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To: All

From: 2 Timothy 2:8-13

Jesus, the Apostle’s Model


[8] Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as
preached in my gospel, [9] the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters
like a criminal. But the word of God is not fettered. [10] Therefore I endure every-
thing for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which in
Christ Jesus goes with eternal glory. [11] The saying is sure: If we have died with
him, we shall also live with him; [12] if we endure, we shall also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us; [13] if we are faithless, he remains faithful
— for he cannot deny himself.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

8. “Jesus Christ, risen from the dead”: the Resurrection is the climax of our faith
(cf. 1 Cor 15) and the fixed reference point for Christian living, for we know that
“Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has domi-
nion over him” (Rom 6:9). Therefore, Christ lives on in a glorified condition: “Christ
is alive. He is not someone who has gone, someone who existed for a time and
then passed on, leaving us a wonderful example and a great memory. No, Christ
is alive. Jesus is Emmanuel: God with us. His resurrection shows us that God
does not abandon his own” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 102).

“As preached in my gospel”: literally, “according to my gospel”; Jesus’ glorious
resurrection and his descent from David were key points in St Paul’s preaching.

9-10. The trials which St Paul was experiencing in prison on account of his prea-
ching of the Gospel constitute an entitlement to heaven, for “martyrdom makes
the disciple like his master, who willingly accepted death for the salvation of the
world, and through it he is conformed to him by the shedding of blood” (”Lumen
Gentium”, 42). This is a shining example of the Communion of Saints at work,
for, when a Christian links his suffering to Christ’s passion, that suffering contri-
butes to the Redemption: “Therefore he is carrying out an irreplaceable service.
In the Body of Christ, which is ceaselessly born of the Cross of the Redeemer,
it is precisely suffering permeated by the spirit of Christ’s sacrifice that is the ir-
replaceable mediator and author of the good things which are indispensable for
the world’s salvation. It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the
way for the grace which transforms human souls. Suffering, more than anything
else, makes present in the history of humanity the powers of the Redemption”
(John Paul II, “Salvifici Doloris”, 27).

Throughout history many pastors of the Church have suffered persecution on
account of their fidelity to Christ. St John Chrysostom, shortly before going into
exile, expressed his feelings in this way: “For me, this world’s evils are some-
thing I despise; and its good things are an object of scorn. I am not afraid of po-
verty nor do I have any desire for riches; I am not afraid of death nor do I have
any desire to live unless it be to your advantage” (”Ante Exiltum Hom.”, 1).

11-13. “The saying is sure”: this is a technical expression used a number of
times in the Pastoral Epistles to attract attention to especially important state-
ments (cf. note on 1 Tim 1:15). Here it introduces a poetic section in the form
of a hymn of four verses, each consisting of a pair of contrasting phrases (of
the type the Semitic mind loves). It is quite possible that this hymn was used
in very early baptismal liturgy, given that it has to do with the intimate union of
the baptized person with Christ, who died and is now risen; it also encourages
Christians to stay faithful in the face of adverse circumstances even if that
means martyrdom.

Thus, the first verse deals with the beginning of Christian life. Dying to sin and
rising to the life of grace are Pauline expressions (cf. Rom 6:34) which point to
the fact that in Baptism the Christian becomes a sharer in the passion, death
and burial of the Lord, and also in the glory of his resurrection. Grace is the
supernatural life and that life will attain its full form in heaven.

The two following verses deal with the stark choice the Christian has to make
in the face of difficulties — endurance, or denial of the faith (cf. Mt 10:33; Lk 12:
9); the hymn puts special emphasis on endurance, using as it does terminolo-
gy proper to athletics (cf. Heb 12:1-3); also, the verb used in the second part
of each phrase is in the future tense, as if an unlikely possibility were being dis-
cussed: “In the event of our denying him...”. And (what is most important) the
Christian’s faithfulness is orientated towards Christ: “we shall reign with him.”
“To persevere is to persist in love, ‘per Ipsum et cum Ipso et in Ipso...’. Indeed
we can also interpret this as: “He himself, with me, for me and in me” (St. J.
Escriva, “Furrow”, 366).

The last verse breaks the pattern because it does not counterpose attitude and
result but rather man’s infidelity and Christ’s fidelity: “If we are faithless, he re-
mains faithful.” This paradox of our Lord’s love marks the climax of the hymn,
which is a kind of poem extolling Christian endurance based on our Lord’s eter-
nal faithfulness. “We Christians have the right to proclaim the royalty of Christ.
Although injustice abounds, although many do not desire the kingdom of love,
the work of salvation is taking place in the same human history as harbors evil”
(St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 186).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


14 posted on 10/09/2010 10:10:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 17:11-19

The Ten Lepers


[11] On the way to Jerusalem He (Jesus) was passing along between Samaria
and Galilee. [12] And as He entered the village, He was met by ten lepers, who
stood at a distance [13] and lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have
mercy on us.” [14] When He saw them He said to them, “Go and show your-
selves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. [15] Then one of
them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud
voice; [16] and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was
a Samaritan. [17] Then said Jesus, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the
nine? [18] Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this fo-
reigner?” [19] And He said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made
you well.”

********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

11-19. The setting of this episode explains how a Samaritan could be in the
company of Jews. There was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans (cf.
John 4:9), but shared pain, in the case of these lepers, overcame racial
antipathy.

The Law of Moses laid down, to prevent the spread of the disease, that lepers
should live away from other people and should let it be known that they were
suffering from this disease (cf. Leviticus 13:45-46). This explains why they did
not come right up to Jesus and His group, but instead begged His help by
shouting from a distance. Before curing them our Lord orders them to go to the
priests to have their cure certified (cf. Leviticus 14:2ff), and to perform the rites
laid down. The lepers’ obedience is a sign of faith in Jesus’ words. And, in fact,
soon after setting out they are cleansed.

However, only one of them, the Samaritan, who returns praising God and sho-
wing his gratitude for the miracle, is given a much greater gift than the cure of
leprosy. Jesus says as much: “Your faith has made you well” (verse 19) and
praises the man’s gratefulness. The Gospel records this event to teach us the
value of gratefulness: “Get used to lifting your heart to God, in acts of thanks-
giving, many times a day. Because He gives you this and that. Because you
have been despised. Because you haven’t what you need or because you
have.

“Because He made His Mother so beautiful, His Mother who is also your
Mother. Because He created the sun and the moon and this animal and that
plant. Because He made that man eloquent and you He left tongue-tied ....

“Thank Him for everything, because everything is good” (St. J. Escriva, “The
Way”, 268).

********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


15 posted on 10/09/2010 10:10:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies ]

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