The Catecast #0004 – Classroom FFT Session

A Cayman Gabriel Media Production

IThe Catecast #0004 – Classroom FFT Session, host Mark Moorhead shares Part 1 of a Food For Thought discussion with his students and gives a Lectio Divina on this upcoming Sunday’s Gospel.

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In The Catecast #0004 – Classroom FFT Session:

  • Mark…
  • Shares Part 1 of a pre-recorded portion of a Food For Thought session with a group of students
  • Shares a Lectio Divina on Mt 25:31-46
  • Reads a quote on Lectio Divina by Cardinal Robert Sarah

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About The Catecast

The Catecast is a podcast that aims to share the Catholic faith with anyone who wants to learn.  Mark, the host, does this in his own engaging style.  He relies on over 15 years of full-time catechetical experience and an advanced educational background in Catholic theology.  His systematic approach is simultaneously thorough yet entertaining, and it’s sure to capture your attention.  You’ll be having fun and learning more about the Catholic faith in no time!

Stay tuned for more next time as we continue “casting the net” to win souls for Jesus Christ on The Catecast.

The Catecast #0004 - Classroom FFT Session

Author: Cayman Gabriel

Cayman Gabriel is the founder of Cayman Gabriel Media. He produces works of Christian fiction with a Catholic flavor and is a frequent contributor to the blog.

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2 thoughts on “The Catecast #0004 – Classroom FFT Session

  1. That was a great explanation from Benedict XVI saying why John’s gospel is correct, placing the crucifixion on the day of preparation for the passover when the lambs were slaughtered. It makes sense in many ways why that is true, but it didn’t answer the original question, which was why are they (the synoptic gospels and the gospel of John) different. While interesting, the explanation of how the last supper was and was not a passover meal does not answer the original question.

    Why are they different? If John’s account is true, by the law of non-contradiction, the synoptics must be false. That doesn’t seem right, but I don’t know how to conclude anything else.

    • After listening to the question again, I believe it was answered in the best way possible, but I’ll try to clarify and add to what was said. Let me begin by restating the original question, verbatim:
      “Matthew, Mark, and Luke all say that Jesus sent the Apostles to prepare for Passover on the day of preparation, which is the day for sacrificing the Passover Lamb, but in John, it says that Jesus was crucified on preparation day. Why are they different?”

      To ask, “Why are they different?” begs the question… “How are they different?” In the preface to the question, the questioner presents us with the apparent discrepancy. The difference between the synoptics and John seems, at least on the surface, to be that the synoptics have the Last Supper occurring on the day of preparation, while John has it the night before the day of preparation. It stands to reason that if we can ascertain the actual days on which these events occurred, then the answer to “Why are they different” is already implied. However, let’s look at it again and see what more could be said, beginning with the question as you posed it in your comment.

      You wrote, “If John’s account is true, by the law of non-contradiction, the synoptics must be false. That doesn’t seem right, but I don’t know how to conclude anything else.” I think you sense correctly that it doesn’t seem right that one or the other must be false, and I submit that this is because the principle of non-contradiction is not in play here. That principle would only apply if the situation is mutually exclusive – that either John or the synoptics are correct, but not both. However, this would require us to rule out any other possibility. In this case we can see a third possibility. This is precisely why I think Pope Benedict XVI’s explanation answers the question for us.

      Pope Benedict XVI, having studied the question himself by considering the best and most widely accepted scholarly arguments, sees a way to harmonize the accounts, the details of which were related on the podcast and will not be repeated here.

      Can we say more than this? I think we can, but first we have to concede that one thing we’ll never know this side of Heaven is the motives behind the synoptic authors’ choice of words. We can speculate, however, and that’s the best we can do, honestly.

      I think it’s fair to assume John explains the details of the Triduum in the most precise language possible as it pertains to dates/times, and furthermore, that he knew of the synoptic Gospels and saw no contradiction between his account and theirs. It’s also clear that the Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself, and therefore it’s only right that we should assume that the seeming contradictions are only apparent contradictions, and not real ones. We must begin here… with faith seeking understanding.

      One possible meaning of the synoptics description of the day of the Last Supper as the day of preparation may be akin to how we choose to speak of things, even today. Might it be possible that, when they say it was the day of preparation, they were speaking of it in the same way we might call December 24 “Christmas Eve,” even when it’s 9am on the 24th? We do the same with New Year’s Eve, calling the whole day, and not only the evening itself, “New Year’s Eve.” Is it possible that the synoptics were merely referring to the daytime on the day on which the First Day of Unleavened Bread (the day of preparation) would begin at sundown? I think it is. There are also clues to suggest that the synoptics are indicating that this is the case, namely that in Matthew, Jesus says to explain to the householder that His time is at hand and He will keep the Passover at that place, on that evening. Is this detail indicating something along the lines of, “Hey… I know it’s a day early, but I’m going to want to have a meal along the lines of the Passover tonight.”? There is also no account of lamb being eaten at the meal (except for the Lamb of God, of course), which isn’t evidence in itself, but is in keeping with this theory.

      In the end, we must admit that the best we can do is speculate as to why the accounts are different. In summary, I would suggest that as long as there are plausible explanations which harmonize the accounts, we should let faith elevate our reason and trust that any contradictions are merely apparent ones.

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