Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 14, 2008
Paul was willing to die for the Lord, Smith proclaims
Archdiocese seeks to stir reflection during Pauline year
By GLEN ARGAN
"The holy father is calling the Church to be witnesses to Christ and evangelizers of the good news."
- Gerard McLarney
As well, Theology on Tap will focus on themes in Paul's letters, he noted. Parish groups may want to study the Acts of the Apostles or Paul's letters. And the archdio-cesan evangelization program will dovetail with the Pauline year.
McLarney wrote his master's thesis on St. John Chrysostom's interpretation of the apocalyptic dimension of Paul's writings in his letters to the Thessalonians.
He is now working on a doctoral dissertation on St. Augustine's study of the Psalms. Augustine saw the Psalms as the voice of Christ and the voice of the Church. He relied heavily on St. Paul to help him develop that understanding.
Those two fourth-century fathers of the Church had a deep admiration for St. Paul and sought to render his work present in their local churches, he said.
By declaring the Year of St. Paul, "the holy father is calling the Church to be witnesses to Christ and evangelizers of the good news," McLarney said. "Who better to model that than St. Paul?"
Acts and Paul's 13 letters to Christian communities "offer a window into his life, into his message, into who he is," he said.
"What Acts does is ground Paul's letters in the life and times of the Church. What we're getting is the narrative, the story behind the letters."
As for his letters, Paul asked that they be read during worship to the congregations to which they were sent, McLarney said. He also asked that they be shared with other churches.
Archbishop Smith called St. Paul a "great evangelist of our faith." His hope is that through the study of Paul's life and writings, people will be brought to a greater knowledge of Our Lord.
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