Tag Archives: scripture

What is a theologian? What purpose does the work of a theologian have? To be “In the Communion of the Church”

The public has been bombarded with the media’s assessment of nuns, church, the sexual abuse crisis, fidelity to the Lord, and the like. In some ways the media looks at the life of the Church and picks out the obvious problems of coherence. No doubt we have matters of concern that we have to work to correct; the adage: “the Church always needs renewal” is very true today. We rely on the Holy Spirit and the good work of Pope Benedict. The other day I found this review of a document written by members of the International Theological Commission (ITC), a group of theologians organized by the Pope to advise him on certain questions of theological questions of importance. Even the Pope needs advice! The ITC group is made up of a diversity of peoples from around the world. The ones I know personally are fine men and women, credible witnesses of the Lord. The review of Theology Today that follows is written by Father Paul McPartlan in which he synthesizes the document giving us the broad view of the work of Catholic theologian. What he highlights sits in contradistinction to what we’ve heard about the recent work of Sr Margaret Farley and other theologians who see themselves in a different light. I prefer to put my money the ITC and not on “envelop pushing, agenda driven” theologians. You?


Following its examination, in Chapter One, of the fundamental nature of theology, as the rational exploration of that faith which is a response to the proclamation of the Word of God, and prior to its extended reflection, in Chapter Three, on significant aspects of the rationality of theology, the new International Theological Commission (ITC) text, Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria, carefully considers the ecclesial context of theology in Chapter Two. “The ecclesiality of theology is a constitutive aspect of the theological task, because theology is based on faith, and faith itself is both personal and ecclesial”, it says, emphasising that “it is through the Church that theologians receive the object of their enquiry” (n.20). Theological enquiry is therefore properly conducted within the living and life-giving milieu of the leiturgia, martyria and diakonia of the Church (cf. n.7). In short, as the chapter’s title indicates, it is necessary for theologians to abide in the communion of the Church.

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The Kingdom of God is like the mustard tree

Mustard Tree Bezuidenhout.jpgThe Lord loves parables. Today’s parable is the one about the mustard seed growing into a big tree for all the birds to make a home. A fitting typology for heaven. But it is only a metaphor but a reality: the small becomes great. As Sofia Cavalletti said, “The person who at a certain point becomes aware of the dynamic nature of the Kingdom of God, which is like a mustard seed, will gradually come to see this dynamism filling the universe and empowering man and his history” (Religious Potential of the Child, 165). Jesus, in today’s gospel, fixes our attention on the place we have in His Father’s Kingdom here on earth and with Him in heave: our growth, transformation and conversaion is slow and purpose-filled. It is a recognition of the Mystery.

The child hearing this parable will recognize that they exemplify the growing of the Kingdom in their bodies. As adults, do we believe that the small can become great? Do we believe that all have a place in God’s Kingdom?

Faith Comes by Hearing: Illiteracy not an obstacle in sharing Biblical faith

An extraordinary gift has made the good news of the Bible better known for those who are unable to read and write. Reportedly 50 percent of the world is illiterate. An initiative of Jerry Jackson and colleagues, Faith Comes by Hearing, is making it possible for the world to hear the Bible in one’s language. It is available in more than 610 languages, reaching 185 countries and 5 billion people to date. AND the Pope now has an iPod with the audio Bible.

Watch the video clip on Faith Comes by Hearing here.
Support Faith Comes by Hearing!

What, rather who, is Wisdom?

The first reading at Mass today was taken from the Book of Wisdom. Not a regularly heard from book of the Bible. The Church offers us at least two things today with regard to Wisdom: what is it (how do we define what it is) and who is Wisdom?


Both Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Paul indicate that Wisdom is Jesus Christ. You might say that the contents of the Book of Wisdom is perfected in the person of Jesus Christ. With that in mind, here’s what we heard today.

Wisdom VTiziano.jpg

In Wisdom is a spirit

intelligent, holy, unique,

Manifold, subtle, agile,

clear, unstained, certain,

Not baneful, loving the good, keen,

unhampered, beneficent, kindly,

Firm, secure, tranquil,

all-powerful, all-seeing,

And pervading all spirits,

though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.

For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,

and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.

For she is an aura of the might of God

and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;

therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.

For she is the refulgence of eternal light,

the spotless mirror of the power of God,

the image of his goodness.

And she, who is one, can do all things,

and renews everything while herself perduring;

And passing into holy souls from age to age,

she produces friends of God and prophets.

For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.

For she is fairer than the sun

and surpasses every constellation of the stars.

Compared to light, she takes precedence;

for that, indeed, night supplants,

but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily

and governs all things well.


Wisdom 7:22b-8:1

Was Jonah’s anger reasonable?

Jonah and gourds.jpg

Spending time doing lectio divina on today’s reading at Mass taken from the Prophet Jonah, would you say that Jonah’s anger was justified? How do you characterize his relationship with God? Your relationship with God?

Read James Dennison’s commentary.
We have to face our anger, our disappointments and the mercy of God. We have no choice in the matter. None.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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