Today’s sermon

Today’s gospel was about the curing of the deaf mute by Jesus. “And immediately, the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.” Fr. Porter’s sermon talked about how rare it is to find people who speak plainly today, especially politicians. He also talked about how medical science has changed our reality, making it possible for the deaf to hear and the blind to see. One example he mentioned was about a friend of his whose “sister-in-law’s husband” had had an operation to restore his hearing. I always have trouble connecting these relationships, but isn’t your sister-in-law’s husband your brother? Immediately I wondered what Fr. Porter really meant. Was it the sister-in-law’s second husband? Does she remain his sister-in-law after the divorce? Did he really mean the sister-in-law’s brother? I thought about asking him after Mass to, but got caught up talking to the canter and left by the other door. Anyway, I guess the point is that not too many people speak plainly.

DadFunnies09/07/03 9 comments


Patrick • 09/09/03 10:11 AM:

That reminds me of the lawyer who, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my sister-in-law’s husband?

And, as we all know, Jesus then told the parable of the Good Samaritan.

But really, Dad, you need to think outside your own situation. Mom is an only child, so for you, your only sister-in-law is your brother’s wife. But what if Graciela gets married? Then her husband is my sister-in-law’s husband. And he’s probably not my brother. (You never know. Dan?)

Dad • 09/09/03 12:27 PM:

I believe the friend Fr. Porter spoke of was a priest, so he wouldn’t have been married. But your point is well taken. As for parables, I prefer the prodigal daughter-in-law’s husband.

Dan • 09/09/03 1:03 PM:

to answer pat, i don’t know either.

what about “the father’s daughter-in-law’s husband who is prodigal”? does that even work? i always get a headache when figuring out family tree stuff. like in ferris bueller’s day off.

is the son STILL prodigal? or just “was”?

Patrick • 09/09/03 11:56 PM:

How do you like how that parable has completely ruined the meaning of the word prodigal? It used to mean just extravagant or abundant. You could have a prodigal harvest or a prodigal river or something. But now it means sinfully wasteful.

Dad • 09/10/03 10:27 AM:

What do you mean used to? The parable is 2000 years old for crying out loud! True, it was spoken in Arabic and translated into Greek and Latin before King James sponsored his famous English version, but by then, the choice of prodigal to describe the son must have been apt. Besides, extravagant son works pretty well too. And anyway, I’ve never heard the word prodigal used other than in the parable.

Patrick • 09/10/03 9:06 PM:

Jesus does not use the word prodigal in his parable, not even in the King James version of it. It’s the parable’s nickname. I imagine someone could trace the usage of the term to some origin or general time, but it didn’t come in with the Bible, not even the 16th-century English version. I’m tempted to exaggeration you, Dad, but I’ll just leave it at that.

David • 09/11/03 11:49 AM:

A long time ago I heard a sermon on The Prodigal Son. The priest quoted some BC theologian who had written a big paper on The Prodigal Father, as the parable should really be called. So, I agree with Pat - the parable was just named incorrectly. In a regular Bible there are no nicknames for different parts of the Gospel. Also, the son was rather extravagant in his living, so prodigal does work with him. It’s only that it works better with the father, symbolizing God’s extravagant, abundant, lavish love for us. (so you know - prodigal is from the Latin - prodigus - meaning “to drive forth, to give away”). So yeah, Pat’s claim that prodigal now means ‘wasteful’ is true, but it always has - even with the Latin people from back in the day. :)

I do remember as a youngster thinking that ‘prodigal’ meant ‘lost’ or something like that.

Patrick • 09/11/03 12:59 PM:

I’m talking mostly about the connotation of the word. Whereas it could be a good thing to be prodigal, most people would not understand that nowadays. The son was prodigal in his throwing all his money away. The father was prodigal in his love. But people nowadays use prodigal to mean wayward or some other negative, sinful kind of word.

David • 09/12/03 1:10 PM:


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