It is interesting to note how much more jejune Mark’s gospel about the fast and the temptation is when compared with the later Gospels. It is not unreasonable to think that the later gospels are theological embroidering on the older tradition. For St. Mark the theme of the story is the close link between the preparation in the desert and Jesus start of his preaching.
He went forth to tell men and women that the kingdom of God love was near (only a few feet above a mans head as Kerry woman once said) only after he prepared himself by focusing his energies on the work that was ahead.
So we who must also tell the world about this kingdom of love use Lent to focus our energies.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
In "Commandments" a film released a couple of years ago the protagonist Seth Warner (Aiden Quinn) feels that God has broken the Covenant in this mornings first reading. He is a contemporary Job. His pregnant wife has drowned, his home has been destroyed in a tornado (which spared all the other houses on the block), he has lost his job, lightning struck him (and his dog).
Since God has broken his promises, Seth feels its appropriate for him to strike back by breaking his end of the Covenant. He systematically breaks all the commandments to show God what he thinks of Him. His final violation is of the Commandment thou shalt not kill. His method of breaking that injunction is spectacular: he throws himself off a lighthouse in the midst of a hurricane. Gods response is equally spectacular.
The next morning a crowd of people walking down the beach discover a dead whale. They slit it open and out of the whales belly there comes water, fish, and Seth Warner, very much alive. God has responded to his hatred with the Sign of Jonah. Moral (if one is needed): God always trumps, one way or another, our hatred with his love.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
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Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
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