Category Archives: Religion

20200329 Jesus wept

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INTRODUCTION

Tomorrow Sunday March 29 we read Gv 11,1-45 (Italian).

I am very skeptical about the many miracles told about in the Gospels. As you maybe know, I prefer to focus on the Kerygma of Jesus.

Only when Jesus himself talk about a miracle I look closer at it. 
He talked about the miracle with Lazarus.

I presume God helped Jesus to get Lazarus body travel back in time to when he still lived. You know that time is relative. God is able to do anything and this was a good time to have Jesus get attention from the miracle hungy people.

But the most remarkable thing in this story, is said that Jesus wept.

Jesus teached and teaches us that weeping, like turning our other cheek and loving our enemy, is not a sign of weakness. We show weakness by bragging, shouting out stupidities and nonsense and seeking revenge.

INDEX

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The text

Here is Gv 11,1-45 in English
( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha. It was that Mary who
had anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was sick. The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, “Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick.”
11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God’s Son may be glorified by it.” Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When therefore he
heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let’s go into Judea again.”
11:8 The disciples told him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and are you going there again?”
11:9 Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn’t in him.” He said these things, and after that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may  qwake him out of sleep.”
11:12 The disciples therefore said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
11:13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep. So Jesus said to them plainly then, “Lazarus is dead. I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so
that you may believe. Nevertheless, let’s go to him.”
11:16 Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go also, that we may die with him.”
11:17 So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already.
11:18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away.  Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 11:20Then when Martha
heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house. Therefore Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
11:24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?
11:27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, he who comes into the world.”
11:28 When she had said this, she went away, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, “The Teacher is here, and is calling you.”
11:29 When she heard this, she arose quickly, and went to him. 11:30Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in
the place where Martha met him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to
the tomb to weep there.” Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”
11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was
troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.

11:36 The Jews therefore said, “See how much affection he had for him!” Some of them said, “Couldn’t this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?”
11:38 Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
11:40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see God’s glory?”
11:41 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I thank
you that you listened to me. 11:42I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried
with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

11:44 He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.
Jesus said to them, “Free him, and let him go.”
11:45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said,  What are we doing? For this man does many signs. If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation. But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, andthat the whole nation not perish.” Now he didn’t say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death.

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The message

I wrote about Lazarus time ago in http://www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2018/01/24/life-afterlife/#Biocentrism

11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God’s Son may be glorified by it.” 

od?John is repeating himself here. He wrote about the blind man miracle in John,9,3
‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be revealed in him.

I am in doubt however that Jesus used the words God’s Son talking about himself.

s this a fill out to support to the other Gospel authors story about Jesus getting  his male chromosomes from God?
As I said before in a previous post, Jesus was not a bragger and he didn’t want to offend Jews.  You may remember about Jesus saying “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen” in Matthew 17:9
And after all, aren’t we all, Sons of God?

11:9 Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn’t in him.” He said these things, and after that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may  wake him out of sleep.”
11:12 The disciples therefore said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
11:13-22 ….

11:23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?

Probably again, a fill out, making again Jesus a bragger.

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11:35  Jesus wept.

Jesus is said to have wept approaching Jerusalem as told by Luke 19:41-45:
19:41 When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, …

Curt Harlow talking about the Luke case in this video:

As jesus weeped, so I also think that God weep its own day, looking  at the suffering happening on Earth now,  at the pain of so many humans hit by Corona.

God does not want us to suffer but this is part of the Creation. Humans because of its nature, must suffer to get EQ,  emotional  intelligence.

As said in my introduction,Jesus teached us that weeping, like turning our other cheek and loving our enemy, is not a sign of weakness. We show weakness by bragging, shouting stupidities and nonsense and seeking revenge.

This reminds me about Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 where Jesus cried out the mysterious words “Eloi lama sabachthani” (I prefer the interpretation used by Aramaic Christians “My God, my God,  for this I was spared” instead of the rhetoric question “God, why have your forsaken/spared me?” that was copied from psalm 22:1. Listen to Leslie Hale about this. )
Jesus did not talk there about himself. he did not regard himself to be God.
And most important of all, he did not hide his feelings.

11:38 Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” 

11:39: Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
11:40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see God’s glory?”

11:41 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I thank
you that you listened to me. 11:42 I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” …

11:45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him.

At that time, like today peoples needed divine interfering to listen carefully bus as we know and see how many are really following Jesus kerygma?

11:46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done…

I wonder here how the author of John’s Gospel could know about this dialog. Caiaphas is said to have written a report about Jesus but I have not seen any recording of this council dialog.

the pharisees certainly did not share their talking to outsiders.
This part may be a fill out with a nice speculation about the doings and talkings of the priests.

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conclusion

The text been read tomorrow has made me focus on a different view of Jesus, many forget. Many remember how Jesus got angry in the temple. Everyone knows however that Jesus never wept on the cross except having cried out according to Matthew 27:46, the words “Eloi lama sabachthani”, as I said above. most probably translated wrongly as “God, why have your forsaken me?.

God does not forsake anyone. God maybe weep also seeing what humans has gone and is going through.

Have you ever wept? Do it and you will have a new experience, a experience of relief.

It has been good to meditate over the weeping Jesus and the meaning of and the underlying message of this.

 

 


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20200322 Jesus about the blind man

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INTRODUCTION

Today at Catholic mass Gv 9,1-41 (it) is read.

As you know I try to not get blinded by the miracles, documented in the Gospels. Jesus kerygma is miracle enough and shows that Jesus was a prophet conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. Look e..g at his commandment “Love your enemy” and “turn the other cheek” that completely revolutionized the thinking of his time that was led by the revenge mantra and animal instinct.

But this miracle story is special. As told by John it sounds like a metaphore about human blindness.

I will in this post try to analize the miracle and message Jesus gave according to John 9,1-41

INDEX

  • introduction
  • The text
  • The message
    • blindness
    • “revealed with him”
    • “the works of God”
    • “revealed in him”
      • blind prophets
      • temple of God
      • Distracted by sight
      • Inner voice
      • meditation
      • Talking with God
      • The blind man – a metaphore
      • Jesus was not the first prophet
      • The value of silence
  • Conclusion

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The text

Most of the text has focus on the miracle of open the vision of a man born blind. I share here the message of Jesus in this passage:

John,9,1-5; 39-41;  says:

1 As he went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.

2 His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should have been born blind?’

3 ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered, ‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be revealed in him.

4 ‘As long as day lasts we must carry out the work of the one who sent me; the night will soon be here when no one can work.

5 As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.’

6-38 The Pharisees talk with the the blind man and his parents about the miracle

39 Jesus said: It is for judgement that I have come into this world, so that those without sight may see and those with sight may become blind.

40 Hearing this, some Pharisees who were present said to him, ‘So we are blind, are we?’

41 Jesus replied: If you were blind, you would not be guilty, but since you say, ‘We can see,’ your guilt remains.

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The message

 

The story is about a man born blind

Blindeness

I studied and wrote previously about consciousness and neuroscience. let us look at blindness. healthline says:

“Blindness is the inability to see anything, including light. If you’re partially blind, you have limited vision. For example, you may have blurry vision or the inability to distinguish the shapes of objects. Complete blindness means you can’t see at all. …”

Blind people have auditory dreams

Department of Physics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign writes:

“blind people do dream. What they see in their dreams depends on how much they could ever see. If someone has been totally blind since birth, they only have auditory dreams.”

About  He was born blind so that the works of God might be revealed in (ed. greek: ἐν) him

or “Revealed with him”?

It is to be noted that Jesus said: 
“The works of God might be revealed in him ”
He did not say:
“The works of God might be revealed with him” 

As this phrase is said after Jesus made a blind man see it leads easily to read revealed with him” . This leads to the simplicistic and common interpretation  that there are blind humans so God and Jesus with blind people can show the humans “the works of God.”as the miracles of God and Jesus.

WHO says that “The estimated number of people visually impaired in the world is 285 million, 39 million blind and 246 million having low vision; 65 % of people visually impaired and 82% of all blind are 50 years and older (Table 2)”

It sounds for me absurd that millions of people are to be born blind by God so God can show its power to heal.

the works of God

works  is written in Greek as ἔργα (erga)

erga is seen also in Matthew 23:3 translated as deed
“but do not be guided by what (ed. the work) they do, since they do not practise what they preach.”

So the works of God may also refer to the Creation of God as revealed in the Genesis. But as Genesis was already revealed to Moses, this interpretation should be excluded.

So let us look closer at 

“revealed in him”

So, I wonder what may a blind man get revealed “in him” that seing man isn’t?

Does it says that blind are destined to become prophets to share the messages of God?

Prophets are known to get words revealed

Blind prophets

Despite there are and have been many humans born blind, I found only a few who were regarded as blind prophets:

  1. Ahijah_the_Shilonite is one prophets that was blind according to the book of kings.
  2. Tiresias is another one.
  3. Baba_Vanga is the third I found.

I find that I have to abandon this path. I remenbered then that

We are the temple of God

We have read in the Corinthians 3:16 these interesting words of Paul:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God 
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Some prophets have got messages revealed in dreams. More or less like the woodworker Joseph about the danger for his son.

Being distracted by sight

A blind man is not distracted by vision signals sent from the eyes. Being Born blind they have  no inner vision nor visual dreams but having auditory dreams they may have a inner voice. 

Inner voice

In my experience and what I l read about, we all have a inner voice.

Look at this video about inner voice.

Inner voice may be pathological as it is for some killers.

However with meditation we can train ourselves to not get so distracted by impulses, in this case visual impulses.

The woman in this video says that according to fMRi studies, the auditory cortex is activated if you have a dialog with someone in your mind.

Talking with God

Maybe we can talk with God or anyone you know that has deceased?

The blind man a metaphore of darkness in our mind?

This second interpretation I have met in priest sermons, is more intelligent. It connects to Jesus saying “I am the light of the world.’” but I don’t think that Jesus really said that. He was not a bragger as I wrote about in another post.

As I said in my introduction Jesus has “completely revolutionized the thinking of his time that was led by the revenge mantra and animal instinct.”

Jesus has with his words opened the mind of many, mine too.

But Jesus was not the first prophet to “open our minds”.

Jesus was  preceded by the Zoroastrians Gathas in the Iranian region were the main message and the ethical goals of Zoroastrianism was “good thoughts, good words, good deeds” (See the “Threefold Path of Asha: Humata, Huxta, Huvarshta“) 
Buddhism came before the Zoroastriam ethical goals in India with the Eightfold_Path of Enlightment.

Jesus as it is known in matthew/15-24.htm, was sent only “to the lost sheep of Israel.” a people who seldom had relations with the people in Iran and India and followed their own path of “eye for an eye”.

So like Christian say that Jesus is the light, is not correct for all humans around the world. I would rather say 

Jesus was the light for “the lost sheep of Israel.”

and is still today for the lost humans caught by their animal instincts

I have been helped by the words of Jesus several times, when I ended up in “mind blindness”.

But Buddhist meditation like prayer has also helped me to see light during dark moments of my life.

It is interesting to read hindu Mahatma Gandhi writing that:

(Image source: pastorlesterbentley.com/ )

The value of silence

Elisabeth of trinity has teached us about the value of Silence for this inner dialog.

And as Rumi said

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conclusion

As said in my introduction I normally omit all miracle stories to focus on Jesus words, kerygma.

But this miracle is special one.

True or not, as told by the great author of John, this miracle story  is a metaphor about the human kind.

A human kind that has been “blind” since its birth (in Africa) but can see again with the light, a metaphor of the words of prophets, starting with Adam that maybe was incarnated in a human body after his spirit had to leave Eden in Heaven to come down to earth. See my post about this yet indeterminable hypothesis )

We don’t have the words of Adam but of Moses, several other prophets and the last 2000 years, the words of Jesus shared in the Gospels and the words Muhammad heard in the cave above Mecca and then shared in the Quran. We have plenty of light (words) around us.

You understand or are reminded, I am interreligious. I believe that God did not discriminate. God talked to many, to Siddhartha in India who teached us how to live well with our body and mind, to Zoroaster in Iran who shared his Gathas, to Christians with the voice of Jesus shared in  the Gospels and to Muhammad who shared what he heard in the cave over Mecca in the Quran.

Like the pope Francis, said today, we should also become light by sharing the words and of course, being examples of good humans.

This part of the Gospel of John has led me into a nice voyage in my mind, ending up in thinking about my own iinner dialog

He was born blind so that the works of God might be revealed in him

We are all “blind” at birth with a great curiosity. In our inner blindness we want to learn and understand. In our search, we may later find our inner temple and a voice talking to us and guiding us. Our brain is prepared for this dialog. But question is if we are able to listen. 

Find a quiet and peaceful place (may it be in the wood, in a church or on a balcony) where you feel good. Sit down in a comfortable chair and start listen to your inner voice. Ask God and God listen to the answer.

20200315 Jesus and the Samaritan woman

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INTRODUCTION

Today March 15 is the second Sunday where Italian mus stay home and can not attend Mass at Church, regarded as a  epidemic risc for contagieing others. The Mass is a important for many Italians and especially for those in prisons who know can not have visits from their relatives.

But fortunately, the mass is sent by Rai1 at 11.00 from a empty mass in Rome. I have looked at Rai1 mass for a long time as I for my post stroke mental fatigue sleep badly sometimes and have difficulties to go to mass at 9.00 as it is celebrated here.

Today at Catholic mass Gv 4,5-42 John tells about Jesus encounter with the Samaritan woman that gives a nice example of Jesus respect for a people that was bullied as dogs by the Jews at his time for historical reasons.

I wrote about Jesus and the Samaritans July 2019 in a historical view at www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/07/14/jesus-and-the-samaritans/.

In that post I refered to Luke 10:25-37

 

INDEX

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The text

John 4,5-45 says:

Jesus comes to Sychar

4:05 So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being tired from his journey, sat down by the well.

At the well alone, with the Samaritan woman

It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

4:09 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” 
4:10 Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

04:11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. From where then have you that living water? Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?”

The Living water metaphore

04:13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
04:15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.”
04:16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
04:17 The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.”
04:19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
04:21 Jesus said to her,Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
04:25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes,”  “When he has come, he will declare to us all things.”
04:26 Jesus said to her, I am he, the one who speaks to you.
At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?” So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”

Inhabitants of Sychar comes to Jesus

04:30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
04:32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”
04:33 The disciples therefore said one to another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”

Jesus food

04:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to  do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.  Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Jesus staid with The Sychar Samaritans 

04:39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word.
04:42 They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

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The message again – text with thoughts

As John 4:1 tells

At the well alone, with the Samaritan woman

It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

4:09 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” 

Jesus a a stranger for the woman

The woman saw that Jesus was a jew probably because of his appearance but she did not recognize that it was Jesus

The  lonely woman that did not run back to the home.

A that time like today, it was not allowed nor recommendable for a woman to be alone near a stranger.
The woman must have got a good feeling of this Jew (Jesus) as she did not run away but remained starting her work at the well.

The attitude of Jesus

Reading Jesus saying “Give me a drink.”  you may interpret this as being said with severe voice and face expression as a command.

you must be aware that words alone does not say much. John does not share any visual nor sound information.

Because of Jesus emphasizing love and love your enemy,
I presume his voice and face expression was not signaling a severe military order. Nor must he have signaled the Jews view about Samaritans.

So let us go back to the text:

The Living water metaphore

4:10 “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

The woman obviously did not understand this stranger, so she answered respectfully with:

4.11 “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. From where then have you that living water? Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?”

Jesus answered her about the living water,

4:13 “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Obsiously this woman felt respect in Jesus so she said to him:

4:15 “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.”

Now we begin to understand the purposes Jesus had

Jesus tests the woman by saying:

04:16 Go, call your husband, and come here.

As a good practicing Samaritan woman reading the Pentatheuch, the woman did follow the law “Do no lie” like many Jews did not.

04:17 The woman answered, I have no husband.”

So the Samaritans obviously are not the “lost people” as Jesus called them.

Jesus said to her, You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have, is not your husband. This you have said truly.”

Thisfact may reveal why the Jews regard Samaritans as eretic

04:19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

About the Samaritan holy mountain Mount Gerizim

04:21 Jesus said to her,

“Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father.
You worship that which you don’t know.
We worship that 
which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. (ed. Jesus and his disciples)
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers
. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

04:25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes,”  “When he has come, he will declare to us all things.”

04:26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.

At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?”

The Samaritan woman left Jesus to let him talk with his disciples.

So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”

Inhabitants of Sychar comes to Jesus

04:30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”

The food metaphore

04:32 But he said to them,

I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”

04:33 The disciples therefore said one to another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”

04:34 Jesus said to them,

“My food is to  do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.  Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Jesus stayed with The Sychar Samaritans  

04:39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Jesus said later in Galilee,

“Unless you see signs and wonders,
you will in no way believe.”

The samaritans did not need any miracle to believe in him. His words and kerygma was enough.

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conclusion

I think that this part of John shares a important part of Jesus Kerygma.

it tells about

  • Jesus respect for women. As shown elsewhere.
  • Jesus’ good relation with the Samaritans
  • Jesus respecting the Samaritans despite being regarded as eretics at his time
  • where you pray (In Jerusalem our on mount Gerezim) that has no importance
  • God as spirit and praying in spirit
  • Jesus message about living water and food.
  • the Samaritans  that did not ask for signs.
  • a Samaritan women that for some reason had  several husbands
  • Ta samaritan women who were allowed to stay near jews men
  • Samaritan men who listened to women.
  • Samaritans becoming Christians.

Matthew 10:5-6 tells that Jesus said:

5 ‘Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town6 go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”

Jesus  obviously did order to avoid Samaria  because it was dangerous. I presume that it was because it was a waste of time as he wanted to convert Sinners and the Lost sheep of the House of Israel.” And he regarded the Samaritans to be good people as he referred to when talking about the good samaritan to a lawyer as described by Luke 10:25-37

Why Jew disciples?

I wonder why Jesus choosed Jews as disciples.  I presume it was because he was only  interested in talking with the “lost people of Israel”, the  Jews.

I he have had choosen Samaritan disciples

If he he had choosen Samaritans as disciples, his kerygma would maybe not have had the spreading it had. The Jews were at power in Israel and had a quite good relation with the Romans.

It is a pity because with the Samaritans we would not have had such  discrimination of women around in the world.

For humanity (men) to mature, the women had to suffer until today.

At the end, the Jews still today do not accept Jesus as their Messiah. And that may have contributed to the widespread antisemitism and maybe also to the holocaust.

 

 

 

20200308 Jesus transfiguration

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INTRODUCTION

Today Mt 17,1-9-Italian (Matthew 17:1-9 in English ) is read. It is about Jesus appearing to the disciples with Moses and Elia. I am very skeptical about all those miracle stories that are found in the Gospels. I wrote about it in my page about Jesus kerygma.

But what makes me dedicate time to this story is what Jesus said according to the author of Matthew after the appearance:

Don’t tell anyone what you saw,
until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”

INDEX

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The text

Matthew 17:1-9 says
17:1  After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves.
He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light.  Behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him.
17:4 Peter answered, and said to Jesus,
“Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, let’s make three tents here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. Behold, a voice came out of the cloud, saying,
“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
17:6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were very afraid.
17:7 Jesus came and touched them and said,
 “Get up, and don’t be afraid.”
Lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying,
 “Don’t tell anyone what you saw, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”

This text is visualized in this video as this appearance of Moses and Elijah was real. Read more about this appearance below.

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The message

I think that this man from the channel “Unlearn the lies” is sharing a very important analysis about the fact that the disciples had a vision in their mind. As Jesus confirmed thereafter with “Dont tell about this vision….”

“Get up, and don’t be afraid.” as mentioned by the Pope after the mass is a important message especcially in this time of suffering because of war  humans have started and of the Corona epidemy . He said Get up. He didn’t say  Pray!

This is according to me important. We can not just remain on our place in face of what is happening. We must act.
About the Corona epidemy I am personally active in local FB groups where infection prevention is talked about and I updated my own knowledge about virus inexperiential-learning/#issue2

conclusion

I have found a part in the Gospels where it is indirectly said that we must act.
It support my idea that we must use the  resources we got, among others our brain.

We can not expect that God, Jesus, Mary or some Saint will do the job for us. We must do it, protecting ourselves and our cohumans from dangers, like viruses and wars.

20200301 Jesus was not a bragger

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INTRODUCTION

Today at Catholic mass, Matthew 4,-11 is read.

it is remarkable that Mark and John never wrote about Jesus experiences and words in the desert in details. How could Matthew and Luke know about all those details about what happened in the desert? As we understand he went alone tot the desert. So Jesus must have told about all those details. Did Jesus really told the disciples after that “encounter with the devil”? about what he did and said? Jesus according to Matthew 6:1  and Luke? jesus said once:

‘Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 4,1-11 just mention about Jesus being tempted wihtout further details. I strongly doubt about the incredible story that Matthew and Luke wrote.

INDEX

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The text

John does not mention this story. Here are the stories told in Matthew and Luke for comparison:

Mark 1,12-13
says:
Matthew 4,1-11 says: Luke 4, 1-13 says:
 

 

 

Filled with the holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and

12 And at once the Spirit drove him into the desert 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the desert to be put to the test by the devil.

was led by the Spirit into the desert
2 for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.

13 and he remained there for forty days,
When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward. 

 

 

  1. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry.
and was put to the test by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels looked after him. 3 and the tester came and said to him, ‘If you are Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves.’ 3 Then the devil said to him, ‘If you are Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf.’
  4 But he replied, ‘Scripture says: Human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ 4 But Jesus replied, ‘Scripture says: Human beings live not on bread alone.’
  5 The devil then took him to the holy city and set him on the parapet of the Temple.

6 ‘If you are Son of God,’ he said,

If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will put his angels in charge of you.’ and, ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you don’t dash your foot against a stone.’”  

 

 

 

  7  Jesus said to him,

Again, it is written, ‘You shall not test the Lord, your God.’ 

 

  8 Next, taking him to a very high mountain, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour.

5 Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world

  He said to him,

“I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me.”

6 The devil said to him,

“I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish.
7 All this will be yours, if you worship me.”

  10  Then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me Satan! For it is written, 
‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’”

8 Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God and him alone shall you serve.’”

    9 Then he led him to Jerusalem and set him on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are Son of God,’ he said to him, ‘throw yourself down from here,

10 for scripture says: He has given his angels orders about you, to guard you, and again:

11 They will carry you in their arms in case you trip over a stone.’


12But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

  11 Then the devil left him, and behold,  angels came and served him.   Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, 

13 * When the devil had finished every temptation,i he departed from him for a time.

 

The story has been presented as a film

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The message

For the author of Matthew, Jesus had to show he could resist temptation, like a examination/test after the baptism. In this examination there was to be seen if Jesus could resist from:

  1. using his miraculous  power to alleviate his hunger.
  2. accepting the possibility to  rule the world like a roman emperor

Was there a possibility that Jesus would not pass the temptation exam?

He was just being recognized at his baptism, that he is the son of God. Would God allow. With God behind him there would be no chance for a devil to succeed with Jesus, The temptation story has no logic to exist.

For the authors of Matthew and Luke, the mentioning of Mark had to be expanded for some reason The expanded stories are similar in Matthew and Luke with a few differences

These two are the main differences in Matthew and Luke:

  1. In Matthew the devil asks Jesus to turn stones into loaves. In Luke only one stone into a loaf.
  2. In Matthew, Jesus is first taken to the temple and then the mountain. In Luke it is the other way, first the mountain and then the temple.

The story led to the Lenten tradition.
“the idea of fasting for a long period, are both parts of the Lenten tradition.” read more at ideas.brf.org.uk

“Forty days recalls various periods of preparation in the Old Testament, including the forty days Moses spent fasting and with God on Mt. Zion at the giving of the Law (Ex. 34:28), the forty days the Israelites spent spying out the Promised Land (Num. 13:25), and the forty years that the Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land (Num. 14:34). ” (Source: www.ncregister.com/ )

So Matthew and Luke took inspiration from Moses again as they did with the story about Jesus in Egypt.

Another curious aspect is that the devil was able to take Jesus to Jerusalem and to a high mountain. What is the devil able to do? Not even Jesus could do miracles without Gods permission. But the devil can?The author of Matthew and Luke upgraded the devil to a Gods level.

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conclusion

it is interesting that Mark does not mention a word about all the details in this “desert with the devil” visit. He seems to have heard about it but does not go into details. So I wonder if Matthew and Luke spiced  this story with details to emphasize the power of the devil and “temptation of the devil” dogma first presented in Genesis. It was important for the clerics at that time to scare people to faith. Lukes seems to have copied from Matthew who read Marks but where not satisfied with Mark.

This story was probably also important to be added to legitimate Jesus superiority something the Jews questioned 2000 years ago and still does. Jesus has not only the same youth story as Moses but did fast 40 days like Moses.

Elsewhere in the Gospels, people were astonished how Jesua casted out deamons from people. To Peter Jesus  said “get behind me Satan!” ( Matthew 16:23 ) Jesus refused to do miracles in order to prove his identity. Now Jesus tells about himself to his disciples that he was driven around in the sky away from the desert in a great fight with Satan? With this story, the author of Matthew downgrades Jesus to a simple human that could be corrupted by power.

If Satan really exists would Satan be so stupid to spend its time on testing  a human that was just before proclaimed to be the son of God? It is simply not logic.

And the story is not compatible with the humility of Jesus. Jesus was alone in the desert according to Mark, Matthew and Luke. Can you imagine Jesus telling his disciples like this:

“You know, When the devil said “bla bla bla” then I recited appropriate parts from the script. … And then the devil took me to the temple, I answered him with the first Mosaic commandment.”

For me it sounds absurd. Jesus was not the kind of man who bragged about himself and his intelligence. He wanted humans to listen to his teaching not to miracles and astonishing stories about himself.

Remind that he never talked about a remarkable trip to Egypt.

I could accept that he simply told his disciples that he was tempted by the devil like Mark writes but all those astonishing details? No.

I think that Jesus as a good Jew, fasted like all others

But I can not believe in the juiced temptation story of Matthew and Luke, as a true one. I jumped  over this story in my demythologized gospels as it does not help me to understand Jesus better. And it distract me from his kerygma.

However. Whatever I believe and think about this story, the author of, Matthew s’ Gospel is a great fiction storyteller a perfect movie script for a film producer or a scripts for storytellers that the clerics later became.

 

 

Silence

Introduction

I wrote before about silence in these two posts:

I decided to make a page of these two posts to be linked from learning- psychology.

Index

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Elisabeth of trinity about silence

I read years ago about Silence and the importance of it in Andliga skrifter” page 122 from Elisabeth of Trinity a Carmelitan sister living in France at the end of Ninetheenth century. It is remarcable that this sister, who was a talented pianist as a young girl became the “Messenger of the Silence”.

Her vocation was simply prayer, silence, and suffering, “because our Lord lives in our soul, His prayer dwells within us and it is there I want to abide without ceasing, as a little vase at the source and fountain of life” 

“Prayer, solitude, praise of glory, silence of the mind and heart are, as many biblical values, dear to Eastern Monasticism, and they culminate in “Esychia” (hence hesychism), that is interior quietude and serenity of the soul which has emigrated to God and found its peace in Him

To be with God, Elizabeth sought silence and solitude. “

“‘I so long for Him!’ wrote Elizabeth, ‘He creates a great void in my soul that only He can fill, and to do that He leads me into deep silence from which I should like never to emerge”

( Source: www.quies.org )

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Sufi about silence

Sufi ask you to listen. But they really do not request silence to hear the voice as Rumi said. Maybe it is more about a inner silence, because music is part of Sufi spiritual meditation.

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Silence in churches

In Italian catholic churches on Lipari there is no silence before mass. It is like being at a theater were people talk loudly before the spectacle starts. This was not so in the Catholic church Kristus Konungen in Göteborg. Italians seems not to talk with God or pray in the Churches.

I looked for silence now and then in Lutheran churches. But most Lutheran churches in Sweden are closed when there is no mass. When I were in Visby I found however the Dome open. This is a video of its interior. Raise the volume and listen if you hear something. Do not worry. No stupid sound jokes.

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Science about Silence

The importance of Silence is now more and more recognized scientifically.

On my trip to Göteborg 2019  I found a article in Swedish about Silence in the train www.sj.se Magazine by Erica  Jakobson with the title

“Silence – I try to live!”

 

 

 Erica informs in her article about recent research about silence.

  1. Two hours silence each day help develop nerve cells in Hypocampus, the part of the brain that deals with memories, feelings and learning. This is the conclusion of a American research group after experiments with adult mice exposed to noise and silence.
  2. Another study organized by WHO and the EU-commission has found that lo levels of noise increases stress hormone levels,  decreased learning hability and even hearth failure.

Victoria Palm grounder of OAS says :

“We know that people restore while sleeping but never thinks about relax during the day. In a world where we are constantly exposed to stimuli, is it impossible for the brain to restore energy.”

I were surprised that there were department in the train wagons were people are informed that it is a silent department.

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A italian article about silence translated

I found a good article about silence in La Republica Dossier 13/7 2019. here is a translation I made of this italian article:

The World Health Organization has defined noise pollution a “modern plague” because “there is indisputable evidence that exposure to environmental noise has negative effects on the health of the population”.

The human being needs silence to live well. Silence has become a rarity tin our increasingly noisy  cities. In the Western world we run away from the noise ,wearing a noise canceling headphones or participating at yoga meditation sessions. 

In India,  the population went to the streets to demand the right to silence, against honking cars and motorbikes. 

Meanwhile, the technology is studying and putting devices on the market to soundproof environments taking advantage of the wireless vibration, but also bracelets that replicate the heartbeat to remove stress from the brain, caused by the surrounding noise. 

A ingenious publicity tourism office in Finland to attract tourists to Finland with slogans about silence, depicting views of unspoiled nature. It is the same principle that inspired the Benedictine monks of Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland, to open the doors of the convent, which dates from the thirteenth century, to anyone who wants to spend a few nights (or months) in complete tranquility. 

The silence, in short, has become a business. 

This business grows with the  noise of the cities. depicting views of silent nature.  The silence, in short, has become a business.

Repubblica talked with ALESSANDRA FRIGERIO, PSYCHOLOGIST WITH a PhD in cognitive and clinical social psychology, is a professor at the University of Milano-Bicocca and the Sigmund Freud University.
“In the hyper-connected world and in the noisy society we live in, is there really an increased demand for silence?”
AF:There is a high quest to get to silence. These requests are answered, for example  in meditation classes, yoga retreats, relaxing drive.”
“However, there are ways to live the silence, that allow access to its own needs through structures and standardized methodologies, like e.g. silent fast food.”

What can  silence be?

AF: “People often perceive it is repressed by silence, because silence can represent a heavy experience.  Be in silence means dealing with an apparent void, with a series of enigmatic aspects of unresolved questions.  Our tendency is therefore  to fill the silence with noise (ed. music e.g. in stores, bars or on the beach) or repetitive meaningless talking. Silence confront us with the limits of language. It is the space of the unspoken, what we fail to express with words.!”

Effects on mental well-being

AF:In the past, many psychologists have shown that silence serves to foster creativity. The brain cells regenerate and, in the hippocampus area a development of new cells that can become neurons is made possible that help boost memory and learning. “

silence is essential for the healthy development of a child?

AF: “In this regard, silence is essential for the healthy development of a child. A parent who knows how to give the silence, as well as the words, shows the child the significance of absence, which is as important as the presence. In addition, leave the child in an empty space, in the silence, where even you can get bored, so need to be able to feed their own creativity.  In other words, an agenda full of commitments is often counterproductive”

Silence in clinical practice 

AF:Silence for a psychologist or a psychoanalyst is an integral part of the instrumentation. The therapist is mostly silent because it leaves the patient an area of ​​freedom. Thus permitting a chain of speeches, to get rid of the words, beyond the constraints of consistency, morality, rational logic. The silent listening allows the patient to be a able auto-listener, grasping the implications of his own words. Sometimes the analyst’s silence is for those who do not an”swers at  a patient’s questions. It does so because it avoids influencing the individual with his judgment and to avoid being pedagogical. Silence, in this case, is to return the patient’s own question,  to find the best solution.

Silent zones in India. 

India has  silent zones that are comparable to the C zones in the center of Milan that prohibit cars to circulate. The difference is that in India  the traffic ban was not raised against smog and air pollution, but against noise. 
It all started a few years ago in the chaotic Mumbai, where a group of activists began to demonstrate for the right to peace. The reason is that the average decibel level in Mumbai is more than 80, while the World Health Organization indicates it should not exceed the maximum threshold of 65 decibels by day and 40 at night.

So the Mumbai High Court ruled the noise absolute prohibition in a radius of at least 100 meters around hospitals, schools, courts, parks, public buildings, libraries and universities.

Read more in La Republica Dossier 13/7 2019

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Silence on the island of Lipari

The silence has partly abandoned Lipari. Donkeys have disappeared and cars and motorbikes have take over on the roads. Police does not care about the noise that some cause with their scooters and motorbykes. Happily July is the month of silence. You are not allowed to run building machines during that month probably to protect the tourists that come to the island on that month. But for those that are unlucky to live in the village near a bar you may not be able to sleep at all from the evening at 10, until morning at 4-5 the next day. The night,  summer time is party time on Lipari with musicians playing all the evenings, a Eden for youth that prefer to sleep during the day. 

But there are many opportunities to enjoy silence on the island anyway.  In the early mornings or if you make trekking in the valleys you find a incredibly relaxing silence.

If you come to Lipari and you want silence, I recommend not to stay in the village of Lipari in July and August but instead find rooms outside like in the smaller villages like Pianoconte, Quattropani or Acquacalda. E.g. hotel Cutimare in Acquacalda on the north part of the Island is probably a  good choice. there is only one road that has little or no traffic, one little bar and at a distance, one restaurant.

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Conclusion

I definitively prefer to live on Lipari. Fortunenately my house is outside the village so I really enjoy the dark and silent nights and the early silent mornings. Sometimes there are dogs barking. But I can stand that.

 

 

200223 – Jesus revolution

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.

Pope Francis talked at the mass in Bari about Jesus revolutionary teaching “Love you enemy” as “a extremism of love”. I have his speech in this post.

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 )
  • Do not judge
  • “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 angry 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, Luke 13: 3 ). We must do the same.

how to love my enemy 

I tried to write about how to love my enemy in the omonymous section in www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/09/08/love-your-enemy/#howto

I have now understood that like Jesus did in Nazareth, it is ok to ignore sometimes. But you have to do it in a lovefull way like answering “Can we talk more about this another time? I need to go now. Have a good day. We’ll talk again.”

meditation

Suffering from anxiety that I get easily in cases of conflict, I have found that meditation, whatever method it is, is good. I could leave and look for a silent place where I am alone and try to find peace in my mind again through meditation. Also prayer is a good meditation option but God has more important problems to deal with, than mines.

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The conclusion of pope Francis

Pope Francis prayer is somehow the conclusion, pope Francis made out of todays texts. I recorded it with my phone and uploaded it to my server, Here it is, in Italian of course:

 

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conclusion

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

I wrote to my Catholic priest before the mass in Messenger:

“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.

I talked with my priest about the instructions in todays text before the mass. He said “no one follow these”.

During the mass, he talked at the mass about the importance of Jesus instructions. He did not tell how we can do it. The only advice was to pray pray for help to follow these. maybe he did not get advices from God while praying, advices he could share.

Pray for help?

I wonder why we got a brain. Dont we have our brain to be used? As said before, I don’t like to pray God for help for my personal problems. God has more important things to do.

the value of meditation

I have learned several things as a teacher about how to love enemies and I shared these experiences in my previous post.

What I can add today is that meditation or yoga where I train to control by animal body (amygdala in our limbic system) is an important part when you find yourself in conflict with other people.

Did Jesus pray or meditate

Jesus sometimes left to to go to a peaceful place (in the desert, on a mountain or a olive garden). The evangelists wrote that he went “to pray” or “to be tempted by the devil”. How could they know what Jesus did in private? He could have gone “to be with God”. To be with God is the same as meditate. I can hardly imagine that he went to ask “Please God, help me solve this and that!”. He was entangled with God and did not need for it. He said “I do what God allows me to do.

 

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 “

Jesus baptism and paedobaptism

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INTRODUCTION

Today at Mass John 1,29-34 is read   (Italian version: Gv 1,29-34 )

It reminded my about Jesus baptism that was celebrated on Monday. I decided to take a pause from my math Fourier studies and writing.

This is a update of a post i published January 13 2019.

January 13 the Catholic Mass read about Jesus baptism 30 years old. Jesus baptism has been discussed since the begining of Christianity.

“Baptists—and “Bible churches” in the Baptist tradition—insist that baptism is only for those who have come to faith. Nowhere in the New Testament, they point out, do we read of infants being baptized.” (Source:  www.catholic.com )

I wanted to baptice my childrens in my Catholic church but were not allowed to do that because I never went to mass at that time. We could have done that in the Protestant church but I and the mother decided that the childrens could do that as adults instead, like Jesus did. 

This post led me into a paradigm shift.

INDEX

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The text

I do not add here the text of this Sunday but share texts that may refer to neonatal baptism.

Jesus about baptism

according to  Matthew  28:19 Jesus said after he arise from death:

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

If this is a true testimonial or a invention from the apostle to justify paedobaptism, remain to be seen.

Matthew 3:13 says:

“03:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John,
to be baptized by him. But John would have hindered him, saying, “I need to be  baptized by you, and you come to me?”

Mark 01:05 writes why John the Baptist baptized like this:
All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins.

Mark 01:09 says then “It happened in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.”

Probably Matthew relied on the writings of Mark.

But the apostle John didnt follow Mark. John starts his Gospel 01:29  with Jesus coming to John the Baptist but the apostle John never writes that Jesus got baptized by John. Why?

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The message

I have wondered for long time why Jesus wanted to be baptized by John according to Mark and Matthew. But as john never mention this, I begun wondering  if Jesus ever let himself be baptized.

Maybe after all, Jesus never thought he needed to make “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” as Mark 01:04 writes or to “confess his sins”)

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History of paedobaptism

he Greek Bishop Gregory of Nazianz wrote in the second century: ” what do you have to say about those who are still children, and aware neither of loss nor of grace? Shall we baptize them too?’  Certainly [I respond], if there is any pressing danger. Better that they be sanctified unaware, than that they depart unsealed and uninitiated”. Read more inwww.catholic.com

Neonatal death  was very common 2000 years ago. Probably because of that, the Catholic church started  the tradition to baptice newborn babies as soon as possible. Mybe the church did it “to save these newborn from hell or from the original sin”.

Michael Servetus who was sentenced to death because of heresy, said about paedobaptism:

“It is an invention of the devil, an infernal falsity for the destruction of all Christianity.” ( Source: www.newworldencyclopedia.org/ )

I do not understand why he came to this strong conclusion.

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conclusion

updating my article about Jesus baptism I experienced a paradigm shift and understood that I must change somewhat my story about the young Jesus.

Jesus may have baptized with John to rbe a good example for others and to repent his behaviour as a young child when he made his parents scared by not following them out of the temple.

What happens if you die and are not baptized as infant?

Catholic.com does not answer on that question but says that “you are not saved” if you are not baptized. Read more in https://www.catholic.com/tract/the-necessity-of-baptism 

The pope Benedict 16 said that as we choose to get childrens so we should baptize them as “with the baptism they are protected by God” Read more in the Italian site  http://www.santamelania.it

Catholic.com also says “Thus the early Church Fathers wrote in the Nicene Creed (A.D. 381), “We believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” 

Only the Witnesses of Jehovah do not practice infant baptism. (read more in https://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/baptism.php )

Paedobaptism

As the church regards Jesus as God and therefore his baaptising not a baptising for the sins, the church started the tradition of paedobaptism. Jesus baptism was like a paedobaptism despite his documented 30 years of age.

Despite what Jesus said in Matthew, maybe Jesus himself did errors as a small child and wanted therefore to get baptized for the sins made during his youth.