Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jesus' Wife and Seal Team

The controversy over whether Jesus had a wife or not is hitting main stream prime time with recent credible scholarship regarding a piece of papyrus. See, James Martin, S.J.'s op ed in the NYTimes Wednesday or Thursday (I got a facebook preview-google it or click HERE).

     No, the Seal teams of various friaries, fraternities and the Jesuits should not now consider marriage (they likely already did at some point and rejected it for themselves.) But they should re-examine why they are celibate in light of the fact that Jesus was likely married. Single minded single hearted focus on serving a mission of someone who redeemed humanity is worth all your time and attention.  Also you might not be great at multitasking.

In this controversy I disagree with James Martin, SJ on rational grounds.  Even if Jesus were married there are great reasons to be celibate and chaste, but not because Jesus was.

   All my reasons have been mysteriously deleted from Facebook as if a spam robot were programmed to delete "Mary Magdalene"  James Martin's arguments why Jesus couldn't have been married all fall when you introduce a few pertinent facts. For example he says there are lists of all Jesus' relatives various places showing up, people reciting them (your mother, brothers, etc... are here) and his wife isn't mentioned. That is because she probably already was there with him. James Martin wonders why the gospel writers never gave her mention or why someone called the wife of Jesus was not at the foot of the cross with his mother. That argument strikes me as beyond blind because if Mary Magdalene was
there at the cross and was his wife, no one would want her to be identified as his wife or she would be next. She would be hunted down and hung too- just like the wife of Peter was crucified upside down next to him. The irrational crowd feeding frenzy to see him strung up would have bled over into any immediate family like a wife if she were known to too many as his wife.  Peter was so afraid of the crowd he denied even knowing Jesus.  Don't you think the apostles would have feared for the life of Jesus' wife and not wanted to spread that around? Its likely if Jesus told his apostles about a marriage with Mary Magdalene he would have sworn them to secrecy to protect her.

    The issue is more than academic. The issue affects the way that the church views womankind --in ways too profound to recite. And it should cause a profound self-examination at the highest levels regarding persecutions of women. You know who you are.

  Jewish law forbade anybody other than a relative to touch a dead body and Mary Magdalene was given the task of anointing Jesus' body with burial oils. It was absolutely prohibited for anyone to touch a dead body and only a relative could touch one in a burial context. Jesus' mother was still alive. She probably was not in a mood - and gave the task to her daughter in law to go to the tomb to anoint the body.

     Secondly it was Jewish law and tradition that Rabbis had to be married. A thirty year old profound spiritual teacher wouldn't be called Rabbi unless he was qualified as one and Jesus is often referred to as Rabbi. Jewish males as a rule married and it was a condition of Rabbinical priesthood. Priests of the Cohenic line had to marry virgins but Levitical priests could marry divorced, widowed or non virgin women. In the new testament a Bishop had to be the husband of one wife with his household in order. It is a rule inspired by Jewish priesthood law. No polygamy. No mistresses for the priesthood. One wife. A real one.

     Mary Magdalene is at the foot of the cross, at the tomb (she never left him even in death), when she recognizes him in the garden after the resurrection she runs to hug him and he has to say -don't touch me now, I have not yet ascended (in his resurrected body.)- suggesting that he expected that she would want to run and hug him as soon as she recognized him. She doesn't call him Rabbi then- it is reported she calls him "Lord"- which would be an appropriate greeting for a wife to call her husband during the day.

  James Martin at the end of his op ed asks the rhetorical question of the apostles -why didn't you guys tell us about his wife. The answer seems obvious to me. A. They did and the obvious bits were edited out and B. If it were too obvious, Mary Magdalene and all her progeny would be deader than Marie Antoinette.

  No, James Martin, you don't have to find someone to marry. But your reasons for being celibate as a 'discipline' or contractual  condition of employment should not prevent you from looking for love in all the right places.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Presumed Guilty

The largest  legal/judicial scandal in French history- that is how it is hailed. A true story of someone falsely accused of raping a child- see what happened in France on the word of a kid and his demented mother. It is subtitled in English. Anyone and everyone who cares about righting miscarriages of Justice should see this movie. Thank you to the French Embassy for showing it this evening.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cure of Ars

There is a magnificent church in Merrick, Long Island called the Cure of Ars, where a piece of the incorrupt heart of the Cure of Ars is housed in this reliquary. Famous for converting an entire city of reprobate largely alcoholic secularists, agnostics and atheists, rescuing the city from the worship of 'reason' to the worship of the True God, The Cure of Ars is hailed as one of the most saintly pious religious figures in France, inspiring pilgrimmages from all over the world to the French town of Ars. 

Charlie and the Franciscans

Sunday, September 09, 2012

A World Of Good

What's a Simple Florist From Lindenhurt doing in a Place Like This.

    That must be what Charlie's wife thinks now and again. Charlie, the jovial third order Franciscan tells what he calls "God Story" after God Story about how God miraculously provides to the most needy and desperate that come across the paths of his beloved Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

     He started a ministry of feeding Friars that feed the poor. He started just asking for spare twenties from friends to stock the kitchens of a few Friars houses around New York. "Some people like baseball, I like feeding people-that's my hobby" he said with a twinkle in his eye. He now feeds large communities in Haiti and the Friars who serve them.  He asks for donations from Rectories of those host containers after the hosts are used in them to fill with rice and beans and send to Haiti. What do you do with those host containers in your rectory?? Waste not want not. I almost told him of my trick turning egg cartons into mini-cupcake containers (thanks to Roberta for that one).

   His ministry is called the Friar Suppliers. He and his wife, a third order Carmelite live out of the back of the flower shop in Lindenhurt, Long Island. Today in their yard they hosted a volleyball tournament between Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the renewal and a picnic where the hungry were fed with good things.

    If you have not yet learned of the Friar Suppliers go right now to your googler and type it in.  or click HERE
A humble florist from Long Island with a Santa Claus gene is feeding multitudes, and BBQ'ing burgers on his patio. They have a shipment of school supplies stacked ready to send to Haiti.  If he can do it- so can you. Help Him.

I had to get out of Washington. The fight over who is holier- the people trying to stop planned parenthood from infecting Obamacare or the people fighting the immoral Ryan budget has my head spinning and stomach churning.  I like simple things, like the Florist from Lindenhurt, who takes the gospel literally. Feed my Sheep. Little kids grabbed microphones to sing with the guitar strumming Friars whose melodies had some people in tears (OK me, i was in tears.)

     They did the King of Kings proud today in Lindenhurt, Long Island as Franciscan sisters and brothers tossed a volleyball and settled in to a piece of birthday cake. Charlie turns 60 this week. And its a party let me tell you.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Best Bumper Sticker


    We're not Perfect. But they're Nuts.

The Platform-its a big tent.

Fact Checking

   Kind of critical.

It was widely reported that the Democratic Platform did not have the words "God" and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
This got a lot of play on Fox (shocking).  Here is the real story:

The Platform Chairman, an elected official from Ohio and also an ordained  Methodist Minister stood up and amended the Platform which then required 2/3rds vote which the mayor of LA
 took orally (meaning he listened to people saying aye or nay three times).

After the third time he determined that the Ayes have it and GOD IS IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLATFORM.  Of course he always was there, but officially recognized as such in the platform wording now.

   When it was passed there was audible booing by the people who did not want it because it means different things to different people and God has been misused with massively murderous heinous things done in God's name by Republicans- particularly uberconservatives who misappropriate scripture to serve evil agendas. The booers also likely took offense at the God people suing the Democratic government.
That doesn't play well in peoria and makes people hostile to all religion in some cases.

   God is and always was with the Democrats. Now its official.

The language on Jerusalem reads:
Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."

Sunday, September 02, 2012

In the Name of Love

Eli Wrote A Book.

   Eli McCarthy is one of those sweet rare gems of a quiet gentle giant of Peace-building you meet
once or twice in a lifetime. I met him while he was a social justice minister at Holy Trinity and again as he is a member of the San Egidio community of Peace-makers. His father in law is a Byzantine Rite priest.

    click here to order

Congratulations Eli!   Can't wait to get it and read it.