Fire from heaven, Maya Lin

Listen and Ask Questions

Greetings on this the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21; Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; Gal 5:1, 13-18; Lk 9:51-62
Notes: The Apostles James and John wanted to send down fire from heaven. They envisioned that these enemies of the Word and of the Jewish people deserve nothing less than fire. A terrible and horrible death.

Jesus turned and rebuked them (Lk 9:55).

They no doubt were thinking Elijah (our Prophet of recent reading sequence, another).

Elijah answered the captain, “Well, if I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men. Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And divine fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men (2 King 1:10, 12).

Indeed Jesus wanted fire but not a destructive fire a restorative fire.

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! (LK 12:49).

News: Roe v Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States, June 24, 2022, Friday past. I will write separately on the topic. I have a rule that I follow. In any big event that analysis is critical, I insist on finding three good things and three not so good things about the event. Forcing myself to go beyond my own bias and instinct and really enter the question. Not yet ready.

Maya Lin

I will preach on Maya Lin, a young woman, who won the design concept for a memorial. A block of black granite slashed into the Earth, “The Wall” it is referred to by many. It’s in a V shape. V for the peace sign. V for victory. One blade pointing to the Lincoln Memorial. One blade pointing to the Washington Memorial.

She endured insult, a Chinese American. Of Chinese ancestry she was called an “Egg Role”. Some saw her design as an affront to them. Others saw as it affront to them, too, the other them. Some bemoaned the simplicity. But no.

Quoting her:

an opening or wound in the earth to symbolize the pain caused by the war and it’s many casualties.

Names engraved like a journal’s pages (L->R ascending). Top down, left and right the names. Now number over 58,320. Arranged by Date of Casualty. The date of death.
You can see the escalation and de-escalation by the height of the wall, the number of names.

Beginning in 1959.
Ending in 1975.
The first and the last names in time because of the arrangement are both in the center of the memorial.

The panels crack in pain.

The time spans six Presidents:

  • Eisenhower
  • Kennedy
  • Johnson
  • Nixon
  • Ford
  • Carter
  • Reagan

A place of pilgrimage.
A place to visit lost loved ones and lost unit members. Like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, little sleeves of paper wedged near the etched names. Some make pencil rubbings to get the name onto a piece of paper.

  • 1965, First Marines based in Vietnam.
  • 1967, War protests.
  • 1968, Tet Offensive.
  • 1970, Kent State deaths.
  • 1973, Paris Peace Treaty
  • 1975, Saigon Falls
  • 1975, Mayaguz incident – personal to me, active duty.
  • 1982, Vietnam Memorial

First reading
The LORD said to Elijah:
“You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah, as prophet to succeed you.”

Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat. Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.

Responsorial Psalm
You are my inheritance, O Lord.

You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.

Second reading
Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.

Alleluia Verse
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening;
you have the words of everlasting life.

Gospel Portion
On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”

Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

Paul in the letter to the Galatians
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another.

The nation was devouring itself in anger, revenge and self-pity.

Until the fire from heaven.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

One thought on “Fire from heaven, Maya Lin

  1. When preached today I said, the Wall is sacred ground. A place of confession. Each bring two thoughts.
    1. I love you/miss you.
    2. I’m sorry I sent you or I’m sorry I didn’t support you.

    Then the healing begins.


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