John and James want to set a fire (Lk 9:54-9:54)

“When his disciples,

James

And John,

Saw this,

They said.

‘Lord!

Do you want us

To command fire

To come down

From heaven

And consume them?’”

 

ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς;

 

Luke continued his unique story about this trip in Samaria.  He noted that Jesus’ disciples (δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), James and John (Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης), the Zebedee brothers, the sons of thunder, saw (ἰδόντες) what this village did.  They asked Jesus (καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν), calling him Lord (Κύριε), if he wanted them (θέλεις) to call down fire (εἴπωμεν πῦρ) from heaven (ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) in order to consume them (καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς).  Elijah, in 2 Kings, chapter 1:9-16, called down fire to consume the 100 messengers of the northern Israelite King of Samaria, King Ahaziah.  Did John and James want to do something like that?  Have you ever been so mad that you wanted to destroy some people?

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Mary goes too (Lk 2:5-2:5)

“Joseph went

To be registered

With Mary,

To whom

He was engaged.

She was expecting

A child.”

 

ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ.

 

Luke explained that Joseph went to be registered with Mary (ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ).  He said that Joseph was engaged to be married, betrothed to Mary (τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ), not yet married, but Mary was expecting or with child (οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ), as his fiancée.  The divine circumstances of that pregnancy had been laid out in the preceding chapter.  Matthew pointed out in chapter 1 or his work that Joseph had been disturbed about this pregnancy.  It was about an 85-mile trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  This was the third time that Mary had made this trip from Nazareth to the Jerusalem area in the last six months, after going to visit Elizabeth in the Judean hill country outside Jerusalem, and then returning, as mentioned in the preceding chapter.  On top of that, her pregnancy was near its end.  Today, she would have been refused an air flight, so that this land trip of about a week would have been very dangerous for her and her child.

They forgot to bring bread (Mk 8:14-8:14)

“The disciples

Had forgotten

To bring any bread.

They had only

One loaf

With them

In the boat.”

 

Καὶ ἐπελάθοντο λαβεῖν ἄρτους, καὶ εἰ μὴ ἕνα ἄρτον οὐκ εἶχον μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 16:5.  In Matthew, the disciples discovered this problem when they landed on the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  However, Mark said that it took place while they were still in the boat.  In an ironic twist of fate, the disciples of Jesus forget to bring any bread with them on this trip across the Sea of Galilee, with no indication of the place where they going.  Mark said that the disciples forgot to bring loaves of bread (Καὶ ἐπελάθοντο λαβεῖν ἄρτους).  They only had one loaf of bread (καὶ εἰ μὴ ἕνα ἄρτον οὐκ εἶχον) with them (μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν) in the boat (ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ).  Bread was a key food element of nourishment.  Remember the bread of life.

The disciples forget bread (Mt 16:5-16:5)

“When the disciples

Reached the other side,

They had forgotten

To bring any bread.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ εἰς τὸ πέραν ἐπελάθοντο ἄρτους λαβεῖν.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 8:14.  In an ironic twist of fate, the disciples of Jesus forget to bring bread with them on this trip across the Sea of Galilee.  There is no indication of the place where they were.  Mark said that they only had one loaf of bread.  When the disciples got to the other side of the sea (Καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ εἰς τὸ πέραν), they realized that they had forgotten to bring any bread with them (ἐπελάθοντο ἄρτους λαβεῖν).  Bread was a key food element of nourishment.  Remember the bread of life.

The hypocrite (Sir 27:22-27:24)

“Whoever winks his eye

Plots mischief.

Those how know him

Will keep their distance.

In your presence,

His mouth is all sweetness.

He admires your words.

But later

He will twist his speech.

With your own words,

He will trip you up.

I have hated many things.

But I have hated him

Above all.

Even the Lord hates him.”

Sirach warns us about hypocrites. You can tell a hypocrite because he is always winking his eye, as he is plotting some mischief. Once you know who they are, keep your distance. When they are with you, they have pleasant sweet words for you. They admire your speech. However, they will later twist your words and trip you up. Sirach hates many things, but he really hates these hypocrites even more than the ungodly. He then tries to speak for God, saying that even the Lord hates hyprocrites.

Yahweh and the Promised Land (Ps 136:16-135:22)

“Yahweh led his people through the wilderness.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He struck down great kings.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He killed famous kings.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He killed Sihon,

King of the Amorites.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He killed Og,

King of Bashan.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He gave their land as a heritage.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He gave it as a heritage to Israel his servant,

His steadfast love endures forever.”

Once again, the congregational refrain, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated after every verse. This is once again a repetition of the previous psalm, Psalm 135, about the trip to the Promised Land. In order to take the Promised Land, they had to defeat a number of nations and countries. Yahweh helped them to strike down these fellow humans because his steadfast love endures forever. They and Yahweh killed many kings. The two most prominent as found in Numbers, chapter 21, was King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan, on the borders of Canaan. They also killed the kings and people in Canaan as found in Joshua, chapters 5-12. Thus Yahweh gave Israel the land of Canaan as a heritage because of his enduring steadfast love.

Going to get the Ark of the Covenant (Ps 132:8-132:10)

“Rise up!

Yahweh!

Go to your resting place,

You and the Ark of your might.

Let your priests be clothed with righteousness.

Let your faithful shout for joy.

For your servant David’s sake

Do not turn away

The face of your anointed one.”

The psalmist wanted Yahweh to rise up and go to his resting place. He wanted Yahweh and the Ark of the Covenant to go to Jerusalem. He wanted the priests to be clothed with righteousness and the faithful people to shout for joy. He wanted David, Yahweh’s servant and anointed one, not to be turned away. The trip of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem can be found in 2 Samuel, chapter 6.