Sunday, 31 October 2010

Parable or Table Manners

Luke 14:7  Now He told a parable to those who were invited, [when] He noticed how they were selecting the places of honor, saying to them, (AMP).
At the Gospel Reading of Mass of Saturday 30th October the word PARABLE occurs, and leads into turmoil of questions.
At first gaze, ‘parable’ looks out of category. Benedict is very selective on ‘narrative parables’. It is more satisfying to learn that the preamble refers to table manners. The Luke’s word, parable’ here directs to the actual narrative, from verse 15 on.
There is more light from Joachim Jeremias below, as indicated by Ben XVI.
The Table Manners is not an aside as Jeremias brings to the fore the even more significant eschatological dimension.
Interactive Bible. www Bible Ca
III. Classification of Parables
A. God’s expectations for Israel
1. Big Dinner: Lk 14:16-24
IV. These Are Not Parables:
A. Instructions for actual conduct:
1. Take low seat: Lk 14:7-11
2. Feast for the poor: Lk 14:12-14.  

Sacra Pagina Luke 14.7
He began to speak parabolically: Is literally, "he began to speak a parable  (parabolë) to them"; what follows, however, is not a narrative (or at least not until 14.16) but an apparent direct discourse with a deeper level of meaning. (p. 224).

C. 7 The Message of the Parables. Pope Ben XVI p. 183, (ref to J Jeremias p12)
  “ (I) limit myself the three major parable narrative in Luke’s Gospel, - the story of the Good Samaritan, - the parable of the Prodigal Son, - and the tale of the  rich man and Lazarus.
J. Jeremias Index of Synoptic Luke 14:7-11, ‘The Choice of the Places at the Table’,   191ff.

The Parables of Jesus, J. Jeremias pp. 191-193.
That is what Jesus had in mind in the παραβολην  about the Choice of Places at the Table (Luke 14.7-11 par. Matt. 20.28 D it syc), In Aramaic this logion, transmitted in two versions, has the form of a 'rhythmic couplet' in antithetic parallelism." Both versions, exhibiting agreement in content and structure, together with completely different wording, provide a classical example of translation variants in the NT (see above, pp. 25 f.). Gamoi (Luke 14.8) corresponding to deipnhsai (Matt. 20.28 D), has the general meaning of banquet’ The most important guests, who are distinguished by reason of age or social standing, usually arrive last. The humiliated guest is obliged to take the lowest place, since all the intermediate places have already been occupied. The exhortation to take the lowest place voluntarily has its Old Testament equivalent in Prov. 25.6 f.: 'Glorify not thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: for better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince'; in rabbinical literature a similar saying is attributed to R. Simeon ben Azzai (c. AD 110), its closest parallel occurs in Mark 12.39 par. Luke 20.46, where Jesus sternly rebukes the scribes for the greedy way in which they choose the most honourable places at table. Jesus therefore is actually giving a direction for table-manners, and the word parabole should be so translated.
With regard to the question of what the concluding sentence in verse 11 [Edit. Luk 14:11
(GNT)  ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται καὶ ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται.
(Vulgate)  quia omnis qui se exaltat humiliabitur et qui se humiliat exaltabitur
(AMP)  For everyone who exalts himseif will be humbled (ranked below others who are honored or rewarded), and he who humbles himself (keeps a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly) will be exalted (elevated in rank)].
implies, it may first of all be conjectured that we have here a secondary generalizing conclusion (see above, pp. 110 f.). But of decisive weight against this conjecture is that the rabbinic parallel just mentioned concludes with a saying of Hillel's (c. 20 BC) of quite similar content: 'My abasement is my exaltation, and my exaltation is my abasement.'
From this we may infer that v. 11 is an ancient proverb which Jesus found already in use, and which was also in rabbinical literature associated with a direction concerning table-manners. The question is only whether the concluding sentence had the same meaning for Jesus as for Hillel.
For the latter it is a piece of practical wisdom: 'Pride will have a fall; humility will be rewarded.'
Is Luk
e 14.11 similarly intended to be a piece of practical wisdom, a rule of social etiquette? Surely not! The comparison with 14.1 I, as well as with Luke I4.I4b, (90note  Both Luke 14.8-11 and 12-14 are arranged in antithetic parallelism with an eschatological conclusion), with 18.14, and with Matt. 23.12 shows that Luke 14.1 I is speaking of God's eschatological activity, the humbling of the proud and the exaltation of the humble in the Last Day. Hence the direction in Luke 14.1 about the desirability of modest behaviour in a guest becomes the introduction to an 'eschatological warning', which looks forward to the heavenly banquet, and is a call to renounce self-righteous pretensions and to self-abasement before God.
Read this book online
The Parables of Jesus
by Joachim Jeremias
Pages: 248
Contributors: Joachim Jeremias
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Year: 1963
Autumn Scene

Friday, 29 October 2010

"Jesus heals the dropsy" (Lk: 14 1-6)

Cardinal, pre-dawn of Papal Visit 16th Sept

Friday, 29 October 2010

Friday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time 

Letter to the Philippians 1:1-11.
For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 14:1-6.
Then he said to them, "Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?" But they were unable to answer his question.

Latin: Biblia Sacra Vulgataet ecce homo quidam hydropicus erat ante illum

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Nivard ...
To: Donald ...
Sent: Thu, 28 October, 2010 20:15:18

Pharisees & Christ
Subject: Introduction: Rescue son from cistern  

No matter how calculating, closed or downright treacherous we may become, Jesus reminds us of an absolute fact, namely, that any parent would rescue a son who had fallen into a cistern. The time or day of the week would be irrelevant. Christ wants us to recognize an inalienable ‘decency’, that precedes all our machinations. The one who began that ‘good work’ in us will continue to complete it. He will do it all the way to our complete conversion to ‘the affection of Christ Jesus’.
Commentary of the day :

Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot

Jesus at table with the Pharisees

The world's eternal and invisible Creator, preparing to save humankind, which for long ages had been hindered by its subjection to the heavy law of death, deigned «in these last days» (Heb 1,2) to become man... that in his mercy he might redeem those who in justice he condemned. And so as to show the depth of his love for us, he not only became a man but a poor and humble man so that, by drawing near to us in his poverty, he might make us sharers in his riches (2Cor 8,9). 
So poor did he become for our sake that he had nowhere to lay his head: «Foxes have dens and the birds of the air have their nest, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head» (Mt 8,20).

This is the reason why he agreed to go and dine wherever he was invited, not out of an excessive enjoyment in eating but so that he could teach the way of salvation and stimulate faith. There he would fill the guests with light by his miracles and the servants, who were kept busy inside and were not free to go with him, would hear the words of salvation. Indeed, he despised no one and none were considered unworthy of his love because «he has mercy on all; he hates nothing of what he has made and takes care of them all» (Wsd 11,24).

So that he might carry out this work of salvation the Lord entered the house of an eminent Pharisee on the sabbath. The scribes and Pharisees watched him with the intention of calling him to account, so that if he were to cure the man with dropsy they could accuse him of breaking the Law and, if he did not, they could accuse him of blasphemy or inability...
By the pure light of his word of truth they were to see the darkness of their deceit vanish away.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Add from Benedict xvi

Following Reading on Saints Simon and Jude we find more so penetrating from the Pope himself.
THURSDAY 28th Oct 2010
From POPE BENEDICT XVI Audience Feb 26, 2009

Called to Carry the Light of God in This World
Really what we must teach is how to be human.
  • We must teach this great art: how to be a human being ... If it is true that the human being's "measuring stick" for what is just and what is not lies not within but without, in God, it is important that this God is not distant but recognizable, concrete, and that he enter our life and truly be a friend with whom we can speak and who can speak with us. We must ... learn to know intimately Jesus Christ, the God with the human face, and really come into contact with him. We must learn to listen to him and learn to let him enter into us. Sacramental Communion is precisely this interpenetration between two persons. I do not take a piece of bread or meat, I take or open my heart so that the Risen One may enter the context of my being, so that he may be within me and not only outside me. In this way he speaks within me and transforms my being, giving me the meaning of justice, the dynamism of justice and zeal for the Gospel.
  • This celebration, at which God not only comes close to us but also enters the very fabric of our existence, is fundamental to being able truly to live with God and for God and to carry the light of God in this world ... Naturally, while accepting and learning more and more about the aspect of mystery where words and reasoning leave off, it is also completely realistic, because it brings me to God and God to me. And it brings me to the other because the other receives the same Christ. Therefore if the same Christ is in him and in me, the two of us are no longer separate individuals ... Therefore our neighbour is truly near: no longer are we two separate "selves" but we are united in the same "self" of Christ. In other words, Eucharistic and sacramental catechesis must really reach the heart of our existence. It must be an education that opens us to God's voice, that lets us be opened so that the original sin of selfishness may be broken, that in the depths of our existence we may become open, in order to also become truly just. .. We must all work together to celebrate the Eucharist ever more profoundly: not only as a rite, but as an existential process that touches me in the very depths of my being, more than any other thing, and changes me, transforms me. And in transforming me, it also begins the transfor­mation of the world that the Lord desires and for which he wants to make us his instruments.
His Holiness Benedict XVI was elected to the See of Saint Peter in 2005.

Simon & Jude

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Sts. Simon and Jude, apostles - Feast


         The name of Saint Simon usually appears eleventh in the list of the apostles. Nothing is known of him except that he was born at Cana and is surnamed "The Zealot".
         Saint Jude, also called Thaddeus, was the apostle who asked the Lord at the Last Supper why he has manifested himself only to his disciples and not to the whole world (John 12:22).

Christian Prayer : The Liturgy of the Hours - Daughters of St. Paul * St. Paul Editions * 1976

Commentary of the day :

Pope Benedict XVI
General audience 11/10/2006 (coyright Libreria vaticana editrice)

Unity of the Twelve, unity of the Church

Today, let us examine two of the Twelve Apostles: Simon the Cananaean and Jude Thaddaeus (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot). Let us look at them together, not only because they are always placed next to each other in the lists of the Twelve (cf. Mt 10: 3, 4; Mk 3: 18; Lk 6: 15; Acts 1: 13), but also because there is very little information about them, apart from the fact that the New Testament Canon preserves one Letter attributed to Jude Thaddaeus.

Simon is given a nickname that varies in the four lists: while Matthew and Mark describe him as a "Cananaean", Luke instead describes him as a "Zealot". In fact, the two descriptions are equivalent because they mean the same thing: indeed, in Hebrew the verb qanà' means "to be jealous, ardent"... Thus, it is highly likely that even if this Simon was not exactly a member of the nationalist movement of Zealots, he was at least marked by passionate attachment to his Jewish identity, hence, for God, his People and divine Law. If this was the case, Simon was worlds apart from Matthew, who, on the contrary, had an activity behind him as a tax collector that was frowned upon as entirely impure. This shows that Jesus called his disciples and collaborators, without exception, from the most varied social and religious backgrounds. It was people who interested him, not social classes or labels!

And the best thing is that in the group of his followers, despite their differences, they all lived side by side, overcoming imaginable difficulties: indeed, what bound them together was Jesus himself, in whom they all found themselves united with one another. This clearly constitutes a lesson for us who are often inclined to accentuate differences and even contrasts, forgetting that in Jesus Christ we are given the strength to get the better of our continual conflicts. Let us also bear in mind that the group of the Twelve is the prefiguration of the Church, where there must be room for all charisms, peoples and races, all human qualities that find their composition and unity in communion with Jesus. 

Letter to the Ephesians 2:19-22.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 6:12-19.
Introduction: Fr. S…,
In the Gospel St Luke records that prior to Jesus’ selection of the twelve, He spent the entire night in prayer so that according to the will and wisdom of the Father, He may choose the twelve disciples who would carry on his mission later.
Today we celebrate the feast of two apostles, Simon and Jude. We call them Apostles. What is the real meaning of an apostle? This is the definition of an apostle: a witness to the resurrection. In Act 1:21-22, we read that after the death of Judas Peter called the apostles together and told them to choose someone who has been with them from the time of John baptizing until the day Jesus was taken up to heaven so that he can act with them as a witness to Jesus’ resurrection. Apostle means to give witness to the resurrection of Jesus. This is heart of the apostolate. The mystery of the resurrection is the central to our faith. It is the core of the Gospel. In the first Century the Christians grew more in numbers because of the witnessing power of the risen Christ in apostles’ works and deeds by way of performing miracles.
We are called to be apostles of Christ. We pray that we may grow in the faith of the powerful presence of the risen Christ, thus making Christianity more meaningful, attractive and vibrant to the people.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Saturday Memorial BVM

MEMORIAL OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARYChapter V of the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, issued by the Holy See in December 2001, describes the Church's traditional dedication of Saturday to the Virgin Mary. "Saturdays stand out among those days dedicated to the Virgin Mary. These are designated as memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary" (218). The chapter also describes the importance of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in Catholic devotional life, including the Liturgy, and includes reflections on popular devotions to Mary, her feast days, and the Rosary. See the complete document on Vatican web site ( Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy.
Saturday, October 23, Thirtieth Week of Ord. Time
Blessed Virgin Mary   

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Nivard ...
To: donald ...
Sent: Fri, 22 October, 2010 17:14:42
Subject: BVM In Sabbato  

Mass, in today’s First Reading, from St Paul, we have the remarkable sentence:    
   “Living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body's growth, and builds itself up in love.”
   These words apply, above all, to our Mother Mary. Her special role is to make us more and more like her Son, Jesus. She helps each of us to fulfil our role, our vocation, in the mystical body of her divine Son.

   Lord God, give to your people the joy of continual health in mind and body. With the prayers of the Virgin Mary to help us, guide us through the sorrows of this life to eternal happiness in the life to come.
   Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen