John's Gospel obviously displays a much more developed theology then
the three synoptic gospels. However, it was still written early in the so-called
sub-apostolic time. The remarkable fact is not that there is a strong theological slant to
it. Rather it is surprising how relatively early in the history of the early Church a
strong Trinitarian perspective has emerged. The trajectory towards Nicea and the other
early councils has already been set, thought he elaborate explanations have yet to appear.
Associated with God even by the time of St. John are Jesus, and the Father, and
the Paraclete, the advocate, the teacher, the protector, the guarantor of the peace that
Jesus has given. Already we have hints that God is a community of relationships, that
there is so much knowledge and love in God that the knowledge and love explode into
distinct personages. This truth is revealed to test our faith, not to provide theologians
with raw material for their speculations (though there is nothing wrong with that), but to
dazzle us with the brightness of God's glory, the power of God's knowledge and the passion
of God's love. The use of the word "spirit," a translation of the Hebrew word
Shekenah hints at a maternal protection in God because the word is feminine in Hebrew -
and was used in Hebrew folk religion as the name of Yahweh's consort. St. John had no thought of such matters,
yet the gender of the noun might well be part of the meaning "in front of the
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time back in the last century there was a young woman from Ireland who had lost her parents and all
her family. Some kind people wrote to their relatives in America and said we have this fourteen
year old orphan here who is very bright and very pretty and very hard working, We dont
want her to go to the orphanage because she wont have any opportunities there to
develop her talents. Would you eve consider hiring her as a servant girl. Youd have
to pay her way over on the boat, but shell work for nothing until she earns her
fare. You wont go wrong with her. So the Americans who could afford a serving girl,
but never had one and werent altogether sure what they would do with such a person
talked about it and said, well, what have to lose. So they sent the fare for the boat and
the train. And waited for the young woman to come. She sailed from Kinsale.
The last she
saw of Ireland were the twin spires of the church
as they faded into the background. Weeks later, sick and thin and exhausted, she arrived
in the city where her master and mistress lived. They took one look at the poor child and
said, Dear, we dont need a servant, but we have room for another daughter. When they
brought her home the other children hugged her and said, hooray! We have another sister.
With their help she grew up to go to college and university and become very successful and
was a great credit to those who took her into their family. (The Trinity is a family into
which God has invited us)
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Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world."
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."
Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father
Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some
difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
Catholic publishing eminence
Leach asks, and answers, a good question that
the nation’s second largest non-congregation – the church of ex-Catholics
This book has a chapter about Fr. Greeley and is dedicated to him.