Contemporary Scripture Reflections for Spiritual Seekers
Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart

Sunday BibleTalk: September 23rd, 2018
Sunday BibleTalk with Sunday Video Chat!
Greetings, SBT Readers:

Fires burn... flood waters rise... hurricanes and typhoons blow away entire communities....

Unprecedented natural disasters strike at random, turning lives upside-down, leaving tragedy in their wake. At the same time, such events reveal the best in humanity. Comfort comes when we hear stories of heroism and generosity, when neighbors not only reach out to their neighbors, but strangers put their lives at risk as well. Comfort also comes when we witness the resilience of the human spirit -- the ability to rise above disaster and re-build, often from nothing, salvaging what can be taken from the past and reaching into the future for new beginnings... Those affected by Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut will no doubt try to rebuild their lives, as surely as the survivors of recent wild fires in Greece, Sweden, the American West and elsewhere. It is in our DNA to do so.

As a church, we are experiencing the equivalent of a natural disaster, but the toll in human misery, of course, is more massive than any natural disaster on record. German Archbishop Georg Gaenswein has called the revelations about clerical sexual abuse of children our "own 9/11," but even that falls short as a descriptor unless you tally in the consequences for Iraq and other nations that were blamed for harboring Al Qaeda and promoting terrorism-- hundreds of thousands of casualties, both military and civilian.

But whether "9/11" is a fitting term or not for what is happening in the Catholic Church today, what is needed are the same qualities that any natural or human-made disaster requires: heroic "first responders" and resilience on the part of both survivors and shocked by-standers. The challenge is to speak truth, demand justice and join the ranks of "first responders." The hierarchy has lost its credibility so it is up to us, The People of God , to begin rebuilding the church.

Many Blessings!


PS Please note that Sunday Chat is an imperfect production, entirely unscripted and therefore prone to some "rough spots" in terms of clarity and expression!


“Those who wish to be first,
shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” 
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
MK 9: 30-37

Despite all that they have seen and heard, the disciples are still clueless when it comes to Jesus' mission and vision. They have walked with him, talked with him, prayed with him, listened to his teachings, witnessed his miracles, and yet they still bicker over their own ambitions. Afraid to question him about his predictions regarding his passion and resurrection, instead they resort to arguing over who is the greatest. While Jesus speaks of the Cross, they are imagining their own glory. Though he has openly told them that he will be "handed over," be rejected by the religious establishment, made to suffer greatly, be put to death and rise from the dead, they are preoccupied with being "Number One." We hear in our second reading that " Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice" (Jas 3:16). How disappointed Jesus must be that his chosen followers are opening themselves to their worst inclinations, that they are thinking more about their own status than the dreadful events lying ahead of him!

It is the child who represents the transformation of consciousness that Jesus expects of his disciples. While the Twelve exhibit the old consciousness of selfishness and greed, the archetypal child is unschooled in the ways of the world, still innocent enough to remember The Garden of Eden and what it was like to walk with God. In his poem, Ode on Intimations of Immortality, the English poet William Wordsworth explains how each of us comes from God who is our home "trailing clouds of glory" ; "Heaven lies about us in our infancy!" but as we grow, so does the prison-house around us, because we begin to imitate the egotistical attitudes and behaviors of our elders. As we age, all we are left with are shadowy recollections of grace. Clearly, this is what has happened to the Twelve: worldly values occupy their thoughts, promoting rivalry, jealousy and anger amongst them. Their ambition blocks them from seeing Jesus' mission and from understanding the cosmic spiritual drama in which they are participating.

And what of us? If the Kingdom of God belongs to the little ones who can still see celestial light, what must we do to recover spiritual sight, to see as God sees? What are the veils that obscure the Presence of God which is all around us, above us, beneath us, to the side of us, behind us, ahead of us? What are the cracked mirrors that distort our reflections, making us imagine that worldly acclaim and material possessions will make us "bigger and better" than we are? Or that make us see ourselves as small, insignificant, unattractive and generally useless? What is the magnifying glass that keeps us fixated on others' faults while ignoring our own moral failures? We need to see ourselves and others as God sees -- through the transforming Light that can heal all ills, mend all imperfections, soothe all fears and restore the Dream-- God's Dream.

  1. To what extent have you retained "the clouds of glory" that accompanied you into this world?
  2. What factors disconnect you from these "clouds of glory"?
  3. What changes need to happen for you to recover the gift of spiritual sight?
The September 20th book launch is THIS week away! If you live in the Chicago area, please join me and Dr. Patrick Williams to celebrate TWO books on inner guidance! We would love to share our work with you! Follow this link for full details:

This video explains my work in Image Guidance and introduces the contents of my new book, Mind-Shifting Imagery. You can order the book or its Kindle version on Amazon:

Mind-Shifting Imagery

Photos by Elizabeth-Anne Stewart,