New Testament insight


#1

**Dear brothers and sisters in the SACRED HEART of JESUS!

I was reading the Confraternity version of the New Testament today. I started with St. Matthews Gospel. I slowly read and chewed on the passages over and over again. A few things that struck me:

St. Joseph is indeed a "Just Man". He would by Mosaic law, had the right to stone Our Lady :eek::eek::(, but He didn't. Imagine the ridicule that Our Lady would have been facing. Imagine the ridicule that poor St. Joseph would have had to deal with. St. Joseph could have stoned Her and "saved face" but he didn't. Because of this, we got a Savior! :thumbsup:

Second: When the Magi appear before King Herod, they proclaim "We have seen His star in the east". Herod and all of Jerusalem would become troubled by this. This is like us brothers and sisters. Heres why :

When Our LORD was crucified, the common assumption held is that the Cross faced East. maybe, maybe it didn't. However, Our LORD did face east on the Cross, certainly in a metaphorical sense. Our Salvation dawned from the east twice. Once at Bethlehem, and another time on Calvary. We Catholics have seen not only the Star in the east, but we have seen the blood drenched Cross of our salvation in the "east". Our Salvation is very "eastern" :D. Herod, upon hearing that the star had appeared in the East, was sore troubled, and all of Jerusalem with HIM. One could argue that our society is like this as well. Our Society is sorely troubled at the Cross, for the perishing, the Cross is a mark of contradiction. Our society is sorely afraid that with the Cross we plan to upset their passing pleasures. Well, they are in for one big surprise because.....

That is exactly what we are called to do! We are called to overturn the sinfulness of society by the Christian Charity that we exemplify towards those around us. We are called to convert the world, by the fire and love of CHRIST.

So, what do you think of this reflection? I am open to friendly criticism. **


#2

[quote="mymamamary, post:1, topic:322252"]
[FONT="Book Antiqua"]St. Joseph is indeed a "Just Man". He would by Mosaic law, had the right to stone Our Lady :eek::eek::(, but He didn't. Imagine the ridicule that Our Lady would have been facing. Imagine the ridicule that poor St. Joseph would have had to deal with. St. Joseph could have stoned Her and "saved face" but he didn't.

Well, I'm not certain that I'd agree that Joseph could have stoned Mary. Rather, he could have made the circumstances public, and opened the way for her to have been judged and have been liable to punishment. Yes, he chose not to do so. Yet, how do we understand this apparent contradiction? On one hand, Joseph is 'just'; on the other, he refuses to go along with the Mosaic Law's standard of 'justice'. Now, after the angel in his dream tells him what's really going on, he understands. Until then, though, we have an interesting situation: mercy that triumphs over divine justice. What a metaphor for the graces that flow from the Incarnation! ;)

Second: When the Magi appear before King Herod, they proclaim "We have seen His star in the east". Herod and all of Jerusalem would become troubled by this. This is like us brothers and sisters.

I might be more tempted to assert that the 'troubling' aspect was the overturning of the human social structure in the face of the appearance of the 'king of the Jews'. Herod certainly didn't like the direct challenge to his throne, and Jerusalem (i.e., those in power there) wouldn't like the indirect challenge to their status quo!

There's truth in what you say, but it's more metaphorical than literal. For Herod and the elites in Jerusalem, though, the threat was eminently literal!

Nice spiritualizing of the story... but don't neglect the truth of the literal message, too! ;)

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#3

[quote="mymamamary, post:1, topic:322252"]

St. Joseph is indeed a "Just Man". He would by Mosaic law, had the right to stone Our Lady :eek::eek::(, but He didn't. Imagine the ridicule that Our Lady would have been facing. Imagine the ridicule that poor St. Joseph would have had to deal with. St. Joseph could have stoned Her and "saved face" but he didn't. Because of this, we got a Savior! :thumbsup:

[/quote]

What stands out to me here, is just how courageous and faithful our Holy Mother was to do our Lord's will by agreeing to carry our Blessed Lord in the first place. I mean, becoming pregnant outside of marriage back in those days didn't just mean carrying a mere social stigma... it pretty much meant death. When she said yes to the angel, she wasn't just agreeing to carry a baby, she was completely putting the fate of her entire life in the hands of the Lord. The situation was so dire, that even the holy St. Joseph was about to end his ties with Mary (had it not been for an angel explaining to him that the child was the Son of God). In other words, our Holy Mother wasn't just agreeing to a task that "could" end badly... she was agreeing to do something that would almost certainly have lead her to ruin without further miraculous intercession. Imagine agreeing to a task that would literally take some kind of unforeseen miracle to keep you alive!

When I look at the pitiful state of my own life, where I fail to speak out to defend or promote our Blessed Lord at work out of fear of offending someone or losing my job, it's quite sobering to look at our Holy Mother and see just how much more she was willing to give up on a moment's notice and without a second thought.


#4

[quote="mymamamary, post:1, topic:322252"]
**Dear brothers and sisters in the SACRED HEART of JESUS!

I was reading the Confraternity version of the New Testament today. I started with St. Matthews Gospel. I slowly read and chewed on the passages over and over again. A few things that struck me:

St. Joseph is indeed a "Just Man". He would by Mosaic law, had the right to stone Our Lady :eek::eek::(, but He didn't. Imagine the ridicule that Our Lady would have been facing. Imagine the ridicule that poor St. Joseph would have had to deal with. St. Joseph could have stoned Her and "saved face" but he didn't. Because of this, we got a Savior! :thumbsup:**

[/quote]

**

I'm fairly certain he didn't have the right. It takes two witnesses to the actual adultery in order for the stoning to take place. Joseph could have, at most, said "I didn't get her pregnant"; but he would only be one witness.

Compare this against this passage: John 8:3-11
Now, if Jesus didn't stone her -- he would be "breaking the law of Moses", correct?; but if he did, the guards under Roman law would kill him for violating their prohibition of Jewish executions. Jesus without sin, ought to have thrown the first stone -- (or his mother ;) ). So, by his own words commanding someone to throw the first stone -- he was in danger of discrediting himself.

It was a trap.

Yet Jesus, obeying the Mosaic law, was able to avoid stoning her.
Note carefully how he proves that he can't stone her.

John 8:10 -- has no man condemned you?
John 8:11 -- she said; no man, Lord. And Jesus said to her, then neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.

When a woman is suspected of adultery, but not caught by witnesses to it -- her husband could force her to take a test at the temple; If God punished her with death in the womb, she was considered guilty -- otherwise innocent.

Another point is that: Joseph's dillema was based on fear; and we're left to speculate as to what that fear was caused by.
It may be that Mary was under an oath of virginity, and so Joseph would be accused of forcing himself upon a consecrated virgin (or simply upon a woman before marriage.) This seems to be a popular belief in the early church (Protoevangelum of James; although not all parts of it can be historically accurate; and it has Mary take the test at the temple, and was vindicated. )

I'm not sure of the exact circumstances of his fear; but the angel says "fear not to take her as your wife."

So, what do you think of this reflection? I am open to friendly criticism.

**:) The reflection and meditation are fine. There's no doubt that the secular world is troubled by any king or power above them; and for us, we must take up our cross each day and follow him; which is not an easy task.

Peace to you, and blessings.
Your brother in Christ, Jesus. --Andrew.


#5

[quote="MidnightSun12, post:3, topic:322252"]
What stands out to me here, is just how courageous and faithful our Holy Mother was to do our Lord's will by agreeing to carry our Blessed Lord in the first place. I mean, becoming pregnant outside of marriage back in those days didn't just mean carrying a mere social stigma... it pretty much meant death. When she said yes to the angel, she wasn't just agreeing to carry a baby, she was completely putting the fate of her entire life in the hands of the Lord. The situation was so dire, that even the holy St. Joseph was about to end his ties with Mary (had it not been for an angel explaining to him that the child was the Son of God). In other words, our Holy Mother wasn't just agreeing to a task that "could" end badly... she was agreeing to do something that would almost certainly have lead her to ruin without further miraculous intercession. Imagine agreeing to a task that would literally take some kind of unforeseen miracle to keep you alive!

When I look at the pitiful state of my own life, where I fail to speak out to defend or promote our Blessed Lord at work out of fear of offending someone or losing my job, it's quite sobering to look at our Holy Mother and see just how much more she was willing to give up on a moment's notice and without a second thought.

[/quote]

The gospel of Luke greatly underscores the virginal conception of Jesus in the geneology of Jesus, around Ch 4 or 5. It slips in the words that Jesus was the son of Joseph "or so it was thought" to reflect back on what must have been later of widespread and accepted principle of faith, of the conception of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is an insight from the early church fathers. This, to be sure, and the other point that Mary was always blessed by the circumstances of Jesus' conception, not sweeping it under the umbrella of Joseph's charity, let's say.


#6

[quote="mymamamary, post:1, topic:322252"]
*St. Joseph is indeed a "Just Man". He would by Mosaic law, had the right to stone Our Lady :eek::eek::(, but He didn't. Imagine the ridicule that Our Lady would have been facing. Imagine the ridicule that poor St. Joseph would have had to deal with. St. Joseph could have stoned Her and "saved face" but he didn't. Because of this, we got a Savior! :thumbsup: *

[/quote]

OR MAYBE HE HAD OTHER MOTIVES???....
thesacredpage.com/2010/12/was-joseph-suspicious-of-marys.html
....HMMM :D


#7

[quote="Catholic_Dude, post:6, topic:322252"]
OR MAYBE HE HAD OTHER MOTIVES???....
thesacredpage.com/2010/12/was-joseph-suspicious-of-marys.html
....HMMM :D

[/quote]

Very interesting. I had never heard that interpretation before. I like it.


#8

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