Posted by George Morrison

Ulysses at 100                   Word on the Week             18th June 2022

The book hit its century this week and shows no lack of vigour that might have been expected of one of such an age.   Written by James Joyce and published in Paris where he was living.   Its publication coincided with his 40th birthday.     

At first sight the book appears to be a chaotic jumble of events, some clear, others obscure.   Joyce somewhat mischievously said that he had “put in so many enigmas and puzzles into the book that it would keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant”, which would earn the novel immortality.  His prediction has come true for its first century!

Because of time constraints (the book is 730 pages long) we will copy what others have stated.   “The novel’s stream of consciousness technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose—replete with puns, parodies, and allusions—as well as its rich characterisation and broad humour have led it to be regarded as one of the greatest literary works in history; Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate 16 June as Bloomsday.”

So now you have it and all resulting from Leopold Bloom’s walk through Dublin city on 16th June 1904! 

In what appears to have been a spontaneous PR gesture Paschal Donohoe who chairs the group of EU Finance Ministers presented his EU colleagues with a copy.  A gesture which itself could be open to interpretation!

God also communicates with his people with words which, by his great goodness, have been bound into the Bible.   In it we learn that the Word was present “at the beginning” and along with the Father and the Spirit were the authors of creation (Genesis Chapter 1 & John Chapter 1).   Thus the Bible establishes the trinity.           (2 Corinthians Chapter 13 verse 14).

In order to redeem sinned man God broke into this world through the womb of the virgin Mary and took flesh without ever ceasing to be God.    As the God/man he made atonement for his people’s sins on the cross purchasing their pardon with his life’s blood (1Peter Chapter 1 verses 18 to 19).

All this is for the reader of this Book and the hearer of this Word may, by God’s grace, become partaker of the divine nature.   Consider the Apostle Peter’s words in the opening chapter of his second letter (verses 1 to 4).

“To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.   His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

Two books.   One embedded in this world.  In the other our Triune God reveals a way where-by sinner man can, by grace, participate in Christ’s nature.