The Famine of the Word of God – A Meditation on a Teaching From Amos

070814Last week we read from the book of the prophet Amos. And something profound yet rather subtle was taught by Amos in the selection from Friday’s Mass. After warning of many sins such as the trampling the needy, putting profit over Sabbath observances, cheating by altering scales and so forth; after also warning of sexual and many other sins, Amos says this:

Days are coming when the Lord God will send a famine upon the land: not a famine of bread, or thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. Then shall they wander from sea to sea and  from the north to the east in search of the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it (Amos 8:11–12).

Thus, among the ills of a society or culture mired in injustice, sexual confusion, and misplaced priorities is an absence of the Word of God. How does this happen? It happens on several different levels, one of them rather subtle.

I. First of all, when many people insist on sinful, unjust, and evil practices, the Word of the Lord begins to sound obnoxious and they refuse to read or hear it. No one likes to be convicted for their sinfulness or to be confronted with the fact that they are wrong, and the Word of the Lord has a way of calling us to account. Many resist this, and such a problem is epidemic in our current culture.

People do not like to be reminded that they have no business defrauding the poor, lying and cheating, engaging in greedy or covetous practices, indulging in illicit sexual union, or cultivating lust. In avoidance and anger they set aside the Word of God, and when they cannot reasonably do so, they attack those who still speak of it. They issue condemnations that those who do so are judgmental, intolerant, bigoted, unenlightened, homophobic, etc.

But of course the problem isn’t the Word of God or those who announce it. The problem is sin. And thus we see a kind of self-induced famine of the Word of God. Many starve themselves from the Word because it is no longer a food that is palatable to them. They would rather dine on the strong wine of this world that numbs them from the pangs of their own consciences. Or perhaps they would rather eat the Twinkies and other junk food of pop culture, which excuses and even celebrates bad behavior.

Here is a famine—of the Word of God.

II. Second, we see a kind of induced famine caused by those who collectively work to eliminate the Word of God from the public square. Perhaps it is those who seek to banish any form of prayer or reference to Scripture in public schools, public gatherings, school graduations, or any other gathering outside the walls of the church.

We live in a culture in which the First Amendment’s promise of freedom of religion has become freedom from religion. And thus there is a kind of famine of the Word of God imposed by a small number of people who dislike religious influence, who seek to eliminate any religious expression in the public square. Almost anything can be taught, celebrated, and advanced in public schools—anything except Jesus Christ and His gospel.

It is a strange, highly selective, and intense famine of the Word of God.

III. The third form of famine, though, is more subtle and it occurs even in the Church. Indeed, many who write in the combox of this blog complain of it quite frequently. This is the famine of the Word of God that occurs on account of silence from the pulpits.

The one place where one would think that the Word of God would be clearly and even boldly proclaimed would be in the pulpit of the Catholic Church or any Christian denomination. And yet even here, there is a strange famine.

But why is this? The mechanisms here are a bit more subtle, but  come down essentially to one word: fear. The subtlety comes from the fact that while it is clear that many clergy fear to speak the truth boldly from their pulpits, there is another side to the equation.

Many clergy know instinctively that even in the theoretically safer environment of the Church, if one speaks boldly on moral issues, one can often expect backlash and letters of protest, whether delivered directly or to the bishop. There are dissenters who do this, and even some of the faithful.

One might wish the clergy were brave enough and bold enough to be unconcerned and still speak unambiguously to moral issues of the day. But the reality is that clergy are drawn from the stock of human beings. Some are brave, but many are not. Some are willing to endure trouble, pushback, criticism, and being misunderstood, but some are not. Some clergy today are willing to accept that many modern listeners cannot distinguish between hyperbole, analogy, and straightforward discourse, let alone make subtle distinctions, but many clergy are not willing to accept this.

Yes, a poisonous climate exists even in many parishes. Surely there are dissenters, but even among the faithful there are those who would criticize a priest who tries to speak the truth but does not say it exactly the way that they want him to say it. Perhaps he should have quoted St. Thomas Aquinas rather than Thomas Merton. Perhaps he should have made more distinctions, but given the insistence that homilies last little more than ten minutes, was unable to do so.

Some priests are able to navigate the complexities of the modern parish setting creatively and courageously. But many cannot and draw back to uttering safe bromides, contenting themselves with abstractions and generalities. They play it safe in what is often a hostile environment. Dissenters with poisonous looks are lurking in the pews. But even among the hard-core faithful there is sometimes a “particularism” that renders bold prophecy a very dangerous thing.

Parents, too, struggle in preaching boldly to their kids, who are not taught by this culture to respect their parents or to revere sacred tradition and teaching. Thus parents, too, often exhibit the “silent pulpit syndrome,” and teaching in the domestic church of the home is often silent, uncertain, and compromised.

A hostile environment does lead to silence. Perhaps it should not, but in the aggregate it does. And therefore there is a famine of the Word of God that Amos addresses. Hostility tends to breed silence and conformity. Maybe it shouldn’t, but overall it does. At some level when a culture turns hostile, stubborn, hypersensitive, and just plain mean there sets up a famine of the Word of God. While there will always be the courageous, like Amos, in the big picture, the Word of God will suffer famine when the soil resists or even refuses the seed of the Word.

St Gregory once reproached silent clergy, but he also warned the faithful that they too have a role in ensuring the proper climate for the Word of God to flourish:

 The Lord reproaches (silent pastors) through the prophet: They are dumb dogs that cannot bark (Is 56:10). On another occasion he complains: You did not advance against the foe or set up a wall in front of the house of Israel, so that you might stand fast in battle on the day of the Lord (Ez 13:15). To advance against the foe involves a bold resistance to the powers of this world in defense of the flock. To stand fast in battle on the day of the Lord means to oppose the wicked enemy out of love for what is right. When a pastor has been afraid to assert what is right, has he not turned his back and fled by remaining silent? Whereas if he intervenes on behalf of the flock, he sets up a wall against the enemy in front of the house of Israel … Paul says of the bishop: He must be able to encourage men in sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it (Titus 1:9). For the same reason God tells us through Malachi: The lips of the priest are to preserve knowledge, and men shall look to him for the law, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts (Mal 2:7).

Anyone ordained a priest undertakes the task of preaching, so that with a loud cry he may go on ahead of the terrible judge who follows … Beloved brothers, consider what has been said: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest (Matt 9:38). Pray for us so that we may have the strength to work on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, and that after we have accepted the office of preaching, our silence may not condemn us before the just judge.

For frequently the preacher’s tongue is bound fast on account of his own wickedness; while on the other hand it sometimes happens that because of the people’s sins, the word of preaching is withdrawn from those who preside over the assembly. With reference to the wickedness of the preacher, the psalmist says: But God asks the sinner: Why do you recite my commandments? (Psalm 50:16) And with reference to the latter, the Lord tells Ezekiel: I will make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be dumb and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house (Ez 3:26). He clearly means this: the word of preaching will be taken away from you because as long as this people irritates me by their deeds, they are unworthy to hear the exhortation of truth.

And thus today Amos’ warning of a famine of the Word of God extends even to the Church. As clergy and laity, we have every reason to encourage bold preaching and to preserve a climate in which God’s Word is still revered and respected. We ought to work to surround clergy and parents with support and a hedge of protection from dissenters even as we also work to avoid the hypercriticism and “particularism” that can discourage priests, deacons, and parents who are trying to make a good effort to reach the lost and confused. Otherwise the famine of the Word of God of which Amos warns will surely exist even in our parishes and homes. A proper harvest of the Word requires the support and action of all.


25 Replies to “The Famine of the Word of God – A Meditation on a Teaching From Amos”

  1. “They issue condemnations that those who do so are judgmental, intolerant, bigoted, unenlightened, homophobic, etc.”
    These condemnations seem to usually be based on lop sided judgements. Declaring guilt or innocence without hearing the side of the accused, comparable to a court which hears that the prosecutor has alleged guilt and; without hearing the prosecutor’s evidence or the accused one’s defense; declares the (erstwhile) defendant to be guilty because they are charged.
    For instance, when Christians disagree but, tolerate, we are called intolerant. Such absurd statements can only be propagated with the lynch mob approach that is increasingly supported by a, seemingly growing, segment of the media.
    In the last few decades there have been complaints of “media convictions” prejudicing an upcoming court case. Have the media and popular lobby groups, now, effectively replaced the courts in matters of deciding who’s guilty of religious persecution – all based on lop sided judgements?
    The sad part of this hypothetical question of mine is; if it be true; then the media groups (and those who accept the falsly alleged “proofs” that they purvey) which have participated in this have cut themselves off from a set of information which is needed to find freedom through truth. Chaining themselves to the obsessive/compulsive behaviour (which is necessary for, & inevitable to, living in un-truth) that’s a manifestation of the inevitable self destruction of all positive feedback (like holding a microphone in front of a connected speaker until something explodes)?

  2. Excellent and comprehensive !

    God bless and The Word of God , our Lord , have mercy on all !

  3. Awesome post, I especially like the reminder of our duty as laity to respect the priest. I know I can be put off by the choice of Merton over Aquinas, to use your example. I sometimes have to consciously and actively suppress my reactions and deliberately choose charitable interpretations of a priest’s homily, especially if it touches on the political. It’s a good exercise in self discipline and helps me recognize my worldly/ideological attachments. If I can’t manage to be charitable towards a priest, then I’m really in trouble. I only walked out once, more than 10 years ago, when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and the priest went too overtly left for me. I’m more tolerant today than I was then, but then I’ve never heard as wayward a homily since.

    1. Thanks for understanding that. I too prefer Aquinas over Merton. We priests SHOULD avoid the political but I also know that sometimes people presume I am being political when I speak of abortion etc. And even though I tell them it is a moral issue they still don’t buy it. There is also some cynicism I get from the right when I preach on caring for the poor, or preach against greed. That does not mean I am calling for more Govt programs, but many have consigned the issue of “the poor” to the left and hear biblical denunciations of greed or injustice as left wing propaganda, even though I am preaching directly from a biblical text. So its complicated today and I am grateful that you acknowledge the complexity and the need for all of us to get to the message of the basic Gospel wherever the political lines (which are often shifting) may fall.

      1. So the other day when the Pope spoke of how Communism stole the Christian flag I understood that to mean that they have warped what was once Christian and used it towards it political ends (power). Of course he’s absolutely correct: all that is, all that exists originally was good as it was from God. Satan produces nothing: he only distorts the good toward his own perverse ends. Another good example is the hijacking of the term “social justice”. When applied on the personal scale it’s charity in action, but when used as a political device it’s an excuse for a governmental payout masquerading as charity.

        1. Msgr. Pope – both of the reactions from the left and right that you mention suggest that we hear everything through a political POV. I think that’s spot on. Many, many now believe that the Catholic Church is nothing more than another politcal party. We don’t hear the Word because we’re waiting for a politcal messiah. 2000 plus years later and we still scream for Barabbas. I came back into the Church 6 yrs ago through the political path once I realized that only the Church which Christ founded offers true freedom. Once my thought pattern changed, the scriptures really opened up. The verses from Amos are some of the first that spoke to me. They don’t call them prophets for nothing : )

  4. Thank God for Jesus picking the twelve Apostles. Jesus knew His Apostles (even though at times they were weak and very afraid). That is sad and a strange irony that a priest is so afraid of the dissenters in his parish that he can’t preach on morality. Perhaps Bishops should back orthodox priests but they don’t. So we truly have a problem with the leaders of the Church. I don’t know if the Bishops are unorthodox or they are just plain afraid. But with many churches closing down the “politically correct” homilies are not getting the people in. Perhaps we need to start over. Perhaps a story is in order. Perhaps the story of the Holy Eucharist is in order. Perhaps we need to go back to the very beginning — all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Then we will understand the connection between the Holy Eucharist and the Tree of Life.

    Because without the Tree of the Cross, there is no redemption, the gates of Heaven will not open and there is no resurrection. The Tree of the Cross is the Tree of Life!

  5. There are three areas that must be dealt with or it will proceed to the point we as Catholics will be forced to take a hard stand.

    First is confusion, the enemy’s prime weapon. One cannot say anything these days without some or all assuming you mean something other than what you said plainly. This can demoralize a priest as he will spend as much or more time trying to clarify “his position” when in fact it could be a simple truth of the Church.

    Second is a love for the truth and beauty of the Church. Why do we take such joy and why is it worth it to be upright and honest with ourselves and others? Why struggle to be better with such opposition all around us? Most priests spend all their time dealing with the confusion to ever be able to include a love of the Church and how she uplifts us.

    Third, every successful squad or action has a leader. Respect is built and a comradery gained by interaction and trust. Soldiers know they will be backed up, team members know that area is covered. A mission or game plan is laid out by the leader, all know the role they will play and all know they have support. We have not been too keen on this in the church, mainly relying on “you know your job, go do it”. With that however, we have lost support so many priests feel like they are somewhere close to a minefield and not quite sure which direction it will come from.

    My hat’s off to all you good priests. I don’t think much of the laity understand all you deal with.

  6. I make it a point to thank any priest who speaks clearly on a moral issue. I tell him how much I appreciate his homily and the point he was trying to make. All of my close friends are faithful Catholics so I am sometimes in a “bubble”. I don’t normally hear the dissent but I know it is present in my parish. The worst example of dissent I’ve ever seen actually happened during daily Mass. The priest spoke clearly about abortion and a man stood up during the homily and told the priest that he was wrong along with some other things I will not repeat here. I was shocked beyond words and immediately started praying for both of them. Amazingly, the man did not walk out and stayed for the rest of Mass. Father made a point of going directly to him at the sign of peace and shaking his hand (he would never normally go into the congregation). What a witness of charity! I heard they talked later and came to an understanding.

    When someone does complain to me about what a priest said or did, I always remind them to pray for him. I tell them that priests, in their work to bring people closer to God, are often under spiritual attack and really need our prayers. So thank you Msgr. for your priesthood and your work for God. You are in my prayers.

  7. My parish used to have two priests who often gave homilies on sexual sin. At times it felt like every Sunday was smut Sunday. I did not like it at all.

    Last year, one of the Fathers of Mercy visited my parish and gave a 3 night talk on the seven Deadly sins. I loved it.

    I don’t know where the difference lies? Was I over fed on the one sin? Were the two priests poor orators? Was I particularly hard hearted at that point in my life?

    I think the pulpit would greatly benefit from more sin lectures, just not always sin and definitely not always the SAME sin. We need to hear it. Properly relayed, those sin sermons lend themselves toward great hope.

  8. No doubt we are living in confused and hard times. I remind myself over and over the message spoken by Blessed Mother Theresa in which she tells us God calls us to be faithful even if our actions to do not appear to be successful. I trudged on with these inspiratiional words ringing in my ears because it helps my human weakness and leads me away from the hostility and harshness I sometimes feel for those so far away from God’s goodness and mercy. I also find it very hard and painful to express my Christian views in this hostile world. But I have to thank God for putting me in time at this point for it is a great time to produce great saints! Come on…let’s not waste the opportunity our Savior has given us. Come Holy Spirit and fill your priests and your people with your gifts to pursue our goals with faith, hope and charity.

  9. If I may share this too – was just reading the Passion narrative from Bl. Emmerich ( having the habit of reading from her at random – , page 222 in volume 4 , for kindle readers .)

    She is describing the appearance of Bl.Mother – ‘ though under the influence of the most grievous anguish, all her actions were performed simply and gently ….her beauty was indescribable and altogether superhuman , for beauty in her was made up of immaculate purity, truth, simplicity , dignity and holiness .

    Magdalene , on the contrary was just the reverse ..’

    That is our Perfect Mother we can behold often …and invoke same for others , through each Hail Mary ..

    and may be many hearts that might be carrying the grief of sin without even knowing so and starving for the Bread of Mercy , would be fed …to be at peace with those around too !

  10. The Lesson from Amos is read on Good Friday at the Sixth Royal Hour (Sext) in Orthodox Churches.

    I don’t know where Katherine Anne Emmerich got this idea about St. Mary Magdelene. She loved Jesus so much she was the first person to see the Risen Christ, according to the Gospels.

    1. B.Emmerich seems to be only reporting what she saw – such as how Magdalene ‘thought of nothing but her grief ‘ and thus possibly ‘needed ‘ The Lord lot more than others – true, from her love but may be still more of a clingy , needy sort of love ..possibly , as a result of a life of passions that still likley had some hold on her, to which The Lord seems to allude , may be reminding her to be patient , for the outpouring of The Spirit that The Lord was to send forth , after the Ascension !

      Mark does report that Magdalene is the first person to whom The Lord appears – ‘on the first day of the Sabbath ‘ ..that does not rule out that He did not appear to any one else such as His Mother earlier ..
      the writings are worth reading ..even if it would invite persons /Churches, to be tended on to a more glorious truth , such as how the Bl.Mother spends her last days in Ephesus, where she dies and is assumed from ..
      after having recovered from an earlier episode of ‘fallin asleep. /dormition ‘ while in Jerusalem ( after which the now Orthodox held Church of Dormtion was bulit .)

      No mention of any drama such as a garter belt being thrown to Thomas ..

      but , Emmerich does mention how Thomas always liked to do lots for The Lord and thus got delayed in coming to the bedside of The Mother ..and how the Apostles opened coffin to show Thomas , to see with joy that only the burial clothes were there !

      Interestingly , in that account, there is also mention of how Thomas had set out to evangelise Russia / China , prior to that episode ..

      May the powerful intercession of this holy Apostle , who seemed to prefer to be known only as a ‘ twin ‘
      ( may be to make up for all who want to make a name for themselves, even if that includes being in broken communion ! ) may his prayers be there , for all of the East …as we deal with isssues that seem esp. tied to the people of the East – includng the natives of the Americas who too are tied with Thomas , through the above mentioned China connection as well as the Columbus tie and whose family lines too possibly need deliverance , from all that might have come in , through unholy pacts and the related tragic issues now faced by many , in the related countries that are also manifesting more at the borders of this nation !

      Hope the remedies being looked at , would include such awareness of need for deeper spiritual cleansing too, in The Precious Blood !

      May the mighty intercession of our Lady of Mount Carmel and of St.Magdalene too help us and the nations , to be untied from what we need to be , to be tied closer to what is of God !

      Peace !

      1. +A gentle caution Maria re . . . purported . . . writings of the Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich . . .

        During the Holy See’s investigation of the extraordinary holy mystic and stigmatist . . . Sister Catherine Emmerich . . . prior to her beatification on October 3, 2004 by Pope John Paul II . . . it had come to Holy See’s attention that a person by the name of . . . Clemens Brentano . . . who had known the Sister and had written up some notes following some visits with her . . . had subsequently . . . FRAUDULENTLY . . . begun publishing volumes of materials he had fabricated from . . . many many sources including his own corrupt immagination . . . following his visits with the Canoness . . . Through some extensive research within Church circles . . . it was discovered that Brentano’s documents were . . . falsely . . . attributed by Brentano to Sister Catherine Emmerich’s visions . . . These . . . corrupted . . . writings began with . . . “The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ” . . . after which Brentano prepared a several volume work . . . “The Lowly Life and Bitter Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother Together With The Mysteries of The Old Testament” . . . The following is a quote from the well researched and documented Wikipedia article re these . . . corrupted materials . . . falsely . . . attributed to Blessed Catherine Emmerich by Clemens Brentano . . .

        “At the time of the beatification of Catherine Anne in 2004, the Vatican position on the authenticity of the books produced by Brentano was stated by Father Peter Gumpel, who was involved in the study of the issues for the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints: “It is ABSOLUTELY NOT certain that she EVER wrote this. THERE IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM OF AUTHENTICITY”..[5][8][9] According to Gumpel, the writings attributed to Emmerich were “ABSOLUTELY DICARDED” by the Vatican as part of her beatification process.[4]”

        From what you shared on this blog re your sourced reading materials Maria . . . it looks like you might inadvertently have come upon the fraudulent, highly questionable materials of Brentano’s . . . which are widely publicized under Blessed Catherine’s name . . . which advertisements and printed documents generally contain . . . NO . . . mention whatsoever of our holy Mother Church’s serious questioning of the fact that their . . . true source . . . in all likelihood is . . . NOT . . . the Blessed Catherine Emmerich . . . Perhaps your priest or Monsignor Pope can direct you to some other mystical writings that have passed the . . . “muster” . . . so to speak . . . when investigated by our Holy Mother Church . . . and under her (our Church’s) holy scrutiny have been found to truly be spiritually healthy and sound for meditation by the souls of God’s children . . .

        GOD bless+

  11. Was meditating in a vein similar to this column (re why people seem to reject the Word of God, and what that means in the larger culture) while saying a rosary this morning. Thank you.

  12. +The truth of the following little portion of Sacred Scripture came to mind as I read Monsignor’s above thoughtful and informative meditation: “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.” –Matthew 13:16 drv

    As a simple teacher God’s Word of many years within the church . . . over . . . and over . . . and over again . . . I encounter the truly . . . GREAT . . . sadness . . . of yet another aspect of the holy prophesied . . . “famine” . . . of Amos “…of hearing the word of the LORD.” . . . in the mass profusion . . . (and incredible thus created . . . confusion . . .) of what has now become a . . . (really really REALLY . . . weird . . .) . . . MULTITUDE . . . of English language . . . so-called . . . “translations” . . . of Sacred Scripture . . . EWTN’s Father Mitch Pacwa, on his evening weekly show, mentioned not too long back that this confusing mass of English publications now calling . . . and many self-alone-proclaiming . . . their books to be the . . . “Bible” . . . under the . . . oft deceptive . . . guise of use of the word . . . “translation” . . . has now well exceeded one hundred in number . . . Most of us teaching within the church have time . . . and again . . . and then again . . . heard the question . . . “What translation(s) of the Holy Bible do you use/recommend?”

    It seems to me that in this day and age the evil of the . . . Heresy of Dissent . . . in particular of selective . . . “Cafeteria Catholicism/Christianity” . . . has revealed itself to be becoming . . . more and more . . . of a grave/grievous problem within our Holy Mother Church and throughout Christendom . . . This heresy promotes the . . . truly misbegotten . . . idea that one can . . . and indeed . . . should . . . follow one’s own . . . “conscience” . . . above all else . . . and it is being promoted right and left to one and all by some . . . within . . . and many, many . . . without . . . the Church . . .

    Imbedded and hidden within this erroneous teaching . . . is the idea that US human beings have a right to . . . JUDGE . . . arbitrarily and absolutely . . . everything and everyone . . . by our own (broken, fallen-away-from-GOD, sinful, damaged) personal human nature’s standards . . . which heresy gives us the . . . SUPPOSED . . . right . . . to pass judgement on . . . God’s Apostolic Holy Catholic Church . . . . and her . . . Holy Divinely Inspired Doctrines . . . AND . . . literally . . . on GOD Himself . . .

    In relation to Sacred Scripture . . . which we are taught in The Catechism of the Catholic Church is . . . “Article 2 – THE TRANSMISSION OF DIVINE REVELATION – #81 – “Sacred Scripture is the SPEECH of GOD as it is put down in writing under the breath of the HOLY SPIRIT.” . . . this heresy . . . believed . . . has given rise to multitudes of souls who . . . rather than embracing a . . . literal authorized . . . “word-for-word” translation . . . of Sacred Scripture . . . have produced . . . MULTITUDES . . . of profoundly error-ridden . . . so-called . . . “dynamic equivalence” . . . “’Biblical’ translations”. These . . . so-called . . . “Bibles” . . . are essentially just different individuals . . . oftimes with VERY odd and varied and often unscriptural and unGODly personal ideas/beliefs/thoughts . . . of what they . . . personally . . . think the Scripture says . . . or in many cases . . . what they think Scripture . . . “ought to say”. The Sweet Spirit of our Holy GOD warned us long ago of this as a problem which will come to pass in Christendom . . . so that we might be . . . VERY . . . careful what we are considering believing as a . . . Truth of GOD. . . :

    “For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears:” –2 Timothy 4:3

    . . . in dedication to the Triumph of Immaculate Heart of Mary+

  13. Apologies Rev.Msgr., if this seems to have the appearance of a ‘dog and cat fight ‘ but is intended in sharing of the truth , not to hurt feelings or uphold errors !

    Thanks be to the ‘dot – twn ‘ who seem worried about the ‘heresy ‘ of ‘personal bibles ‘ , decided to look up bit more on the topic and this one below seems to shed more light on the topic –

    True, as mentioned in the article above, one is free to hold onto either opinion ..and one way to do , without seeming overt ‘contradiction ‘ of the scrpiture could be , how that ‘ first ‘ s interpreted – Jewish day starting at sunset, The Lord could have risen atleast as early as 3 A.M in the morning – the traditional belief in atleast some of The East ; scripture mentions how Mary Magdalene is at the tomb at sunrise ( again , sone interpret this to mean , the Rise of The Sun /Son ) and she was thus, the first to be privileged to see The Lord , for the ‘day ‘ , after the sunrise …

    another possibilty too, unsure if there is any subtl diffrence , in the original langauge , as to the manner in which The Lord appears to The Mother and Magdalene …seems the desciption of His appeaarance to
    The Mother indicates one of more splendor …like she was holy / mature / worthy enough to have same ..whereas , with Magdalene, like the two disciples on the way to Emmaus , He is not that recognisable at first , as through needing an ‘ unveiling ‘ of their eyes and hearts , like so many of us too need , on an ongoing basis …..

    The other some what similar mysterious passage that might shed more light on this too could be the one on The Lord’s entry into Jerusalem ; in Mathew , we read how the disciples were to untie the colt and its mother though, The Lord is indicating the intimate role of The Mother , in all that is to follow ,even when she remains unnamed !

    The famous pasage in St.Paul about how ‘all have sinned ‘ and how Catholics have no difficulty in seeing through it to know that St.Paul was meaning us all sinners , not The Lord or His Mother !

    Trying to bring more light into situations , with the hope that , the love of truth would help to get over the little pain of having to shed old fond ways , to be tended on to what may be better – may we all be blessed to do so , always , for His glory …………….! 🙂

  14. Help Monsignor!!!! Where do we even begin to try to change this situation of which you speak so well???

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