Fr. Perricone: Is Christ a Magician?

Don’t laugh.

Over the past sixty years, such questions were taken quite seriously. In the 1970s, Christ was depicted as a clown in a runaway-hit Broadway musical, Godspell, and as a hippy guru in Jesus Christ Superstar. These strange renderings became de rigueur in not a few Catholic parishes. All these enormities were not to be outdone by the Dominican (now Anglican) Matthew Fox with his bestselling book On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear, presenting the Savior as a drug-addled sage in hallucinatory stupors.

Those times seemed apocalyptic.

But, to our more serious question above. We should preface these words by God’s: “It is a wicked and perverse generation that asks for signs and wonders” (Matthew 16:4).

To Catholics of every stripe, those words of Our Savior are unsettling. Why is God here so very dire? Isn’t the wish of most Catholics that Our Lord will show us favor by manifesting “signs and wonders”? Even in the Church’s better days, a preponderance of Catholics looked in their prayers to Christ for prodigies of explicit gifts?

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