Thursday, January 20, 2011

Writing again...

After a month and change of consciously staying away from my blog, I have decided to continue it (with a snappy new title to boot!)

My soul is at its most peaceful (a relative term to be sure) when I write regularly. Not only have I not been blogging, I've not been journaling either. As a result, I feel a bit in a fog, not grounded, and I need to be as I hopefully move closer to my profession. I am going to try and keep things a bit more low key as I continue, and stop trying to make every post a literary juggernaut. I've noticed that the more I try to do so, the worse my writing becomes.

So just a word on today's Gospel:
He warned them sternly not to make him known. Mark 3:12

I've never understood why Jesus, today in Mark and elsewhere in the Gospels, seemed to exhort His followers to keep quiet about who He was and what He was about. I'm at a loss and I don't really want to speculate - I can't imagine Jesus humbled or even frightened by what He was doing. Then again, perhaps He was. Maybe His human nature was still trying to come to grips with the enormity of His identity and all its implications (but there I go speculating!)

If anyone who still reads this blog could shoot off a comment with some thoughts, I'd be most appreciative!

Good to be back.

Daily Mass Readings
Hebrews 7:25-8:6
Psalm 40:7-10,17
Mark 3:7-12


  1. Probably wanted to avoid painting a target on his back for the Romans (at least prematurely).
    But what I've always wanted to know is: 1) What did Jesus write on the ground during the Mary Magdelene stoning intervention? and 2) If all his disciples were asleep in the Garden of Gethsemene, how the hell do we know what He said to His Father? Just who exactly was eavesdropping?

  2. You may be on target in your observation, pun intended.

    1)No idea what Jesus was writing...I like to think He was doodling for some reason. The "woman caught in adultery" was never named; early Church tradition stuck Magdalene with that dubious title, perhaps to lessen her importance in the patriarchal times they were living in. The women stuck with Jesus while the Apostles cowered, denied and betrayed Him, the women discovered the empty tomb. Perhaps they needed to be put back in their place, dammit!

    2)An excellent question. A believer (like myself) would claim the writer was inspired by the Holy Spirit, perhaps granted a vision of what was likely Christ's weakest, most human moment. Barring that, you could say it was an imagining of what those moments must have been like; I'll assume you'll go with the latter, Frankie?

    As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Yes, of course you're right--Magdalene was not named. Doodling... why not? Just something to pass the time before laying into those bloodthirsty hypocrites.
    And yes, the women discovered the empty tomb, according to Mark; but isn't he the only author who says so? And don't many scholars posit that this ending was tacked on later? Aren't you glad I read your blog?
    As far as your Gethsemene theory; again, why not? The question first came into my head when I was standing there (yes, I was there many years ago--or where they think "there" was). I imagined these faithless scoundrels scattered on the ground asleep. A bitter cup, indeed.

  4. Good to see you back, Tom. I've been a little quiet myself recently, so it's good to see a fellow Franciscan blogger back on the trail!

  5. I've been away from the blogosphere for awhile for several reasons, one being (yes, really) that you'd said you were taking a break, and since yours is my favorite blog...

    I dropped back in today, so am catching up on entries I missed.

    If you check, I think you'll find that Jesus as a "secret Messiah" is pretty much confined to Mark's Gospel. Why Mark emphasized it, I don't know. It might have to do with the time not being right, but that kind of begs the question.

    If you want an observer for Jesus' prayer in the garden, Mark might fit in, since he was an onlooker at the arrest until someone grabbed his sheet and he ran away naked.

    But we do need to keep in mind that the Gospels were written to make a point (the point being somewhat different for each author), not necessarily to give a historically accurate account. If we try to take their history too literally, we start running into problems such as John placing the crucifixion on a different day than the other three did. He was making a point - that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Passover sacrifice - and that point was more important than our concept of factual accuracy. The original hearers of the Gospels would have understood that better than we do today.

  6. Well thank you, tgshaw! Extremely flattering. I always wrote under the impression that no one was really reading!!!

    I was once taught that we oughtn't to look at the Gospel message as history, per se...that a more accurate comparison is each Gospel as a different "portrait" of Christ.

    I've written in another more recent entry of the miracle we can discern the Gospel message at all, with what has essentially been a 2,000+ year game of "Telephone"!

    And again, thank you for the compliment. Really, you made my day!