I made up this week's homework with a vengeance. First off, the Sunday Gospel was from the chapter so I distributed Dr. Koch's reflection to everyone during lunch. The first question in the homework was to look up "blessed" in a dictionary. So I made copies of Kittel for everyone, because I'm a geek with too much time on my hands. Sometimes. And they actually showed interest in reading it. God bless them.
The next homework question went something like this: "What did Jesus base our blessedness on?" And the first two answers given by ladies in the small group were along the lines of "upon the good things we do, upon our righteousness." I wanted to curl up and die, because my answer was the exact opposite: our emptiness. Not only that, but in response to posting a link to Dr. Koch's reflection on Facebook (because it mentions "virtue"), my friend, Rev. Searl, said the article "smacks of works-righteousness." Um-hum.
The first part of the video, I'd have to say, Cavins struck me as "anointed." It's hard for me to say that about anybody. But that was my impression. "Anointed" or not, it was at least clear to me that Cavins is passionate about the Beatitudes.
During lunch, I was very uncomfortable, of course. This isn't my parish ... or even my diocese. I was looking at my watch constantly because the kids had a half day. But the single fella in the group was asked about his Bible knowledge and he said he's been studying the Bible for a few years now and just started reading Revelation. I was interested in hearing him say more about that but the leader used that as a way to ask me about my studying. She knows I study at Princeton Alliance, so she asked me about their approach to the Bible. I demurred talking about them. But she persisted, "They are fundamentalists, aren't they?" and I said, "Sure. Sure, they are."
It was an unfair question, a loaded question and especially ironic because fundamentalism is a matter of degree. I almost reminded her of that. What she couldn't know is that, while I consider just about everyone a biblical fundamentalist, there's nothing pejorative 'bout it.
Alright, I should dig out Fr. Witherup's book and read it again.