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It is not Jesus alone—or each of us in our own experiences of temptation—that is the arbiter of what is right or wrong; rather, it is God through divine revelation that has made known to humanity the path we should walk. What Jesus lays out for us in these early words in the Gospel is the importance of embracing our collective story, the narrative of God disclosing who God is over time and through the people, times, places, and events conveyed in the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. To speak the words of Scripture and make them our own is a powerful statement about our identity and worldview.
The third time we hear Jesus speak in the Gospel according to Luke is after he has spent the forty days and nights in the desert fasting, praying, and preparing for the start of his public ministry. The next thing we read is one such instance when Jesus arrived back at his hometown of Nazareth and entered the synagogue on the Sabbath. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. In these early words, long before the cross, we see the earliest inkling of what will eventually lead the religious and civil leaders of his time to crucify Jesus, as well as a summary of what his mission and by virtue of our baptism, our mission is all about: social justice.
What Jesus has been anointed which in Greek is Christos to do is proclaim the in-breaking of the kingdom of God, which is seen when justice and mercy reign in our world. It does not take much imagination to see how such a worldview could get someone crucified, for speaking out for and working on behalf of the oppressed necessarily draws undesired attention to the oppressors.
- Masqué T04 : Le préfet spécial (French Edition).
- The Words of a Child.
- The Nonsense of Free Will: Facing up to a false belief.
- Reward Yourself.
- The Fox Herders Guide.
- Suggestions for Teaching.
To speak the words of justice, mercy, and peace is a powerful statement about how we are to live in the world. These three first words of Christ reveal to us much about what it means to be Christian and helps to place what happens on the cross on Good Friday within a broader context.
Luke But He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and carry it out. Revelation Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and obey what is written in it, because the time is near. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. It demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. Treasury of Scripture But he said, Yes rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Let us also in this circumstance remark the goodness of God, Who always gives us more than we ask for, as St. Ambrose says, "The Lord always grants more than we ask; the thief prayed that Jesus would remember him, and Jesus said, Today thou shalt be with Me in Paradise. John Chrysostom further remarks that no one merited the possession of Paradise before this thief.
Thus is confirmed what God said by Ezechiel, that, when the sinner heartily repents of his sins, God pardons him in the same way as if He had forgotten all the sins he had committed. And Isaiah gives us to understand that God is so urgent for our good, that when we pray He instantly hears us. Augustine says that God is ever prepared to embrace penitent sinners. And thus it was that the cross of the wicked thief, being endured with impatience, became to him a precipice leading to Hell; while the cross endured with patience by the good thief became to him a ladder to Paradise.
Happy wert thou, O holy thief, who hadst the fortune to unite thy death to the death of thy Savior. O my Jesus! We read in St.
Luke But He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
Mark [ 40] that on Calvary there were present many women, who watched Jesus on the Cross, but from afar off, among whom was Mary Magdalen. We believe, also, that among these holy women was the Divine mother also; while St. Thus also a learned author, who wrote the life of Jesus Christ, says, "There were His friends, who watched Him from afar; but the Holy Virgin, the Magdalen, and another Mary stood close to the Cross, with John; wherefore Jesus, seeing His mother and John, spoke to them the words above mentioned.
Truly it was the mother who not even in the terror of death deserted her Son. Some other mothers fly when they see their children dying; their love does not suffer them to be present at their death without the power of relieving them; but the holy mother, the nearer her Son approached to death, the nearer she drew to His Cross. The afflicted mother thus was standing close to the Cross; and as the Son. A writer says that they who would describe her fainting at the foot of the Cross dishonor the constancy of Mary. She was the strong woman, who neither fainted nor wept, as St.
Ambrose writes: "I read of her standing, but not of her weeping. Augustine], as she was the natural mother of our head Jesus Christ, so she then became the spiritual mother of us who are His faithful members, in co-operating with Him by her love in causing us to be born, and to be the children of the Church. Bernard writes that upon Mount Calvary both of these two great Martyrs, Jesus and Mary, were silent, because the great pain that they endured took from them the power of speaking.
The mother looked upon her Son in agony upon the Cross, and the Son looked upon the mother in agony at the foot of the Cross, and torn with compassion for the pains He suffered. Mary and John then stood nearer to the Cross than the other women, so that they could more easily hear the words and mark the looks of Jesus Christ in so great a tumult. John writes: When Jesus then saw His mother and the disciple standing, whom He loved, he saith to His mother: Woman, behold thy son.
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John Chrysostom writes that love always makes us look more closely at the object of our love. And St. Ambrose in a similar way writes, It is natural that we should see those we love before any others. The Blessed Virgin revealed to St.
The First Words of Christ
Bridget that in order that Jesus might look upon Mary, who stood by the side of the Cross, He was obliged first to compress his eyebrows in order to remove the blood from His eyes, which prevented Him from seeing. Jesus said to her, Woman, behold thy son!
John, who stood by His side. But why did He call her woman, and not mother? He called her "woman," we may say, because, drawing now near to death, He spoke as if departing from her, as if He had said, Woman, in a little while I shall be dead, and thou wilt have no Son upon earth; I leave thee, therefore, John, who will serve and love thee as a son. And from this we may understand that St. Joseph was already dead, since if he had been still alive he would not have been separated from his wife.
All antiquity asserts that St. John was ever a virgin, and specially on this account he was given as a son to Mary, and honored in being made to occupy the place of Jesus Christ; on which account the holy Church sings, "To him a virgin He commended His Virgin Mother. John received Mary into his own house, and assisted and obeyed her throughout her life, as if she had been his own mother. And on this account the Lord, at the time when the other disciples abandoned Him, gave to St.
John strength to be present until His death in the midst of so many enemies. But let us return to the holy Virgin, and examine more deeply the reason why Jesus called Mary woman, and not mother. By this expression He desired to show that she was the great woman foretold in the Book of Genesis, who would crush the serpent's head: I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
Naturally was Mary the enemy of the serpent, because Lucifer was haughty, ungrateful, and disobedient, while she was humble, grateful, and obedient. It is said, She shall crush thy head, because Mary, by means of her Son, beat down the pride of Lucifer, who lay in wait for the heel of Jesus Christ, which means His holy humanity, which was the part of Him which was nearest to the earth; while the Savior by His death had the glory of conquering him, and of depriving him of that empire which, through sin, he had obtained over the human race.
God said to the serpent, I will put enmities between thy seed and the woman.
This shows that after the fall of man, through sin, notwithstanding all that would be done by the redemption of Jesus Christ, there would be two families and two posterities in the world, the seed of Satan signifying the family of sinners, his children corrupted by him, and the seed of Mary, signifying the holy family, which includes all the just, with their head Jesus Christ. Hence Mary was destined to be the mother both of the head and of the members, namely, the faithful. Therefore, St. John was not called John, but the disciple beloved by the Lord, that we might understand that Mary is the mother of every good Christian who is beloved by Jesus Christ, and in whom Jesus Christ lives by His Spirit.
This was expressed by Origen, when he said, "Jesus said to Mary, Behold thy son, as if he had said, This is Jesus, Whom thou hast borne, for He who is perfected lives no more himself, but Christ lives in him. Denis the Carthusian writes that in the Passion of Jesus Christ the breast of Mary was filled with the Blood which flowed from His Wounds, in order that with it she might nourish her children.
And he adds that this Divine mother by her prayers and merits, which she especially acquired by sharing in the death of Jesus Christ, obtained for us a participation in the merits of the Passion of the Redeemer. O suffering Mother!
Related THE WORDS OF CHRIST By St Luke: Hear the Words Of Christ
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