I recently received several emails from friends containing the same wire-service story about sayings people falsely attribute to Scripture. The biblical expert whose research prompted the story debunked everything from "Spare the rod, spoil the child!" to "A stitch in time saves nine!" But when... more
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There's a good reason the "crux gemmata" (jeweled cross) quickly became the symbol for early Christian communities. This one object perfectly mirrored their experience of dying and rising with Jesus. The outline of the cross conveyed suffering and death; the jewels showed the resurrection and... more
When teaching today's gospel passage I often mention that a real devotee of classical music is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of the Lone Ranger. In a parallel way, a real student of Scripture is someone who can listen to Matthew 16:18 - "You are Rock, and upon... more
Those who believe the historical Jesus tried to create a new religion can't possibly understand today's three readings. Scholars, like the late Raymond Brown, have told us for a long time that Jesus had no intention of founding a church as we know it. He simply thought of himself as a reformer... more
Before the Vatican II reform of the lectionary in 1970, we Catholics only heard readings from the Hebrew Scriptures during the weekdays of Lent. Our Sunday liturgies were Hebrew Scripture-free-zones.
It's a shame we've only heard today's first reading every third year for the past... more