don’t like it but he is clear and specific.

Bad attitude- Vague, non-specific. I had a parish administrator who had a bad attitude. When he was harassed he would ask hurriedly. “What now?” So I made it a mantra and would repeat “What now?” Whenever I heard him do that, I'd repeat it “What now?”

“You make me happy” sounds very nice when someone says it to us. But that is so vague. What are the specifics of what makes you happy? You make me happy when you bring me flowers. You make me happy when you kiss me. You make me happy when you make an apple pie for us. The concrete specific items are really what make you happy.

Jesus predicts that he is going to die in Jerusalem. Jesus expresses his yearning and sadness. He gives a beautiful, concrete specific image to Jerusalem, He says, “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” This is his picture of what God wants us to be, a family, gathered together under God’s loving protection. This is an image of the peaceable kingdom. The peace that passes all understanding.

So when we are dismissed with the cry, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” We hear an abstraction. Our question must always be HOW?

Immigration, medical care for all, poor people, hungry in the alleys around the church. Serving the lord means specifically serving those people and our beloved families, friends and neighbors. Do something concrete and specific today to love and serve the Lord.


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