Monday, February 18, 2008

Homiletics vs. the Gospel

CWN points us to this drooling babble from Greeley:

The story of the Transfiguration of Jesus in today's gospel in one of the stranger stories in any of the Gospels. Evidently Jesus had a powerful "religious experience" at some point in his public life, an experience which had a profound effect on him and on the apostles who were with him. As the story of this experience was related among the early Christians it took on a heavy overlay of theological symbolism. In the context of St. Matthew's Gospel it becomes a turning point in Jesus' life, an experience in which he saw that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer and die while he was there. Since Jesus was human he was fated to die just as all of us are fated to die. In his death, however, there would be something more. Since God was present in Jesus in a special way, God would also go down into the valley of death to show us how great was his love for us, to assure us that He would be with us at the time of our own deaths, and how all of us should face death. The manner of Jesus' death was not fated. He could have declined to go to Jerusalem without sin. Yet he came to see that he had to go there and so he did.

And goes on to make a point that (sadly) I've had to make to my children:

There was a time when Catholics could come to the Eucharist with the understanding that what took place was intended to deepen their Christian faith. Of course, fewer than a third of Catholics regularly attend Sunday Mass these days, yet those that do show up have to coach themselves and their loved ones not to pay attention to the twink in the pulpit, precisely because he's out to take something important away from them.

It's interesting to speculate that one reason only 1/3rd of Catholics bother to show up for Mass may be precisely because of Greeley-isms, no?

Why bother if what you get is this crap? What's the point of dropping dollars into THAT pot?

Only yesterday, I listened as a local priest 'ran off the tracks' in his homily, making comparisons which were egregiously inane while covering his silliness by quoting a prominent theologian who was quite orthodox.


Display Name said...

When he said "twink", which of these definitions did he mean?

Anonymous said...

Dad, cool post.
During the Gospel yesterday I looked over at my 7 year old. (turned 7 Saturday), he looked back at me, and he got my message.
Later yesterday, I quizzed him on the Gospel. He got an A. That particular gospel has a lot of color and descriptiveness that will get noticed by a boy who knows he's supposed to listen.
Jesus face shining like the sun, and his clothes becoming pure white etc.
Today when I arrived home from work, I held my boy down and tickle-tortured him, until he reviewed his Religion class lesson from today. He passed again.
Fortunately for us, we have an Old School priest at our parish, and it's strictly business.
Oh BTW, our church has a side altar (the old Baptismal grotto) that is currently a shrine and honor to our troops. Each mass we raise our right hands to the assembled pics and book of remembrance and honor those serving America proudly.
My oldest nephew is on his second tour in Iraq (USMC-purple heart Vet)24 years old. Our priest is awesome, and a-political.