Father Buoy Augustine gave the Saturday Evening Mass at Little Flower Catholic Church in Reno Nevada. In his homily, He thrashed out the Two-Source Hypothesis, which argues that St. Mark was the first Gospel writer and wrote during the time of Nero after the Great Fire of Rome, 18 July to 19 July 0064.
Father Buoy related, Nero used the Great Fire of Rome to run a pogrom against the Christians to divert attention from how Nero ran the Roman government into bankruptcy. Nero threw the Christians to the wild beasts, just as the politicians of Jesus’ time threw Jesus to the wild beasts/the crowds during the crucifixion. Father Buoy discussed how this relates to our Gospel.
The wilderness refers to the place the Great Accuser tempted Jesus those 40 days, Eretz Israel, The Passion, and to any place. The wild beasts refer to the people who persecuted Jesus, the lions who ate the Christians, and to all life. The messengers refer to the angels with Jesus in the desert, the apostles, the women with Jesus after the crucifixion, and to all Christians.
The article, “The thesis statement of St. Mark and returning to Fish City shows how the reading for the First Sunday of Lent is the Gospel of St. Mark’s thesis statement. “This is the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” has a double referent. It is the opening sentence for Mark’s Gospel, and for his whole Gospel as the beginning of the Good News.
Father Buoy discussed the Gospel reading, “The messengers ministered to him.” The messengers are the apostles. At the end of the Gospel St. Mark relates, “These women followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him.” St. Mark ends where he begins, the ministry of Jesus’ followers to the Gospel. The Aramaic for “Wild Beast,” is “Chi,” and means a “living being.” We are the living beings of Mark 1.
Father Buoy’s homily read like the article “Having our steak medium rare…” The contract God makes with Noah is God’s contract with all of his creation. Creatio-, is “A creating, producing, begetting” and “An electing to an office, a choice.” God chose his creation to do what he wants it to do, not us. All of God’s creation includes birds, animals, plants, rocks, dirt, and last humans, who God created last. God created the snakes and the insects before he created us.
Jesus’ Great Commandment, is “Love God with all of your hearts, with all of your anima, and with all of your measure.” How do we love God? We respect what is his, our planet and everything in it. We show a real concern for our planet as something he chose.
Instead, we treat God’s planet as something for us to exploit, the Keystone Pipeline, the Deep Water Horizon disaster, and with all too many other disasters, past, present, and future, with Climate Change. We treat God’s animals as things for us to exploit. Worst of all, we treat our neighbors, customers, workers, employees as things, things to exploit.
Father Buoy argues how our first reading, the contract of Genesis 9 is a contract with all creation and the humans are violating that contract. In reference to Leviticus 25:1-7, Leviticus 26 states: “I will scatter you among the nations… leaving your countryside desolate, and your cities deserted… The land will have rest… the rest that you would not let it have on your Sabbaths when you lived there.”
The Hebrew word for rest is “Noah.” We did not give the land its rest in the first quarter of the twentieth century and God gave us the Dust bowl. We do not give the land its rest today, and God gives us his dust bowl. The land will rest; either we will give it that rest, or God will, and the Mayan predictions will become true, but not as we desire. The choice is ours to make, now.