Readings 24 Oct 2013

October 24th, 2013  |  Published in Deacon Andy's Blog

RE_Newsletter_2012_09_img7Today’s readings are Rom 6:19-23 and Lk 12:49-53

Today’s readings require some thought to understand. Taken simply at the surface level the gospel appears to be quite disturbing. Did Jesus come to bring division setting father against son, and mother against daughter? Does He really want us to have battles with in our family?

I think today’s readings are an excellent example of how the bible must be read, studied and understood within a proper context. We must perform exegesis at both a macro and micro level to make sure we are getting the right meaning. Exegesis is word we do not use very often, and it means “critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture”. Micro exegesis is a careful reading of the text itself. Macro exegesis is looking at scripture for themes that occur throughout the entire scripture. If we get too locked in on a single verse, phrase or word within the text of scripture we run the risk of misinterpreting the true meaning. Our study of the scripture begins with the actual words that we read, but it does not end there. Taking a single verse literally and out of context can lead to error in interpretation. Remember, the Bible is the inspired word of God, not always a literal historical record. When studying scripture make use of the footnotes and cross references (a good study bible helps here) to examine passages for a thematic element. That is are there other passages that support the meaning of the one we are reading.

In the case of today gospel, Jesus is telling us that His message is a radical departure from what the Jews of His day believed. Not everyone will be willing to accept His message and certainly everyone will accept it at their own pace. This will result in division, even within families. Today we have division within families, communities, states and nations over many topics, including religion. It is part of our human condition. Jesus warns us in today’s gospel that division over His teachings will occur. This warning is meant to help us stay true to His teachings even when times get tough, when the arguments occur, and when people we love are not staying true to the teaching. Jesus is not wishing battles and strife to occur with families. He is warning us that it will happen so we can be prepared when it does. We must stay true to His teaching as reveled to us in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. We must help others to understand His teachings. At times we will not be received well by others for holding fast to His truth, no matter how well we explain it and live it.