Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, February 14, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Novena of Grace 2016

Home : Arts : Arts and Entertainment News
6/24/2013 5:37:00 AM
Storyteller challenges readers to hear, live Gospels
This is the cover of
This is the cover of "Like a Hammer Shattering Rock: Hearing the Gospels Today" by Megan McKenna.
Catholic News Service


Megan McKenna is convinced that "the word of God in the Gospels" encounters strong resistance in the faith community. Over time, we have become "adept at using the Gospels to subvert Jesus' revelation of God among us and what is demanded of those who follow in Jesus' footsteps," she writes.

McKenna is a widely known Catholic author, lecturer, theologian and storyteller. With this, her 50th book, she encourages believers not to "short-circuit the power of Jesus' words." A quotation she includes from Trappist Father Thomas Merton helps to illustrate her purpose.

Father Merton once wrote: "Let us not be too sure we know the Bible ... just because we have learned not to have problems with it. Have we perhaps learned ... not to really pay attention to it?"

McKenna thinks that "whole pieces of the Gospel" are ignored "because they are too difficult and too demanding." In this she appears to let few off the hook. "We have betrayed the Gospels as individual persons, as communities, as groups, as institutions and as leaders -- even as church," she says.

To hear the Gospels anew, McKenna suggests that people read aloud from them and even memorize parts of them. She tells of learning, perhaps "by chance," that when we read aloud, we "hear meaning drastically differently and more deeply."

The words borrowed for the intriguing title of McKenna's book, "Like a Hammer Shattering Rock," are taken from the biblical book of Jeremiah, where God asks, "Is not my word like fire" and "like a hammer shattering rock?" (23:29).

McKenna explains that the book of Jeremiah is railing at that point "against false prophets" who ignore and contradict "the word of God that calls the people to faithfulness, to the covenant and to justice, to care of the poor and to true worship of God and lasting peace upon the earth."

No one familiar with McKenna's earlier work will be surprised that in focusing attention on the proclamation in the Gospels of a "shocking new way of being human beings in the world," she underscores the centrality of peacemaking, love and closeness to the poor.

"Nothing we do in church, worship or liturgy is worship in spirit and truth unless it mirrors the larger universal reality of love for all, beginning with our enemies and the poorest among us, the outcast and condemned, those we judge brutally and exclude," she states.

In a chapter on the Gospel of Matthew, McKenna insists that, "in a nutshell" Christians are called to "confront every form of violence, injustice and rage with good, with peace, with justice and with compassion."

Given this analysis, it is not surprising that in 2012, the Paulist Center of Boston presented its annual Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice to McKenna.

The center, affiliated with the Paulist Fathers, honored her efforts "to communicate the meaning of the word of God for today's world and to help deepen our understanding and enhance the nuances of 'social justice' in our time."

In an observation offered as "perhaps a last word" of her book, McKenna comments that "the church exists primarily for the world, not for itself, and it is commanded to 'love one another as I have loved you.'"

McKenna's storytelling talents emerge at numerous points in "Like a Hammer Shattering Rock." Her stories draw out the connections between Scripture and daily life, and heighten the book's readability.

There are stories about biblical and contemporary figures alike -- the Samaritan woman at the well who meets Jesus in the Gospel of John, for example, or Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, murdered in 1980 while celebrating Mass.

"Like a Hammer Shattering Rock" includes two chapters on each of the four Gospels, one accenting the Gospel as it was heard in early church communities and one accenting the Gospel now.

With her chapters on the Gospels "now," McKenna calls attention to their relevance to "the struggles we are confronted with today not only as individuals, but primarily as communities of believers."

There are issues in the world now that "need to be highlighted and new ones that Jesus and his contemporaries just did not experience or know," McKenna writes. She adds, "The seeds are in the Gospels, but they need to be studied, nurtured and brought to harvest."

The word "gospel" means "good news." McKenna wants Christians to hear -- really hear -- the good news of the Gospels.

An equally strong desire of hers, however, is that Christian individuals and communities in turn become good news to others, "especially to the poor, the outcast, the fringe, the excluded, the 'other.'"





Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved