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 […]

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 […]

1st SUN LENT – A Time of Testing…

The Greek, peirazo, can be translated “to tempt” or “to test.”  There are lots of reasons to render it “to test.”  In which category would you put Jesus’ temptation/testing? Matthew 4:1        Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil.  God tested Abraham.   Genesis 22:1f        After these […]

Roc Homily (d) – 3rd SUN Ord Time (A) 2017

I concluded my homily last Sunday with this: “I now fully support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. I believe that all in this country should receive the same insurance as Senators and members of the House of Representatives.  So, take away the first and bring on the second.” Here is the audio version […]

Roc Homily (c) – “Silence” and the Call of the Disciples…

     Last night, I viewed the movie, “Silence.” It touched me in many ways and led me to reflect on the Call of the Disciples in last Sunday’s gospel.  First, a bit of exegesis on the call. Matthew 4:15f “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee […]

Roc Homily (e) – 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time (A) 2017

Here’s my first attempt at dealing with the meaning of “atonement.” The Oxford-English Dictionary defines “atone” as “making reparation for a wrong or injury.”  However, the medieval Latin word, adunamentum, means “unity” from an obsolete verb meaning “to unite.”  So, what sounded as a hip dealing with this concept in the 1970’s as “at-one-ment” is actually true […]

Roc Homily (d) – 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time (A) 2017

A few folks asked, “What’s all this about paying a debt?”  Here’s a shot at it before launching into John Calvin… Theologians throughout the ages have grappled with “Why did this happen?  Why did Jesus die?  What does it mean he died for our sins?”  This piece from Isaiah, read on Good Friday, seems to […]

Roc Homily (c) 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time (A) 2017

 St. Thomas Aquinas on Atonement… St. Thomas Aquinas considers the atonement in the Summa Theologiae into what is now the standard Catholic understanding of atonement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_theory_of_atonement For Aquinas, the main obstacle to human salvation lies in sinful human nature, which damns human beings unless it is repaired or restored by the atonement. In his section on […]

Roc Homily (2) – 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time (A) 2017

 1. ATONEMENT: St. Anselm and his theory of atonement  Thanks to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_theory_of_atonement St. Anselm of Canterbury first articulated the satisfaction view in his Cur Deus Homo? as a modification to the ransom theory that was postulated at the time. The then-current ransom theory of atonement held that Jesus’ death paid a ransom to Satan, allowing God to rescue those under Satan’s bondage. […]


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