February 22, 2018

Author Archive | Mark Shea

Can the baby Jesus really harden hearts? A girl holds her baby Jesus figurine as Pope Francis leads the Angelus in Rome on 11 December 2016. Photo: CNS

Mark Shea: the hidden God and scripture’s satire on willful blindness

As we saw last time, Jesus draws from the Old Testament tradition in telling parables. And at the heart of the Old Testament tradition of parabolic storytelling is the fact that parables are stories told to and about corrupt figure in positions of power.  That is why, for instance, the prophet Nathan tells King David […]

Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi is surrounded by the media after a 4 November news conference for his new book "Merchants in the Temple: Inside Pope Francis' Secret Battle Against Corruption in the Vatican."

Mark Shea: The Bible is dopey stories for cretins? Time to think again

As I mentioned last time in this space, we often have the perception of the gospels as more or less unstructured ragbags of “tales and sayings about Jesus” in which the evangelist just tosses out collections of yarns about Jesus, some stories he told and a jumble of memories from people who give us random […]

Detail from 'The Call of St Matthew', a mural in the Cathedral of St Matthew in Washington DC, USA. Photo: Fr Lawrence Lew OP

Mark Shea: a grace mightier than the law

As we saw last time in this space, Matthew’s purpose in giving us an apparent grab-bag jumble of miracle stories in Matthew 8-9 is to show that he gives us the power to live out the new law of the new covenant given on a new mountain by a new Moses.  As we also discussed, […]


Mark Shea: the power to conquer sin, not simply to identify it

Last time, in this space, we looked at the way Matthew and Luke arrange and relate similar batches of sayings from Jesus in order to make different points to different audiences. One of the things we noted was that Matthew is making the case to an audience of his fellow Jews that Jesus is the […]

A mosaic of an angel, a symbol of St Matthew, on the facade of St Paul's within the Walls in Rome. Photo: Fr Lawrence Lew OP

Mark Shea: we’re so much smarter now, right?

We live in an age under the chronic delusion that we are 2000 years smarter than the simple people who wrote and read the gospels. Accordingly, we often do not bother to look for the sophisticated and subtle ways in which the evangelists communicated with their disciples and we therefore miss a great deal of […]

US blogger and author Mark Shea during a 2010 visit to Sydney. Photo: David McCowen

This time it’s personal: Catholic blogger and author Mark Shea joins The Catholic Weekly

Love him or loathe him, American author and blogger Mark Shea is one of the world’s most incisive and engaging writers on Catholicism today (Editor: we love him). He and his equally engaging former colleague and friend, Simcha Fisher, have joined The Catholic Weekly as regular columnists. Here’s Mark, introducing himself. Hello Sydney Catholics! Pleased to meet you! […]