God’s extravagant love for us is on display in this week’s readings. From the first reading to the Gospel, God’s tenderness and mercy are brought in a personal way to Zacchaeus . . . and to all of us.
This is the second week in a row that our readings focus on prayer. Why? Because it’s that important. The readings focus on three aspects of prayer: God’s response to them, God’s faithfulness to us when we call out to God, and the posture that we should take when approaching God—absolute openness and truth.
There is a certain segment of the Earth’s population that is entirely incapable of hearing, seeing or experiencing any random thing without relating it to a completely unrelated cultural reference. For those individuals (many of whom are probably Generation X-ers), I offer to you Pokémon Go characters worked into the titles of five eighties and nineties songs. Can you guess the originals?
I’m routinely told by other adults, “I don’t watch cartoons anymore.” Their loss, I say! Cartoons are some of my favourite entertainment, and I love kids’ cartoons. In fact, when the kids wander off and I still have them on, I get a pleading look and a semi-desperate question from my husband, “Do we have to keep watching this? The kids are in bed…”
Yes, yes we do.
Persistence is certainly a virtue, but to get there, we have to be on guard against weariness. It’s so easy to become weary—weary in our prayer, in our work, in our daily lives, in the sad and sometimes scary stories that come to us in the news. Today, God gives us three stories about protecting ourselves from becoming weary.
I do not trust robots, least of all robots with artificial intelligence. There are a million examples from science fiction (which is obviously the most reliable source for determining the future of Earth) why robots with artificial intelligence are a terrible idea—the Terminator, Cybermen, Hal, Ultron, and the Matrix, to name a few.
But then there’s Data…
The common theme in Sunday’s readings is that everyone has access to God’s healing power—you, me, non-believers, believers in other gods—everybody. God’s love is so far beyond the categories that we like to make for ourselves, and God takes his love so far that our gratitude is not a prerequisite for the gifts God gives.
The episode of Doctor Who, “The Witch’s Familiar,” had my poor brain in a tizzy. I should have seen through Davros’ act—he even gave himself away early in the conversation when he called the Daleks’ compassion a “defect.” He told the Doctor that compassion “grows strong and fierce in you like a cancer” and that it “will kill you in the end,” to which the Doctor replied, “I wouldn’t die of anything else.”