A collection of various works taken from online resources in fidelity to the teaching of the Magisterium and by the authority of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church.

The Scandalous Jesus

1.  The first reading is Acts 4:8-12:
  •  the “Name” of God is very rich in the Old Testament.  God’s “Name” has virtually the same attributes of God himself.
  •   revelation of God’s “Name” to Moses is essentially the revelation of God’s own self to Moses
  •   God will make his “Name” dwell in the Temple (Deut 12:11 et passim), which is virtually the same as saying God’s own presence will inhabit the Temple.
  •   from Acts we are seeing that Jesus Christ of Nazareth has become God’s “Name,” i.e. the expression of his power and presence.
  •   the “Name” of God in the Old Testament is all but the same as his “Word,” and that both “Name” and “Word” are ultimately the Second Person of the Trinity.
  •   the fact that this man is healed “in the Name of Jesus” implies that “Jesus” is “the Name of the LORD” (cf. Pss 116:4,13,17; 118:10-12,26) and therefore Jesus is divine
  •   The building of which Jesus is the “head of the corner”—that is, the first stone laid, crucial for the stability of the whole structure—is the Temple of God, built not of stones but of persons
  •   “salvation” is to share the very life of God.  It is to participate in the divine nature, to become a “child” or “son” of God, and enjoy him forever.
  •   The founders of other major world religions do not even claim to offer a way to this “salvation.”
  •   Buddha taught that the problem of human existence was the illusion of our self-hood, and he offered a way by which we could lose this illusion and thus essentially cease to exist as personal beings.
  •   Joseph Smith taught that each of us could become a deity ourselves, complete with our own planet/solar system to govern and populate. Each of us becomes a "god" with a small G.  This is not what Christians mean by salvation.
  •  Mohammed taught a way of obedience to a monopersonal god, “Allah,” who would reward those who were his obedient servants in this life by granting them an afterlife of sensual pleasure and comfort. He did not offer divine sonship, nor a participation in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4).    This, too, is not what Christians mean by “salvation.”
  •   They do not claim to offer what Jesus Christ claims to offer: divine sonship (childhood), which is a participation in the life of God himself, forever.
  •   it is not arrogant for St. Peter to proclaim on behalf of Christ, “There is no other name by which we must be saved!”—provided we understand what it is to be “saved” according to Jesus and the Apostles.

  2.  The responsorial psalm is Psalm 118:
  •   Psalm 118 was essentially the last thing Our Lord uttered at the Last Supper, since the "hymn" sung by Jesus and the Apostles (Mark 14:26) before leaving for the Mount of Olives would have been the Passover Hallel consisting of Psalms 113-118. Now, weeks after Easter, Peter is proclaiming that the prophetic words of the Hallel have found a fulfillment in Christ!

 3.  The second reading John 3:1-2:
  •   Apostle John emphasizes the element of Jesus’ Gospel that the world finds so scandalous: the offer of divine sonship.  This is what the Buddha would have considered silly and Mohammed blasphemous
  •   It will be, however, eternal communion with God: “we shall see him as he is.”
  •   idea of "seeing" God is very important in strategic places in the Gospel of John: just look at John 1 "No one has ever seen God, but God the only begotten, who is in the bosom of the Father, has made him known," or John 14:9: "He who has seen me has seen the Father."

 4. The Gospel reading
  •   David proclaimed: “The LORD (YHWH) is my Shepherd!”  So in claiming to be the “Good Shepherd,” Jesus is implicitly claiming to be the LORD.
  •   In Ezekiel 34 the LORD promises that in the latter days, “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.
  •   In claiming to be the Good Shepherd, Jesus is assuming the mantle of both the LORD and David, the two of whom, Ezekiel prophesied, would constitute the one shepherd of Israel in the latter days.
  •   an element of Jesus’ teaching that is not clearly foreseen in Psalm 23 or Ezek 34: namely, that the LORD-Shepherd would submit to death
  •   This is a final “scandalous” element of Jesus Gospel: a savior-God who loves us to the point of death.
  •   if our Shepherd, Lord, and God laid down his life in love, that sets an example for us: an example we often balk at following.
  •   path of salvation is the path of the cross—a life of self-denial even to the point of death.

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"To condescend to the humblest duties, and to devote oneself to the lowliest service is an exercise of humility: for thus one is able to heal the disease of pride and human glory."

- Decretal on Penance (D. II., cap. Si quis semel)