Sunday, October 15, 2006

Back from several days in Cincinnati

No, my cold didn't turn into Bird Flu, nor did I go on a secret mission for the Holy Father; I simply went to Cincinnati for a seminar over several days. Now I'm back.

No homily for this weekend, sorry.


Victor said...

Of course, that's what someone who went on a secret mission for the Pope (or maybe ... the head of Opus Dei) WOULD say, wouldn't he?

Jack Chick (not) said...

I thought you had to be a Jesuit to be a Catholic spy?

Anonymous said...

Good to find your blog. I started mine on Friday last.

Look forward to hearing more about your travels and thoughts!

God bless

the Joneses said...

Rats. I was looking forward to your take on the rich young ruler passage.

Seamus said...

"Rats. I was looking forward to your take on the rich young ruler passage."

As was I, The Joneses.

Take a look at what another priest I really like, Father John Garrett, has to say ...

Father Garrett's Blog

Father Martin Fox said...

Thanks for the votes of confidence.

Here's a thought about the Gospel passage proclaimed yesterday (it came to me as I was concelebrating Mass, which is a luxury for a priest -- merely to be a concelebrant)...

The priest who had the Mass asked, did this man ever come back? And I thought of how enigmatic this passage was; then I thought of another enigmatic feature of Mark: there is, in chapter 14, in the account of our Lord's arrest in Gethsemane on Holy Thursday, this curious detail (not mentioned in any other Gospel):

"Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked" (14:51-52).

Now, what I noted was two instances of a on-again, off-again nameless follower. Note, the first reference, from yesterday, is simply to a man (not a ruler; not in Mark, and no direct reference to his age -- these come from other Gospels). Here, we have a "young man." If Mark wanted us to connect these two, I'd have expected him to use more parallel descriptions.

But I also note that the "he went away sad" does invite the question, what became of him? Will he return?

And the enigmatic description of a young man with nothing but a linen cloth is odd: why would he be so attired? Well, one reason would be if he gave away everything! However, the "he ran away" doesn't fit very well, since the point of something like this would be: the young man couldn't shake the Lord's words, and finally, he did as the Lord commanded, and gave it all way; and you would think that would lead to a happy ending: he stuck with the Lord. But no.

But again, the question arises, what became of the naked young man?

And here, tradition provides an answer: I believe -- although I can't recall where -- that this young man has been taken to be Mark himself, the author of the Gospel!

It's also noteworthy that Mark is described in Acts as running away from a mission trip with Paul -- which caused dissension between Paul and Barnabas. But later, in one of his letters, Paul speaks well of Mark.

Anyway, none of this proves anything, but it is what I've been thinking about. Perhaps someone else has something to add?

and also with you said...

Well, under the whole rubric of probably-reading-too-much-into-it, the whole thing about being naked and hiding in a Garden rings a lot of bells.

Victor said...

Actually, Padre, the pastor at my church noted that there are also several places in the various Gospels where Jesus advises people to go back to their homes and tend to the business there. His point being that it is not possessions per se that are bad, but being unwilling to hear God's call, in Their name. Jesus called the rich young man to give up his possessions, but he couldn't do it. "Possessions can become false gods, a form of idolatry," Father Donahue said. Or as Tyler Durden puts it in FIGHT CLUB: "The things you own end up owning you" (actually Father Donahue said that almost word for word, too). Or as Paul put it "love of money is the root of all evil." Not "money is the root of all evil."

Mark Anthony said...

I certainly agree that many things, not just wealth, can become a hinderance to following the Lord. The number of potential occasions of sin are nearly as great as the number of people. Still, I think it is clear that Christ had a particular concern about the corrosive nature of money. Wealth is not just one of many temptations, but is of particular concern. After all, he did not say that the lustful or angry or even the proud would have no more chance of entering the Kingdom as would a camel to get through a needle's eye - that was reserved for the rich.

This is NOT bashing the rich or conducting class warfare. It simply is to point out that Jesus had a very ambivilent (to say the least) about those who possessed wealth. It might be an ambivilence born of grave concern, not dislike, but if he saw it as such a grave risk, so too should we.

Despite our discomfort with the implications, I don't think we can escape the conclusion that wealth needs to be a particular concern to any Christian who possesses it, and even more to those who seek it.

Mark Anthony said...

I wish there was a spell check for these posts. Sorry about the spelling and grammatical mistakes in the post above.

Seamus said...

Don't apologize, Mark Anthony. I didn't notice any errors when I read your post. Besides, you are one of the best writers on this blog site. I really enjoy reading what you have to say.

To spell check what you have written here, just "copy" what you have written on this page and then "paste" those words into a blank page that contains a spell check feature (e.g., an outgoing e-mail letter or a word processing program). After you've done the spell check, copy the correct verision and paste it a blank box on this blog.

Hopefully that makes sense. Bottom line: Keep writing!!