Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fr. Benedict Groeschel on Scripture - Elvis Presley and the Resurrection

If you don't have the ability to watch EWTN to see Fr. Benedict Groeschel on Sunday Night Live - specifically the episode from their EWTN Family Celebration that aired tonight, find some other means to watch it (and I give you options below).

I have never seen an episode of Sunday Night Live with Fr. Groeschel that I did not like, but this episode was on fire! He spoke about rationalism and how the Historical-Critical Method for interpreting Scripture messed up a good many people - especially priests in their formation. As I watched the show I couldn't help but think that this explains how many in the church have been so disoriented. One casualty was any reference to earlier councils. Fr. Groeschel ties this to why so many priests today just cannot preach effectively on the faith and goes into some interesting details.

Through the history of the Church holy Scripture was read on faith and it was the way the great saints read it, as well as the early Church. Then, in the last 60 years, some people complicated it to the point that only someone with advanced degrees in various languages, history, archeology, etc, would be considered smart enough to read it (if you listened to some scholars - pffffft!!!).

Nevermind what holy Mother Church had given us through the centuries. Fr. Groeschel pointed out something I've been saying all along: God never intended for people to have advanced degrees to "get it". In fact, I have come to the conclusion that when people complicate things to such high levels and it contradicts that which has been taught consistently by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the great popes, it's time to run the other way. From Hebrews 13:8-9

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever ...... Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings".

At one point, Fr. Groeschel had asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they had heard or been taught certain things, which stemmed from this historical-critical method of interpreting Scripture. I can't remember them all, but it is hard to forget some. For example, he wanted to know if anyone had heard that Jesus didn't know he was divine, or something to that effect. It was sad to see so many people raise their hands. To say Jesus was unaware of his divinity is absurd. If Jesus is God, then how can God not be aware of his own divinity? Duh!

Far fewer people had raised their hands when the priest asked members of the audience to raise their hand if they had heard that Jesus' resurrection was merely "spiritual", as in not physical or bodily resurrection. How did this great teaching priest respond so that we would remember what it means to have a "spiritual resurrection"? I give you a classic Fr. Benedict Groeschel quote and great comeback to keep in your pocket. He said,

"A good example of someone who has undergone a spiritual resurrrection is Elvis Presley!"

- Fr. Benedict Groeschel on Sunday Night Live from the EWTN Family Celebration (July 22, 2007)

You can probably listen to this episode online by going to EWTN's Sunday Night Live page.

However, this was such a strong, and solid instructional/catechetical episode, with Fr. Groeschel as passionate as I've seen him in a long time, I would encourage you to support the network while giving yourself something if you can afford it: Buy the CD ($7.00) of tonights episode, or the DVD ($15.00). The episode date is July 22, 2007.

Deo Gratias!