Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Sublime and (Just Maybe) the Ridiculous

Here are three homilies from the last ten days, including some of the "High Holy Days" of Catholics, the sacred Triduum. 

Usually during Lent I will pick an author to nerd out with and sometimes that captivates my mindset going into Holy Week and Easter. This year the author was N.T. Wright, but this time not his book on the resurrection of Jesus, but his two short works, The Challenge of Jesus and Paul: A Fresh Perspective

The Good Friday sermon was from my meditating on a paragraph Wright had written about how sometimes we have to rely on story and symbol to make the world hear the message, as opposed to just telling, explaining, and defending. It intended to meet the sublimity of Holy Week with humble solemnity. 

The Easter homily was more, umm, non-traditional. At the vigil we had read the OT readings about Creation, the Red Sea, and Baruch's address to the exiles in Babylon. The Gospel was Mark's. If ever there was a time to present Wright's grand vision of how to read the story of Jesus, it was now. And I took Wright (and others) at their word that sometimes we have to find new ways to "tell the story" to a world that thinks it already knows it. Thus was born the Lego Easter Story, and it will now have to be judged as either a brave attempt to make sense of salvation history or borderline blasphemy/sheer nuttiness. 

Finally, I am including today's homily on when to "retain sins" in justice instead of forgiving them in mercy—also from a point made by Wright that is both novel to, and necessary for, the modern world.