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Showing posts with label Judiasm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Judiasm. Show all posts

Sunday, June 3, 2018

A Homily – Mark 2:23-3.6 ©

The Gospel According to Mark – 2018.06.03

The Sabbath was Made for Man

The homily for today is cautionary tale.

On the one hand it serves as an indictment of the people who plotted against Jesus, those who desired to see an end to his ministry and who plotted his murder.

On the other hand it serves to separate the ministry of Jesus, who was himself a Pharisee, from the establishment of Pharisaic Judaism, which in the period of the early Church, had not converted to Christianity, and whose membership was extremely hostile to it.

However, the most important aspect of the narrative is the message, that the ordinances of God, the laws and customs of the people, exist to serve humankind, not the other way around.

Jesus is a good theologian, he makes the argument first on the basis of tradition and scripture, and then on the grounds of justice.

The miracle that is performed need not be taken literally, it is a metaphor, and as a metaphor it serve to put the exclamation point on the rest of the narrative.

The power to heal comes from God, god would not have granted such power in contravention of God’s law, giving the proof to Jesus, that he has correctly interpreted the law, and stands in divine favor.

The Sabbath

The Son of Man is master even of the Sabbath

One sabbath day, Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’ And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?’

And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath.’
He went again into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him.

9th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Homily – John 2:13 – 25 ©

The Gospel According to John – 2018.03.04


The gospel of the day moves the reader in different directions.

The writers had a mix of motivations. On the one hand they wanted to express the understanding that the death and resurrection of Jesus was foretold by him, it was known, and it was in keeping with God’s plan.

The Gospel writers mixed in with a commentary on the social corruption of the day, with the intention of distancing Jesus and the disciples, and the burgeoning Christian movement from it. In this regard the Gospel for today is a piece of propaganda.

It is unnecessary for the writers to comment on the Jewish Passover, unless they were writing to people who were not themselves Jewish, they were also desiring to distance Christianity from its Jewish origins.

Let us be clear, Jess was a Jew, and the Passover to him, was simply the Passover.

Be mindful, the commentary on the corruption in the temple is not without merit. There was corruption, there has always been corruption in the priesthood, both before the time of Jesus and after.

The organization of religion is as much a matter of commerce as it is of spirituality, perhaps more. This just criticism must be applied equally to the entire community of believers, in all times, and in all places.

Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.
As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

3rd Sunday of Lent