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Text, context, pretext
Text, context, pretext- 5th Week of Lent – Friday- John 10: 31-42
A text taken out of its context, is a pretext. That’s what we are looking at in this pericope. The Jews, like some of us, love taking the text of Jesus outside its context, using it as a pretext for their own agenda (or whoever is the target). His question is quite clear, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
Chapter 10 opens with a new clash between Jesus and the Jews and occurs at the feast of ‘the Dedication of the temple’, three months after the feast of the Tabernacles (chapter 7). Jesus’ appeal to His ‘good works’ is rejected on the grounds that He has blasphemed, and most of this stems from the fact that in chapter nine, He healed a man born blind on the Sabbath. This is the issue for them; the rest is the excuse or pretext.
Jesus gives a scriptural argument based on the principle of “lesser to a greater.” Jesus says, “If scripture can speak of humans as gods” (Psalm 82:6- Septuagint), then how much more is the case with the consecrated agent of the Father, namely Jesus? (All references from the Jerome Biblical commentary).
In yesterday’s pericope, He said it most plainly, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Let me labour a point here for the sake of those who deny that Jesus is God, and merely from texts such as this pericope say, “Jesus only said, ‘I am the Son of God’.” In responding to the Jews, Jesus says “I am” and they pick up stones to stone Him because they recognize that He is making a claim to be God. The punishment for blasphemy was stoning.
Again in today’s text, the Jews say to Jesus, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.” They know who He is claiming to be. The Son of God is God!
Let me quote from the ‘You cat’ (the catechism of the Catholic Church written in a youth friendly way). Number 39 is a question that asks, “Is Jesus God? Does he belong to the Trinity?” The answer which is an abridged version of the longer form of the catechism taken from numbers 243- 260 of the CCC is as follows:
“Jesus of Nazareth is the Son, the second divine person mentioned when we pray, “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). It goes on to explain that there are two ways in which people looked at Jesus- as an imposter who made Himself as the Lord of the Sabbath or, that He was really God.’ “The ‘scandal’ came when he forgave sins (for only God could).
In the eyes of His contemporaries, that was a crime deserving death. Through signs and miracles, but especially through the Resurrection, Jesus’ disciples recognized who He was and worshipped Him as Lord. This is the faith of the Church; to say nothing of the words of St Thomas who said, “My Lord and My God.”
There is a beautiful saying, ‘if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.’ Perhaps too often, we don’t take our catechism seriously. It is truly a pillar that holds the Church’s teaching in scripture and tradition. I have often greeted overzealous ‘evangelizers’ at my door who somehow only find Catholic homes to evangelize! In any case, I find it sad and sometimes am annoyed at the misrepresentation of scripture, especially from ‘The Bible that they carry’. Jesus, the second person of the blessed Trinity is God, period. With Thomas, I wish to reiterate, “My Lord and My God.”
Written on behalf of the Holy Spirit
References from the Jerome Biblical Commentary.Fr Warner D’Souza may be contacted on whatsap on +91- 9820242151.
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The truth will set you free – These very powerful words from our Saviour are the way to remove ourselves from that which holds us back from Gods Love and renew an honest and open journey to Him.
JOHN 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
The Coronavirus has come as a huge shock to us, and within a very short time, it has challenged our attitudes and behaviours radically. Here in Sacred Space, during these uncertain times, we want to reassure you of our continued prayers for all our worldwide community.
In one sense, life continues as normal – and yet it’s not normal at all. Should I take the bus? Can I go safely go out for a walk? Should I visit my neighbour or my friend? That cough I notice, could it be the virus? What of the children’s education? What if I lose my job? Are we going to have a recession? How long will this last? Will we ever get back to real normality again?
Sometimes, the anxiety surrounding the publicity is as contagious as the virus itself, spreading fear and nervousness among the community. In the developed world, in particular, we are in a state of shock. In many ways, we have come to believe that we are in control of our lives, that we have a cure for every disease, that we can fend off all the dangers that threaten our securities. We have built up solid walls to protect us against every unwanted guest, but now our walls have been breached, and the unwanted guest is here. Our securities no longer seem so secure, something in our world is out of our control, and many don’t know where to turn.
We hope and pray, that we will soon find a vaccine for this disease, and that it will be made widely available for everyone who needs it, rich or poor. But in the meantime, we can reflect on our shock. It’s a reminder to us that we are never in total control of our lives, that we can never eliminate every misfortune or heal every illness. Ultimately, our trust has to be in something more solid than we can ever find here on earth. Ultimately, God alone is our security. ‘God is our refuge and our strength, a helper close at hand in times of distress’ (Ps.46:1). Trust Him.
Today I have added 2 short videos. One from Collinsville Christian Church The Bible Series; the other Forest Park Studios. Both tell the same story. However the one portrays a very human looking angel. Oftern God visits us through others. Let us not always look to a supernatural sign, often in the commonest form the Lord is among us.
Today is video time again. The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector.
the video below comes from
Transfiguration of our Lord
Today something completely different. You all Know I have a great liking for toys and Lego. So when I found this animation I had to share. Enjoy it is Sunday rest and be at peace. See you all at school Tomorrow
43“You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Today the message is short but powerful , so I wont look for a discussion on the Bible reading. Instead think about verse 44 from Matthew 5. It seems so counter intuitive. None the less the message our Lord is rooted in loving one another. You may not have enemies in the classical sense, however are there people at school, at home or in the neighbourhood that you think poorly of and wish that they would just get their “Just deserts” Why do you think this and in what way could you possibly befriend them.
Stop violence against women. We wear these ragged bands in solidarity with all who oppose the senseless violence. The bands are not pretty pieces of cloth, rtather they symbolize how “unpretty” violence is.