Today at St. Peter’s
Sunday, March 18
8am Mass – Fr. Jonathan
9:30am Mass – Fr. Jerome
11:30am Mass – Fr. Jerome
5pm Mass – Fr. Jerome
9:15am – Kids Rock
1pm – Shroud Volunteer Orientation
4:30pm – RCIA
7pm – Bible Study “Who am I to Judge?”
Tomorrow at St. Peter’s
Monday, March 19
8:30am Mass – Fr. Emanuel
8am – Rosary
9:10am – Prayer Group
6pm – Confirmation Lesson 4
7pm – Teacher’s Pilgimage to Medjugorje Info
7pm – MNO Mtg
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Parochial Vicar’s Perspective
Christianity is an historical faith. By this I mean, that it is based on events that really happened in specific places and times. However, the only reason we know about historical events is because of the people who recorded these events for later generations to read and understand what happened in the distant past.
N.T. Wright, who is one of the most respected biblical historians of our generation, wrote in his book The New Testament and the People of God history is “the meaningful narrative of events and intentions”. (Page 82).
In other words, a historian is always looking at the events and interpreting them from a perspective. This is especially true when it comes to our reading of the New Testament. Each of the Gospels is telling history, that is recording the events in the life of Jesus as they occurred in Palestine in the first three decades of the first century AD. However, they are not just giving us the “bare facts”. Rather they are shaping their historical accounts to give a meaningful narrative of the events and intentions.
There are very few historical events that are recorded in the four Gospels. One that is, Luke describes this way:
“Joseph took town the body of Jesus and wrapped it in a linen shroud” (Lk 23.53)
Now at the literal level this is a historical fact but because the gospels are “meaningful narratives with a deeper intention” there is a theological level to this reading. To see this interpretation, we need to turn to Psalm 116. This is one the Psalms Jesus and the Apostles prayed at the Last Supper. In it is this verse:
I will lift up the chalice of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD. (VS 13)
This of course is the Cup of the Eucharist that in this psalm is associated with the Lord’s servant:
Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his saints.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid.
You have loosed my bonds. (verses 15-16)
Like so many of the Psalms, this one anticipates historical events that would occur hundreds of years later, in the Week of the Lord’s Passion. The Lord Jesus’ relationship to our Lady, his precious death and deliverance from the bonds of the linen shroud are all stated in five lines of Hebrew poetry.
It is this deeper theological meaning the Evangelists have in mind in recounting the events of the Lord’s burial. May we like them when viewing the Shroud Exhibit understand that this is to inspire us to see in our faith what John saw when he composed his historical gospel.
I have written this so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.
May all our lives be enriched as we see and hear history in The Man of the Shroud Exhibit.
In His grace,