Mark 1:21–28: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Jesus’s triumphs in teaching and exorcising in Capernaum make him a superstar as the crowds marvel not just at his power but his authority, so unlike the scribes. One might get the impression the scribes were ineffective, staid conservatives and Jesus a radical who got things done. And so, crucial for understanding the passage are the subtleties of Jesus’s relationship … Read More

Loosing the Lion, now a dedicated site

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So in my spare time I whipped up a dedicated site for Loosing the Lion, especially with an eye to radio/podcast appearances. People can spell Loosing the Lion, whereas isn’t radiophonic. Or phonogenic. So check it out, and spread the word.

Did Mary Think Jesus Was Crazy? On Mark 3:20–35

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Some consternation on the Interwebs today, as a certain prominent Jesuit is suggesting that in today’s Gospel, Jesus’ family, including the Blessed Virgin Mary, thought Jesus was “crazy.” What’s really going on? My answer here, adapted from Loosing the Lion, is that Mary is seeking Jesus out of care and concern; that Mark’s presentation tracks with Luke’s idea that Mary … Read More

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Mark 1:14–20

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Adapted from Loosing the Lion on today’s Gospel reading: […] Satan having suffered an initial defeat, Jesus now advances and takes the message public: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (1:15). Mark’s opening raises apocalyptic expectations to a fever pitch, first with the coming of Elijah, and now … Read More

My Hopes for Loosing the Lion

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Writing and publishing books is actually easy, especially today. In the ancient world, the writer (or a later scribe) of Ecclesiastes famously complained, “Of the making of books there is no end.” Closer to our own time Flannery O’Connor was once asked whether writing programs stifle writers, and she, in her inimitable way, responded, that her opinion was that writing … Read More

Mark’s Theologia Crucis, the Theology of the Cross

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The lectionary went with a passage from John for this Sunday, so here’s a bit from Loosing the Lion on Mark’s Theology of the Cross: ——————————– The root of the sacrifice of the Eucharist is Jesus’s sacrifice on the Cross, which the Eucharist interprets and from which the Eucharist flows, and indeed, the theme of the Cross is central in … Read More

Tax Collectors and Sinners: On Today’s Gospel (Mark 2.13–17)

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In this story of the call of the tax collector Levi and Jesus’s eating with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus breaks two commonplaces of Judaism. First, he’s feasting, not fasting, which was one of the traditional three pious practices of Judaism, the other two being prayer and almsgiving (see Tob 12:8); Catholics are familiar with the same three (see Matt … Read More

From Loosing the Lion, on Today’s Gospel (Mark 1:40-45)

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Mark’s story of the healing of the leper is short but rich, involving many Markan motifs. It presents the height of Jesus’s rock star status and hints at conflict to come while revealing more of Jesus’s identity.   The leper models insider behavior: he comes into Jesus’s presence with firm faith that Jesus can heal him of his leprosy (1:40). … Read More

So, What’s In the Book?

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Well, Loosing the Lion has been out a few weeks now, and people who’ve been reading it are pleased. One of my priest buddies in another state who’s well skilled in giving friends grief said something to the effect of, “Dangit, Leroy, I really wanted to give you guff about something in your book, but you know what? I love it.” … Read More

Praise for Loosing the Lion

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I’m gratified to have received such praise for my book, now available at Amazon and direct from me, as well as at the St. Paul Center (they’ve got the only eBook option at this point). I write as a Catholic, but Mark’s Gospel is a favorite of many Protestants, and so I’m happy to have two Protestant scholars I greatly respect … Read More