They church year ends today just as it begins next week with apocalyptic scenes. Apocalypse became a literary form in the era between the two temples because for some reason prophecy ran dry. The people and their writers had been beaten too often in wars to think that they would ever have a powerful kingdom of their own again. They would be dominated by Greece and Rome.
So they turned to visions of new heavens and new earths, the recreation of the world and used images which harkened back to the original creation stories.
This Sundayís apocalypse, perhaps the most dramatic of all, however, serves as a literary form to drive home the essence of Jesusís message: there is no one that we can exclude from out loving care because he loves everyone and so must we. Tough stuff.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time a new boy moved into the parish and entered the school as a seventh grader. He was a quiet, studious little kid who didnít say much and seemed not to do much either. He did his homework and answered questions in class but never volunteered anything. The girls said he was stuck- up because thatís what they said about everyone they couldnít figure out.
The boys said he was a sissy. When there were fights in the school yard he simply stepped out of the way. When everyone made fun of him he remained silent. The whole class agreed that he was a creep. When he went out for the basketball team they just laughed at him so he didnít come back to practice.
Then when he went to high school, the coach made him captain of the freshmen team which went undefeated. He was still quiet and diffident. His grammar school classmates couldnít figure it out.
1 The Lord
is my shepherd, I shall not want;
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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.
In Memory of Father Andrew M. Greeley
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