p {text-indent: 12px;}
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, con
cerning the word of life -- the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it ...." I John 1:1-2 (RSV)

"After his resurrection the disciples saw the living Christ, whom they knew to have died, with the eyes of faith (oculata fide)." Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, III, 55, 2 ad 1, as quoted in D. M. Stanley, Jesus in Gethsemane (New York, Paulist Press 1980).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jesus with the Bent Over Woman - Luke 13

This beautiful stained glass window depiction of Jesus'  healing of the woman on the Sabbath  shows the citation to "St. Luke XIII."

 From St. Tudno's Church,  near Gogarth, Conwy, Great Britain, a 12th. Century Stained Glass Window
This stained glass window depicts  the crippled woman healed by Jesus (Luke 13:10-13).    Credit:  Wikipedia Commons   

Monday, February 17, 2014

Not Many of You Should Become Bloggers

Few should become teachers, says James 3:1.  As a blogger I don't want to run afoul of James on this point.  But I do see a solution here, and that is to apply the golden rule.  “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt 7:12 RSV). It’s frustrating to read  things  written by people who don't know what they are talking about, especially if they take five pages to say what they could say in one.   Applying the golden rule here means that  I can't  be writing that way either.    My application to this in the blogosphere: Avoid subjects which are too deep for me.   That is doable.  Take what you know, and reflect on that.  For someone like me who has been enjoying  the Bible as a layperson  for over 35 years, the texts and scholarly commentaries which I have come to know and love  raise many  fascinating  issues to discuss.   I try to  avoid matters that should be left to the professionals.

With that preface, here is the scary verse for bibliobloggers:  "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness" (James 3:1 RSV).   And also consider this from  John Dyer:  

What few of us realize is that when we press those "Publish," "Post," "Comment," and "Send" buttons, we are making the shift away from merely "believing" truth and stepping into the arena of publishing that belief. In doing so we are effectively assuming a position of leadership and teaching that prior to 2004 was not available to us.
James warned us, "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" (James 3:1, NIV1984). James goes on to graphically portray the incredible power that our tongues have both to praise and to curse especially in the context of teaching. He then says, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life." (James 3:13). Solomon echoes similar wisdom, "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent" (Prov. 17:28).

"Not Many of You Should Presume To Be Bloggers,"  http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/marchweb-only/bloggers.html

Or, like I tell my children,   the less said the better.  

But Ps. 119 becomes a kind of opposing thought to James 3:1.  At verse 33 the psalmist says, "Lead me in the path of your commands, for in it I delight."  A blogger like me is not likely to come up with anything new.  But in the act of republishing  the sacred teachings and one person's response to them, my hope is that I am adding just a little of the light of Christ to a world which has much darkness.     As the psalmist says, the teachings become a "path" and in it we "delight."   Most bloggers are not doing much teaching.  That has already been done by the sacred writers.  We are more like members of a chorus who agree with Ps. 119, giving praise to God for his teaching and asking God to help us follow it. 

Why is reading and reflecting on  God’s word an empowering experience?   Jesus answers that, quoting  from  Deuteronomy 12:32,   Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”  (Matt 4:4 RSV) (quoting Deut. 8:3).

A version of this was posted on this blog June 27, 2012. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fr. Dan Harrington S.J. Scholar and Priest

I am sorry to hear of the death on February 7 of  Fr. Dan Harrington S.J., a great priest and scholar.  His work has been the subject of previous posts on this blog.

Of all that I have read in tribute to Fr. Dan, this from Fr. Jim Martin S.J. is what stands out:

So the first time it was offered at Weston, I signed up for Dan’s “Introduction to the New Testament,” NT 101, along with what seemed like half of Weston’s student body and half the students at Harvard Divinity School. It’s not a stretch to say that his course changed my life. I had never really studied the New Testament before, and neither had some of my classmates, and blessed were we that our first exposure to studying the Gospels was through the eyes of someone who so loved them and knew them, and who so loved Jesus and knew Jesus.

"Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., R.I.P.,"  by James Martin SJ,   America  (February 8, 2014), online at