Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ash Wednesday 2017

On this day we wear the mark of the ashen cross to remind ourselves that stardust is our origin and our destination. We have a responsibility for right living with each other and our Mother Earth. 
We carry the cross of suffering and pain inflicted by injustice and exploitation. We wear this mark to remember the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth so that all may have life and have it to the full.

Repent is not a popular word and rarely makes it into the friendly game of Scrabble. Yet it is a life giving choice we make if we are to be agents of change and rewrite grace into history

Ash Wednesday calls us to repent of all that is not life giving at the personal and social in our choices. Repentance also demands a change of heart and practice if it is going to be effective.

This is the time to fast from inhumanity and cruelty. This is the time to put our prayer into action and our alms giving into justice making.

Let us be glad for the season of Lent

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

We Hang Our Heads In Shame

"These numbers are shocking. They are tragic and they are indefensible," chief executive of the Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council Francis Sullivan said in a statement to the Commission.
"This data, along with all we have heard over the past four years, can only be interpreted for what it is: a massive failure on the part of the Catholic Church in Australia to protect children from abusers."
This image of statistices released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse should be hung in every Catholic Church between the photos of the local Archbishop and the Pope.
Celibacy isn't the problem in Catholicism. Mandatory celibacy is a problem but the issue that lies underneath this long and tragic history is the cult of clericalism.
Perhaps those popular photos of local and global leader need to be taken down as an act of repentance and recognition of the failure of the institution to deliver on its core business: being a sign and sacrament of the reign of God.

Friday, February 03, 2017

How To Dress Like A Biblical Scholar

John Dominic Crossan sits alongside other biblical scholars on my shelf of reference texts. Crossan is not usually quoted in your average parish homily and even less quoted in Vatican Documents. The Google search engine will provide links to plenty of background reading and good source material If you are looking for a more entertaining way of cyberchilling try searching John Dominic Crossan heretic.You will find a good selection of his engaging presentations on Youtube: 

A few quotable quotes to whet your appetite: 

"I cannot imagine a more miraculous life than nonviolent resistance to violence," Crossan says. "I cannot imagine a bigger miracle than a man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square."

"There's good news and bad news from the historical Jesus. The good news: God says Caesar sucks. The bad news: God says Caesar is us."
"Crucifixion meant that imperial power had won," Crossan says. "Resurrection meant that divine justice had won. God is on the side of the crucified one. Rome's' values are a dead issue to me."
"Christianity both admits and subverts the historical Jesus," Crossan says.
"A lot of people in the first century thought Jesus was saying something so important that they were willing to die for it. If people finish with my books and now see why Pilate executed him and why people died for him, then I've done my job."

John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus

In the current political climate of a new POTUS  we need theologians like Crossan to remind us of the  counter culture values of Christianity. 

Crossan also challenges  the neglected field of the dress code of Biblical Scholars. Given the recent directive about #dresslikewomen from the office of POTUS, I am impressed that our senior Biblical mentors  is comfortable stepping out from hiust as 
This is the most recent public image of JDC showing a hermeneutic of continuity where biblical scholarship can be comfortable in a doctoral hat as well as a pair of speedos.

The challenge now is to build an album of scholars in their swim wear.!!!