Life & Liberty

LOM 70

LOM 70

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

April 11, 2014: Legion of Mary Catholic Bible Study Presented by Father Antonio O. Moreno

A Catholic encounter with the Word of God as reveled by Scripture, The Magisterium of the Catholic Church

Opening Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart with your holy gifts. Let my weakness be penetrated with your strength this very day that I may fulfill all the duties of my state conscientiously, that I may do what is right and just.

Assist me, O Holy Spirit, in all my trails of life, enlighten me in my ignorance, advise me in my doubts, strengthen me in my weakness, help me in all my needs, protect me in temptations and console me in afflictions.

Graciously hear me, O Holy Spirit, and pour your light into my heart, my soul, and my mind.
Introduction: The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ Matthew 26:1-27:66
St. Matthew in his Gospel follows the general outline and content of St. Mark's Gospel and adds some material unique to his own sources, including the death of Judas, the wife of Pilate, and the guards at the tomb. Continuing his interest in the Old Testament St. Matthew attempts to show the fulfillment of the Old Testament writings in the actual events of the Passion of Jesus. He also will add to his Christology by stressing Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. The time of Passover has arrived and Jesus informs his disciples of his impending passion. Jesus knows what will happen and accepts it as coming from the will of God. The end has began.
The will of God
The Will of the Father is Love - God is Love
Love = to will the good of the other
God wills the good of all his creation (each one of us)
Characteristics of Love:
1. Love is creative
2. Love is Life-giving
3. Love is Sacrifice
St. Matthew shows us that, as Jesus resolutely does his Father's will, myriad forms of human sin break out around him
Betrayal, Sloth, Indifference, Violence, Scapegoating
This is the Salvation Story: God's compassion embrace of sinners.
St. Matthew's Passion and Resurrection account focuses on one main theme: Jesus is the one who journeys into sin in order to heal and save us from within the chaos of sin. Jesus goes to the heart of sin to destroy it.

St. Matthew allows all the sins to come into public view so that Jesus will shallow them through his death and resurrection.
Main Theme of the Passion account by St. Matthew:
Matt 26:14 - "But all this has taken place, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled."
The Betrayal - Matt 26:17-35
The feast of Unleavened Bread, a spring feast, at the time of Jesus was joined to the Passover commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. In the evening the family celebration began. His disciples had become his family and so Jesus celebrated with them. Jesus as the one who presided asked his disciples to do the preparations. Jesus will be in charge during the whole passion and death. Judas and the Jewish authorities seek an opportune time and Jesus acknowledges his time is near.
Jesus begins by informing the Twelve that one of them will betray him. They address him as "Lord", now clearly a Christological title. Jesus does not give the name of the betrayer but instead remarks that one who shared a meal and shared Passover will rise up against him. Betrayal by one so close is the worst kind.
Sloth/Spiritual Indifference - Matt 26:36-56 - The Arrest in the Garden
The arrest in the garden has two divisions: the prayer of Jesus with the disciples asleep and the arrest. Jesus, aware of what is about to happen, looks for comfort with his band of followers and they fail him. Throughout the Gospel of Matthew the disciples lack understanding and fail in their commitment. Here they sleep, initiate a feeble attempt to defend Jesus, contrary to all that Jesus has taught, and then flee.

Throughout the history of Christianity disciples have done the same. Keeping Jesus company means to follow his teachings as outlined in the Ten Comments and the Sermon on the Mount. Sometimes disciples succeed and sometimes the fail. But, having kept Jesus company once means a disciple can do it again. That alone gives comfort in the midst of human weakness and failure.

Jesus accepts the will of God. He knows what will follow since he knows the Scriptures. He accepts the pain and the sorrow, and his spirit remains committed to following what God wants. Living according to the will of God never destroys the person. Actually, Jesus grows in strength to face his lot because he follows God's will.

Jesus allowed himself to be arrested. He could have gone to Bethany and avoided the whole episode, but he knew his arrest and death fit into the divine plan.
Violence/Scapegoating -Matt 27:1-66
The mockery by the soldiers was personal. They treated Jesus as a joke, dressing him as the emperor and pretending to honor him. He was in truth the "King of the Jews," the Messiah, and yet accepted this mockery. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught his disciples that they are blessed when they accept such mockery on account of their commitment of Jesus. He gives the example to follow. The best response is no response. That usually stops the mockery. Here, although Jesus does not respond the mockery continues.