Last week I glanced at the parish bulletin in which you talk up Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. While the movie greatly impressed you, you withhold
Indeed this is one of the comments the critics made about Mel Gibson's film, The Passion. His main focus was on the suffering of Jesus Christ.
Your caveat is a bit pussy-footed: A far more trenchant and damning criticism was leveled against The Passion, and it's a problem the Catholic Church itself has long sidestepped: anti-Semitism.
If you're going to remind parishioners of a serial anti-Semite, serial bigot's movie, I think you owe it to the sheep to emphasize that many viewers did not find the film morally uplifting.
Separately, I attended this morning's Mass at 9, in which you read--and commented upon--Doubting Thomas.
I admire the probably-fictional Thomas, since I don't respect people who are willing to believe magical stories based on no evidence. When people come to Thomas with improbable-sounding stories about a reanimated dead body levitating through cave walls, Thomas expresses mild skepticism. Good for him!
While leery on hearsay claims concerning the flying dead, even if presented with dispositive evidence I'd still occasionally disagree with Jesus' moral teachings.
The New Testament endorses slavery, for example: See Ephesians 6:5-6, 1 Timothy 6:1-2 and Luke 12:47-48. Even if I became convinced that the Resurrection happened, I would still strongly oppose Christianity's support for slavery.
By contrast, you today preached that we no longer have reason to take Thomas' questioning attitude: 'How lucky are we,' you announced: We have 2000 years of Christian history to rely on, so we have far greater reason to accept the Christian message than did poor Thomas. All those Christians must have known something, right?
Your argument then is an extremely weak one--and it causes me to respect you less. Two millennia of Christianity ought not lessen our agnosticism as to apocryphal stories involving revived dead folks. Hinduism is older still than Christianity--do you consider its age a compelling statement on behalf of its historicity?
Of those hundreds of millions of forgotten Christians, btw, most had extremely little education. Most were destitute, by our standards. A great proportion had essentially no meaningful freedom to reject their religion's disparate and evolving claims. At every phase of Christian history, there was a leader telling the flock that believing without evidence demonstrated sublime inner purity.