Daily Meditation - Thursday 6November 2008 - SEEING AND ACTING BEYOND THE RULE AND CULTURALLY TRADITIONAL


#1

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Prayers and Liturgy for Today
Two Posts Daily

First

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Second

Readings & Meditation
Readings

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Do you ever feel resentful or get upset when someone else gets an unearned favor or gets treated better than you think they deserve?
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*][LEFT]The scribes and Pharisees took great offense at Jesus because he went out of his way to meet with sinners and he treated them graciously like they were his friends. [/LEFT]
*][LEFT]The Pharisees had strict regulations about how they were to keep away from sinners, lest they incur ritual defilement.[/LEFT]
*][LEFT] They were not to entrust money to them or have any business dealings with them, nor trust them with a secret, nor entrust orphans to their care, nor accompany them on a journey, nor give their daughter in marriage to any of their sons, nor invite them as guests or be their guests.[/LEFT]
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They were shocked with the way in which Jesus freely received sinners and ate with them. Sinners, nonetheless, were
HERE

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#2

ocarm.org/lectio/annoA_eng/289eng.htm

• The Gospel today presents the first one of three parables united among themselves by one same word. It is a question of three things which were *lost: *the lost sheep (Lk 15, 3-7), the lost drachma (Lk 15, 8-10), and the lost son (Lk 15.11-32). The three parables are addressed to the Pharisees and to the Doctors of the Law who criticized Jesus (Lk 15, 1-3). That is, they are addressed to the Pharisee and to the Scribe or doctor of the Law which is in each one of us.
• Luke 15, 1-3: *Those to whom the parables are addressed. *The first three verses describe the context in which the three parables were pronounced: *“At that time, the tax collectors and sinners were all crowding round to listen to him. The Pharisees and Scribes complained”. *On one side there were the tax collectors and the sinners; on the other the Pharisees and the Doctors of the Law. Luke speaks exaggerating somewhat: *“The tax collectors and the sinners were all crowding round to listen to Jesus”. *There was something in Jesus which attracted them. It is the word of Jesus which attracts them (cf. Is 50, 4). They want to listen to him. This is a sign that they do not feel condemned, but rather they feel accepted by him. The criticism of the Pharisees and the Scribes is the following: *"This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!” *When sending out the seventy-two disciples (Lk 10, 1-9), Jesus had ordered them to accept the excluded, the sick, the possessed (Mt 10, 8; Lk 10, 9) and to gather them for the banquet (Lk 10, 8).
• Luke 15, 4: *The Parable of the lost sheep. *The parable of the lost sheep begins with a question: “Which one of you with a hundred sheep, if he lost one, would fail to leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the missing one till he found it?” Before giving a response, Jesus must have looked around to see who was listening to him to see how they would have answered. The question is formulated in such a way that the response can only be a positive one: “Yes, he will go after the lost sheep!” And you, how would you answer? Would you leave the ninety-nine in the field to go and look for the only one which got lost? Who would do this? Probably, the majority would have answered: “Jesus, who among us? Nobody would do such an absurd thing. The proverb says: “Better one bird in the hand than one hundred flying around!”
• Luke 15, 5-7: *Jesus interprets the parable of the lost sheep. *Now, in the parable the shepherd does that which nobody would do: to leave everything and to go and look for the lost sheep. God alone can assume such an attitude! Jesus wants that we become aware, conscious of the Pharisee or the Scribe which is in each one of us, The Pharisees and the Scribes abandoned the sinners and excluded them. They would have never gone to look for the lost sheep. They would have allowed it to get lost in the desert. They preferred the ninety-nine. But Jesus places himself in the place of the sheep which got lost and, which in that context of the official religion, would fall into despair, without the hope of being accepted. Jesus makes them and us know: “If you feel that you are a lost sinner, remember that for God you are worth more than the other ninety-nine sheep. And in case that you are converted, know that there will be *“greater joy in heaven for a sinner who is converted, than for ninety-nine just who do not need conversion”.
*• Luke 15, 8-10: *Parable of the lost drachma. *The second Parable: *"Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, I have found the drachma I lost. In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner’”. *God rejoices with us. The angels rejoice with us. The parable serves to communicate hope to those who were threatened with despair because of the official religion. This message recalls what God tells us in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah: "Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands!” (Is 49, 16). “Since, I regard you as precious, since you are honoured and I love you!” (Is 43, 4).
4) Personal questions
• Would you go out to look for the lost sheep?
• Do you think that today the Church is faithful to this parable of Jesus?


#3

These parables are certainly among my favorites Barb. I fear though that we tend to hear them so often that their revolutionary nature just escapes us.

Of course none of us would leave the 99 to go after the 1. It is an absurd idea, however much we tend to gloss over that from not thinking about it when the question is asked. But it is yet another example of how “God’s ways are not our ways.”

The author here states: "The Pharisees and the Scribes abandoned the sinners and excluded them. They would have never gone to look for the lost sheep. They would have allowed it to get lost in the desert. " I would contend that many of our modern-day Pharisees would go even further and would actually drive the sheep out into the desert themselves, much less go out and look for one.

I was blessed when I returned to the Chruch after my many years away. I encountered a group of people actually living the gospel who looked with joy on the one who had returned rather than condemning me for having strayed and still having questions. If I had encountered those at the ready with the stern looks and condemnation I would have been back out the door before my shadow could have even made it through.

I hope that from that experience I have learned to gently sit with those who are possibly not as far along in their journey, to help nurture them rather than driving them to despair that they are unlovable even by God. I know that there will be much to answer for if I manage to further hurt one of God’s wounded sheep that is look for its Shepherd.

I guess I’ll continue to eat with those sinners since I know it’s the only way I can possibly request that He eat with me.

Peace, Barb,


#4

Thank you for sharing, John…and with the usual keen insight, candor and honesty. I really liked your concluding comment.:thumbsup:

We are all sinners and all on a journey - arriving only to depart.

Blessings, regards and Peace…Barb:)


#5

Thank you Barb it was taken by your heading but I never thought I would get so much out of this firstly your ability on using the computer to the utmost and for this king of work astounds me. Secondly i am so thankful that the words throw me into thinking about my sins and hopefully being honest. Thank you
Godbless


#6

God bless, Wayne:) …and thank you for the kind thoughts…


#7

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