You may recall that this
ending of the Gospel of Mark, the one that appears in the most ancient
manuscripts of the book, seemed too abrupt to later copyists. Before long, 11
more verses had found their way there, a busy digest of post-resurrection
experiences from a variety of sources: John's account of the scene at the tomb
with Mary Magdalene, John's story of Thomas the doubter, a version of the walk
to Emmaus, an account of Jesus' ascension, other material from Luke/Acts. These
are entered almost as bullet points.
But the tacked-on verses need
not concern us here--the Revised Common Lectionary walks away from them
politely. We are left with the bald confusion and fear at the end of the
ancient tale, from a time before it was canonized and liturgized.
April 4 issue of the Century offers Ruth Burrows's witness to her life as a
contemplative Carmelite; it also includes an homage to a community
of students shaped by their experience with Trappist monks, which in turn shaped Faith Matters writer Stephanie Paulsell in her
faith and thinking.
Yet Carmelite, Benedictine, Trappist and other
monastic communities find themselves in a precarious place these days, with many
of them closed or closing. Must we lose these Catholic (and Protestant) communities before we
realize that they are a profound presence
to those of us out wandering in the world?
Jessica McClard got the idea for the Little Free Pantry from seeing Little Free Libraries in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she lives. She received a microgrant through Thrivent Financial to build a small cupboard mounted on a post to hold food items, toiletries, and paper goods to which people may help themselves. The small food pantry was placed outside Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. “Peanut butter and jelly, feminine hygiene products, and diapers are in demand,” McClard said, noting that garden vegetables go quickly as well. She has a Facebook page devoted to the pantry concept and is encouraging others to build their own (Huffington Post, July 29).