April 8, 2024

Of Whether the Body of Christ Hath a Butt As discussed before, during Year B, the Gospel of John is slightly more often selected for Sunday reading due to Mark’s brevity. Our topical character for the Easter II Gospel reading is St. Thomas—no, not the Cherubic Doctor1; I am sorry, Thomists, but he’s not in the Bible. I’m talking about the apostle, the one who later went to India, according to a persistent and by no means incredible legend.2 A... Read more

April 1, 2024

This Easter, I Gave You My Post This picks up from the post I published on and for the Easter Vigil; notes a-f can be found there. To keep anyone from having to tab back and forth, I’ve copied the Gospel passage (in both versions) into this post. (Verse 8, since it wasn’t in the actual reading for the Vigil, is in grey.) Mark 16.1-7 +8, RSV-CE And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene,a and Mary the mother of... Read more

March 30, 2024

A Truncation Our Gospel for the Vigil tonight is to be Mark 16.1-7, which describes some of the women who followed Jesus coming to the tomb on the day after the sabbath, intending to finish embalming the body. However, when they arrived, the tomb was open and Jesus was not in it. What was there was an angel, who told them Jesus was alive, and to go and tell the other disciples to return to the Galilee and meet him... Read more

March 26, 2024

Apologia Pro Blog Post Sua As trying to annotate the long Gospel passage for Palm Sunday is far too intimidating for me, I regard myself as being now caught up to the Lectionary. Hooray! In previous years, I’ve offered meditations for each of the days of Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday inclusive. I’m busier than usual this year, and haven’t made the time to do that. Instead, I’ve decided to take the Holy Week narrative in Mark... Read more

March 24, 2024

“Lullay, Thou Little Tiny Child” Ag Críost an síol, ag Críost an fómhar, in iothlainn Dé go dtugtar sinn. Ag Críost an mhuir, ag Críost an t-iasc, i líonta Dé go gcastar sinn. Ó fhás go h-aois, is ó aois go bás, do dhá láimh, a Chríost, anall tharainn. Ó bhás go críoch, ni críoch ach athfhás, i bParthas na ngrás go rabhaimid. Christ’s is the seed, the harvest Christ’s; into God’s barn may we be brought. Christ’s is the... Read more

March 19, 2024

I’m Sorry, Christ the What? The snake is not always an evil creature in Scripture. True, it is associated—as a symbol; snakes are God’s creatures, they are not literally demoniac—with what most Christians believe was an appearance of Satan in Genesis. At the other end of the Bible, Revelation speaks of Satan as “a great red dragon”: dragons were traditionally thought of as something like snakes to the nth degree. The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed With the... Read more

March 16, 2024

John? Mark? John Mark? Mark is by far the shortest of the canonical Gospels, and so, to suit the fifty-odd Sundays of the lectionary, it requires a bit of in-fill accordingly. The third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent all feature readings from John in Year B (respectively: 2.13-25, the cleansing of the Temple; 3.14-21, part of Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus*; and 12.20-33, Jesus’ prediction of his imminent Crucifixion during Holy Week)—our return to Mark will come with Palm Sunday,... Read more

March 13, 2024

Quadragesima: Linguistic Tidbits Quadragesima, the Latin for “fortieth,” is where many other languages get their words for the season we call “Lent,” such as the Spanish Cuaresma or the French Carême; the Greek Sarakosti [Σαρακοστή] (though coming of course from Greek rather than Latin roots) has the same meaning. Several cultures borrowed and adapted the Latin name: the Irish word is Carghas, Croatian calls it Korizma, and Swahili calls it Kwaresima. The English term is one of a handful of... Read more

March 10, 2024

Lent and the Transfiguration As the first Sunday of Lent is devoted to the temptation in the wilderness, so the second traditionally includes an account of the Transfiguration—Matthew in Year A, Mark in Year B (e.g. 2024), and Luke in Year C. Other than Jesus forbidding the “inner circle” to discuss what had happened until after the Resurrection, the connection between Lent and the Transfiguration may seem less than obvious. Let’s situate the event in its wider context. In the... Read more

March 4, 2024

A Law in Review To put the Gospel from Shrove Sunday (11 Feb. this year) in context, I’m opening with a discussion of Biblical leprosy. If, for one reason or another, you prefer to pass over that juicy pustule, skip down to the passage here. A portion of the Temple Scroll, the longest of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This passage (which was the Gospel for the last Sunday before Lent this year; you may have gathered I’m a bit behind!)... Read more

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