BishopBarron|福音反思2017-07-13 17:57:05 阅读量:2913
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus names and commissions the twelve apostles. Perhaps we can see here a fulfillment of his prophetic invitation to the first disciples: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.”
“Come after me.” This is a Hebraicism that indicates discipleship. Jesus is not offering a doctrine, a theology, or a set of beliefs. He is offering himself. He’s saying, “Walk in my path; enter into the world that I have opened up.”
“And I will make you fishers of men.” This is one of the best lines in Scripture. Notice the first part of the phrase: “I will make you...” God is the one who makes us from nothing. To live in sin is to live outside of the creative power of God, to pretend that we can make ourselves. How wonderful that he tells us that he will make us!
And what he makes us is always a reflection of himself: a fisher of men. God wants to draw all things and all people into a community around him, in him. He is a fisher of people—and so wants us to be.
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus directs his disciples to “ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest,” to pray for evangelists to rescue the lost. But what precisely does it mean to evangelize?
Euangelion (glad tidings) was a familiar word in the culture of the New Testament authors. When the emperor or one of his generals won a battle, he would send evangelists ahead to announce the glad tidings.
The first Christians were being edgy when they adapted the word to their purposes. They were saying that the definitive battle had indeed been won, but that it had nothing to do with Caesar and his armies. It had to do with the victory that God had won in Christ over sin and death.
Jesus went into the belly of the beast, into the heart of our dysfunction, to the limits of godforsakenness, and he defeated the dark powers. He demonstrated that the divine love is greater than our greatest enemies.
This evangelical message entails, too, that there is a new king, a new emperor. Christ, the victor over sin and death, must be the center of your life.
Friends, the centerpiece of our Gospel today is the story of the hemorrhaging woman. To get at the power of the Gospel, we have to re-acquaint ourselves with the Jewish attitudes regarding the clean and the unclean. In the book of Leviticus we find carefully laid out prescriptions, dealing with animals, plants, foods, and situations that are unclean. These prescriptions were meant to identify the Jewish people as a people. But they had a rather severe downside, since they placed certain people in extremely difficult situations.
Having a flow of blood for twelve years meant that for that entire period the woman in our Gospel was a virtual pariah. Anyone with whom she came in contact would be considered unclean. She couldn’t participate in the ordinary life of her society.
She touches Jesus and should have rendered him unclean. But so great is her faith, that her touch, instead, renders her clean. Jesus effectively restores her to full participation in her community.
The most important outcome is this: Jesus implicitly puts an end to the ritual code of Leviticus. The identity of the new Israel, the Church, would not be through ritual behaviors but through imitation of him.