The Word Among Us

July 2006 Issue


The accounts of the Passion, especially in the Synoptic Gospels, which are so spare in style and thoroughly lacking in any theological or edifying comment, take us back to the early days of the church. To use the modern language of "form criticism," these were the first sections of the Gospels to be "formed" in the oral tradition and circulate among Christians. In this phase, facts are the predominant factor, and everything can be summarized in two events: death and resurrection. More »

The heart of the liturgical service on Good Friday is the adoration of the cross, which incorporates the ritual of the unveiling: The pope receives from the deacon a cross veiled in purple. Three times he uncovers a part of the cross until it is completely revealed, and the actions are accompanied by these solemn words: "Behold the wood of the cross, on which hung the Savior of the world." More »

This gift is so great that I am already saddened by the thought that I shall spoil it. And so I want to give the gift, whole and entire, immediately to you. I want to pronounce his name and place it safely in your hearts before its fullness is dispersed in the effort to express it in words. More »

Special Feature

In a perfect world, Marietta Jaeger Lane and Bill Pelke would probably have never met, let alone felt called to found an organization that promotes radical—some would say illogical—mercy. She was a Michigan mother busily caring for her five children; he was a Vietnam veteran who worked as a crane operator in Portage, Indiana. But when unthinkable tragedy shattered their lives, each one was thrust into a painful but ultimately healing journey from revenge to forgiveness. More »

Even if you've never set foot in a desert, you've probably had what could be described as desert experiences. I'm talking about those times of trial or testing, when you discover that God is very near. More »

What if you walked into a friend's house one day and saw a picture of an electric chair prominently displayed in the living room? Or, going through the checkout line, you noticed a miniature guillotine hanging from a chain around the cashier's neck? Even stranger, what if your friend and the cashier spoke about these symbols with reverence, respect, and even affection? Wouldn't it make you uncomfortable? More »