Scripture notes – 23rd Sunday of the year (C) – 8th September 2019

There is a sombre tone in today’s readings, reflecting on the shortness of life and the difficulty of planning in uncertain times. The Gospel has a striking challenge to what priorities we have in our lives, and how we live by them. Continue reading Scripture notes – 23rd Sunday of the year (C) – 8th September 2019

Scripture notes – 22nd Sunday of the year (C) – 1st September 2019

There is, the Bible tells us, no way to describe literally what heaven is actually like, but several poetic images are traditional. One is a ‘court’ with God enthroned like a king, and angels and people, gathered around delighted to be part. Another is a great feast or a party which may include dancing. We have examples of both in the readings today. Continue reading Scripture notes – 22nd Sunday of the year (C) – 1st September 2019

Introducing the Gospel of Luke

Luke is the ‘most’ gospel in several ways. It is the longest of the four. It is also the only Gospel which has a ‘sequel’, as Luke also wrote The Acts of the Apostles telling of the early work of the Church. This means that Luke is the author of more than one-fourth of the New Testament. His writing is of the highest literary quality in the New Testament, employing a careful use of the Greek language and adapting it to the various styles that suit each section. (This is hard to pick up in translations so scholar’s notes help.) Continue reading Introducing the Gospel of Luke

A Brief Introduction to the Gospel of Mark

In the three-year cycle of Gospels read at Mass, Year B is Mark, the shortest of the four gospels. After reading the introductions in the dozen commentaries at hand with all their differences, I did not feel like writing even a ‘brief ‘one. Yet some background is useful for those who come to the book fresh, or have forgotten details from the last Year B. What Mark seems to call for is – just read Mark. The whole Gospel can be gone through in one sitting, and that is something I recommend doing sometime during this liturgical year. Get your sense of what Mark set out to do, what picture he paints of Jesus. Continue reading A Brief Introduction to the Gospel of Mark