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

Loosing the Lion: Soon

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The book progresses. I’ll hunt typos for a few days and it goes to press Monday. Also got potential covers to consider. Option 1:             Option 2:             Thoughts? I’m leaning to the first option; its stark intensity matches Mark’s Gospel and the tone, I think, of my book. Meanwhile, … Read More

Jesus’ Knowledge in the Storyline of Matthew’s Gospel

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Fr. James Martin finds himself one of the most popular public Catholics today, and, as a Jesuit tacking a bit left on the issues confronting the Church today, also finds himself embroiled in controversy. Some time ago he put forth a common reading of the story of Jesus’ interaction with the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21–28. The woman asks Jesus … Read More

The Ascension of the Lord according to St. Mark’s Gospel

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From my forthcoming work on Mark’s Gospel, Loosing the Lion, in which I try to tie the longer ending into Mark’s story: ——————– Mark 16:8 seems a weird way to end a Gospel, and so scribes in the early Church concocted triumphant endings to Mark out of material from the other Gospels and Acts, giving us Mark 16:9-20. Although the … Read More

Feast of Saint Irenaeus, My Confirmation Saint

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Reupping this from a couple years ago, as it’s St. Irenaeus’ day today, and I have a special devotion to him. ——————- Today is the feast of St. Irenaeus of Lyons, whom I chose as my confirmation saint when I was reconciled with the Church and confirmed Easter 2011. The father of Roman Catholic theology and a dedicated opponent of … Read More