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  #16  
Old Feb 9, '12, 6:21 pm
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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Default Re: FREE Catholic Bible Study for Lent Now Available!

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Originally Posted by Tiller View Post
Does anyone know of a good daily devotional for Lent?
There are a couple that I can recommend. The first is from Magnificat magazine which is a daily missal/daily prayer/devotional, but they offer special Lenten and Advent devotionals as well.

The second is "The Word Among Us" magazine. They are also a daily devotional based on the daily Scripture readings, and they also have special editions for Lent and Advent. If you are on Facebook, you can "Like" my Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics Facebook page (linked below) and get the daily meditations every day.

I suggest you start a new thread on this if you haven't already done so; that way you will get more replies.
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  #17  
Old Feb 11, '12, 6:27 am
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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And don't forget: Weekly studies for the Sunday Scripture readings can be found on my website at the link below under "Current Study".
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  #18  
Old Feb 16, '12, 5:50 pm
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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Believe it or not, it's now less than a week until Ash Wednesday. Have you put plans in place to start your Lenten Bible study?
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  #19  
Old Feb 18, '12, 6:58 pm
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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The 1st Sunday of Lent is only a week away! If you are planning on leading (or even following) the Lenten Scripture study found on my website, here are some resources on the readings that will give you some helpful background:
More to come!
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  #20  
Old Feb 19, '12, 9:53 am
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Navarre Bible Commentary—1st Sunday of Lent, Cycle B

Quote:
First Reading
From: Genesis 9:8-15

God's Covenant with Noah (Continuation)
---------------------------------------

[8] Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, [9] "Behold, I establish my covenant with you and. your descendants after you, [10] and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. [11] I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” [12] And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. [14] When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, [15] I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh."

**************************************** *******************************
Commentary:


9:8-17. To show that he was pleased by Noah’s sacrifice, God promised that he would never again flood the earth (cf. 8:20-22); now he renews that promise in the context of a covenant that covers all creation and which is ratified by a sign--the rainbow.

This marks the start of a series of covenants which God will freely establish with men. The first covenant (with Noah) takes in all creation, now purified and renewed by the flood. Later there will be the covenant with Abraham, which will affect only himself and his descendants (cf. chap. 17). Finally, under Moses, he will establish the covenant of Sinai (cf. Ex 19), also confined to the people of Israel. But because man proved unable to keep these successive covenants, God promised, through the prophets, to establish a new covenant in the messianic age: “I will put my law within them and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer 31:33). This promise found its fulfillment in Christ, as he himself said when he instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of his body. and blood: “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Lk 22:20).

The Fathers and ecclesiastical writers saw this rainbow as the first proclamation of this new covenant. Rupert of Deutz, for example, writes: “In it God established a covenant with men through his son Jesus Christ; by the death (of Christ) on the cross God reconciled us to himself, cleansing us of our sins in his blood, and he gave us through (Christ) the Holy Spirit of his love, instituting the baptism of water and the Holy Spirit by which we are reborn. Therefore, that rainbow which appears in the clouds is a sign of the Son of God. [...] It is the sign that God will never again destroy all flesh by the waters of the flood; the Son of God himself, who was taken out of sight by a cloud, and who is lifted up beyond the clouds, above all the heavens, is forever a sign which reminds God the Father; he is an eternal memorial of our peace: now that he in his flesh has destroyed the old enmity, friendship between God and men is secure: men are no longer servants but friends and children of God” ("Commentarium in Genesim", 4,36).
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  #21  
Old Feb 19, '12, 5:13 pm
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Navarre Bible Commentary—1st Sunday of Lent, Cycle B

Quote:
Second Reading:
From: 1 Peter 3:18-22

Christ's Suffering and Glorification
-------------------------------------------------

[18] For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; [19] in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, [20] who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. [21] Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, [22] who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

**************************************** **********************************
Commentary:


18-22. This passage may include parts of a Creed used in early Christian baptismal instruction. It very clearly expresses the essence of faith in Jesus Christ, as preached from the beginning by the Apostles (cf. Acts 2:14-36; 1 Cor 15:1ff) and as articulated in the Apostles' Creed: "He was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty."

Jesus Christ, who suffers for the sins of mankind--"the righteous for the unrighteous"--and then is glorified, gives meaning to the sufferings of Christians. "Oh, how great thanks am I bound to return to You for having shown me and all the faithful the right and good way to Your everlasting Kingdom! For Your life is our life; and by holy patience we walk on to You, who are our crown. If You had not gone before and taught us, who would care to follow? Alas, how many would have stayed afar off and a great way behind if they had not had before their eyes your wonderful example!" ("Imitation of Christ", 3, 18).

18. "Christ has died for sins once for all": our Lord's sacrifice is unrepeatable (cf. Heb 9:12-28; 10-10) and superabundantly sufficiently to obtain the remission of all sins. The fruits of the Cross are applied to man, in a special way, by means of the sacraments, articularly by taking part in the Mass, the unbloody renewal of the sacrifice of Calvary.

"Being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit": there is disagreement among commentators as to what "flesh" and "spirit" mean here. Some identify them with our concepts of body and soul--"dead as regards the body, alive as regards the soul". Others see them as equivalent to the humanity-divinity of our Lord: "dead as far as His human nature is concerned, alive (continuous to live) as far as His divinity is concerned". Finally, having regard to the meaning these terms have in the Old Testament, the phrase may refer to the earthly consolation of our Lord compared with the glorious condition He had after His resurrection; in which case it would be an early form of words used to convey the idea that Jesus Christ, on dying, left His mortal condition behind for ever in order to move into His glorious, immortal state through His Resurrection (cf. 1 Cor 15:35-49).
Concluded below...
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  #22  
Old Feb 19, '12, 5:13 pm
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19-20. "In which", that is, in the spirit. The ambiguity of the original text (referred to in the previous note) continues, so it is possible to understand the "in which" in the three ways outlined. Some take it as meaning that Christ went to preach to the spirits in prison "with his soul", separated from his body; for some he went "in his glorious condition", which is not incompatible with the resurrection in the strict sense happening afterwards.

In any event, these verses are one of the clear references in the New Testament to our Lord descending into hell (cf. also Mt 12:38-41; Acts 2:24-36; Rom 10:6-7; Eph 4:8-9; Rev 1:18). After dying on the cross, Jesus Christ went to bring his message of salvation "to the spirits in prison": many Fathers and commentators are inclined to the view that this is a reference to the just of the Old Testament who, not being able to enter heaven until the Redemption took place, were kept in the bosom of Abraham, which is also called the "limbo" of the just (cf. "St Pius V Catechism", I, 6, 1-6).

The reference to the contemporaries of Noah is probably explained by the fact that, for the Jews of the time, those people (along with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah: cf. Mt 24:36-39; Lk 17:26-30) were the classic inveterate sinners. By bringing in this reference St Peter is teaching that the Redemption embraces all men: even the contemporaries of Noah, if they repented, could have attained salvation through the merits of Christ.

21-22.
The waters of the Flood are a figure of Baptism: in the same way as Noah and his family were saved by being in the Ark, now men are saved through Baptism, which makes them members of Christ's Church.

"As an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ": the obvious meaning of this is that the Christian asks for perseverance in the good way of life he entered into at Baptism. However, the Greek word translated as "appeal", a rarely used one, contains the idea of "commitment". It is possible that this may be a reference to a part of the baptismal rite--for example, the profession of faith the neophyte made, and his promise to stay true to it. Or it may refer to a permanent effect of Baptism whereby the Christian is given a share in "the resurrection of Christ": it would not be surprising if St Peter were referring to what later came to be known as the baptismal "character". In fact, the context suggests something permanent and indelible: just as Noah's salvation was a lasting one and there was never again a flood, so too the condition of the Christian is something permanent; now that he has risen Jesus can never die again (cf. Rom 6:3) and neither can the baptized return to their former sinful condition.

Verse 22, possibly taken from a baptismal hymn, is a very concise account of the glorification of Christ. After descending into hell, he arose and ascended into heaven, where he is seated "at the right hand of God": this phrase, already common in early Christian catechesis (cf., e.g., Mt 22:41-46; Mk 16:19; Acts 2:33) means that our Lord, who is equal to the Father in his divinity, also, as man, occupies at his side the place of honor over all other created beings. This universal lordship of Christ is further emphasized by the statement that all heavenly beings are subject to him (cf. Phil 2:10; Eph 1:21); three degrees of angels are mentioned, that is, all the angels, because the number three symbolizes totality.
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  #23  
Old Feb 20, '12, 3:12 pm
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Navarre Bible Commentary—1st Sunday of Lent, Cycle B

Gospel Reading
Quote:
From: Mark 1:12-15

The Tempting of Jesus
---------------------

[12] The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. [13] And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.

Jesus Begins to Preach and Calls His First Disciples
----------------------------------------------------

[14] Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, [15] and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel."

**************************************** *******************************
Commentary:


13. St Matthew (4: 1-11) and St Luke (4: 1-13) relate the temptations of Jesus in more detail. By submitting to temptation, Jesus wanted to show us that we should not be afraid of temptations: on the contrary, they give us an opportunity to progress in the interior life.

"Yet the Lord sometimes permits that souls, which are dear to him, should be tempted with some violence, in order that they may better understand their own weakness, and the necessity of grace to prevent them from falling [...]; God permits us to be tempted, that we may be more detached from the things of earth, and conceive a more ardent desire to behold him in heaven [...]; God also permits us to be tempted, in order to increase our merits. [...] When it is disturbed by temptation, and sees itself in danger of committing sin, the soul has recourse to the Lord and to his divine Mother; it renews its determination to die rather than offend God; it humbles itself and takes refuge in the arms of divine mercy. By this means, as is proved by experience, it acquires more strength and is united more closely to God" (St Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, "The Love of our Lord Jesus Christ Reduced to Practice", chap. 17).

Besides, as in our Lord's own case, we will always have God's help to overcome temptation: "Jesus has stood up to the test. And it was a real test [...]. The devil, with twisted intention, quoted the Old Testament: 'God will send his angels to protect the just man wherever he goes' (Ps 91:11). But Jesus refuses to tempt his Father; he restores true meaning to this passage from the Bible. And, as a reward for his fidelity, when the time comes, ministers of God the Father appear and wait upon him [...]. We have to fill ourselves with courage, for the grace of God will not fail us. God will be at our side and will send his angels to be our traveling companions, our prudent advisers along the way, our cooperators in all that we take on" ([[St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 63).

14-15. "The gospel of God": this expression is found in St Paul (Rom 1:1; 2 Cor 11:7; etc.) where it means the same as "the gospel of Jesus Christ" (2 Thess 1:8; etc.), thereby implying the divinity of Jesus Christ. The imminence of the Kingdom requires a genuine conversion of man to God (Mt 4:17; Mk 6:12; etc.). The prophets had already spoken of the need for conversion and for Israel to abandon its evil ways (Jer 3:22; Is 30:15; Hosea 14:2; etc.).

Both John the Baptist and Jesus and his Apostles insist on the need for conversion, the need to change one's attitude and conduct as a prerequisite for receiving the Kingdom of God. John Paul II underlines the importance of conversion for entry into the Kingdom of God: "Therefore, the Church professes and proclaims conversion. Conversion to God always consists in discovering his mercy, that is, in discovering that love which is patient and kind (cf. 1 Cor 13:4) as only the Creator and Father can be; the love to which the 'God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ' (2 Cor 1:3) is faithful to the uttermost consequences in the history of his covenant with man: even to the Cross and to the death and resurrection of the Son. Conversion to God is always the fruit of the 'rediscovery' of this Father, who is rich in mercy.

"Authentic knowledge of the God of mercy, the God of tender love, is a constant and inexhaustible source of conversion, not only as a momentary interior act but also as a permanent attitude, as a state of mind. Those who come to know God in this way, who 'see' him in this way, can live only in a state of being continually converted to him. They live, therefore, "in statu conversionis" and it is this state of conversion which marks out the most profound element of the pilgrimage of every man and woman on earth "in statu viatoris" (John Paul II, "Dives In Misericordia", 13).
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  #24  
Old Feb 21, '12, 1:24 pm
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Ignatius Catholic Study Bible—1st Sunday of Lent

Quote:
First Reading
From: Genesis 9:8-15

The Covenant with Noah
------------------------------------

[8] Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, [9] "Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you, [10] and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. [11] I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." [12] And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: [13] I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. [14] When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, [15] I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

**************************************** ***************
Commentary


6:9—9:19 Noah and the flood. (1) Compositionally, the account may have been compiled from two independent flood stories that were skillfully woven together. Scholars who hold this view base their hypothesis on alleged tensions within the account and typically speak of the flood narrative as a composite of Yahwist (J) and Priestly (P) traditions. (2) Comparatively, the episode in Genesis has close affinities with other flood stories from ancient Mesopotamia, especially the Gilgamesh Epic. (3) Chronologically, the deluge lasts for ten and a half months: the floodwaters rise for 40 days (7:4), remain for a total of five months (7:24), and then recede for five and a half months (8:3-13). (4) Theologically, the flood brings about a new creation, cleansing the world of the bloodstains of violence (4;10, 23; 6:11). Several parallels with the creation story bring this out: the land is once again engulfed by the deep (1:2; 7:11); the land reemerges dry from the water (1:9; 8:13); Noah and his family are blessed and made fruitful to multiply (1:28; 9:1); man’s dominion over the animals is reaffirmed (1:26; 9:2); a food supply is given (1:29; 9:3); and God renews his commitment to continue the daily and seasonal cycles (1:14; 8:22). * The NT interprets the flood and a foreshadowing of Baptism, which cleanses the believer of sin and confers the grace of salvation in Christ (1 Pet 3:20-21; CCC 701, 1219). * Allegorically, the ark of Noah is a figure of the one Church, and the baptism of the world, which purified and redeemed it, corresponds to the saving Baptism of the Church (St. Cyprian, Letters 68). The family of Noah is saved by water and wood, just as the family of Christ is saved by Baptism, which represents the suffering of the Cross. And as every kind of animal was aboard the ark, so believers from all nations are enclosed in the Church (St. Augustine, Against Faustus, 12, 14-15).

8:20—9:17 The Noahic covenant. Ratified in response to Noah’s obedience (6:22) and expressed in the sign of the rainbow (9:13), it features God taking upon himself the unconditional obligation—despite the persistence of sin (8:21)—to maintain the stability of the natural order (8:22) without the threat of another flood (9:11). The Noahic covenant is a renewal of the covenant that God established with creation in the beginning. See note on 6:18.

• 6:18 establish my covenant: Or, “confirm my covenant”. The Hebrew expression indicates the renewal of an already existing covenant rather than the ratification of an entirely new covenant. Understood in this way, it presupposes God’s original covenant with creation. See Genesis 1:1—2:4.

9:13 my bow: The Hebrew term for a rainbow is the same term used for a hunting (27:3) or military bow (Lam 2:4). This has given rise to different explanations of the sign. (1) Some see the rainbow as a sign of peace. They picture God hanging his bow in the sky, retiring it from service and signifying that he has ended his battle with the sinful world. (2) Others in interpret the rainbow as a sign of God’s covenant oath. They envision the bow pulled back and pointed up at heaven, signifying that God will be forever faithful to his pledge, for he threatens himself with a curse should he fail to uphold the terms of the Noahic covenant.
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  #25  
Old Feb 24, '12, 10:18 am
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Ignatius Catholic Study Bible—1st Sunday of Lent
Quote:
Second Reading
From: 1 Peter 3:18-22

Suffering for Doing Right
-------------------------------------------

[18] For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; [19] in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, [20] who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. [21] Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, [22] who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

**************************************** *****************************
Commentary


3:18-20 On these verses, see essay: Christ and “the Spirits in Prison”:

Christ and Spirits in Prison

Few passages of the NT are as difficult to interpret as 1 Peter 3:18-20. The history of interpretation , beginning in patristic times, has witnessed numerous attempts to unravel its meaning. In the early 3rd century, St. Clement of Alexandria took these verses to mean that Christ, during the silence of Holy Saturday, descended to the dead to make a final offer of salvation to the deceased sinners of Noah’s day (Stromata 6).. In the 5th century, St. Augustine proposed a different interpretation: Christ, by an exercise of His preexistent divinity, preached to the ancient world through the person of Noah, urging the wicked to repent before the floodwaters of judgment came to sweep them away (Letters 165). Much later, near the turn of the 17th century, St. Robert Bellarmine reconnected the passage with Holy Saturday, only he proposed that Christ descended to the dead to announce His salvation to those sinners who privately repented just before the onset of the flood (Disputations on Christ 2, 4, 13). Modern times have seen the rise of yet another interpretation: the passage concerns, not the descent of Christ to the realm of the dead, but His Ascension into glory. On His way up, it is said that He presented Himself as Victor and Conqueror to a company of demons imprisoned in the lower heavens.

In view of this diversity of opinion, even among great theologians of the Church, a definitive interpretation of the passage seems out of the question. Still, it is worthwhile to wrestle with the difficulties of the text and to offer a reasonable judgment as to its meaning. This might best be achieved by keeping one eye on the history of interpretation and the other on contemporary insights of biblical scholarship. Below is a brief examination of these verses and the challenges they present to the interpreter.
Continued below
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Old Feb 24, '12, 10:21 am
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Quote:
1 Peter 3:18
It is clear that Peter reefers to the Crucifixion when he says that Jesus was “put to death in the flesh”. What is more difficult to interpret is the statement that He “made alive in the spirit”. At first sight, this would seem to refer to the Resurrection, for this is how the verb “make alive” (Greek zoooieo) is often used in the NT. Not all agree, however. Given the tradition that links these passages with the descent of Jesus into Hades (.e., Sheol, the realm of the dead, visualized as a chamber of souls hidden deep in the underworld), some take the expression “made alive in the spirit” to mean that Christ was “kept alive in His soul”. The question is whether Peter is talking about the activity of Jesus on Holy Saturday, when His soul descended to the dead without His body, or at some time subsequent to Easter Sunday, when his body and soul were forever reunited. No firm answer can be given until we consider what follows.

1 Peter 3:19-20
Here we come to the crux of the matter, to the question of when and where Christ went to preach “to the spirits in prison” (3:19) who were disobedient “in the days of Noah” (3:20). Historically, the spirits in this verse have been identified with the souls of the wicked that perished in the flood. The problem, however, is that “spirits’ (Greek pneumata) is not a word that is normally used in Scripture for the souls of the dead (the lone exception is Hebrews 12:23). Beyond that, it is difficult to see why Jesus should single out these particular sinners as His audience for preaching in Hades. Surely they could not experience a saving conversion after death, and none of the ancient texts or traditions known to us indicates that any of Noah’s contemporaries repented at the last moment. On the contrary, the generation that drowned in the flood I taken as an example of a generation condemned by God (Luke 17:26-27: 2 Peter 2:5).

Modern scholarship, has thankfully, recovered Jewish traditions about the flood that had long been forgotten, traditions that were no doubt known to the earliest Jewish Christians. These ancient accounts have since helped to bring the picture of Christ’s preaching to the spirits into focus. The main element of interest concerns an interpretation of the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6:2. According to several Jewish texts, these are rebel angels (called “the Watchers”) who corrupted the world of men before the flood (1 Enoch 6-21; Jubilees 5, 1-11). Being spirits, they could not be destroyed by the waters of the deluge, so the Lord thrust them into the prisons of the underworld to await their final doom (1 Enoch 14, 5 and 18, 14). One tradition has them locked up, not in the depths of the earth, but in the lower heavens (2 Enoch,7, 1-3).

The benefit of retrieving this forgotten perspective is obvious for interpreting 1 Peter 3:18-20. It seems now that “the spirits in prison” are not human souls at all, but fallen angels whose wickedness was closely connected with the flood in Jewish tradition. This accords well with the frequent use of “spirits” for angels in the NT (Matthew 12: 45; Luke 1:20; Hebrews 1:14). The question remains whether Peter locates these demons in heaven above or in the netherworld below. Some, as stated above, connect these verses with the Ascension; the idea would be that Christ proclaimed himself Victor over evil as He passed by the spirits bound in the lower regions of heaven. More likely, however, Peter is referring to Christ’s descent into the darkness and gloom Hades, for that is where the disobedient angels are kept in chains, according to other biblical texts that allude to this Jewish tradition (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). Thus, in addition to liberating the righteous dead of the OT for entrance into heaven, He also proclaimed Himself Conqueror of evil to the internal spirits whose power had just been shattered by His redeeming death.

In this way, insights from the history of interpretation can be couple with modern findings to produce a new and more plausible-though not definitive-interpretation of 1 Peter 3:18-20. Readers faced with the hardships of persecution would be led to see that Jesus was victorious over evil, not in spite of His death, but precisely in His death. For at that moment, lowered into the darkness of Hades, Jesus Christ descended as the victorious Savior of the world (CCC 632-637).
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Old Feb 24, '12, 10:26 am
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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Quote:
3:21 Baptism…saves you: The clearest statement in the NT that baptism brings us to salvation. It is not only a sign of forgiveness and renewal, but an instrument of grace that actually regenerates (Jn 3:5; Tit 3:5). The Greek word translated as corresponds means “the fulfillment of a type” (Gk. antitypos). See word study: Type at Rom 5:14 * The flood is a type of Baptism: the raging waters that cleansed the earth of wickedness (Gen 7:17-24) prefigure the sacramental waters that cleanse the believer of sin (Acts 2:38, 22:16). In both cases, the water that brings judgment on sin is also the water that saves. It is unclear how far Peter intends us to see parallels beyond this basic level of correspondence. Certainly the storyline itself is meaningful in a Christian context: Noah and his family, having built the ark in faith, passed through the waters of judgment (3:20) into a new life and a new covenant with God (Gen 9:8-17). So, too, Baptism is the sacrament of faith (Mk 16:16) that brings us new life (Rom 6:4) and makes us members of the New Covenant (CCC 1219). not as a removal of dirt: this clarification makes it certain that Peter is referring to the Sacrament of Baptism, an actual washing of the body that could be misunderstood because it’s effects on the soul are unseen (Heb 10:22). Some scholars read this statement as an allusion to circumcision, which entails the removal of flesh from the body as something unclean (Gen 17:9-14). In this case, Peter would be setting forth a contrast between the physical effect of circumcision and the spiritual effect of Baptism, much as Paul did in Col 2:11-13.

3:22 right hand: An allusion to Ps 110:1, which envisions the enthronement of the Messiah (LORD) in heaven beside Yahweh (LORD). Every hostile opponent is then trampled underfoot—an idea that Peter connects with the subjugation of demons from the ranks of the angels, the authorities, and the powers (1 Cor 15:24-25; CCC 671). See note on Eph 1:21.

• [Eph] 1:21 rule and authority and power: Names given in Jewish and Christian tradition to different choirs or orders of angels. They can refer to blessed angels or to demons who fell from their ranks (3:10; Col 2:15; 1 Pet 3:22). Paul’s point is that God has elevated Christ far above all creation, including things visible and material as well as things invisible and spiritual (Col 1:16; CCC 331-36, 395). * Catholic theologians have traditionally recognized nine choirs of angels arranged in three levels or hierarchies. The first consists of the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones; the second of the Dominions, Authorities, and Powers; and the third of the Rulers, Archangels, and common Angels. Theologians classify these angelic orders according to their divinely given tasks. this age: Jewish tradition distinguished between the present evil age and the coming messianic age. Just as Christ’s coming marked the transition from Old Covenant era to the New, so he will come again in glory to close the present age of history and open the future age of eternity (Mk 10:30; Lk 20:34-36).
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Old Feb 24, '12, 1:59 pm
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Ignatius Catholic Study Bible—1st Sunday of Lent
Quote:
Gospel Reading
From: Mark 1:12-15

The Temptation of Jesus
-----------------------------

[12] The Spirit immediately drove [Jesus] out into the wilderness. [13] And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him. [14] Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, [15] and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel."

**************************************** *************
Commentary:


1:12-13 An abridged account of Jesus’ temptation. * Jesus faces the same ordeal that Adam and Israel endured in the OT (CCC 538-540). He is thus tempted by Satan among the wild beasts, as the first Adam was tempted amid the beasts in paradise. He likewise retraces the steps of Israel, being led into the wilderness by the Spirit and tested for forty days as the Israelites marched in the desert for 40 years of testing. In the end, Jesus succeeds where Adam and Israel failed by resisting the devil and proving his filial love for the Father. This initiates an extended campaign against demons, death, and disease throughout the Gospel (1:25, 31, 34; 2:11; 3:5; 5:13, 39-41). See…Mt 4:1-11. * Morally (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Matt. 13), Jesus endured temptation to train his disciples how to overcome the devil. No one should be surprised, then, that after our own Baptism, the tempter assails us more aggressively than before. Victory is assured if, like Jesus, we commit ourselves to fasting, wait upon the Lord with patience, and have no desire for things beyond our need.

1:14 John was arrested: A pivotal event turning the focus of Jesus’ ministry to Galilee. Prior to this, Jesus had an earlier ministry in Judea that overlapped with John’s (Jn 3:23). See note on Mt 4:12.

[Mt] 4:12 Galilee: The uppermost region of Palestine, north of Judea and Samaria. In ancient Israel, Galilee was home to several of the nation’s 12 tribes. After military devastations by the Assyrians in the eighth century B.C. (2 Kings 15:29), Galilee was ruled separately from Judea and Samaria for most of its history extending into NT times. While some Jews resided in Galilee when Jesus lived there, many were descendants of the northern tribes of Israel who lived alongside Gentile immigrants. Even after the NT period, the Jewish Mishnah (A.D. 200) consistently refers to Galileans as “Israelites”, as distinct from southern “Jews” or “Judeans” (cf. 10:5-6; Jn 1:47) . Jesus chose Galilee as the place to restore the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (15:24), re-gather his scattered disciples (26:31-32), and send them on a worldwide mission (28:7, 10, 16-20).

1:15 the kingdom of God: God’s sovereign rule over all nations through Jesus. * The kingdom of Christ is closely linked with the ancient kingdom of Israel that flourished under David and Solomon. Although David’s empire soon collapsed, for a brief time it foreshadowed the glory of Christ’s reign over the tribes of Israel (2 Sam 5:1-5; Mt 19:28) and other Gentile nations (1 Kings 4:20-21; Mt 28:18-20). The international kingdom of old is now resurrected and transfigured in the Church, where Christ rules as David’s rightful heir (Mt 1:1; Lk 1:32-32) enthroned in heaven (Mk 16:19; Heb 8:12).
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Old Feb 25, '12, 7:32 am
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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That was the last entry for this week. Should I start thinking about providing similar information for next weeks readings? Is anyone benefiting from this (besides me )? Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old Feb 25, '12, 9:56 pm
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Yes I am. At first I thought it was a lot to read but then I had some time and started reading and it's very informative. I think knowing some of the background of the times for instance really helps to understand the meaning of the stories, and also to know what the early Church fathers thought about some of the meanings. I forget who it was that said: "We stand on the shoulders of giants."
I liked that comparison of Jesus and Adam, the temptation among the wild beasts, one succumbed the other triumphed and also the wandering in the desert of the Israelites, and how Jesus could teach his disciples (and us) how to resist temptation because he had already undergone it himself.
If you keep posting I will keep reading. Thank you!
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