Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Gospel for 4 September

Today's readings may be found here: http://www.usccb.org/nab/090407.shtml

What is nice about today’s gospel is that there is no suspicion or violence in it, no Pharisees looking for a way to catch Jesus saying or doing something that will bring him into a scandal. His teaching made a deep impression on them because he spoke with authority. The scribes and Pharisees always appealed to the teachings of those who went before them, when they commented on the Torah---everything that they said had to be backed up with some ancient rabbi’s opinion. Jesus didn’t appeal to the opinions of the revered rabbis of the past---he spoke with his own authority: You have heard it said, but I say to you. Beyond that, he backed up his authority, as occasion offered by some kind of healing or other work---even on the Sabbath, as in today’s reading. The astonishment of his listeners was as much for his command of the scriptures as it was for his healing. Nothing like this had been seen in anyone’s memory. It truly seemed as if God had visited his people, and he did.

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