George Carlin passed away over the weekend. He was a funny guy. I’ll miss him and his outrageousness. Bill Maher, another ex-Catholic comedian, could take a cue from him to be sharp but not slashing. It’s funnier, and even more devastating, if you really want to nail institutions and people.
Carlin’s dissembling of the “Ten Commandments” is one of the most entertaining, uplifting scriptural explanations I ever heard. I always played whenever I needed to lighten-up a deary mood, especially from bad organized religion news. Anyone who took the Bible literally–or totally respectfully–probably would pass out if they heard it.
“I Used To Be Irish Catholic” from the Class Clown album is still my favorite.
He was also “Cardinal Glick” in the comedy, Dogma. The movie is set in my old home state – New Jersey! (You know, that was a good choice!)
I have signed up to participate in St. Francis’ summer session of courses. The Gospel of Luke runs six-weeks from mid-June to the end of July. Located in midtown Manhattan, it’s an easy walk from work to the classroom.
I like the idea of taking a break from work to sit down with others to study, discuss and discover new meaning in my life through the words in sacred scripture.
Past courses have brought together a great mix of people in the classroom: retirees, college students, office workers and professionals, housewives, unemployed, and even a few lost-looking people who just drifted in, sat down and contributed to the class.
The Gospel of St. Luke is a good choice for city filled with oppressed groups of people.
The consensus is that Luke was written by a Greek or Syrian for gentile or non-Jewish Christians. Luke’s gospel is concerned with groups on the margins of society: tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes, the poor, women and gentiles. St. Luke, said to be a physician, is the patron saint of doctors, surgeons and all health care workers.
Certain popular stories, such as the prodical son and the good Samaritan, are found only in this gospel. The Gospel of Luke also has a special emphasis on prayer, the activity of the Holy Spirit, and joyfulness. The word “joy” is mentioned more times in Luke than in any of the other gospels.
And, more than other gospels, Luke focuses on women as playing important roles among Jesus’ followers, such as Mary Magdalene, Martha and Mary of Bethany.
Who is Jesus? Why did he come? What does it mean for us, for me? These are the questions we’ll examine together in the study of this gospel.
To prepare for the course I picked up three books – The Gospel of Luke (Sacra Pagina Series) by Timonthy Luke Johnson; The Navarre Bible – St. Luke Texts and Commentaries, was initiated by St. Josemaria Escrinva, better known as the founder of Opus Dei; and New Collegeville Bible Commentary – The Gospel According to Luke by Michael F. Patella.
I plan to follow and participate in the class discussions, and read and compare the three books. Who knows…maybe all three will receive the coveted “Nihil Obstat” by yours truly!