December 9, 2009
Welcome to “For Catholic Grownups”!
This blog is an attempt to provide interesting and worthwhile Catholic Adult Education materials, either texts or podcasts I have produced myself, or links to other good resources.
I am doing this for several reasons. One is to act as a means of distributing to interested people recordings I have already made. Another is to advocate for Adult Catechesis within the Catholic Community, which I believe is sorely neglected in most parishes, despite the priority it is given in official Catholic documents on Catechesis.
May 16, 2014
Recorded May 1st 2014
Chapter 24 has the tone of Apocalyptic literature, as Jesus describes the calamities and tribulations to come. These teachings always stand as a warning about speculation of when the End Times of the Last Judgement will come, but include a warning to be ready when they do. This includes the Parable of the Unfaithful Servant (24:45-51), the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (25:1-13, pictured above and below, from the cathedral at Magdeburg in Germany), and the Parable of the Talents (25:14-30).
Perhaps best known of all these teachings is another parable of judgement, the Separation of the Sheep and the Goats (25:31-46), which places compassion for the poor at the center of divine judgement.
Then follows the betrayal, arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, which is truly “the greatest story ever told”. His resurrection is reported briefly, and his disciples were “fearful yet overjoyed”.
Matthew’s Gospel ends with the so-called Great Commission (28:19-20),
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Thus the Gospel ends as it begun, with the declaration that Jesus is “Emmanuel” – “God-is-with-us”.
May 16, 2014
Recorded April 24th
These chapters begin with a sequence of well-known parables, such as the Lost Sheep (18:10-14) and the Unforgiving Servant (18:21-35), which show the necessity of mercy and forgiveness. By chapter 21 Jesus’ arrest is approaching and this is reflected in several parables about rejection, such as the Parable of the Tenants (21:33-43) and the Wedding Feast 922;1-14). This sequence ends with Jesus lament over Jerusalem, as he is about to be rejected (23:37-39).
May 14, 2014
Recorded April 10th 2014
Matthew 11-17 includes his third major discourse, the Parables Discourse. These include such well-known stories as the Parable of the Sower (13;1-9), the Weeds among the Wheat (13:24-30), the Mustard Seed (13:31-32).
A notable event is Peter’s Confession of Jesus, which tells us who Jesus is (“the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”) and in which Peter is appointed to be “The Rock” and the foundation of the Church. Immediate afterwards comes a prediction of the Passion, an implication of what it really means to be the Messiah.
May 14, 2014
Recorded April 3rd 2014
These three chapters of Matthew have several intertwining themes. They include many healing stories. The healings are indicators of the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven proclaimed by Jesus, and are also testaments to his power and identity.
There is a repeated call to discipleship and descriptions of a disciple: a disciples is to do what Jesus does, and can expect persecution, as he also suffered.
April 24, 2014
Recorded April 2nd 2014
These four books which conclude our study have something in common: they are all books which in some sense are about women (see highlighted link for further discussion):
- Lamentations – Jerusalem after its destruction is personified as a woman, no longer glorious but now shamed.
- Ruth – A Moabite women who after she is widowed returns to Israel with her mother-in-law Naomi, with the famous words, Your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God.” She became the grandmother of King David.
- Esther – A Jewish woman who becomes the wife of Xerxes, the Persian Emperor, and by her faithfulness is able to save the Jewish people from destruction.
- Song of Songs – a sequence of love songs variously interpreted as an allegory of the love between God and Israel, Christ and the Church, or God and the soul.
April 24, 2014
Recorded March 26th 2014
Job is a challenging book, and one of my favorites in the Bible. Job is a pious and good man, but everything in his life goes wrong. His friends challenge him that he has sinned, and refuses to admit it, which is why he is suffering. He argues with them, and wants to confront God with his plight. In the end God does answer, but not as Job expects.
For more on Job see earlier posts in the Catholic Biblical School series.
Daniel and Maccabees are examples of Apocalyptic literature, an unusual style of writing full of dramatic, symbolic language, and not to be taken literally! See further recent recordings on:
April 24, 2014
Recorded March 20th 2014
Today we studied the whole of the Sermon on the Mount, including the Beatitudes, the love of enemies, the Lord’s Prayer and the Golden Rule. It is easy to see why these chapters are loved very much by many Christians, as Jesus sets forth his most characteristic teaching.
Jesus is portrayed as a ‘New Moses’ teaching and giving a ‘New Law’ from a mountaintop, and boldly stating, “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors … but I say to you.” So the way Jesus teaches continues the debate which takes place on every page of the New Testament, asking “Who is Jesus?” and giving the answer that he is the equal of God in his authority, identity and significance.