The door is locked (Lk 11:7-11:7)

He answered

From within.

‘Do not bother me!

The door has already

Been locked.

My children

And I are

In bed.

I cannot get up

And give you anything.’”

 

κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε· ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται, καὶ τὰ παιδία μου μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν· οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς δοῦναί σοι

 

Luke uniquely had this parable story about waking up a friend at midnight. The answer of this friend, who was just woken up in the middle of the night, was what you might expect.  He responded from within his house (κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ).  He told his friend not to bother or trouble him (Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε).  His door has already been locked (ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται).  His children (καὶ τὰ παιδία μου), as well as himself (μετ’ ἐμοῦ), were already in bed (εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν).  He was not able to get up (οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς) and give him anything (δοῦναί σοι).  What did he expect?  Just go away!  This neighbor friend was quite direct, nothing doing.  Just go home and leave him alone.  He had settled down for the night.  Maybe they could talk tomorrow.  Has anybody ever woken you up at midnight?

 

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Jesus responds (Mk 14:62-14:62)

“Jesus said.

‘I am!

You will see

The Son of Man

Seated

At the right hand

Of the Power.

He will come

With the clouds

Of heaven.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word at times in Matthew, chapter 26:64.  In Luke, chapter 22:67-70, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18.  Mark said that Jesus replied to the high priest (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν), pure and simple in the first person singular “I am (Ἐγώ εἰμι).”  He was the Messiah Christ and the Son of the Blessed One.  There was no ambiguity as in Matthew, “because you have said so”.  This answer is direct and unambiguous.  There was no more Messianic secret.  Then Jesus told him that he would see the Son of Man (καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) seated at the right hand of the Power, Yahweh, or God, the Father (ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως).  He would come on or with the clouds of heaven (καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  Jesus gave a strong theological response that the end times were near when the Son of Man, himself, would appear with the heavenly clouds.  Jesus was and is the Christ Messiah, case closed.

Catholic Fundamentalism

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Until 1966, Catholics had been anti-modernism and had been skeptical of modern rationality.  The Catholic Church had a rigorous clear-cut world view.  With the changes of Vatican II (1962-1966) some feel that the Church has abandoned unchanging truths.  There was a reaction to the English liturgy, the changes in the church, and the attacks on the absolute authority of the Pope.  The sinfulness of man needed the episcopal authority to direct them.  God is a God of judgment, not a God of mercy.  Catholic fundamentalists are selective, with not much about the Trinity, but lots about the Latin Mass, female and married priests, and artificial birth control.

The Fundamentalists

Fundamentalists interpret Scripture with certitude, guidance, and peace.  The Bible is God’s direct, divine word to humanity.  39% of Americans believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, that the authors were inspired to write the specific exact words.  The literal, plain meaning is the primary meaning of a word, the simple intention of the author.  However, there are spiritual or deeper meanings in an allegorical or moral sense.  There is no need for critical history and literary analysis, since it is plain and clear already.

Different Gospel Beginnings

Do you know how many of the gospels contain the Christmas story?  The answer is that only two, since only Matthew and Luke relate the birth of Jesus.  The other two gospels, Mark, the earliest, and John, the latest, start with the Baptism of Jesus.  The Gospel of Mark is the shortest and the most direct gospel story, as it starts with the public life of Jesus.  The Gospel of John is more spiritual and opens with the beautiful theological prologue about the “Word” (Λόγος) with echoes of the Genesis story of creation.

The punishment for Babylon (Jer 51:24-51:24)

“‘I will repay

Babylon

With all the inhabitants

Of Chaldea,

Before your very eyes,

For all the wrong

That they have done

In Zion.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh was simple and direct in this oracle about Babylon. He was going to repay Babylon with the all the Chaldeans for the wrongs that they had done to Zion, Jerusalem. This was going to happen before their very eyes.

Moab is destroyed (Jer 48:18-48:20)

“Come down from glory!

Sit on the parched ground!

Enthroned daughter Dibon!

The destroyer of Moab

Has come up

Against you!

He has destroyed

Your strongholds.

Stand by the road!

Watch!

You inhabitants of Aroer!

Ask the man fleeing!

Ask the woman escaping!

Say!

‘What has happened?’

Moab is put to shame.

Moab is broken down.

Wail!

Cry!

Tell it by the Arnon,

That Moab is laid waste.”

Moab was going to come down from its glory days to the parched land. They had their Dibon River with its capital city of Dibon. However their strong fortresses were destroyed. Jeremiah wanted them to stand by the road at Aroer, on the banks of the Arnon River. There they were to ask the simple question to both the men and women who were escaping and fleeing. What was going on? What was happening? The response was simple and direct. Moab was put to shame and broken down, as it was laid waste. All they could do now by the banks of the Arnon River was to wail and cry for their lost country of Moab.