From Fr. Bill's Desk

DEAR FELLOW PARISHIONERS,

     MATTHEW: A WORK OF ART 

The Catechism of our Catholic Church defines “faith” as being both acceptance of Jesus as the son of God and acceptance of His teachings. It might aptly be said that Matthew’s Gospel fulfills this dual nature of faith exceptionally well. In fact, it might be maintained that Matthew’s Gospel was purposely written to address this need. 

Please permit me to explain. The scholarly community largely agrees that the Gospel of Mark was the first of the four gospels to come upon the scene. Scholars say that Matthew relied heavily on Mark in compiling his own gospel. As well, though; Matthew had recourse to other sources of “Jesus material” to draw from. Scholars have, through much patient work, derived a source of Jesus material that is mostly comprised of sayings and of parables attributed to Jesus. Matthew relied on this source almost as heavily as he relied on Mark. 

Because the majority of Bible scholars over the last 150 years wrote in German , and because the German word for “source” is “Quelle”, the scholarly community gave the shorthand designation “Q” to this source. They maintain the Matthew’s Gospel is, to a great extent, a masterful interweaving of material from Mark and from “Q”. 

In his book “A Rabbi looks at the Gospels” Rabbi Abraham Sandmel claims, persuasively, that Mark’s Gospel focused largely on the person of Jesus, the Son of God; however there is not much, relatively speaking of Jesus’ teachings in Mark. Remember, “faith” includes both acceptance of Jesus as son of God and acceptance of His teachings. Sandmel suggests that Matthew might have been written expressly to correct this “imbalance” in Mark, by adding much more of Jesus’ teachings, as found in the “Q” document.

This is important for us today because, at times, people promote what might almost be called a “personality cult” of Jesus. They seem to say: “All we need to do this to believe in Jesus, but we don’t really need to integrate his teachings in our lives - especially when those teachings are challenging!”

This year: Listen to “Jesus the Teacher” in the Sunday Gospel proclamations”

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This beautiful prayer may be prayed at any time; however, it is particularly efficacious when prayed just after receiving Holy Communion:


 Soul of Christ, sanctify me

Body of Christ, save me 

Blood of Christ, inebriate me  

Water from Christ’s side, wash me

Passion of Christ, strengthen me 

O good Jesus, hear me 

Within Thy wounds hide me 

Suffer me not to be separated from Thee 

From the malicious enemy defend me 

In the hour of  my death call me  And bid me come unto Thee 

That I may praise Thee with Thy saints and with Thy angels  

Forever and ever,  Amen.


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