I have a presentation on Saint Paul to give for our parish’s “Saints Alive” series. Anything of note anyone can think of that I should be sure to cover?
Welcome back – hope the rest of your household is feeling better!
That Paul, on occasion, wrote from prison – and wrote what he did while incarcerated – never fails to add depth to his words as I read them. I’ve no doubt you planned to address this – just wanted to underscore its importance.
I also hope that your household is feeling better. May I give a couple suggestions?
1. One concern that I have (admittedly, based on my own experience) is that Catholic parishes rarely communicate the value of serious exegesis, except for apologetic purposes. One thing that you could do is to talk about recent developments in Pauline exegesis and their effects on theology and spirituality. The obvious candidate here would be the so-called “New Perspective,” about which much has been written (and about which much is on-line).
2. Another concern that I have (again, based on my own experience) is that Catholic preachers often do not speak about, well, salvation – how we are saved through Christ in the Spirit. I have heard many sermons that mention Christ as a “model” or “teacher” but do not go on to speak of his death and resurrection. I have never ever actually heard a sermon on justification.
Presenting Paul is a good chance to speak directly about salvation and the death and resurrection of Christ.
I can suggest one of my posts on Paul’s metaphors of salvation (of course there are a million better things than my posts, but this is close to hand) here .
That Paul, far from being some grim caricature, was a man of joy. Recommend that they read the Epistle to the Philippians first.
Thanks for all your input. The talk went pretty well and I managed to master PowerPoint to a degree that it wasn’t a distraction.
Neil, thanks especially for putting me on the track of the New Perspective.
How about the upcoming Pauline Year? Maybe develop a reading plan for the Pauline Epistles for parishioners to use.
I know you have given you talk already… but thought I would mention an exhibition I saw last year. I was spending a few hours in St Malo in France before catching a ferry. The Cathedral had been largely rebuilt after War damage, and had a most exquisite rose window. It also had a summer exhibition of photos of Paul’s journey when he had to sail to Rome as a prisoner. There were many exquisite photos of places along the route, together with quotes from the New Testament, especially from Acts where the journey was recounted. It was quite an inspirational exhibition.
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