|My favourite likeness of St. Paul, |
by Albrecht Durer.
(St. Mark behind him.)
through which the world has been crucified to me,
and I to the world.
For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision,
but only a new creation.
Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule
and to the Israel of God.
From now on, let no one make troubles for me;
for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
brothers and sisters. Amen.
I put in blue the two passages I love most. The second is the one that kept coming to me when I lost a third of my salary in January. It is one thing to undergo financial hardship, quite another to face hardships of the heart.
(I can never read / hear that passage without thinking of John Michael Talbot's song.)
It is a powerful reading, though. What does he mean by the marks of Christ on his body? I guess the wounds he has received as a result of proclaiming the Gospel. They are the marks of Christ, not marks like the marks of Christ. I hope that some day my mind will be so aligned with Christ's that everything I do with be an act of Christ.
An Argument in Favour of Historical Criticism:
Yes, you read correctly, in favour. Through an increasing study of St. Paul's life I have begun to really get to know him in a more intimate manner. I feel this way about St. Augustine, of course, who is a real present friend to me. I am starting to feel this way about St. Paul. I really enjoyed Paul: A Critical Life, by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P. Again, it'd fit into the category of books that might shake-up a student new to this kind of thing (see a few posts ago). For instance, the author believes in, or accepts the possibility of, historical error in Paul's writings and in Luke's - which I do not. But it is such a great historical intro. to Paul that I recommend it anyway.
God love you all this Sunday.