2nd of Easter – Thomas and Safe Environments (4)

Rather than ‘retaining’ the sins of the disciples, especially Thomas, Jesus granted them eschatological peace, breathed the Holy Spirit upon them, sent them as the Father had sent Jesus, and gave them the mission of rebuilding and restoring all. So, Thomas shows up.  Jesus granted peace and, in effect, welcomed Thomas’ inquiry.  For what Thomas […]

2nd of Easter – Thomas and Safe Environments (3)

The way Jesus treated the disciples, including Thomas tells us something about how he treats us (in the midst of fears) and what “whose sins you retain are retained” means. Popular interpretation of this passage carries the image of the priest-confessor deciding the adequacy of a) confession of sins in kind and number and b) the person’s […]

2nd of Easter – Thomas & Safe Environments (2)

   The doors were locked for “fear of the Jewish officials.”  The inner room was fraught with (let’s guess) danger, terror, self-loathing, self-recrimination, differing senses of no exit, no future.  Who would have blamed whom?  Who would have attacked the others?  Tempers flare?  Tears of remorse?  Breakdown of fellowship?  Insecurity?  Self-defense rules? Whatever conjectures we […]

2nd of Easter – Thomas & Safe Environments (1)

At Gesu this weekend, we remembered “Safe Environment Week” a week earlier than the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. (Parish schedules and all that.) And on this Sunday we contemplate Thomas, often called the Doubter. This week I wish to reflect on some ways they fit together. And the first is this:  What we all have in common with […]

Easter Week – Remembering Triduum backwards 4

Why did Jesus die on the cross?  Why was he put to death?  Why do we humans, you and I,  put others on the cross? Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) pictured Jesus immersed in and among wounded human beings.  Like us, though we may look better in the mirror.  John’s Passion Narrative, the ending of “The Book […]

Easter Week – Remembering Triduum backwards 3

Easter Vigil:          Our baptismal immersion. Brothers and sisters:  Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we […]

Easter Week – Remembering Triduum backwards 2…

Easter Vigil:          Light in the darkness!  “This is the night the Light broke the chains of death! Oh, Holy Night! Oh, Night of Glory!” The Easter Vigil begins after sundown, at night.  This is the first symbol of the Vigil.  People gather as the sun sets.  Final preparations in the waning […]

Easter Week – Remembering Triduum backwards… 1

Easter Sunday:          In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius had the retreatant repeat this or that contemplation in order to deepen the experience of knowing, loving, and serving Jesus Christ.  In a similar way, those baptized, confirmed, and who shared in the Eucharist for the first time at the Easter Vigil now seek to […]

Good Friday – The Myth of Redemptive Violence, an exploration…

I just read about this in a blog this morning: Jesus died to appease the wrath of God.   It humiliates, shames, and inflicts suffering on its victims.  I certainly have heard of that before.  But the reference to it as the “Myth of Redemptive Violence” is new.  It means to believe that violence will solve […]

Holy Thursday

First, John connects the Foot Washing scene (ch. 13) with Jesus’ death on the cross through the noun, telos – Knowing his hour had come… “He loved them to the end, to the finish, to the fullness.” Then, before Jesus died, John wrote: John 19:28 (NRSV) — 28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was […]


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