Monday, February 26, 2007

Forty Days in the Desert of Lent - Day 8

Wisdom of the Fathers:

8:1 Let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays[*], but do you fast on Wednesdays and Fridays.

8:2 And do not pray as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in his Gospel, pray thus: "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, as in Heaven so also upon earth; give us to-day our daily bread, and forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into trial, but deliver us from the Evil One, for thine is the power and the glory for ever."

8:3 Pray thus three times a day.

- The Didache (The Teaching) (c. ~80-100 A.D.)

[*] It is my understanding that certain pious Jews in modern times fast on Monday-Thursday-Monday following the feasts of Pesach and Sukkot. Interestingly, there is a fast called Ta'anit Bechorim (Fast of the Firstborn) which is observed only by firstborn males on the 14th of Nisan, the day before Pesach/Passover, in commemoration of the fact that the first-born of Israel were saved from the fate of the first-born in Egypt. I don't know the antiquity of this fast.


Today the Discovery Channel and show producers are going to hold a press conference to hype a show coming on in early March about the Lost Tomb of Jesus relating the discovery of some interred ossuary boxes in Talpiot, Israel. The claim will be that the Ossuaries are those of the family of Jesus including an 'unrelated' Mary (thus presumably his 'spouse' Mary of Magdala).

So Lent will prove even more difficult this year, perhaps, as the sensationalists will seek the destruction of the Christian faith. Of course, as St. Paul said, if Christ is not raised from the dead, we are men to be pitied.

The Discovery Channel site has some downloadable documents which they use as the 'evidence.' One of these is a 1996 journal article about the find. What makes the whole thing fishy is, if these things were discovered in the 1980s, and journaled about in the 1990s, why did not such a find make a huge splash then?

Second, if there was a conspiracy to create a 'false gospel' of the ressurection of Christ, it seems highly unlikely that such conspiracists would have allowed for the chance that Jesus of Nazareth's bones would be translated from the tomb and placed into a family tomb. But maybe the proto-templars (see, e.g., Da Vinci Code) outwitted them, eh?

I smell a rat, but I've not found him yet.

Many prayers to the Most High for all of us in these dark days.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out the movie's official site at

10:59 AM  
Blogger Hilarius said...

Thanks Anon - it's even more sensational that the official Discovery Channel site

But a quick glance and the sensationalist Jesus Family Tomb site shows that it makes the claim that the Mariamne Mara ossuary inscription means Mariamne the 'master' whereas both epigraphical researchers (whose work is supplied as 'evidence' at the DSC site) state that ή Μάρα is an indication of a second name, with Mara being a contraction of Martha. The 'master' argument seems rather spurious and dependent on the Greek inscription referring to an Aramaic descriptor rather than, consistent with other ossuaries found in Israel, to simply a second Hebrew use-name.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Hilarius said...

I've commented enough here and there about this subject . . . one last link for those who are concerned:

He is an archeologist specializing in Temple Mount excavations. He has a great link to some articles there.

Pray and pray and pray again.

This 'blog is returning to it's regularly scheduled program of meditations on prayer, fasting, almsgiving and the fruits of God-loving ascetical exercise.

11:47 AM  

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