Introduction to the Gospel of John
The Gospel according to John is quite different in character from the three synoptic gospels. It is highly literary and symbolic. It does not follow the same order or reproduce the same stories as the synoptic gospels. To a much greater degree, it is the product of a developed theological reflection and grows out of a different circle and tradition. It was probably written in the 90s of the first century. The Gospel of John begins with a magnificent prologue, which states many of the major themes and motifs of the gospel, much as an overture does for a musical work. The prologue proclaims Jesus as the preexistent and incarnate Word of God who has revealed the Father to us. The gospel narrative contains a series of “signs”—the gospel’s word for the wondrous deeds of Jesus. The author is primarily interested in the significance of these deeds, and so interprets them for the reader by various reflections, narratives, and discourses.
· The first sign is the transformation of water into wine at Cana; this represents the replacement of the Jewish ceremonial washings and symbolizes the entire creative and transforming work of Jesus.
· The second sign, the cure of the royal official’s son simply by the word of Jesus at a distance, signifies the power of Jesus’ life-giving word. The same theme is further developed by other signs, probably for a total of seven.
· The third sign, the cure of the paralytic at the pool with five porticoes and continues the theme of water offering newness of life. In Samaria Jesus had offered living water to the woman at the well; springing up to eternal life, a symbol of the revelation that Jesus brings; here Jesus’ life-giving word replaces the water of the pool that failed to bring life.
· The fourth and fifth signs are the multiplication of loaves and the walking on the waters of the Sea of Galilee. These signs are connected much as the manna and the crossing of the Red Sea are in the Passover narrative and symbolize a new exodus. The multiplication of the loaves is interpreted for the reader by the discourse that follows, where the bread of life is used first as a figure for the revelation of God in Jesus and then for the Eucharist.
· After a series of dialogues reflecting Jesus’ debates with the Jewish authorities at the Feast of Tabernacles in, the sixth sign is the sign of the young man born blind. This is a narrative illustration of the theme of conflict in the preceding two chapters; it proclaims the triumph of light over darkness, as Jesus is presented as the Light of the world. This is interpreted by a narrative of controversy between the Pharisees and the young man who had been given his sight by Jesus, ending with a discussion of spiritual blindness and spelling out the symbolic meaning of the cure.
· Finally, the seventh sign, the raising of Lazarus, is the climax of signs. Lazarus is presented as a token of the real life that Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life, who will now ironically be put to death because of his gift of life to Lazarus, will give to all who believe in him once he has been raised from the dead.
After the account of the seven signs, the “hour” of Jesus arrives, and the author passes from sign to reality, as he moves into the discourses in the upper room that interpret the meaning of the passion, death, and resurrection narratives that follow. The whole gospel of John is a progressive revelation of the glory of God’s only Son, who comes to reveal the Father and then returns in glory to the Father. The gospel contains many details about Jesus not found in the synoptic gospels, e.g., that Jesus engaged in a baptizing ministry before he changed to one of preaching and signs; that Jesus’ public ministry lasted for several years; that he traveled to Jerusalem for various festivals and met serious opposition long before his death; and that he was put to death on the day before Passover. These events are not always in chronological order because of the development and editing that took place. The fourth gospel is not simply history; the narrative has been organized and adapted to serve the evangelist’s theological purposes as well. Among them are the opposition to the synagogue of the day and to John the Baptist’s followers, who tried to exalt their master at Jesus’ expense, the desire to show that Jesus was the Messiah, and the desire to convince Christians that their religious belief and practice must be rooted in Jesus. Such theological purposes have impelled the evangelist to emphasize motifs that were not so clear in the synoptic account of Jesus’ ministry, e.g., the explicit emphasis on his divinity.
AUGUST 14 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
ST. MAXIMILLIAN KOLBE
John, Chapter 6, verse 19-20:
19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be AFRAID 20 but he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
After rowing three or four miles they must have been exhausted and there must have been no wind, for surely any sailor would have used the wind if it was blowing. The conditions on the sea that night had to have been unnerving but there must have been some light from the moon as they had seen our Lord nevertheless they were afraid. Then He said, “It is I” or literally “I AM” which was the name of God which no pious Jew could even say!
I wonder if they were thinking of the words of the Torah, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” (Genesis 4:2) When they had seen and heard Christ. They must have known at that point that here was the messiah because they believed. Immediately they arrived on shore and Christ spoke on the “Bread of Life” discourse stating” Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” (John 6:54).
At this saying all but these 12 walked away because they believed!
are like the Apostles in that boat, the boat which we call the Holy Catholic
Church. Let us resolve like the Apostles to believe, follow the precepts
of our church and row three or four miles if we must.
Sunday: The Primordial Feast, Revealing the Meaning of Time
84. Sustaining Christian life as it does, Sunday has the additional value of being a testimony and a proclamation. As a day of prayer, communion and joy, Sunday resounds throughout society, emanating vital energies and reasons for hope. Sunday is the proclamation that time, in which he who is the Risen Lord of history makes his home, is not the grave of our illusions but the cradle of an ever new future, an opportunity given to us to turn the fleeting moments of this life into seeds of eternity. Sunday is an invitation to look ahead; it is the day on which the Christian community cries out to Christ, "Marana tha: Come, O Lord!" (1 Cor 16:22). With this cry of hope and expectation, the Church is the companion and support of human hope. From Sunday to Sunday, enlightened by Christ, she goes forward towards the unending Sunday of the heavenly Jerusalem, which "has no need of the sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light and its lamp is the Lamb" (Rev 21:23).
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost Humility and its source in knowing that all goodness comes from the Spirit.
AT the Introit of the Mass, join with the Church in extolling the help of God, whereby we are defended against our enemies. “When I cried to the Lord, He heard my voice from them that draw near against me, and He humbled them, Who is before all ages, and remains forever. Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication; be attentive to me, and hear me.”
Prayer. O God, Who dost particularly manifest Thy omnipotence by sparing and showing mercy, multiply Thy mercy towards us, that running to the possession of what Thou hast promised, Thou mayest make us partakers of heavenly goods.
EPISTLE, i. Cor. xii. 2-11.
Brethren: You know that when you were heathens, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith Anathema to Jesus. And no man can say, the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit: and there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord: and there are diversities of operations, but the same God, Who worketh all in all. And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. To one, indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom: and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: to another faith in the same Spirit: to another the grace of healing, in one Spirit: to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discerning of spirits, to another divers kinds of tongues, to another interpretation of speeches. But all these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to everyone according as He will.
Explanation. As the Holy Ghost gave on Pentecost the gift of tongues, so also, He imparted to the faithful many other gifts. This Holy Spirit works in different ways. He confers not only ordinary but extraordinary graces on whom He will, and how He will, as He finds it for the edification of the body of Christ, and whatever gift anyone receives he must use for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, without being elated by it, since he has received it only as a pure grace.
GOSPEL. Luke xviii. 9-14
At that time, to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, Jesus spoke this parable: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee, standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give Thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men: extortioners, unjust, adulterers: as also is this publican; I fast twice in a week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven: but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner! I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other, because everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Why did Jesus recite the parable of the Pharisee and the publican? To warn us against pride, ambition, and vanity in our good works, which thereby lose all their merits; to teach us not to despise or judge any man, although he should appear most impious; finally, to show us that if we would be heard in our prayers, we must appear before God with an humble and penitent heart.
Why was not the Pharisee’s prayer acceptable to God? Because it was not a prayer, but rather a boast; for he praised himself, attributing his good works to himself, instead of giving God glory for them. Thus, despising and presumptuously judging others, he sinned the more against God, instead of making himself worthy of his praise.
Why was the prayer of the publican acceptable to God? Because, though short, it was most humble and penitent. He did not, like the Pharisee, advance into the temple, but remained afar off, as though unworthy the presence of God and the fellowship of men. There he stood, with eyes cast down, in token that, for his sins, he was not worthy to look up to heaven; nay, he openly confessed himself a sinner, and in sorrow smote his breast, thereby punishing, as it were, says St. Augustine, the sins which had come from his heart. Let us, then, be afraid of vainglory, like St. Ignatius, who said, “They who praise me scourge me” and St. Hilary, who wept when he saw himself honored, because he was afraid of receiving his reward on earth. Learn to despise vainglory and think of what St. Augustine says: God is most high; exalt yourself, and He withdraws from you; humble yourself, and He comes down to you.” Seek in all things not your own but God’s glory; accustom yourself before every undertaking to raise your heart to God by making a good intention, and you will, like the publican, find grace before God.
St. Maximillian Kolbe
Born Raymond Kolbe in Poland, Jan. 8, 1894, he entered the Conventual Franciscan Order where he was ordained a priest in 1918. Father Maximilian returned to Poland in 1919 and began spreading his Militia of the Immaculata movement of Marian consecration (whose members are also called MIs), which he founded on October 16, 1917. In 1927, he established an evangelization center near Warsaw called Niepokalanow, the "City of the Immaculata." By 1939, the city had expanded from eighteen friars to an incredible 650, making it the largest Catholic religious house in the world. To better "win the world for the Immaculata," the friars utilized the most modern printing and administrative techniques. This enabled them to publish countless catechetical and devotional tracts, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000 and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million. Maximilian started a shortwave radio station and planned to build a motion picture studio--he was a true "apostle of the mass media." He established a City of the Immaculata in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1930, and envisioned missionary centers worldwide. Maximilian was a ground-breaking theologian. His insights into the Immaculate Conception anticipated the Marian theology of the Second Vatican Council and further developed the Church's understanding of Mary as "Mediatrix" of all the graces of the Trinity, and as "Advocate" for God's people. In 1941, the Nazis imprisoned Father Maximilian in the Auschwitz death camp. There he offered his life for another prisoner and was condemned to slow death in a starvation bunker. On August 14, 1941, his impatient captors ended his life with a fatal injection. Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a "martyr of charity" in 1982. St. Maximilian Kolbe is considered a patron of journalists, families, prisoners, the pro-life movement and the chemically addicted. Militia of the Immaculata
Things to Do:
· Offer a Mass.
· Say a rosary for those who suffer in the world today from man's inhumanity.
· Pray for an end to abortion, our nation's own holocaust.
· Read about Auschwitz and ponder the modern gas chambers (abortion, euthanasia, public school, CNN, Uncle JOE/Fancy Nancy) in every state of our Union and resolve to do all that you can to end the killing.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
Article 4-THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
1422 "Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."
· Monday, August 15th The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
· Sunday, August 21st Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Let Freedom Ring Day 38
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896