National Catholic Register pieces that I found particularly interesting as I was catching up on my reading:
- 5 Hard Truths We’ve Come to See With 2020 Vision. Monsignor Pope is always insightful regarding current events in the world and in the Church; his concerns here we have all felt but where will they lead?
- Becerra’s Nomination as HHS Secretary Continues to Draw Fire. Xavier Becerra professes to be a Catholic but what he advocates is horrific; maybe as horrific is that his nomination comes from the next President of the United States — also a professed Catholic. This is going to be an ugly four years for Church and State.
- 15 Points of Catholic Apologetics You Should Know. Some good references for the apologist in all of us — read yourself and pass along to curious or doubting friends and family. Also, simply refer to my first stop shop for apologetics: the easy to remember website for Catholic Answers, catholic.com.
ELISHA AND JESUS AND NUMBERS
Finishing Romans on the St. Paul Center app (outstanding — let your priest know as well and have him listen to the last episode for starters), I began Scott Hahn’s five episode study of the Gospel of Mark available there. I have studied the second Gospel quite a bit, but he brought out something fascinating when he compared John the Baptist to Elijah and Jesus to Elisha. John, of course, was called the new Elijah by Jesus. John prepared the way for Jesus. Elisha took over the prophet’s mantle from Elijah prior to the latter being drawn away by a chariot of fire. Elisha asked for a double portion of the Spirit from Elijah. And so it was. Elijah was recorded to perform eight miracles, Elisha, subsequently, sixteen. How many miracles does Mark record of Jesus? Sixteen. Scott Hahn makes Scripture come alive. I have many of his Bible studies on CD. Check them out online, via the app, or on CD. You will be enthralled.
One other thing he gets into in this study is discussion of a new Exodus with the coming of Jesus. He also talks about the importance of the destruction of the Temple in the dating of New Testament books and letters. He also mentions the seventy years that Judah was exiled after Babylon destroyed the first Temple in the late sixth century B.C. All this got me thinking about how it was seventy years from Jesus’ birth and forty years from his passion, death, and resurrection until the second Temple was destroyed. Jesus, of course, predicted this event. I need to think on this and study up on it. Looking for all instances of “forty” and “seventy” will be helpful. Just using a concordance to find numbers in the Bible can lead to fascinating discoveries. My favorite search engine to do studies for words in Scripture can be found here. Nothing fancy, but I really like the format and it is easy to copy and paste from.