The Franciscan Scotus

Duns Scotus1November 8th is the feast day of Blessed John Duns Scotus, a Franciscan friar from Scotland noted for his theological and philosophical work in the high-middle ages (late 13th and early 14th centuries). Scotus’ work was in the generation that followed Thomas of Aquinas and Bonaventure. His work was complex and nuanced, and he is generally considered to be one of the three most important philosopher-theologians of his time. He was given the medieval accolade Doctor Subtilis (Subtle Doctor) for his penetrating and subtle manner of thought. Continue reading

Prophecy and Discipleship

The gospel for 1st Sunday in Advent (2020) was Mark 13:32-37. Now at the end of the liturgical year, the reading again appears this coming Sunday, the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time in lectionary cycle B. Our Gospel reading is from Mark 13:24-37, the end verses of the larger “Olivet Discourse” in Mark’s gospel (13:1-37). In the Gospel of Mark there is no passage more challenging than the prophetic discourse of Jesus on the destruction of the Temple. The questions posed by the form and content of the chapter and by its relationship to the Gospel as a whole are complex and difficult and have been the occasion of extensive literature. The Olivet discourse is unique as the longest uninterrupted course of private instruction recorded by Mark. Moreover, it is the only extended speech attributed to Jesus by the evangelist. Continue reading