It is interesting to note how much more jejune Mark’s gospel about the fast and the temptation is when compared with the later Gospels. It is not unreasonable to think that the later gospels are theological embroidering on the older tradition.
For St. Mark the theme of the story is the close link between the preparation in the desert and Jesus’s start of his preaching. He went forth to tell men and women that the kingdom of God’ love was near (only a few feet above a man’s head as Kerry woman once said) only after he prepared himself by focusing his energies on the work that was ahead.
So we who must also tell the world about this kingdom of love use Lent to focus our energies.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
In "Commandments" a film released a couple of years ago the protagonist Seth Warner (Aiden Quinn) feels that God has broken the Covenant in this mornings first reading. He is a contemporary Job.His pregnant wife has drowned, his home has been destroyed in a tornado (which spared all the other houses on the block), he has lost his job, lightning struck him (and his dog).
Since God has broken his promises, Seth feels it’s appropriate for him to strike back by breaking his end of the Covenant. He systematically breaks all the commandments to show God what he thinks of Him. His final violation is of the Commandment thou shalt not kill. His method of breaking that injunction is spectacular: he throws himself off a lighthouse in the midst of a hurricane.
God’s response is equally spectacular. The next morning a crowd of people walking down the beach discover a dead whale. They slit it open and out of the whale’s belly there comes water, fish, and Seth Warner, very much alive.
God has responded to his hatred with the Sign of Jonah. Moral (if one is needed):
God always trumps, one way or another, our hatred with his love.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the
Gospel Jn 2:13-25Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.
While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
many began to believe in his name
when they saw the signs he was doing.
But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all,
and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.
He himself understood it well.
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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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