An Introduction to the Four Gospels for Critical Minds & Contemplative Hearts
A Seven-Week Online Bible Study &
Lecture Series with Father Vincent
Especially designed for contemplatives, in this first series of classes, we will begin a rich, meditative, and intellectually stimulating exploration of the four gospels and the tools that help us to interpret them in ways that ground the life and practice of contemplative Christians today.
In this third semester of our “Portraits of Christ” series, Fr. Vincent will begin to explore the structure, theology, and literary ‘brush strokes’ of Mark’s gospel. Within its pages, Christ is portrayed as “The Suffering Son of God” in fulfillment of Isaiah’s oracle of the “Suffering Servant” which reads in part: He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Is. 53:3-6)
This is the prophetic canvas upon which Mark will paint his portrait of Christ. Indeed, this is the palate of theological hues and messianic tones through which he will reveal at every turn that in Jesus of Nazareth the fulfillment of Isaiah’s oracle has come to pass. Being the oldest of the four canonical gospels, Mark is also the shortest, lacking many of the most beloved gospel traditions. His account contains no infancy narrative, no Sermon on the Mount, no teaching on the Lord’s Prayer, or the Prodigal Son, or the Parable of the Lost Sheep, to name only a few. Indeed, the original ending of Mark (16:8) does not even included any appearances of the Risen Christ to his disciples, much less an account of the Ascension. Nevertheless, Mark’s gospel is as rich as it is compelling, full of hidden mysteries, messianic secrets, and wisdom teachings that reveal far more theological depth than its apparent simplicity would suggest. In this intimate analysis of Mark gospel, we will explore not only the text in fine detail, but the interpretive tools that assist us in revealing his ancient message to the modern Church. Especially designed for contemplatives, this third in our series of classes continues our rich, meditative, and stimulating exploration of the gospels in ways that ground the life and practice of contemplative Christians today.