‘Jesus’ Category Archives

27
Nov

THE CHURCH’S FOCUS FOR NEXT YEAR: the gospel according to Saint Matthew.

by Arnold Jago in Faith, Jesus, Modern Church

Today is the first Sunday of Advent — from the Church’s viewpoint it’s the first Sunday of a new year.
For the last 12 months, the gospel readings for Mass have mostly come from Saint Luke’s gospel.
Now, for 12 months, they’ll come mostly from Saint Matthew’s gospel.
Interestingly, Matthew is probably the gospel least compatible with the “discernment-type” belief-system of Pope Francis.
Matthew’s first 2 chapters describe Jesus’ family tree, his birth and the 3 wise men visiting.
Then comes John the Baptist, his predecessor-prophet, with the message: “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Soon after that John is arrested – and that’s when Jesus starts his own public teaching ministry.
His theme? “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Sounds familiar?
But there’s a difference.
Jesus makes it clear that his message is to be even tougher than previous prophets.
More demanding in at least 6 areas.
They are spelt out in Matthew’s gospel chapter 5 (from verses 21 to 48).

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18
Jan

CATHOLICS AND JEWS: confused messages?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, History, Jesus, Modern Church, Multiculturalism

The other day, Pope Francis made his first visit to a synagogue as pontiff, greeting Rome’s Jewish community in a show of “interfaith friendship”.

Six weeks ago he was reported to have stated that Catholics should not try to convert Jews to Christianity.

Did he say that?

We’ll never know, but that’s what the media reported and he hasn’t since contradicted it.

My problem with that is that Jesus Christ reportedly said to his disciples, as a parting message, more or less the opposite:

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you . . . you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

(Matthew’s gospel chapter 28 and Acts chapter1)

 

6
Jan

CELEBRATING JANUARY 6: something special and unexpected

by Arnold Jago in Celebrities, Family, God, History, Jesus

January 6 is in the feast of the Epiphany.

The “twelfth day of Christmas” (count them yourself).

Commemorating three (perhaps) royal personages (perhaps) seeking the much-awaited new king in (definitely) the wrong place.

“Epiphany” means a divine manifestation or revelation – usually with something unexpected about it.

* to the Jews it was unexpected for God to reveal himself to pagans (the wise men weren’t Jews).

* to the wise men it was unexpected that God would reveal himself in an environment of poverty (not a palace).

* to us it may be unexpected that God expects us (yes, us) to spread his gospel. His gospel. Not ecumenism. Not democracy. Not human rights. Not “liberty and equality”. . . .

To spread his gospel by living it — unembarrassed to mention it and to argue for it.

So don’t you and I need an epiphany now, in a hurry?

The forces of greed, disbelief, violence, distraction-worship — and refusal to think hard — are sidetracking us from our calling.

Let’s ask God for a personal epiphany — and the courage to stand tall and fight hard.

 

25
Dec

A HAPPY AND HOLY CHRISTMAS: and, hopefully, a better New Year.

by Arnold Jago in Jesus, Lifestyle, Prayer, Truth

Christmas Day.

The day to either celebrate — or to deliberately ignore — the birth of Jesus Christ.

Whatever else he was, this Jewish prophet had a message for the whole world that he called the “Kingdom of God”.

He taught us to pray for the coming of that Kingdom:

 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name,

 “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.

“Give us today our daily bread — and forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen” **

That was the prayer.

He followed immediately with the comment:

“Yes, if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours;

“But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.” **

The prayer is 2000 years old.

The commitment is one that we have, so far, not disciplined ourselves to live by.

If, with God’s help, we did live by it, would not the problems of fear, terror, genocide, gossiping, broken homes – all such things going on unchecked in our greedy world – start to give way to a new, better world?

Are you (am I?) willing to start praying it and doing it at the personal level — starting now?

(** source: Saint Matthew’s gospel, chapter 6)

 

21
Sep

GOD AND POLITICS: thoughts re what he might want of us down here.

by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Contemplation, God, Jesus, Politics

September 21 is celebrated in Catholic Tradition as the Feast of Saint Matthew.

Matthew is traditionally considered the author of the 28-chapter account of Christ’s  life entitled in printed bibles “The Gospel according to Saint Matthew”.

Saint Matthew’s gospel differs from those of Saints Mark, Luke and John its more Jewish flavour and more detailed account of Christ’s words about what God’s “kingdom” really is and what it might look like if brought into existence on this earth.

A 1964 film based on this gospel called “The Gospel According to Matthew”, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini can be viewed online.

http://int.search.tb.ask.com/search/video.jhtml?p2=%5EY6%5Exdm220%5ES12281%5Eau&n=781aec92&ss=sub&st=bar&ptb=44265483-EA01-485F-B49A-9ED8E79584ED&si=CMDooqzrj8QCFdd6vQod2rEA7w&tpr=sbt&searchfor=pasolini+matthew&pn=1&pToken=CAoQAQ&ots=1442802840786

You’ll need to set aside just over two hours. It might stir up some thoughts.

 

28
Mar

EASTER THOUGHTS: guaranteed bunny and bilby-free . . . .

by Arnold Jago in Faith, Jesus, Persecution

“JESUS my Saviour,

At this holy time

Help me to remember

How you lived your life:

Helping poorest people.

Healing sick and blind.

Plus the things you taught us

And the way you died….”

“MEN crucified you.

Stupid and unjust.

You did not deserve it:

Fills me with disgust.

Yet your death is precious:

Fills my eyes with tears.

You took it out of love for God

And for sinners just like me….”

“SUDDENLY I’m filled with joy:

A different kind of tears.

Whatever be your will for me,

No sacrifice will I refuse:

Rich or poor, just as you please.

There’s nothing I would not attempt.

There’s nothing I would not accept.

To show my grateful love for you.”

Amen.