Lecture examines origin of “Blessed are the poor”

first_imgNotre Dame law professor John Finnis posed the question, “Who Said, ‘Blessed are the Poor’?” in a lecture Friday at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture’s 15th Annual Fall Conference entitled “Your Light Will Rise in the Darkness: Responding to the Cry of the Poor.”Finnis said the answer to the lecture’s titular question can be found by exploring the differences between the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.“The firm answer [to the question, who said, “Blessed are the Poor?”] is given by the Gospel [of] Luke,” Finnis said.Finnis said Jesus clearly that addresses not only the poor, but also his disciples, when he compares the destitute and hungry to the rich.“What [Jesus] promised the poor was not social justice,” Finnis said. “What he was — and is — holding out is the short hope of a place of Kingdom of God — not now, but as a great reward in heaven.”Finnis said “blessed are the poor” with “blessed are the poor in spirit” are found in distinct accounts of the gospels.“The Gospel according to Matthew describes similar blessings in the Beatitudes,” he said.  “Notice in his account that the poverty in the third and fourth Beatitudes are spiritual. Do not care for riches. Lay up your treasures in heaven. You cannot serve two masters in God and wealth.”Luke cautions readers of his gospel about the vices wealth may spawn.“In the context of warning, [Luke] cautioned against avarice,” Finnis said.  “… The poor in Luke’s straightforward sense is what the poor in spirit are to experience, that is the good news of the gospel — there is a treasure in heaven.“So, did Jesus say, blessed are the ‘poor’ or ‘poor in spirit?’ The two evangelists are reporting the same sermon.  Both contain —in the same order — love your enemies, judge not others, but it seems clear one account is not derived from the other and they’re not from the same source.  Two different reports on one sermon.”Finnis cited theologian John Chapman and said, “There is no reason to doubt that Jesus on inaugural sermon said both.”“While Luke’s Beatitudes may represent the fiery, original words, Matthew spiritualized them, making them applicable to the spiritual needs of others,” Finnis said. “Gospels are not eyewitness testimonies all the time, but each evangelist has arranged the accounts to address the spiritual needs of the community they are a part of.“One can forge a good argument from discontinuity for the core Beatitudes — in spirit can represent the Beatitudes in the communities. As for the other Beatitudes, they are parallel to the form and function of the work of Jesus.“Those Beatitudes may be referred to be authentic.”Tags: beatitudes, blessed are the poor, blessed are the poor in spirit, Gospel, Luke, Matthew, poor, poor in spiritlast_img read more

Faculty, staff speak on the ‘Cost of Silence’ on college campuses

first_imgMembers of the Notre Dame faculty and administration discussed their experiences with diversity and how the Notre Dame community might encourage it on campus during the Cost of Silence Faculty and Staff panel Thursday night.Timothy Matovina, the chair of the theology department and former co-director of the Institute of Latino Studies, said people should not make assumptions about others, especially Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students and Latino students.“Don’t presume because someone is here from a certain background that they’re a diversity admit or that they have a lower SAT score than everyone else,” he said. “ … In my experience, they achieved at the very highest levels at the schools they’re in, which is our policy.”Matovina also said students should consider the implications of politics on some students’ personal lives, especially in light of last year’s national election.“The political is very personal,” he said. “ … [Students who came to talk to him] had no idea what the repercussions would be, and there’s still a tremendous fear. It wasn’t just a matter of political disagreement.”Brian Collier, the director of the American Indian Catholic Schools Network, said disrespecting Native Americans and their culture is not something of the past, as evidenced by two students dressing as Native Americans for their Halloween costumes during a football game this season. The students’ costumes included the headdress that is a religious symbol in some cultures, Collier said.“It’s not that people want trouble,” he said. “People don’t want their religious symbols appropriated.”Collier also said students should say something whenever they see someone misusing a culture’s symbols.For the LGBT community, Sara Agostinelli, the assistant director for LGBTQ Initiatives at the Gender Relations Center, said things are “just okay” for LGBT students on campus.“Something I hear a lot is that here at Notre Dame students feel very tolerated,” she said. “There’s not these daily acts of hate or things we might see at other institutions across the country, but there’s not a sense of welcoming, embrace and celebration.”To remedy this problem, Agostinelli recommended that students recognize the importance of allies and to reach out to students to check in on how they are doing, especially when hateful acts happen on other campuses.For an admissions perspective, Don Bishop, the associate vice president of undergraduate enrollment, said Notre Dame has made great strides in becoming more diverse due to new recruiting tactics. These tactics, Bishop said, include expanding the spring visitation program, going to new schools and working with community-based organizations.“Rather than waiting for kids to instantly know enough about Notre Dame and apply, we’re trying to go out and seek them and get a conversation with them,” he said.As a result of these efforts, Bishop said Notre Dame is on par with diversity with the average of the top 30 most selective private institutions in the U.S. He said the only categories in which Notre Dame falls behind is with Asian Americans and international students.Mary Galvin, the William K. Warren Foundation dean of the College of Science, spoke about her personal experiences. Though she is an accomplished scientist who has a Ph.D. from MIT, she said she oftentimes felt stupid since a third-grade teacher had told her parents she “wasn’t college material.”Due to her background, Galvin said she understands that many students who come to Notre Dame from schools that may not have offered AP science classes may begin to feel they are falling behind in their science and engineering courses. She said students must share their experiences with others to help them not feel bad about themselves.“If you went through the struggle of not thinking you were smart but then got out of it, be willing to talk about it,” she said.Jay Caponigro, the director of community engagement in the Office of Public Affairs, said to help solve social issues today, students must build relationships with others. To develop these partnerships, Caponigro said you must listen to people and ask them about their stories, especially by asking the question, “Why?” Caponigro also said allies must teach others to do things for themselves as well.“An ally isn’t someone who just does stuff for other people,” he said.Tags: allyship, Cost of Silence, DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, LGBT, racelast_img read more

Garden bees

first_imgBy Paul A. ThomasUniversity of GeorgiaBees are good. Fruit trees, farm crops and almost all nativeplants depend on bees, our best pollinators, to reproduce. Butthat doesn’t mean bees are welcome in everyone’s garden.Some people (0.4 percent of the population) have serious allergicreactions to bee stings. They’re always concerned when they seeany kind of bee.Dozens of true bee species are in Georgia gardens. Most are smalland rarely sting. Or if they do, their stings are mild. In 15years of developing butterfly and hummingbird gardens, I’ve neverbeen stung, nor have my active boys, despite being surrounded bybees nine months of the year.The bad guyMost insect stings, though, aren’t from bumblebees or evenhoneybees. The No. 1 culprit is the yellow jacket.These ground-dwelling wasps are fairly aggressive scavengers.They’re attracted to anything sweet or rotting. You can be in a100-acre lawn with no flowers and still be stung by yellowjackets.Even then, these insects are only reacting to perceived threatsto their nests when they sting. They’re not out to get you.Honeybees and bumblebees definitely have better things to do thansearch you out. Following a few commonsense rules will keep yourchances of being stung in the garden tiny.Sting preventionStrong perfumes, for instance, may attract defensive insects ifyou’re near their nests. Sometimes what you eat for breakfast canattract a bee. The odor of banana, for example, mimics an alarmchemical honeybees use to alert nest-mates to danger.In the garden, keep three things in mind. Where the ‘bees’ areWatch for insect nests, too. Bumblebees and yellow jackets reartheir young in shallow underground nests. Bumblebees prefergrassy areas at the edge of woods or near large rocks. Yellowjackets seem to like soft soil in the sun but protected by grassor other small plants.Look for insects flying back and forth in the same direction nearthe ground. That’s almost always a sign that a colony is nearby.You can grow plants that don’t attract stinging insects, too.Whatever attracts hummingbirds and butterflies will attract scadsof bees. But don’t mow off the butterfly garden yet.Many of the most attractive plants are natives. Joe Pye weed, forinstance, attracts wasps and yellow jackets like a magnet.Monarda, Echinacea and even azaleas attract bees.Many ornamental imports lure bees, too. Good examples are abeliabushes, chaste trees (Vitex), butterfly bushes (Buddleia), hybridazaleas, and perennials and annuals such as Mexican sunflowers(Tithonia), salvias, snapdragons, sedums and phlox.The ‘wrong stuff’ to beesPlants that don’t attract bees are less common. They includecultivars of dianthus, geraniums, chrysanthemums, marigolds,strawflowers, some zinnias and many roses.We don’t yet have a long list of plants that don’t attract bees.Much more research needs to be done. After a large University ofGeorgia student project this summer, we hope to publish anextensive list of garden plants that don’t attract bees or waspsthis fall.You can help us out. Spend some time in the garden and send yourobservations to Paul Thomas at pathomas@uga.edu. Let us knowwhat plants bees don’t seem to visit. We’ll add them to the listto be evaluated.In the meantime, enjoy the bees.(Paul Thomas is an Extension Service horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences. CAES entomologist Keith Delaplane also contributed tothis article.) Move slowly, especially near flowers bees are feeding on.Watch your hands. If you brush a bee off a flower, it mayinstinctively cling to you. If you do nothing, it will almostalways fly off. This may require a minute or so of bravery. If itstays on your shirt or skin, a slow brushing-off will usually dothe trick. Never try to hit, swat or pick off the bee.Never go into a garden or lawn with bare feet. Stepping on ahoneybee in the clover is a common way to get stung.last_img read more