August 30, 2017 – Receiving vs. Taking

Receiving vs. Taking

1 Thessalonians 2:13  And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that,in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.

Based on the verse above from the Mass readings of the day, Father Linsky led a discussion on the idea of receiving rather than taking something and how that applies to our receiving the Eucharist and even being received into the Church.

Describing such with the more passive verb implies submission, repentance, conversion, obedience, and following and cooperating with God’s will rather than actively pursuing our own selfish interests. We are therefore in a position of giving thanks for what has been offered rather than feeling good about having taken something at our own initiative.

Fred mentioned the example of Father Marie-Joseph Lagrange, known as the founder of modern Catholic Bible study. In faithful obedience to his vows, even in the face of much criticism and resistance, he pursued the difficult goal of making Sacred Scripture more understandable and useful to the Church. You can read a bit about him here.

It was Father Lagrange’s work that initiated acceptance of modern scholarly methods of Bible Study and enabled the Catholic Study Bible to speak of “the primeval history of the world before Israel’s own remembered history began” and to point out that we don’t need to come up with creative explanations of where Cain’s wife came from simply because no such wife was possible in a real history. According to the Catholic Study Bible, the story, at the point of Cain’s intercourse with his wife from unknown place, “has moved from the world’s first killing to a new theme – how the world was populated – and it doesn’t seem to bother the author that the second cannot fit the history just related. The only concern from the writer is to make a series of religious lessons that we can all learn from.”

Caesarea Philippi

This location, as discussed during the meeting, was mentioned in the Sunday Mass readings about a key turning point in the ministry of Jesus:

Matthew 16:13-21  When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  16 Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.  18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  20 Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah.  21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.

Note the key turning point described in verse 21. Explanation of the Biblical significance and importance of that Caesarea Philippi, shown on the map below is summarized here.

philippi

This map is from the link above.

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