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Friday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 15 octobre 2021

Fear Of Man Fear God NOT MAN Fear of Man Quotes

# The sleep of the soul or deferred beatific vision, or Christian mortalism, is a notion of Christian theology according to which the soul is not immortal in essence: the soul is mortal; therefore, at the moment of death, it either perishes like the body and with it (thetopsychism), even if God resurrects it at the Last Judgment, or it enters a kind of sleep between the moment of death and the moment of resurrection (psychopannychism). Eusebius of Caesarea: « Still other people, in Arabia, arose at the time of which we speak [i.e. the middle of the third century], introducing a doctrine alien to the truth. They said that the human soul, temporarily in the present situation, dies with the bodies at the moment of death, and is corrupted with them, but that one day, at the time of the resurrection, it will live again with them.

This is an allusion to certain Syriac authors, such as Aphraates the Persian Sage (4th century), Ephrem the Syrian (306-373), who supported the dormition of the soul (hypnopsychism) after death. Various authors defended mortalism, including the English theologian and reformer John Wycliffe (1320-1384), Martin Luther (1483-1546), the Anabaptist Michael Sattler (1490-1527), the English Protestant William Tyndale (1494-1536), the theologian and physician Michel Servet (1509? -1553), the poet John Milton (1588-1670), the philosophers Thomas Hobbes (1605-1682) and John Locke (1643-1727), Isaac Newton (1676-1748). What was an individual option became a belief within churches. Mortalism was generally supported by William Miller’s Millerites (1831), the Seventh Day Adventist Church (1860), John Thomas’ Christadelphians (1860), Charles Taze Russell’s Jehovah’s Witnesses (1879).

The Catholic Church condemned mortalism, especially at the Fifth Lateran Council (1513), which proclaimed the immortality of the soul. The Bull Apostolici Regiminis defends the doctrine of the immortal human soul against the neo-Aristotelians: « In our day… the sower of mischief, the ancient enemy of mankind (Mt 13:25), has dared again to sow and multiply in the Lord’s field very pernicious errors, which have always been rejected by the faithful, concerning the soul and especially the reasonable soul, namely, that it is mortal and unique in all persons. Some, rashly indulging in philosophy, maintained that this was true, at least according to philosophy: desiring to apply a timely remedy against this plague, with the approbation of this holy council, They condemned and reprobated all who asserted that the intellective soul was mortal or unique in all men, or who were in doubt on this subject.

From the Gospel of Luke

1 Now when the crowd had gathered by the thousands to such an extent that they were crushed, Jesus began to speak to his disciples, saying, « Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, that is, of their hypocrisy. 02 Whatever is covered with a veil will be revealed, whatever is hidden will be made known. 03 Therefore whatever you say in the darkness will be heard in the light; whatever you say in the ear in the back of the house will be proclaimed on the housetops.

04 I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that can do no more. 05 I will show you whom you should fear: fear him who, after killing, has the power to send to hell. Yes, I tell you, that is the one you should fear. 06 Are not five sparrows sold for two cents ? Not one of them is forgotten in the sight of God. 07 All the more are the hairs of your head numbered. Do not be afraid; you are worth more than a multitude of sparrows. (Lk 12, 1-7)

The fear of men and the fear of God

In the presence of the crowd that came running, Jesus warned his disciples against the hypocritical spirit of those Pharisees with whom he was in conflict. Let them guard against it more than against any other fault. All that was hidden will be discovered: their activity was produced in full light. Luke appealed from the beginning to the testimony of authorized men who transmitted to the primitive Church all these facts of gospel history. This transmission or apostolic tradition took place through preaching.

The men who were entrusted with it were from the beginning eyewitnesses and ministers of the word; they appeared from the first days of the Church clothed with the double authority of eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. The expression : the word, taken in this absolute sense, frequently designates, in the writings of Luke, the Gospel and the preaching of the Gospel, including both the facts and the doctrines of which it is composed.

Hypocrisy and frankness

To frankness they added courage; not fearing those who could only kill the body, but the one who could lose the soul in Gehenna. His protection was assured them, for he took care of the sparrows and counted the hairs on their heads The reward of the faithful witness and the punishment of the unfaithful and the adversary.

The son of man will confess before the angels of God who will confess before men, and he will deny who will deny him. There is forgiveness for whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, but not for whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spiri..

The Assistance of the Holy Spirit

 When the disciples appear before the human courts, they will not have to worry about their defence: the Holy Spirit will inspire it in the hour. « The hypocrisy of the saints and teachers of today will be revealed and in return, you who speak timidly and as if by ear, will make your voice heard publicly. (Mr. Godet) Hypocrisy, he tells them, should be banished from your life, since everything that was hidden had to come to light and your activity did not remain secret, but was carried out in full light, in the presence of the world. The things which on certain occasions you said in the chambers were preached publicly when the truth triumphed in the world. In Matthew, Jesus applied this same prediction to his own teaching.

Luke appealed at the outset to the testimony of authorized men who transmitted all these facts of gospel history to the early Church. This transmission or apostolic tradition took place through preaching. The men who were entrusted with it were from the beginning eyewitnesses and ministers of the word; they appeared from the first days of the Church clothed with the double authority of eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. The expression: the word, taken in this absolute sense, frequently designates, in the writings of Luke, the Gospel and the preaching of the Gospel, including both the facts and the doctrines of which it is composed.

 Luke dedicated his book to Theophilus, who had a high social position and was a rich and powerful Christian in the city of Antioch. Thus, after what he had said about the sources from which he drew his account, based on the apostolic testimony, and the scrupulous care he took in examining all the facts, so that he could set them out in their proper order, Luke had every right to hope that his book would create in his readers the conviction of the unshakeable certainty of the Gospel. The expression « the word », taken in this absolute sense, frequently refers in Luke’s writings to the Gospel and to the preaching of the Gospel, including both the facts and the doctrines of which it is composed.

  Luke dedicated his book to Theophilus, who had a high social position and was a rich and powerful Christian in the city of Antioch. Thus, after what he had said about the sources from which he drew his account, based on the apostolic testimony, and the scrupulous care he took in examining all the facts, so that he could set them out in their proper order, Luke had every right to hope that his book would create in his readers a conviction of the unshakeable certainty of the Gospel. The story introduces the intimate ordeal of a pious family of priests: Zechariah and Elizabeth, both of the race of Aaron, had so far been childless and were advanced in years. A divine intervention put an end to their ordeal.

 An angel appeared to Zechariah, who was called to enter the sanctuary to offer incense. While he was performing this solemn act and the multitude was outside praying, an angel appeared to him. The angel reassured Zechariah and told him that his prayer had been answered, that Elizabeth would bear him a son, whose name would be John, and that his birth would be a cause of joy to many. This joy was justified, for John was great before the Lord, austere in his life, filled with the Holy Spirit; he had a profound effect on his people; he was the forerunner of Jesus.

 Zechariah remained unbelieving and asked for a sign. The angel told him that his name was Gabriel and that he was sent by God. He gave him a sign which was at the same time a punishment: Zechariah remained mute until the promise was fulfilled. The people were astonished that he remained in the temple for so long. When he came out, he made it clear by signs that he had a vision. When he had finished his duties, he returned home and the angel’s prediction was fulfilled: Elizabeth became pregnant and hid for five months until it appeared that the Lord had taken away the reproach of her barrenness.

 Herod, nicknamed the Great: the title of King of Judea was bestowed upon him by the Roman Senate. His kingdom included all of Palestine. On this date, Luke is in perfect agreement with the Gospel according to Matthew, which places the birth of Jesus under the reign of Herod. It also follows from Matthew 2:19 that Jesus was born towards the end of this reign. According to Josephus, Herod’s death took place in the spring of the year 750 of Rome. Zechariah (this name means: the Lord remembers) and Elizabeth, his wife (Hebrew: Elisheba, oath of God), belonged to the priestly race. Elizabeth had even inherited the name of her first grandmother, the wife of Aaron.

 After a silence of four centuries, God spoke again at this decisive moment in history. He opened a new era of his revelations, which from then on were uninterrupted and extended to the whole of humanity. But he linked the present with the past, choosing the organ of his communications from among those to whom this role had been assigned in the past. As in the age of reformation he took into his convent a monk of the old Church to begin the work of renovation, so he brought forth from the priestly race of Aaron the one who was the greatest of the prophets and prepared the way for the Messiah from the royal race of David.

 This account attaches importance to this genealogy of the forerunner, since it indicates that John was descended from Aaron by his mother as well as by his father. Luke, to be even more precise, notes that Zechariah belonged to the class of Abia. The entire priesthood was divided into twenty-four classes, the members of which functioned each week in turn. Abia’s was the eighth.

It was customary for each of the various offices to be assigned by lot among the priests on duty, so that nothing in these holy offices was left to human arbitrariness, nothing could provoke jealousy among the priests. So on that day Zechariah was given the privilege of entering the sanctuary and offering the incense. This offering took place every day, in the morning and in the evening, on a special altar situated at the back of the sanctuary, close to the veil which closed the Most Holy Place. While the priest performed this function, the people waited in the outer court and prayed to God, symbolised by the smoke of the incense rising to heaven.

 With the appearance of this angel began the series of supernatural events recounted in these early accounts of Luke. Only those who did not believe in the great mystery of piety, to which these events were all connected, could find them strange: « God manifested in the flesh » (1 Thes. 3:16). « At the time when the eternal Word was united with our humanity (Jn. 1:1-14), there were to be those manifestations of the spirit world which are not necessary in ordinary times. (Olshausen)

These precise details which an eye-witness preserved of a real fact: the angel appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar. On the right side, that is, to the south, between the altar and the candlestick, to the left of Zechariah who was entering the sanctuary.  Although the angel came to announce to Zechariah an immense grace, he felt the fear that seizes sinful man whenever some manifestation of the invisible world gives him the feeling of the immediate presence of God. So the first word that God addresses to the sinner in the Gospel is this word of compassion and love: « Do not be afraid ».

 The Deacon Michel Houyoux

 links to other Christian websites

◊ Catholic Cukture :  click here to read  the paper →   Friday of the Twenty-Eighth Week of Ordinary Time, year B

  ◊ Living together in the world  :  click here to read  the paper →  Friday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time | Living 

The Fear of God and the Fear of Man

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