Fr. William O’Malley, SJ, has release a new book entitled The Week that Opened Forever, in which he presents a dramatic retelling of the Passion of Christ along with questions and meditations for the reader. To do this, Fr. O’Malley starts with an overview of Jesus’s years of ministry and then goes into Jesus’ last days. Instead of taking a removed look at Jesus’ death and resurrection, Fr. O’Malley uses Ignatian contemplation to set the stage for the reader’s journey with Christ.
Fr. O’Malley is currently a professor of religion at Seattle University. He has written numerous award-winning books on spirituality such as Holiness, Help My Disbelief, and Connecting with God.
Today, April 25, is the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist. The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four gospels and is considered to be the original gospel that lays the groundwork for the others. This was a gospel that was spoken before it was read. The orators telling the story were trying to share the fundaments of Christianity and make it engaging to those who listened.
Jesuit actor and theater artist Fr. George Drance is delving back into the roots of this gospel with his one man play entitled *mark.
“I think that it’s thrilling to be involved in a tradition that is thousands of years old,” explained the Jesuit actor. “We experience the tradition in liturgy but this is older than liturgy. It’s been a tradition since the beginning of the church.” Through the medium of the theater, Fr. Drance aims to present the gospel as something relevant and current.
Fr. Drance wants his audience to walk away reflecting on the gospel. “Most plays around today that focus on making people feel something, only do so for the duration of the play – the feeling disappears as they leave the theater,” he observed. “The gospel is bigger than that. It’s supposed to work inside them. The gospel is not about feeling at all but experiencing.”
He also approaches his audience the same way early Christians may have proclaimed the gospel to whomever might want to hear it. “This is an opportunity to bring different communities together – the arts community and the community of faith,” said Drance. The venue, La MaMa, is the oldest experimental theater company in the country and the performance space for *mark is the same one where the play Godspell premiered.
The run of *mark will be from May 29 through June 15. General admission tickets are $18 and $13 for students and seniors. Click here to buy tickets.
Numerous theologians and historians have tried to answer that question in countless books. Jesuit Father James Martin is the latest, exploring and examing both the scriptural Jesus and the historic one in his new book, Jesus: a Pilgrimage.
“I think you need to understand those two things together because it’s the same person,” said Fr. Martin in an interview for Salt and Light Media. “The Jesus of history is the Christ of faith and I think that if you only look at one side, you’re doing him a disservice.”
Fr. Martin, best known for his books The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything and My Life with the Saints, drew from his own pilgrimage to the Holy Land to get a better understanding of Christ. “I can think of few experiences as moving as standing on the sea of Galilee and thinking that Jesus saw this,” he recalled in the same interview.
Click below to view his entire interview with Salt and Light Media.
As Holy Week comes to a close, we are reminded of the powerful significance of Jesus’ death. Fr. James Croghan, SJ, director of Ignatian Identity at Regis High School in New York City, provides a video reflection on how the early disciples would have felt after Jesus’ passion.
“At the time when this was happening, no one knew what the ending was going to be,” said Fr. Croghan, of the uncertainty that early followers of Christ experienced prior to the Resurrection.
By examining all four gospels, Fr. Croghan delves into the various emotions that the disciples would have been feeling. “When Jesus dies on the cross, people are crushed,” he explains. “They feel abandoned, despondent; they don’t know what’s going on, they’re afraid.”
Click the video below to view the full reflection.