Category Archives: kerygma

God measures faith and endurance.

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INTRODUCTION

 

Tomorrow Sunday 20 Mt 20,1-16 is read. It is about the parable of the envious vineyard workers. 

You find a list of all the parables in this page.

When I understood it (I hope I did) I liked it. I am satisfied with my Conclusion

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 INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mt 20,1-16 says:

20:1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
20:2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
20:3 He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.
20:4 To them he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’  So they went their way.
20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour and did likewise.
20:6 About the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’
20:7 “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ “He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’
20:8 When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘ Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’
20:9  “When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius.
20:10 When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius.
20:11 When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household,
20:12 saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’
20:13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius?
20:14 Take that which is yours and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you.
20:15 Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’
20:16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

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The message

The essence of this parable is in 20:16

So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

So the last will be first, and the first last

I always interpreted this message as saying that those who are first on earth may be last in Heaven.
Like, rich people maybe last in Heaven and poor first. But with this interpretation, I 
don’t understand the connection between this and the parable of the envious laborers. Why should the laborer who started working first, be last? 
This parable gives the sentence a more deep interpretation.
Maybe the answer is, the first laborer will become last as the lacked of love and were envious. What sense has it to share the word if you do not follow Jesus’ commandments of love.

For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The laborer who came in late did not hear about the work.  They worked 6 and 9 hours less but got the same pay. He paid not for the hours of work but for their willingness to work in his vineyard. This seems to be very unfair as we are used to be paid per hour.  But we must think that this is not a parable about our world. it is a parable that tells about God and what is important for God.

I recommend you to listen to the Angelus of the pope. He shares another important view. The request to do like God coming out of the church. Only Jehovah’s witness comes out. I never see the priests of Lipari in the town or participating in non-ecumenic events, like e.g. trekking.

 

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conclusion

I would interpret this parable as everyone is loved by God regardless of the time dedicated to spreading the word. As http://www.lachiesa.it/calendario/Detailed/20200920.shtml writes

Some may have to suffer more, some less, some more time, some less.

It does not matter if you spent your whole life spreading the word of God or maybe only the last years of your life. God does not value quantity but quality.

God is tolerant and righteous.

With this parable, I got a new interpretation of the sentence
So the last will be first, and the first last. As I wrote above: What sense has it to share the word your whole life if you do not follow Jesus’ commandments of love.


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We must always try to forgive.

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INTRODUCTION

Tomorrow Sunday 13/9 Mt 18,21-35  is read.

It is about forgiveness. to pardon 7×77 times.

How important is this if you are a father.

And how difficult it is if someone has hurt or killed one of your beloved.

The massacre of Tutsie by Hutu in Rwanda looked to be unforgivable. But Tutsie victims and relatives were able to forgive as is told about in this video.  Activate transcript to get a translation.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mt 18,21-35 says:

18:21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?”
18:22 Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.
18:23 Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants.
18:24 When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.e

18:25 But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
18:26 The servant therefore fell down and kneeled before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’
18:27 The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
18:28 “But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii, and he grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
18:29 “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ 18:30 He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due.
18:31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told to their lord all that was done.
18:32 Then his lord called him in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me.
18:33 Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’ 18:34His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him.
18:35 So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.”

 

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The message

Mt 18,21-35 says:

18:21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?”
18:22 Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.

As the pope Francis said in the Angelus on Sunday (listen below) “seventy times seven” is the same as “always”

18:23 Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants.
18:24 When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

I think that  Pope Francis explained this parable clearly on the Angelus on Sunday. Open transcript to read text.

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conclusion

God always forgive. How difficult is it for us humans to forgive “seventy times seven” or always.


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Kindly remind each other

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INTRODUCTION

Today Mt 18,15-20 is read. it is about helping each other not to sin. 

I ask myself in this post what is sin and what is the next, the neighbor, the enemy as Jesus teach us to love?

Pope Francis reminded us today that it is important not to make public our reminders and especially not to gossip that is “worse than COVID.”

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mt 18,15-20 says:

18:15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother.
18:16 But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.d
18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector.
18:18 Most certainly I tell you, whatever things you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever things you release on earth will have been released in heaven.
18:19 Again, assuredly I tell you, that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven.
18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.”

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The message

18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother.

What us “sins against you”?

Most people think about the law of Moses, about lying, disrespect of parents etc. But as good Christians, we should also think about Jesus’ request to follow his commandments. He said “Love your next as you love yourself. … Love your neighbor and enemy”. 

“Sin against you” is also if someone does not love you, yell at you openly, gossip behind your back, make you feel bad or even get sick.

What is “Our next, neighbor and enemies”?

We think here normally about our next humans, our neighbor humans our human enemies. But the animals we have around us? Did Jesus said it was allowed to hate and treat animals badly?

As a Jew, Jesus must have followed among others Deuteronomy 25:4 reads, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.”

The Ten Commandments specifically mentions that cattle and donkeys must not be worked on the Sabbath.

“Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox… may have rest …” (Exodus 23:12).

Proverbs 12:10 declares,A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, …”

Psalm 36:6-7 praises God, saying “man and beast thou savest, O Lord. How precious is thy steadfast love, O God! “

read more in www.humanesociety.org

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conclusion

We must follow Jesus’ commandments. We must love our neighbor humans and animals. We must remind our neighbor humans about this in a kind and respectful way. I think also that we must also choose the right opportunity to do this, an opportunity when you and your next are available to talk with you. 
In these times of COVID, we could also say that we must kindly help each other to protect our next from Coronavirus infections.


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The death of 22 year old Lorenza

Lorenza Famularo a 22 young girl came to the Lipari island hospital, with severe abdominal pains. At the hospital on Lipari, she was not taken care of as usual with appropriate examinations. She died after 2 weeks of severe pain.

Doctors say that she would have remained alive today with an appropriate examination.

the citizens of Lipari has now started a strike to get attention and a recovering of the previously well working hospital.

The Municipality of Lipari has about 13.000 inhabitants living on 6 islands with many tourists, among other divers and sailors coming during summer. It is similar to Mariehamn (Åland) that with Fasta Åland has about 12.000 inhabitants.

www.rainews.it talks about it.

A local journalist Salvatore Sarpi, has prepared a video on youtube that share views among others from the meetings at the hospital, the occupation of the harbour of Lipari island, etc.

 

20200831 The Mayors second speech to the islanders in youtube

the Lipari islands Mayor Marco Giorgianni continues to send streaming from home to tell about the health situation (Covid virus situation, from min 9:40 and the hospital situation) on Lipari and its islands. This transparency is a good example of democracy. Thanks to the islander and journalist Giuseppe Paino we have now also the transcript of the Mayor’s speech, so you can get it translated if needed.

Think like God

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INTRODUCTION

Mt 16,21-27 is read today. Jesus gets angry with Peter and says that he “sets his mind on the things of men”. The priest and pope Francis did not talk about this sentence maybe because it is difficult to interpret. I decided to make a try.  This led me to choose the title of this post. 

I will emphasize in mya article, on Peter’s reaction. His reaction is quite easy to understand today with the help of some knowledge in neurology.

I have found that the message Jesus gives in Matthew 16:23 helps us to follow Jesus’ commandment “Lover you enemy”. Iexplain this in my conclusion.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mt 16,21-27 says 

16:21 From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
16:22 Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you.”
16:23 But he turned, and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men.”
16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
gle translate16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
16:26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?

16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds

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The message

We must remember that the  apostles, in this case Matthew themselves interpreted Jesus’ word, translating these from Jesus language  Galilean Aramaica form of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic. So we can never know what Jesus really said. We have to rely on the translation in greek made by Matthew.

Set your mind on the things of God.

Normally the focus on today’s reading is on how to follow Jesus (“take the cross”. etc.). I prefer to emphasize on 16:23

Jesus said to Peter according to 16:23 : “… you are not setting your mind on the things of God but on the things of men.”

The Italian version in  Mt 16,21-27 writes:
perché non pensi secondo Dio, ma secondo gli uomini!”
This translates to English as:
“because you do not think according to God, but according to men!”.

I have to look at the Greek version as often happens with New testament Bible text that were written in Greek.

I used Biblehub to read the Greek text. The Greek version is:

ὅτι οὐ φρονεῖς τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀλλὰ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων.”

ὅτι οὐ φρονεῖς τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀλλὰ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων
hoti ou phroneis ta you Theou alla ta tōn anthrōpōn
For not your thoughts are of the things of God but the  things of men

 

phroneis is a variation of phroneo, to think

The Greek version word φρονεῖν, sphronein is similar to the Greek wordσωφρονεῖν, sōphronein that is used in other Bible texts (Roman 12:3 and Titus 2:6

About σωφρονεῖν, sōphronein  the book “the art and thought of Heraclitos” reads:

σωφρονεῖν, sōphronein can have these interpretations:

  •  have sound judgment
  • to be sober-minded to each
  • to be sensible

Paul uses sophronein in Colossians 2:3: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Peter uses a diffferent word in 5:8 “Νήψατε, Nēpsate (Be sober, be vigilant); be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Paul says about thinking in Romans 12:3 “… think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” 

For you who want to listen to Pope Francis that talks every Sunday at noon (GMT 11) here is the youtube recorded from https://www.raiplay.it/dirette/rai1:

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conclusion

 

Peter could not know what we know today about our brain.  Peter reacted like a normal human. Jesus was right in saying “you should think like God” and not react like humans do. he could today have said “you must reprogram your amygdala.”.

What is to think “sober-minded” and “think like God”? I believe that must be aware about our brain’s alarm and anger functions.

 I will try to explain here. 

“We are feeling creatures who (shouldnthink” as Jill Bolte Taylor says in her Ted. I would specify “should think”. Peter could not know what we know today about our brain.  Peter reacted like a normal human where “Half of his brain shut down”. This happened before when he had the vision of Jesus and Eliah.

The brain  is a predicting beast machine as Helmholtz once said and Anil Seth reminds us about and we must avoid judgement biases or prediction errors especially about our next, in peter’s case about Jesus.

We easily misinterpret others. Our amygdala in the limbic system is very fast in “pushing the fire alarm button

The amygdala in our limbic system is programmed to warn you if you are excluded from your community”. To be part of the community is a survival issue for humans. For Peter not having Jesus with him became a survival issue.

A signal that you are at risk in the community is when someone yells at you or behaves badly with you. Amygdala starts a stress reaction with cortisol flowing in your blood making your blood leave the brain and flow to the muscles.

Your brain makes therefore easily, bad predictions. This is something that often happens when you met adolescents that for some reason are angry with you.  When this happens, your anger system activates and you behave as if you have an enemy in front of you.

Here we have to automatize Jesus commandment “Love your enemies ” and with today’s reading “Think like God”.

We must “reprogram our Amygdala” so it does not push the alarm button when someone is angry with you or “threats to leave you”. The neurologist, Jill Bolte Taylor explains this very well in her Ted (listen from minute 4). Be prepared for some anxiety/stress reaction in her Seminar. You will maybe feel like Peter did.


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Who Am I?

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INTRODUCTION

Tomorrow Sunday 23 August Mt 16,13-20 is read. It’s about who Jesus really was and Peter, chosen to be the rock of the assembly.

We know about the story of the Vatican, its search for power, its inquisition, and its persecutions, an “assembly” that never followed Jesus’ commandments. Jesus should have known about the dark future of the church. 

I wrote about this story in two previous posts:

I will, therefore meditate on the first part of the Gospel.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Matthew 16:13-20 says:

16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
16:14 They said, “Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
16:15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

16:20 Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.

About Peter
16:17Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
16:18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
16:19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.”

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The message

“Throughout the history of mankind, the subject of identity has sent poets to the blank page, philosophers to the agora and seekers to the oracles.” ( ed.ted.com )

The question “Who Am I?” has been dealt with by many philosophers and the last century, psychologists and anthropologists. In this Ted Amy Adkins gives a good historical picture of this philosophical issue:

16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

Maybe he wanted to check that whatever the others thought, some thoughts should not be shared as he said according to 16:20

Jesus asked others about their thoughts about him.
Do we know who we are? We have a body but is that all?

What is our soul? What is going on inside us? 
I would say that we do not know who we really are.

Maybe Jesus is asking us to ask ourselves and not others, his question.

16:20 Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.

I think he did not want to spread Peters’s opinion as it would spoil his plans. He did not want to anticipate his death with heresy accusations and a death sentence. He wanted to be satisfied with his mission before a death sentence, he for sure knew would come.

It is a similar request like the one he did after one of his miracles as in Luke 8:56:

8:53 They were ridiculing him, knowing that she was dead. 8:54 But he put them all outside, and taking her by the hand, he called, saying, “Child, arise!” 8:55 Her spirit returned, and she rose up immediately. He commanded that something is given to her to eat. 8:56Her parents were amazed, but he commanded them to tell no one what had been done.”

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conclusion

 


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Do miracles and then will I believe!

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INTRODUCTION

Today Mt 14,22-33 is read. Jesus and Peter walk on the sea.

I am a little bit ironic about the title of this post. But this has and still is true. To know that God exists, we still look for miracles.

Read more about this phenomena in demythologizing-the-gospels/#necessity

But this time we have a cute story. Maybe the intention was not to make a wonder. Jesus just wanted to join his disciples: he could. But the disciples saw a sign that made them say “Jesus is truly the Son of God!”

we easily ignore john 4:48:

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

But the story about Peter having problems walking on the water gives us important advice for life.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Matthew 14,22-33 says in English:

The miracle on the lake of Galilee

14:22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, and to go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
14:23 After he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. When evening had come, he was there alone.

The boat in the middle of the sea
14:24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
14:25 In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. 
14:26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It’s a ghost!” and they cried out for fear.
14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying “Cheer up! It is I!s Don’t be afraid.”
14:28 Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters.”

Peter walks on the water
14:29 He said, “Come!” Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus.
14:30 But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

You are truly the Son of God.
14:32 When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased.
14:33 Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “You are truly the Son of God!”

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The message

 

14:29 He said, “Come!” Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus.
14:30 But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?

Source: Wiki

This is a cute story. I like Taylor Brown’s interpretation of this story. When we are struck by problems we often focus on the situation we are in instead of looking to solutions.

The wind ceased and they believed

14:32 When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased.
14:33 Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “You are truly the Son of God!”

The fact that they were so dependent on miracles must have frustrated Jesus a lot angrily say Mt 16:4 :

An evil and adulterous generation
seeks after sign,
and there will be no sign given to it, 
except for the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

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conclusion

As you, I do not rely on miracles to believe that Jesus is inspired by God. His words and commandments proves that.
I see this story more like a message than a miracle.


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Jesus didnt wan’t to do miracles

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INTRODUCTION

Sunday mass August 2 we read Mt 14,13-21 about the miracle of the bread and fish. As you know from my page about Miracles I do not believe in all those miracle stories. They are not important. The important his Jesus kerygma.

Jesus said according to Mt 16:4 :

An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,
and there will be no sign given to it, 
except for the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Feeding the Five Thousand

14,13-21 says:

14:18 He said, “Bring them here to me.”
14:19 He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass, and he took the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
14:20 They all ate and were filled. They took up twelve baskets full of that which remained left over from the broken pieces.
14:21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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The message

Comparing the Gospels

the “Feeding of the 5,000”, is reported by all four gospels
(Matthew 14:13-21Mark 6:31-44Luke 9:12-17John 6:1-14).(Read more in Wiki )

To compare the stories I added these
with the oldest (Mark) first in this table: 

Mark 6:40-44;

40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

Mt 14:13-21

Those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

 

Luke 9:12-17

And he said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 They did so and made them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And all ate and were filled.

John 6:1-14

10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so theyc] sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

This was the first miracle with thousands of “guests”.

He did this first miracle near the lake of Galilee. Having the people sit in groups of 0 or 100 is a time-consuming task. We have to consider that families maybe did not want to be separated by their children especially newborns.

Counting up to 5000 is not an easy task 2000 years ago. Who could have done that?  Matthew was before tax-collector so he was maybe the one who could count such large numbers maybe with the help of a abacus. the fishermen disciples selling fish, maybe could do that too.

The early Christians taught these miracles to be important not considering Jesus’ own opinion about these ( Mt 16:4). At their time you had to do supernatural things at least like Moes, to be considered worthy to listen to.

At the marriage of Cana, they made Jesus into a God of wine Bacchus. (John 2:1–11). The gospel writer of John had a big need to make Jesus a miracle man, a wizard.

They took inspiration from Isaia 55:1-3 about the miracle of the fish and bread, from Moses. Jesus mus realize  Isaia 55:1-3 to be regarded as a God.

At the marriage of Cana, they made Jesus into the Roman God of wine Bacchus. (John 2:1–11).

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conclusion

As said in my introduction, Jesus said according to Mt 16:4 :

An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,
and there will be no sign given to it, 
except for the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

Jesus wanted us to listen and not to believe in him thanks to miracles. So I strongly doubt this fish bread story.

But I had an interesting association with this miracle.

The real miracle came after Jesus’ death. There are an estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world most of them taking the bread at eucharistic / communion on Sundays,

I wonder if they believe in Jesus because of his miracles or because of his kerygma. Many do not follow his commandments.

 

 

 

 


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the treasure and pearl parables

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INTRODUCTION

Today Sunday Mt 13,44-52 is read. It is about three parables of the Kingdom of Heaven (Kingdom of God): 

  1. Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field,
  2. the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls
  3. the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet

The first two parables look to be more cryptic than those of the what and the grain of mustard I wrote about last Sunday.

But in the light of the mustard grain parable, I found what the Kindom of Heaven’s treasures and pearls could be.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Matthew 13:44-52 says:

13:44 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.
13:45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls,
13:46who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
13:47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind,
13:48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.
13:49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous,
13:50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.”
13:51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They answered him, “Yes, Lord.”
13:52 He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things.”

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The message

I interpret Jesus’ parables according to my Confirmation and judgment bias. I base my prejudices on Jesus’ teaching of love and my studying of the Creation.

13:44 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.

the Universe is the Kingdom of God.

“sells all that he has, and buys that field.” is like” loving he field”

Our planet has a lot of hidden treasures like oil, gas, precious metals, salt. Wee must take well care of these.

As I understood the parable of the mustard seed, the Universe is the Kingdom of God. if we “buy the field” or “love the field/Universe) / the Creation 

13:45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, 
13:46 who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

This one is another version of the treasure parable. Again I believe it is a parable about loving the creation and its treasures/pearls.

13:47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind,
13:48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach.
They sat down and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.
13:49 So will it be in the end of the world.

This last parable is obvious as Jesus said. The question is what the good and bad are. Obviously Christians interpret it as being good are those believing in God. God is a loving and all-knowing God. So indigenous in eg the Brasilian forest can not be regarded the same way even though some priests may have told them about Jesus. The most important is that they behave as good people loving their next and the creation with its plants and animals.

Jesus taught love. 

Christian hypocrites.

Many Christian behave like hypocrites. They go to church only to show themselves up as good Christians.

Animists, shamanists, Atheists, Buddhists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Muslims may be better loving their next and the Creation than some Christians.

A Muslim in Sweden said to me once that some Swedes are better Muslims than many Muslims. 

I belive that Animists, shamanists, Atheists, Buddhists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Muslims will be regarded the same way by a loving God. at the “end of the world”. God is not a deity discriminating nor having a chosen people.

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conclusion

I have found support in the first two parables o the treasure and pearl, for us to love the Creation with its hidden resources (oil, salt and other) as well animal, plants, seas and woods and take good care of these.

I wrote some time ago an article in Italian about loving the Creation in www.kireus.com/wordpress/lipari.


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