Love your enemy.

INTRODUCTION

I wrote last September a post about the “love your enemy” issue and why Pope Francis was accused of heresy by bishops in USA.

Today at Catholic Mass, we read again the important message of Jesus about this issue in Matthew 5:38-48 )

INDEX

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The text

Matthew 5:38-48 says:

05:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye,  and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. If anyone sues you to take away your  coat, let him have your cloak also.
Whoever compels you to go one mile, 
go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and don’t turn away him who desires to borrow from you.

 05:43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those
who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.

05:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?
Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? If you only  greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same?  Therefore you shall be perfect, just as  your Father in heaven is perfect.

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The message

Be perfect as your father.

“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as  your Father in heaven is perfect.

This final message of Jesus is a very important message.  It tells in other words, how difficult it is to follow Jesus instructions:

  • pardon 7×77 times ( Matthew 18:22 )
  • “love your enemy”
  • pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you
  • whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.

When I invited a Christian  friend of mine to turn the other cheek, I got the anagry answer “I am not a idiot!”

It reminds me about the post I wrote last week about the forgotten law are also difficult to follow.

I believe in a God that pardon “7×77 times” ( Matthew 18:22 ) ,

We have a  God that  forgives those who repent ( Quran 2:37 and Luke 13: 3 )

I wrote to my priestost-model/

“Sto registrando la predica del papa che aggiungero nella mia pagina sulla lettura di oggi. Quanti non hanno difficolta a seguire le istruzioni di gesu perdona 7×77 volte, ama il tuo nemico, volta l+altra guancia. Invece della semplice soluzione gridare ai e picchiare i i figli. Cè molto rancore a Lipari. Molti christiani non ascoltano. Vanno a casa e fanno come sempre hanno fatto con i figli, con i vicini, con il prossimo….. Spero di poter essere alla messa con te oggi. Buona domenica.

OI will add here what he answers (if he does). and about his talk at the mass this evening.

..

conclusion

We must fulfill the words of Jesus as this will make our life and life on Earth a better life.

 

 

Bildresultat för if you are not astonished by quantum mechanics then you have not understood it.

Inspired by  Nils Bohr’s saying about Quantum mechanics, I conclude this post with:

“if you are not astonished by the words of Jesus,
then you have not understood Jesus kerygma”

 

the forgotten law

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INTRODUCTION

Today at Catholic Mass, a very important part is read, a part of the Jesus comandments that many Christians forget. It is Matthew 5,17-37 (in Italian)

I have heard in Church, people talking loudly about others being this and that. Jesus said reconcile first and then come to Church. As I understand it, Jesus said we must not be hypocrites.

Jesus “went up onto the mountain” ( Matthew 5:1) and asked us in other words to control our own passions, desires and instincts, our intollerans and  instinct of revenge.

The priest at my church nor at mass in television from Bari, did talk about the law in more depth. There are in fact about 600 laws in the Pentateuch. I am not able to talk about them all in this post. So I will concentrate myself on the 10 commandments and three laws, Jesus talked about during his lifetime, those about “Eye to eye”, Sabbath and adultery.

INDEX

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The text

Matthew 5,17-37   says:

About the law of the prophets

05:17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets.
 I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. For most certainly,
I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away,
  not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke
  shall in any way pass away from the law, until
  all things are accomplished. Whoever, therefore,
 shall break one of these least commandments,
 and teach others to do so, shall be called least
 in the Kingdom of Heaven;
 but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called
 great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
 For I tell you 
that unless your righteousness exceeds
that of the scribes and Pharisees,  there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

About offending your next

05:21 “You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones,
 ‘You shall not murder;’ and ‘Whoever shall murder shall be in anger of the judgment.’  But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause  shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca!’ (ed. probably from Aramaic Reka “empty headed” or “foolish”) shall be in danger of the council;  and whoever shall say, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna. 

About reconciling

05:23 “If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar,  and there remember that your brother has anything against you,  leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.  Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him in the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.  Most certainly I tell you, you shall by no means get out of there,   until you have paid the last penny.

about adultery in the hearth

05:27  “You have heard that it was said,‘You shall not commit adultery;’  but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her  has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

5:29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and  throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that  one of your members should perish, than for your whole body  to be cast into Gehenna.
05:30 If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.

when to divorce

05:31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever shall put away his wife,
let him give her a writing of divorce,  but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife,  except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.

About making vows

05:33 “Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time,
‘You shall not make false vows, but shall perform  to the Lord your vows,’ but I tell you, don’t  swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can’t make one hair white or black.  But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.

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The message

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decalogue

Just looking at the decalogue in Exodus 20:2-17, how many of these 10 laws are we not following today?
I think that six of these are not followed by many:

  • 3“You shall have no other gods before a me
  • In my church, many bows to statues of Saints and pray to them. It reminds me about  the Romans who had a favourite God. Many asks their saints (San Bartolo, San Giuseppe) for miracles. They do not call their saints as Gods but they ask there saints for miracles.
    The Church is not a place of silence and prayer. People talk loudly before the mass starts, like as they were at theater waiting for the spectacle to start.
  • I wonder if Catholics Christians follow this rule. Muslims think that Christians do not as they regard Jesus as a God.
  • 4“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything …”
    5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them;
    About the fourth rule. Has anyone seen a Christian church (Lutheran, Christian or Orthodox) without images? Only Mosques are without images. So one can say that only Muslims follow this rule.  Jehovah witnesses do follow it partly. Their Kingdom halls do not have images on the walls but their books and brochures have plenty of them. But they follow the fifth rule (see below).

    About the fifth rule, a lot of Catholic Christians do not follow this rule. Most have a favourite saint statue to bow at. It is like the Romans had a favourite God.
    The church is a place for lotteries and money dealing. Every mass there is a lottery where you can win a statue of some saint. They do lotteries to get money for the Church as noone or only a few donates money without something material back.
  • 7“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God,

    Oh my God!” “O mio Dio” “Gode Gud!” “Mon dieu!” This is a common expression in many countries and languages.

  • 8“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
    I think that only Jews follow this rule today. I will write more about this law and its interpretation, below.
  • 12 “Honor your father and your mother,
    ow many does not offend their parents when they are getting older and are hurt by dementia?
  • 13“You shall not murder.
    The Catholic church has killed thousands of people uring the centuries in their witchhunt in europe/ , and never asked pubblicly for forgiveness for this sin.  Police and military does this regularely according to secular law. Some Christians may not accept to make military service nor be a police because of this.
  • 14“You shall not commit adultery.
  • It is important to understand the meaning of adultery. Read more in EB In fifteen countries you can be stoned for adultery.
    Adultery is not only deceiving your husband your wife. One has to know the definition for different religions. You are not allowed to have sex without marriage.
  • 16 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  • 17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

Many have difficulties following the decalogue. But the law is not only the decalogue or the 10 commandments.There are, as I mentioned in my introduction, about 600 laws in the Pentateuch. Jesus also added also these commandments:

  • About offending your next
  • turn the other cheek also
  • love your enemy
  • forgive
  • About reconciling
  • about adultery in the hearth
  • About making vows

 

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About fulfilling the law

Matthew 5,17: “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets.”  I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.

What does “fulfill” means?

Case 1. curing a sick man on Sabbath

When Jesus cured a sick man in a Sabbath did he fulfill or interpret the law in a different way? I looked in biblehub.com to see what was written originally by the apostle of Matthew. In Greek it says πληρῶσαι plērōsai.

According to www.merriam-webster.com fulfill can be interpreted as “”to develop the full potentialities of…” the law. So fulfill in the words of Jesus could have meant to fulfill the real meaning of the law. That is, to follow the law of the Sabbath but not exagerating being hearthless, lettting e.g. people suffer (as in the  the case of curing and helping a sick)

Case 2. “stone” becomes “let the man without sin throw the first stone” and Jesus did not throw the first stone.

The definition of fulfill does not hold easily in this second case. Referring to Leviticus 20:20 and  Deuteronomy 22:22

Jesus said about the woman that was sentenced to death by stoning “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” .” ( John 8:7 ) and Jesus did not throw a stone.
I think that Jesus thinks that God is the one to judge or a man that is without sin and therefore near God.

Case 3. “Eye for eye” becomes “turn to them the other cheek also”

I get confused when Jesus said38You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’  (he refers to Exodus 21:24 ) 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

Here it is difficult to see fulfill as some kind of interpretation issue. One has to look at the real meaning fo “eye for eye”. I am not able to find a answer to this question.

The Italian translation “adempiere” can similarly be defined as “Eseguire pienamente”

Case 4. Never point out other peoples wrong behaviour in public.

I wrote about this in a previous post. Click here to read it. This is also a rule, Jesus added that many find difficult to follow.

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conclusion

Many of the decalogue commandments are not followed today. More difficult to follow are Jesus “Love your enemy” and especially “turn the other cheek also”. It is not easy to follow Jesus but the rewards are many “not only in Heaven” but also on earth. If we can follow him, we will live a more peaceful life.

I have a personal experience of that as a teacher with angry students. However difficult it is, it made my life easier to follow these commandments than following my own instincts of revenge, wrath, crying out and threathening for punishment….

You avoid the flow of stress hormone cortisol and adrenaline that makes you stupid and maybe do wrong moves, you will later repent.

And most important of all, your students learn to behave well to avoid punishment, not because bad behaviour is stupid.

Here in Italy, many use the helmet to avoid fines and not because you avoid riscs of life-treathening  injuries. So when the police is not on the road during lunchtime, no helmets are used by many.

Be the salt on earth 20200209

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INTRODUCTION

At Catholic mass Matthew 5:13-16 is read where Jesus talks about the salt on earth (see the text

below). The Catholic mass dedicate thoughts about the sick today. The priest said that those who works for the sick are the salt. This is maybe because As Tuesday February 11 is the world day of the sick

A doctor is the salt? But what is a physician, a doctor if he/she does not show the patient true love? That means he/she does not follow Jesus message of love. I have met doctors that were rude and offending because of my pain anxiety. I must emphasize that most doctors I have met have had a professional and understanding approach.

INDEX

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The text

Matthew 05:13 writes that Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor,  with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing,  but to be cast out  and trodden under the feet of men.
 You are the light of  the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden.
  Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket,
 but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house.
 Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see
 your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

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The message

I understand the salt metaphore as saying: If you are the salt, you are also the light. “it shines to all who are in the house” For me there is no light without love. or metaphorically, “there is no salt if there is no light” or “the salt wont taste salt if there is no light” is also valid or.

I have learned as a teacher, that if you do not love your students, they wont listen to you. Jesus messages have truly helped me to be a better teacher.

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conclusion

I have had a long pause from spiritual thoughts and writing, dedicating myself to consciousness and cognitive neuroscience. I understand that moments of spirituality alter my brain physiology (my neurospiritual system) like EEG has proved with among others Pope Francis. I do not only understand it, I feels it.

I wrote about the neurospiritual system in my post about neurotheology:

 

Michael Fergusson Neuroscientist in cognitive neurology at Harvard Medical School.said:

“When Jesus describes heavenly  rewards

Neuroscientists are illuminating the biological embodiment
of these ancient
metaphors “

A agnostic pluralist seeker

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