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In yesterday’s “This Sunday” post we  find two interpretations of this week’s reading from two priests, Fr. Robert Barron and Fr. Scott Lewis, whom I highlight each week.

Fr. Robert Barron could be considered a Catholic apologist (for more (and I mean more) on Apologetics click here.). In this homily, Becoming Fit for Worship, Fr. Barron seems to take issue with those preachers who focus on this week’s gospel as a story of Jesus’ compassion for the outcast. He argues that this traditional interpretation misses the deeper theological meaning of the story. He sees Christ’s healing of the man, cleansing him, as a way of restoring all us to “right worship.”  As always this is a fascinating and intellectually deep reflection on this Gospel story.

Fr. Gregory Boyle defies description really and may well be a scholarly person. From what little I know of him,” G-Dog” (as his friends call him) has dedicated his life to living the gospel and teaching through his words and more importantly by his actions. His book, Tattoos on the Heart:The Power of Boundless Compassion is compelling and challenging. Fr. Greg has dedicated his life to living in the midst of people many would consider to be ‘ritually unclean’ , LA gang members.

Fr. Scott Lewis’ column this week is titled- “Jesus reaches out with Compassion.” This reflection would fit with Fr. Greg’s view of the call from this week’s reading and might be one that seems a bit to obvious for  apologetic interpretations of Fr. Barron.

More on this as the week progresses. I encourage you to read Fr. Lewis and listen to Fr. Barron.

Both of these interpretations of our readings this week are thought provoking.

It is a worthy calling to dedicate ones life to being a scholarly defender of the faith .

Ministering by reaching down and actually touching  the “unclean”is equally valid. In many ways it seems to me to be the harder path to take.

Let me  end this post with a quote from Fr. Boyle for us to think about:

“Nor does Jesus think that the harder thing is the better thing. He knows it is just the harder thing.”

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