Archives for September 2009

From the Pastor – September 27, 2009

“At that time, John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us." Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mk 9:38-40) Most of us call ourselves Catholics. But what does it mean to be “Catholic”? You might hear different definitions these days. When I was working in the Vatican, someone who “wasn't Catholic” was someone who didn't follow the Holy See in matters of doctrine. On the other hand, there exists a group called “Catholics for Choice” that purports to be “Catholic” while attacking the moral teachings of the Church and promoting the “right” of woman to kill … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – September 20, 2009

What does it mean to be “the best”? Our American society puts a premium on it. If it's high school, the best student is the “valedictorian.” If it's high school sports, then the best team is the “state champion.” Pro football awards the “Lombardi Trophy” for winning the Super Bowl, and professional baseball gives the “Commissioner's Trophy” for winning the World Series. Locally, Gambit Magazine list an annual “Best of New Orleans” with lists of the best restaurants, bars, banks, schools, theater and just about every local food item you can imagine. But for a Christian, what does it mean to be “the best”? Are you the best if you're a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Altar Society or the Ladies of Charity? Are you the best if you come to daily Mass, pray the Rosary and attend … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – September 13, 2009

This week I read an article about bestselling children's author Philip Pullman, the author of the “Golden Compass.” It seems that Pullman is now styling himself as a theologian, and his new book, due to be published next year, accepts that there was once a holy man called Jesus but asserts that the idea that Jesus was God came from the “fervid imagination” of the apostle St Paul. There's nothing new with this theory, which is heresy called “Arianism,” and dates to the third century. The problem with Pullman's theory is that it denies every aspect of the self-revelation of Jesus contained in the Gospel. Remember some of the stories: “The Jews therefore said to Him, “ ”˜You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, ”˜Truly, truly, I say to you, before … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – September 6, 2009

Ephphatha. It's not a word you hear every day. It's one of the dozen or so Aramaic words that are preserved in the New Testament, along with a number of Aramaic names and places. Most scholars agree that the Jesus primarily spoke Aramaic, with some Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The towns of Nazareth and Capernaum, where Jesus lived, were primarily Aramaic-speaking communities, though Greek and Latin were widely spoken in the eastern Roman Empire. The Gospels are written in Greek, while most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. But it is interesting that the Greek of the Gospels sometimes transliterates exact Aramaic words to preserve the exact words of Jesus. Most of these are familiar to us, words like “Abba” addressing God as Father, “talitha kum” to the little girl Jesus raises … [Read more...]