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"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).

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Joanne McDonald - Egregious Twaddle

I have added Joanne McDonald's  great blog titled Egregious Twaddle to my blog and site list. 

Ms. McDonald says this about religious education:

What if our catechetical conventions and publishers and media producers and speakers’ bureaus focused exclusively on adult faith formation? Heads would explode, for sure. We’d experience a disturbance in the Force—as though the whole catechetical-industrial complex had cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. (If this takes off, they can blame me for 40 Years of Good Catechesis. Mea culpa in advance.) But a Gibbs-slap to the back of the head might be just what we need. It actually supports the New Evangelization, because that’s what we would be doing—evangelizing. Catechesis follows evangelization, and it has just never worked to catechize children and expect them to evangelize their parents.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Young Man - Gospel of Mark

In an excellent 2010 article published in HTS  TeleogieseStudies/Theological Studies  Pieter G.R. de Villiers makes the case that the "young man" who appears in Mark 14 and Mark 16 is mysteriously the same person.   See  "The Powerful Transformation of the Young man in Mark 14:51-52 and 16:5,"    HTS TeologieseStudies/Theological Studies 66(1), Art. #893, 7 pages, DOI: 10.4102/hts.v66i1.893 (November 5, 2010), online at http://www.hts.org.za/index.php/HTS/article/view/893/1130 
Mark chapter 14 ends with an anonymous "young man" who  "was following Jesus" and who flees the arrest scene as he too is about to be taken by those who came for Jesus.  The young man wears nothing but a linen garment which he leaves behind while fleeing from the scene. He flees naked, which is his symbol of shame and failure.
As the author of the HTS article states, "There is, however, one other reference in Mark’s Gospel, equally enigmatic, to a similar character. The climactic description of the women’s discovery of the empty tomb also refers to a young man. In Mark 16, the women go to Jesus’ tomb early on the sabbath after his death, worrying about how they will get to the body of Jesus to anoint it. They discover that the stone has been rolled away and then find a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, who tells them about the resurrection of Jesus."
The author builds the case for connecting these two appearances of a  "young man," based on dress, the linen cloth in chapter 14 and the white robe in chapter 16, based on  the anonymity of both of them, and on other similarities of content.  Also, the place of each reference is important.   The two references open and close the great story of the trial, death and resurrection of Jesus.
What does the author of the Gospel seek to teach through the two appearances of the young man?  The HTS article states: 
It is, for example, clear that the passion and resurrection of Jesus brings about a transformation in re-creation. Waaijman (2006:43"44) observes that humanity, having made the transition from non-being into being (transformation in creation), can orientate itself to good or to evil. Where evil prevails, deformity follows. This happens also with the young man in the garden. Mark makes a point of illustrating the shamefulness of his actions as he allows others to destroy his relationship with Christ and as he betrays Jesus. His nakedness represents the way in which his lack of faithfulness brings about his deformation. He follows the disciples in their shameful and deformed betrayal of Jesus. The death and resurrection of Jesus, however, brings about his transformation in re-creation from a failed witness and his state of shame into a privileged witness of the resurrection.  He himself has no part in his re-creation. His transformation is a divine gift to him which grants him a totally new condition and status.