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Showing posts from March 7, 2021

Go And Sin No More (John 8:1-11)

 If you're paying attention, you notice that the transition from 7:53 to 8:1 is in the middle of a sentence. In fact, many scholars doubt that St. John wrote this at all. It is not in the oldest manuscripts--handwritten copies--of the New Testament that we have. In some other copies, it appears in other Gospels. Even so, the Church has received this, and considers it part of St. John's Gospel. As I recall, anyone and everyone who was caught in adultery was supposed to be stoned, according to the law. So right away, we notice that these leaders are going to give the man a break, and pin it all on the woman. So Jesus was going to ignore this farce for as long as he could. St. John also tells us that they asked him the question in order to trap him, but that obviously isn't going to work. The way that Jesus answers is deeper than it first appears. This is not just a sentimental story about Jesus giving a break to a woman caught in adultery. Every Israelite knew as each new yea

Candyland Is Pointless

 Did you know that there isn't even luck or chance in Candyland? The outcome is determined before you start. I made the mistake of saying that it was pointless, and someone said it was "deterministic," not pointless. He went on to say that "pointless" was a value judgment. You don't say? I guess if you really think about it, you can figure out my views on the weirdly popular, evergreen debate in theology, with respect to God's sovereignty, and humanity's free will. Even the strict Thomists have to be careful, in my book. You may be asking yourself, "If he doesn't like determinism, why does he watch the same movie over and over again?" I don't know, really. But it wasn't determined before it was made. And if you haven't seen it, it's not determined for you. Suppose I just like a happy story. Or at least a redemptive one. If you want to call me a hypocrite, that's fine, but at least I won't be a programmed hypocrit

I'm Not Superstitious. But I Am Just A Little Bit Stitious.

 Every time there is a major sporting event that I really want to see, I have Bible study, or some other Jesus-related event. And I mean every time. [That's because you watch every major sport, and most of the minor ones, you dimwit.--ed.] Moreover, when I do exercise my choice to watch the game, or a match of my favorite athlete Roger Federer, seemingly they always lose. It's to the point where Tim Butler says, "You sure you want to do that? You ruined their season last time." I'm supposed to know things about correlation and causation, but I tell you, part of the reason I skipped the game last night (my alma mater's basketball team) is that I didn't want them to lose. They won. This is barking nuts, I know. But if it happens often enough, you at least start to get the idea that Jesus really doesn't want you to skip Bible study, or anything else involving Him, for that matter. I think, "Sheesh, Lord, you don't have to ruin it for everyone, ju

The Giver of Living Water (John 7:37-53)

 Jesus knew that the last day of a feast is incredibly important. That's usually when the celebrating actually takes place. He says we should come to him and drink the rivers of living water. It reminds us of his conversation with the woman at the well back in chapter 4. Also, over in St. Matthew's Gospel, in 5:6, Jesus says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." In Isaiah chapter 55, Isaiah speaks about this hunger and thirst. Jesus is "a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples." St. John wants us to know that Isaiah's prophecy is beginning to come true in Jesus. St. John just tells us that this "living water" is from the Holy Spirit, and truly, the living water is the Holy Spirit. Then St. John tells us about the plan as it is going to unfold. The special empowering gift of the Holy Spirit given to all of us cannot be received in this way until Jesus has finished his w

Who Is This Jesus? (John 7:25-36)

 Some of the people knew that Jesus had begun to get an infamous reputation, and that some of the leaders wanted to kill him. Maybe they were taken aback by his gentleness, or they wondered why the leadership would hesitate, if they were so set in their opinions against Jesus. Some leaders thought they knew where Jesus had come from, because they knew his family. They could not account for his special knowledge, which he did not get from studying; he got it from His divine nature. Jesus once more speaks of his special relationship with the Father, and that he is the one whom the Father has sent. To say this is not very prudent, because it is not an accepted custom for an Israelite to speak about God so intimately. St. John tells us that the reason why the leaders could not lay hands on Jesus is that his hour had not yet come. This means that everything that will happen in Jerusalem is a spiritual mystery that will unfold according to the Father's plan, and not a moment before. Some