Friday, July 25, 2014


We are in a new chapter of Dei Verbum called “The New Testament”.  What follows are some of my thoughts and then a look at paragraph 17.
Some events last forever.  Mount Sinai has been remembered and celebrated for millennia but who, other than historians and those who live in Texas, really remembers and celebrates the Alamo?  It is the same thing with writing.  The stories of Shakespeare are still in our cultural memory but how many plays, books, and poems that were once celebrated and predicted to be icons of our culture were never to be heard of again?
Shakespearean lines permeate our sub consciousness.  Some lines invoke certain plays everyone knows.  “To be or not be?  That is the question.”  So many of his phrases are so much a part of our everyday language we do not even know we owe Shakespeare for them:


Wild goose chase

Too much of a good thing

Mum’s the word


(Just to name a few)


It is much the same with Scripture.  Certain lines evoke scenes from the life of Christ.  “Truth?  What is truth?”  And our language is so permeated with Biblical references that even those who don’t know Christ use them.  For example:
A broken heart
A drop in the bucket
A sign of the times
A thorn in the side
The New Testament is a seminal work.  (I bet God is glad I approve.)   It changed everything.  It took culture in an entirely new direction.  Shakespeare named our culture well, Scripture formed it.  For those “with ears to hear” it is the revelation of things once hidden.  It is unveiling of who God is though his life, death, and resurrection, His ascension and sending of His Holy Spirit to complete His work of drawing all people together into unity and pointing them toward their heavenly Father. 
This was entirely novel.  Things were revealed that were never known before.  We have the opportunity to know truths that were not able to be known by those before this time nor by those whose hearts are not open to it.  “The writings of the New Testament stand as a perpetual and divine witness to these realities.”


Chris P. said...

Sorry, this is long.

So... I think this was a blog post, but it may have been a homily. Or maybe it was Father L's homily. Or Deacon T's. I forget.

Regardless, at some point in the not too distant past, someone who has vestments in their wardrobe mentioned that one of the very best things about being Catholic is that if God uses his time machine (since to him time is just a present so we can make sense of things) - and plops us back in.. say 460 or 1066 or 1492, and we walk into a Catholic Church, we'll find that we believe the same things, and whereas we may trim up the edges or change the words, we believe the same things.

Which leads me to this quote....

"And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need."

Apology of St. Justin Martyr (b.100 d.165), Chapter 66

HOW COOL IS THAT!? Any practicing Catholic (and most fallen away Catholics) could have written that yesterday! It's almost 2000 years old! There's equally applicable things about the sacraments and Eucharist, but they don't read as easily.

Chris P. said...

And, also - I'm sorry I couldn't find the real post that comment should go under.

Fr. V said...