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Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Eastertide

Posté par diaconos le 27 avril 2021

The Father and I are ONE

Père et Fils

# According to Philippe Rolland, the early Church Fathers were unanimous in affirming that this Gospel is the last of the four in time and that it was written by John. These were, in particular, Irenaeus of Lyon who died in 210, Clement of Alexandria who died in 211, and Origen who died in 245. Not to mention Marcion who died in 160, who is not a Church Father. This hypothesis is today rejected by most historians, who saw in this text the work of a Johannine community at the end of the first century, whose proximity to the events was debated.

This text is written in Greek, just like the other three canonical gospels, known as synoptics, but it differs from them in its composition, its poetic style, its theology, and probably in its sources, as well as in some singular episodes, such as the Wedding at Cana or the adulterous woman. In the Trinitarian doctrine, the Gospel according to John is the most important in terms of Christology, because it implicitly states the divinity of Jesus, whom it describes as the Word of God incarnate. The richness of the fourth Gospel has given rise to a great variety of cuttings or plans among exegetes. The majority of them agreed on a division into two parts: a prologue and an epilogue.

# Dedication is the act of consecrating an altar, temple, church, or other sacred building. It also refers to the inscription of books or other artifacts when these are specifically addressed or presented to a particular person This practice, which once was used to gain the patronage and support of the person so addressed, is now only a mark of affection or regard. In law, the word is used of the setting apart by a private owner of a road to public use. There is no authorized form for the dedication of a church in the reformed Church of England. A form was drawn up and approved by both houses of the convocation of Canterbury under Archbishop Tenison in 1712, and an almost identical form was submitted to convocation in 1715, but its consideration was not completed by the Lower House, and neither form ever received royal sanction..

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From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John

The feast of the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem was being celebrated. It was winter. Jesus was coming and going in the Temple under Solomon’s colonnade. The Jews surrounded him and said to him, « How long will you keep us waiting?
If you are the Christ, tell us openly! « Jesus answered them, « I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name are my testimony. But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep.  My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life; they shall never perish, nor shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are ONE.  (Jn 10, 22-30)

Jesus at the Feast of Dedication

This feast, called in Hebrew and Greek Renovation, Inauguration, Dedication, was instituted by Judas Maccabaeus, in memory of the restoration of the temple and the altar, after Antiochus Epiphanes had profaned them. It was celebrated for eight days, beginning on the 25th of the month of Kisleu, which corresponds to the month of December (Josephus Jewish Antiquities, XII, 7, 8). This feast being of human institution, there was not, for the Jews, the same obligation to attend it as for the other religious solemnities. But Jesus was willing to conform to all that was good and praiseworthy in the customs of his people, and he took the opportunity to make a final appeal to them before the Passover.

It was winter, the bad season, and Jesus gave his speech in Solomon’s portico. Between the feast of tabernacles and the feast of the dedication, two months had passed, about which John kept an absolute silence. Some thought that during this interval Jesus remained in Jerusalem and its surroundings (thus Bengel, Tholuck, Olshausen, Stier Lücke, Hengstenberg, Meyer, Weiss, Oltzmann).

But, others objected, was it probable that Jesus remained all this time in Jerusalem, exposed to the ambushes of his enemies whose hatred and murderous designs had more than once been declared against him ?  After leaving Galilee, Jesus did not return to that province. The departure from Galilee reported by Luke (Lk 9, 51) was a solemn and public one; Jesus set out surrounded by a large company (Lk 10, 1). John explained that when Jesus went to the feast of tabernacles, he went secretly.

Luke placed the parable of the Good Samaritan in the middle of a narrative that presented Jesus travelling through southern Galilee, the place of which was the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, and the visit of Jesus to Martha and Mary, which took place in Bethany. After the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus returned to Galilee. He brought back from Jerusalem the conviction that his appeals to the theocratic authorities had been definitively rejected, that his death was inevitable and imminent. Under this impression, he took leave of this province which had been the main field of his activity.

He then made the solemn departure whose tragic character Luke’s account has marked. He made his way slowly towards Jerusalem, evangelising southern Galilee and Perea. He made a short appearance in Jerusalem at the feast of the dedication, then returned to Perea, where he stayed until the approach of Passover. Jesus found in the hearts of his adversaries the cause of their unbelief : « You do not believe, because you are not of my sheep, and the proof that you are not is that my sheep know me and hear my voice, but you reject my words. »

If the words, « as I said unto you, » omitted by Codex Sinaiticus, B, are genuine, they must not be taken literally, for Jesus had not yet openly declared to His opponents, in His own words, that they were not of His sheep: but by tracing, in the allegory of verses 1-15, the characters of those who belong to Him, He had made it quite clear to His enemies that they were not of that number.

Jesus referred to his parable of the shepherd and the sheep, which he had spoken two months before, and negative critics were quick to draw conclusions against the historical truth of these discourses. But, as Meyer observes, this connection is explained by the fact that Jesus had in the meantime had no further dealings with his opponents and that he was for the first time in their presence. Jesus reminded the Jews of the healing he had accomplished during his previous stay in Jerusalem, six months earlier.

The characters which Jesus again noted in His sheep told the adversaries enough that they were not. What an intimate and living relationship Jesus established between Himself and His sheep! They hear his voice, that voice which is known and loved ; and I, he says, know them with all the love of the good shepherd; and they, because they know my voice, follow me. Then Jesus raised this relationship to a still more sublime height. .

Each of these three statements revealed the love of Jesus and founded the perfect assurance of his sheep. He does not say: I will give them, but I give them eternal life now. The life they draw from my communion will grow into eternity! Since they have eternal life, they will never perish. And though they are surrounded by enemies bent on their destruction, no one will take them from my hand.

To further increase the confidence he wished to inspire in his people, Jesus raised his thoughts to the almighty, eternal God, who is love because he is his Father. His sheep were given to him by his Father, and since he is greater and more powerful than all, who could ever take them from his hand?

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ Christian Truth : click here to read the paper →   The Feast of Dedication – What is it ?

◊  Messianic Good  news : click here to read the paper →  Jesus at the Feast of Dedication

  Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles

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Publié dans comportements, Histoire du Salut, Religion, Temps pascal | Pas de Commentaire »

Mardi de la quatrième semaine du temps pascal

Posté par diaconos le 27 avril 2021

Le Père et moi, nous sommes UN

Père et Fils

# Selon Philippe Rolland, les premiers Pères de l’Église furent unanimes à affirmer que cet Evangile est le dernier des quatre dans le temps et qu’il fut rédigé par Jean. Ce furent en particulier, Irénée de Lyon mort en 210, Clément d’Alexandrie mort en 211, et Origène mort en 245. Sans compter Marcion mort en 160 qui n’est pas un Père de l’Église. Cette hypothèse est aujourd’hui rejetée par la plupart des historiens, qui virent dans ce texte l’œuvre d’une communauté johannique à la fin du Ier siècle, dont la proximité avec les événements fit débat.
Ce texte est rédigé en grec, tout comme les trois autres évangiles canoniques, dits synoptiques, mais il s’en démarque par sa composition, son style poétique, sa théologie, et probablement par ses sources, ainsi que par quelques épisodes singuliers, à l’instar des Noces de Cana ou encore de la femme adultère. Dans la doctrine trinitaire, l’Évangile selon Jean est le plus important en matière de christologie, car il énonce implicitement la divinité de Jésus, qu’il décrivit comme le Verbe de Dieu incarné. .La richesse du quatrième évangile a suscité parmi les exégètes une grande variété de découpages ou de plans. Une majorité de ceux-ci s’accordèrent sur un découpage en deux temps : un prologue et terminé par un épilogue.
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De l’Évangile de Jésus Christ selon saint Jean

On célébrait la fête de la dédicace du Temple à Jérusalem. C’était l’hiver. Jésus allait et venait dans le Temple, sous la colonnade de Salomon. Les Juifs firent cercle autour de lui ; ils lui disaient : Combien de temps vas-tu nous tenir en haleine ?
Si c’est toi le Christ, dis-le nous ouvertement ! » Jésus leur répondit : « Je vous l’ai dit, et vous ne croyez pas. Les œuvres que je fais, moi, au nom de mon Père, voilà ce qui me rend témoignage. Mais vous, vous ne croyez pas, parce que vous n’êtes pas de mes brebis.  Mes brebis écoutent ma voix ; moi, je les connais, et elles me suivent.
Je leur donne la vie éternelle : jamais elles ne périront, et personne ne les arrachera de ma main. Mon Père, qui me les a données, est plus grand que tout, et personne ne peut les arracher de la main du Père. Le Père et moi, nous sommes UN.»  (Jn 10, 22-30)

Jésus à la fête de la dédicace

Cette fête, appelée en hébreu et en grec Rénovation, Inauguration, Dédicace, avait été instituée par Judas Maccabée, en souvenir de la restauration du temple et de l’autel, après qu’Antiochus Épiphane les eut profanés. On la célébrait durant huit jours, à dater du 25 du mois de Kisleu, qui correspond au mois de décembre (Josèphe Antiquités Juives, XII, 7, 8). Cette fête étant d’institution humaine, il n’y avait pas, pour les Juifs, la même obligation d’y assister qu’aux autres solennités religieuses. Mais Jésus se conformait volontiers à tout ce qu’il y avait de bon et de louable dans les mœurs de son peuple, et il saisit cette occasion pour adresser à celui-ci un dernier appel, avant la Pâque.

C’était l’hiver, la mauvaise saison, Jésus pronoça son discours sous le portique de Salomon. Entre la fête des tabernacles, et celle de la dédicace, deux mois s’étaient écoulés, sur lesquels Jean garda un silence absolu. Les uns pensèrent que, dans cet intervalle, Jésus resta à Jérusalem et dans les environs (Ainsi Bengel, Tholuck, Olshausen, Stier Lücke, Hengstenberg, Meyer, Weiss , oltzmann).

Mais, objectèrent d’autres, fut il probable que Jésus resta tout ce temps à Jérusalem, exposé aux embûches de ses ennemis dont la haine et les desseins meurtriers s’étaient plus d’une fois déclarés contre lui ?  Après le départ de Galilée, Jésus ne revint plus dans cette province. Le départ de Galilée rapporté par Luc (Lc 9. 51) eut quelque chose de solennel et de public ; Jésus se mit en route entouré d’une société nombreuse (luc 10. 1). Jean expliqua que lorsque Jésus se rendit à la fête des tabernacles, il y alla secrètement.

Luc plaça, au milieu d’une narration qui présenta Jésus parcourant la Galilée méridionale, la parabole du bon Samaritain, dont le lieu fut le chemin de Jérusalem à Jéricho, et la visite de Jésus à Marthe et à Marie, qui  eut lieu à Béthanie. Aaprès la fête des tabernacles, Jésus retourna en Galilée. Il rapportait de Jérusalem la conviction que ses appels aux autorités théocratiques avaient été définitivement repoussés, que sa mort était inévitable et prochaine. Sous cette impression, il prit congé de cette province qui avait été le principal champ de son activité.

Il effectua alors le départ solennel dont le récit de Luc a marqué le caractère tragique. Il s’achemina lentement vers Jérusalem, évangélisant la Galilée méridionale et la Pérée. Il fit une courte apparition à Jérusalem, à la fête de la dédicace, puis il retourna en Pérée, où il resta Jusqu’aux approches de la Pâque . Jésus trouva au fond du cœur de ses adversaires la cause de leur incrédulité :  » Vous ne croyez pas, parce que vous n’êtes pas de mes brebis, et la preuve que vous n’en êtes pas, c’est que mes brebis me connaissent et entendent ma voix, tandis que vous repoussez mes paroles. »

Si les mots : comme je vous l’ai dit, omis par Codex Sinaiticus, B, sont authentiques, il ne faut pas les prendre à la lettre, car Jésus n’avait pas encore déclaré ouvertement à ses adversaires, et en propres termes, qu’ils n’étaient pas de ses brebis : mais, en retraçant, dans l’allégorie versets 1-15, les caractères de ceux qui lui appartiennent il avait fait entendre assez clairement à ses ennemis qu’ils n’étaient point de ce nombre.

Jésus se référa à sa parabole du berger et des brebis, qu’il prononça deux mois auparavant, et la critique négative s’empressa d’en tirer des conclusions contre la vérité historique de ces discours. Mais, comme l’observa Meyer, ce rapprochement s’explique par le fait que Jésus n’avait, dans l’intervalle, plus eu de rapports avec ses adversaires et qu’il se retrouva pour la première fois en leur présence. Jésus rappelai aux Juifs la guérison qu’il avait accomplie dans son précédent séjour à Jérusalem, six mois auparavant.

Les caractères que Jésus releva de nouveau chez ses brebis dirent assez aux adversaires qu’ils n’en furent pas. Quel rapport intime et vivant Jésus établit entre lui et ses brebis ! Elles entendent sa voix, cette voix connue et aimée ; et moi, dit-il, je les connais, avec tout l’amour du bon berger ; et elles, parce qu’elles connaissent ma voix, me suivent . Puis Jésus  éleva cette relation à une hauteur plus sublime encore : « Et moi.

Chacune de ces trois déclarations révéla l’amour de Jésus et fonda la parfaite assurance de ses brebis. Il ne dit pas : je leur donnerai, mais je leur donne dès maintenant, la vie éternelle. La vie qu’elles puisent dans ma communion se développera jusque dans l’éternité ! Puisqu’elles ont la vie éternelle, elles ne périront jamais. Enfin, bien qu’elles fussent entourées d’ennemis acharnés à leur perte, nul ne les ravirait de ma main.

Pour accroître encore l’assurance qu’il voulut inspirer aux siens, Jésus éleva sa pensée jusqu’au Dieu tout-puissant, éternel, qui est amour car il est son Père. Ses brebis, c’est ce Père qui les lui a données ; or, comme il est plus grand, plus puissant que tous, qui pourrait jamais les ravir de sa main ? 

Diacre Michel Houyoux

Liens avec d’autres sites Web chrétiens

◊ Abbaye de Tournay : cliquez ici pour lire l’article →  Mardi de la 4ème semaine du Temps Pascal

◊ Sensus Fidelium  : cliquez ici pour lire l’article → Le mardi de la quatrième semaine après Pâques

  Jésus à la fête de la dédicace

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Publié dans Enseignement, Foi, Histoire, Histoire du Salut, Page jeunesse, Religion, Temps pascal | Pas de Commentaire »

Fifth Sunday in Easter time – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 27 avril 2021

He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit

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# In Christian theology, we speak of a mystical union when we describe the close personal existential bond, the communion, that unites the Christian with Jesus Christ and by which he shares in the saving benefits of His life, death and resurrection. This communion is called « mystical » because it is achieved in a mysterious and supernatural way. Within Christianity there are different approaches to the subject of mystical union. For Roman Catholicism and parts of Anglicanism and Lutheranism, this bond is established by baptism and nourished by the sacraments, which are considered the privileged means by which grace is communicated.

Mysticism accentuates so much the identification of Christ with the Christian that, it claims, a sort of total fusion takes place where, however, they remain distinct persons. Religious rationalism conceives of God as a reality immanent in the world and in every human spirit. Christ would be immanent in nature and in the human spirit. Salvation is therefore conceived in a universalist way, independently of the individual’s conscious adherence of faith to Christ. This is why he often quotes the biblical text : « For as all die in Adam, so also in Christ shall all be made alive » (1 Corinthians 15:22).

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From the Gospel according to John

« I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch that bears no fruit in me he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  You are already worlds because of the word that I have spoken to you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so you also unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him bears much fruit, for without me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is cast away like the branch and dries up, and then they gather it up and throw it into the fire and burn it.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask what you will, and it will be given you. 8 In this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. »  (Jn 15, 1-8)

What does it mean to be a Christian ?

With this page of John’s Gospel, we are at the heart of faith: Jesus finishes by explaining to his disciples what it means to be his disciple. Jesus is not just a guide or a companion, a friend or a brother. He is our life. He is alive in each one of us and makes us live with his divine life. He teaches us that he is the true vine, but not the only one; he is the vine, the trunk to which he wants to connect all those he brings to life : « I am the vine and you are the branches.  »  

In the first reading we have the example of someone who allowed himself to be pruned.  On the road to Damascus, Paul was stripped of everything and grafted into the true vine that was Christ, of which he was to be one of the most fruitful branches. We Christians are associated with him through faith and baptism. What God expects of us is that we are a living branch that bears fruit. All this will only be truly possible if we are connected to Christ; there is a word that appears seven times in a few lines, and it is the verb « abide ». « Abide in me! « 

Jesus tells us. Christians are men and women who abide in Christ. The inevitable question then arises: abide in Jesus, yes, but how? How can we be sure that we will meet him? It is not the same as with our neighbour in the neighbourhood or in the village. We do not meet Jesus directly, but through intermediaries. We have three ways of doing this: through the Word of God, through prayer and the sacraments, and through daily life.

The way of the Word of God: to abide in Christ, we must abide in his Word. We must give ourselves time to receive him. This Word of God is given to us through the Bible, the Gospel, a magazine, a religious book, a Christian programme on the radio or television, and also through the Word proclaimed at Sunday Mass. Do we give ourselves time to receive this Word? The second way to remain in Christ is through prayer and the sacraments.

To remain in his presence, we must speak to him and listen to him. This is faithful, regular and frequent prayer, not just a little prayer from time to time. We talk to Jesus to entrust someone to him or to say thank you or to ask him to enlighten our lives. Prayer helps us to remain in communion with Christ. This communion is also achieved through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist: it is the source and summit of the whole Christian life. It allows us to be united with Christ, to become one with him. We receive his love in order to live it in our daily lives.

The third way is that of daily life: what makes a life worth living is not fine words but mutual love, gestures of sharing, acceptance and solidarity. Let us not be discouraged when we have been unfaithful, when we feel like dead branches. God is bigger than our hearts and knows everything.  His merciful love can always bind us to the true vine and make us bear fruit in abundance.

In short, what Jesus asks of us is to be connected to Him in every situation of our lives. Then our lives will bear fruit and God will be proud of us. It is here that we will find the true meaning of our lives.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian sites

◊ St Beuno’s Outreach : click here to read the paper →  Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B, 2 May, 2021

◊ Loyola Press : click here to read the paper →   Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle B

  I Am the Vine. Homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter, Year B.

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Publié dans Catéchèse, La messe du dimanche, Religion, Temps pascal | Pas de Commentaire »

 

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