Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
While serving an internship year as a deacon, I ran across an item in the paper about ethnically appropriate Jesus dolls. There was Asian Jesus, White Jesus, Black Jesus, and Hispanic Jesus. I almost choked on my oatmeal. I read the article to the pastor who just shock his head and added, "How about Jewish Jesus?" They didn't have one of those.
One of the greatest temptations of our age, and I suspect of all ages, is to tailor Jesus and the Faith to fit our preconceptions; Cafeteria Jesus as it were. This spills over into the depictions of Our Lord in art. Around the year 2000, the Distorter had a contest for a Jesus for the New Millenium. The winner would best have titled Ambiguous Jesus; ambiguous both in race and sex. The so-called Christian Identity movement picks up on the Nazi non-sense that Jesus was part of an Aryan colony around Galilee that resisted the evil Jews. They liked the blonde haired blue eyed Jesus of many of last century's holy cards. Then there is the Black Jesus behind the altar of St. Sabina in Chicago. The list could go on and on. The fundamental reality of Jesus is that He was truly man and His human nature was genetically Jewish. And this is how he should be depicted in art. Mind you, this leaves a lot of room for variation. However, I doubt He looked Swedish, Sub-Saharan African, or Chinese.
While we are on the topic, let's remember that Jesus was an historic person. 'Modern Dress' (or as I like to call them Leisure Suit) Jesus' are not at all appropriate. Don't get me started with the portrayals of Our Lord in "Godspell" or "Superstar". Jesus is God in human flesh. He is not a figure for entertainment, social critique, or even satire, which is my favorite form of humor. (The "South Park" portrayal makes me especially nervous.) Our Lord should always be treated with the utmost respect and reverence and in a manner as close to the Gospel accounts, informed by good history, as possible.
What did Jesus look like? No one really knows, though, being a believer in the Shroud of Turin, I suspect that He looked like that. Moreover, traditional Byzantine iconography depicts Him in a very similar fashion.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Want to come with me to visit the Holyland? I will be leading a pilgrimage there on February 7-18 of 2011. For a link to the pilgrimage flyer, click here. This promises to be very good. The travel agency and guide have done many pilgrimages for the Western USA Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and I have had nothing but rave reviews of them.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
While we are one the subject of penance, let me point out that the penance is supposed to be a just one. Often one hears that Father So and So gives easy penances or Father Erik is a mean S. O. B.. But really the penance should be proportionate to the gravity of the sins and appropriate to their nature. Theft is east--make restitution in a way that won't reveal your identity. For swearing, the Divine Praises are good. One that I give out a lot for failure to forgive is praying for the object of your grudge. And yes, mortal sins get a heavier penance. The point is that the priest is (or ought) not trying to be mean or nice, but simply just. Also, please remember that if you honestly don't think you can do the penance, you have the right to ask for another one.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
On Sunday, April 11, while preaching a sermon on the power of fear, I was referring to the fear that paralyzed the apostles, locking them in a room, leaving only John and the women at the foot of the cross. I stated that is why I believe women ought to be able to be ordained, as well as priests ought to be able to get married.
While this is my personal opinion, I do respect and follow the Catholic Church teachings and I am sorry I failed to do this.
If this isn't, "obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same," then what is? This can hardly be characterized as respecting or following the teachings of the faith. An apology is not what is called for here. A recantation of heresy is required.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Thursday, April 08, 2010
(P. S. The Nazis had better artists.)