Showing posts from March, 2013

What's the Good News?

This sermon, first preached in Dublin in March 2007, is the first in a series of 27 sermons on the zodiacal structure of the Gospel of Mark. The others will appear on this blog at the rate of 2 per month.   I found, when I was teaching religious studies, that it often came as a shock to young people to discover that the word gospel means ‘good news’. ‘What’s good about it?’ some would ask. ‘It didn’t do St. Peter any good. He was crucified upside down; and St. Paul had his head chopped off; and all the other apostles seem to have met a similar, grisly fate.’ As the discussion developed, they would really start to list what they considered to be the negative aspects of the Christian enterprise. (Children, even children of pious parents, can be very irreverent!)             After reciting the litany of problems endured - and caused - by Christians throughout the world, they would look at the impact of Christianity on their own lives. Far from it being ‘good news’, they saw it as