Life Giving Choices – Br. David Vryhof

Br. David Vryhof

Matthew 7:21-27

In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus concludes his famous “Sermon on the Mount” with a series of contrasting images:

13-15       There is a narrow gate and a wide gate, says Jesus.  The narrow gate leads to a hard road, while the wide gate opens to an easy road.  The first leads to life, while the second leads to destruction.

15-16       There are good prophets and false prophets, says Jesus.  The false prophets are those who come “in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  You will be able to distinguish between them by their fruits, he assures us.

16-20       Similarly, there are good trees that bear good fruit and bad trees that bear bad fruit, Jesus tells us.  The good trees remain and continue to produce good fruit, but the bad trees are cut down and cast into the fire.

21-23       Then, Jesus says, there are those who say to me “Lord, Lord” and who do the will of my Father in heaven, and there are those who say, “Lord, Lord,” but do not do the will of the Father.  The first group will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the second group will be sent away. Read More

Who Are You? – Br. James Koester

John 10: 31 – 42

Something significant, but not surprising, happens in the gospel today. Jesus has just told the crowds, that the Father and I are one.[1] The consequence of such a statement is outrage, and as we hear today, they took up stones again to stone him.[2] It is clearly not the first time Jesus has provoked such as response. The difference in this case, is that attitudes are hardening; divisions are more pronounced; and once again the threat of arrest is all too real, but he escaped from their hands.[3]

In many ways none of this should surprise us. From the very beginning, in a sense from the moment the Baptist testified that [Jesus] is the Son of God,[4] the division between those who believed, and those who did not, was bound to occur. What is new today, is that those divisions are becoming irreconcilable.

It is a question that lingers in the air, even today. Who are you?[5] is not a question asked only by those who encountered Jesus in the flesh, long ago. It is a question people ask today. It is a question which even we must ask. It is especially a question we must ask, as we stand on the threshold of Holy Week. Who are you? The answer, our answer, will determine what we see in the days ahead. Read More