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Tag Archives: JESUS CHRIST

A MAN WITH A WITHERED HAND

Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 3:1-6 – 2nd ORDINARY WEEK: Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Sabbath issue flares up one more. By examining the purpose of work, Jesus answers the charge that work is absolutely prohibited on the Sabbath. The Law cannot forbid doing good. Such a result would fatally confuse means and ends.

In refocusing the meaning of Law and covenant, Jesus is a true priest as He clarifies our understanding of the Law and urges us toward an adult faith.

At the end of this brief but fundamental controversy, we sense that the clock is ticking. For opposing entrenched views and vested interests, death is now on Jesus’ horizon. Neither His priesthood nor our discipleship would be bloodless.

The function of any priest is, first of all, to help us see the Father rather than to only tell us about Him.

Jakarta, 23 January 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

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Posted by on January 23, 2019 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2019

 

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THE DISCIPLES AND THE SABBATH

Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 2:23-28 – 2nd ORDINARY WEEK: Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Another controversy arises – this one about the Sabbath. Jesus does not negate the holiness of the Sabbath but how reverence for it was expressed. These words of Jesus had special meaning for those early Christians who shifted their Sabbath celebration to Sunday after they had been excluded from the synagogue.

Beneath this controversy and the bold confidence of the early Christians in rearranging their worship obligations is the recognition of Jesus as the source and animating spirit of religious law and practice. Without the Holy Spirit of Christ, religious law can easily become a burden and engine of sin.

The things for which we hope influence what we are today.

Jakarta, 22 January 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2019 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2019

 

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THE QUESTION ABOUT FASTING

Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 2:18-22 – 2nd WEEK OF THE YEAR: Monday, 21 January 2019

We grasp the distinction between Testaments in the difference between John and Jesus. John’s disciples fasted and did penance to reach out to God. In Jesus, God reaches out into our hearts and lives.

The Lord describes this as fresh, new wine. Just as the pressure from the fermentation of new grapes would explode old wineskins, so the new incarnated presence of Jesus would burst out of the old Jewish institutions from which it began.

This new wine means that everything now is built on Christ. He is the Temple, the Bread of Life, the Living Water, the Light of the World, the Passover. Jesus’ presence renders all things holy. Secondly, Christ’s work of reconciliation is dynamic. The work of drawing mankind back to God continues to expand through our lives as Christians.

Because of Jesus, we are now as far from God as we choose to be.

Jakarta, 21 January 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2019 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2019

 

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DO WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU: 2nd ORDINARY SUNDAY [Year C] – John 2:1-11

Jakarta, 20 January 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2019 in MARY, MISCELLANY

 

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THE FIRST OF HIS SIGNS

THE FIRST OF HIS SIGNS

(A biblical reflection on the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time [Year C], 20 January 2019)

Gospel Reading: John 2:1-11  

First Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalms: Psalm 96:1-3,7-10; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11  

The Scripture Text

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with His disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. (John 2:1-11 RSV) 

A wedding feast is a biblical symbol for the Kingdom of God, therefore, the Old Testament sometimes pictures God as a groom and the people of Israel as His beloved bride. John may have had this imagery in mind when he wrote about the event in today’s Gospel.

In this story, there are six stone jars of water the Jews use for ceremonial washings, each with a capacity of about twenty gallons. Some very strict Jews followed a religious law requiring them to wash their hands in a certain way before they ate. With their fingers pointing upwards, they poured water over their hands and let it drip to their wrists. Then, with fingers pointing downward, they poured water so it ran from the wrists to the tip of the fingers. They repeated this ritual before each course of the meal because they believed it was an outward sign of holiness. Hands not cleansed in this way were ritually unclean.

Because wine was both a symbol of joy and an important part of every meal in first-century Palestine, the bride and groom must have been pretty embarrassed when they ran out of it. Jesus may have been at least partially responsible for this shortage if He brought some of His uninvited apostles to the party with Him. This would explain why Mary, herself a guest, was so concerned about the shortage of wine.

The six water jars may stand for the special covenant relationship the Jewish people enjoyed with God. Since the number seven was symbolic of perfection, six jars of water meant the covenant was not perfect and had to be transformed by Jesus into an ideal relationship with God in His long-awaited Kingdom.

Although Mary – His mother – is a prominent figure in this story, the evangelist never calls her by name in his Gospel. At the wedding (and as he hangs on the cross), Jesus simply calls her “Woman”, and address that sounds disrespectful to us because there is no precise English translation for the Greek word the Gospel uses here. We may also translate this word as “madam” or “lady” but these titles are much too cold.

Finally, John never uses the word “miracles” in his Gospel but profess “signs” instead. Today’s reading ends when he says the water turned into wine was the first of the signs Jesus performed. John records only seven signs in his Gospel.

(Adapted from Jerome J. Sabatowich, Cycling Through the Gospels – Gospel Commentaries for Cycles A, B, and C, pages 272-273.)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, today’s Gospel reading gives us a marvelous image of the loving relationship we have with You through Jesus. He has come to claim us as Your own, and He is generous in the gifts he brings. There is nothing mean about Jesus in the story: not a small and unimportant thing, but gallons of first class wine.  Thank You, Father. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 18 January 2019 

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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MANY TAX COLLECTORS AND SINNERS SAT WITH JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES

Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 2:13-17 – 1st ORDINARY WEEK: Saturday, 19 January 2019

Jesus dines with tax collectors, a sector of society despised as social pariahs. According to the strict law of the Old Testament, commence with such public sinners made an individual ritually unclean. It was guilt by association with a vengeance.

Jesus cracks open the status quo as He draws people into the Kingdom who, until now, had been excluded. Jesus cleansed, healed and changed an assortment of outsiders such as Levi (Matthew).

Ritual uncleanness may have had some logic when ritual effectiveness was a function of a devotee’s personal holiness and the power to forgive was seen to be lodged in a remote God. Now, however, the power to forgive which moves among us is the person of Jesus. He is Messiah – our abiding agent of reconciliation and the source of liturgical power.

Jesus is more than an example of kindness. He is the very energy of God reconciling us to the Father.

Jakarta, 19 January 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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THE HEALING OF A PARALYTIC

Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 2:1-12 – 1st ORDINARY WEEK: Friday, 18 January 2019 

Jesus begins to clash with entrenched religious power. While Jesus was at home (His own?) the faith of friends precipitated a paralyzed man’s cure.

One of the strands woven into Mark’s Gospel is a polemic against an image of Jesus as one of many wandering miracle workers. In this reading Jesus cures the man to prove to the incredulous scribes that a more profound and significant healing had taken place in the forgiveness of sin. “So that you will know that the Son of Man has the power to forgive sins, I command you, rise and walk” (Mark 2:10).

The miracles were evidences of the spiritual regeneration at work in the Kingdom of God and not vice versa.

Once we are reconciled with God and others, pieces of our life begin to fall into place.

Jakarta, 18 January 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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