Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

Earlier this week, I came across something in one of the commentaries I was reading about the Scriptures for this Sunday — a story about the great theologian, Avery Dulles. He died a few years ago, but published many, many articles and books well known throughout the world. At one time in his life, evidently he was under most serious attack, I guess you could call it, or he was being hounded in some ways by the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith.

They were challenging some of his writings and his theological approach to the teachings of the church, and evidently, he was kind of frustrated because during a talk he was giving, he said, “You know, it’s a good thing there was no Congregation for the Defense of the Faith, a holy office, in the beginning of the church. Otherwise, we would only have one gospel.” You see, what the Holy Office seems to do so often is to want every theologian, every scripture scholar, to teach precisely the theological slant or insight of the Holy Office.

The theological truths in scriptures are too complicated in that there’s only one absolute way of hearing the scriptures or articulating the theological truths that God has revealed to us, and that’s so clear when we listen to today’s lessons. Look at the gospel lesson: It’s Easter Sunday night and Jesus appears to the disciples. The risen Jesus comes back to give them encouragement and strength and to know that, even though they failed him so miserably, they’re forgiven. They’re called now to spread that spirit of forgiveness throughout the world — “As God sent me, I send you.”...

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