Scripture notes – 33rd Sunday of the year (C) – 17th November 2019

‘I go to prepare a place for you and then I will come again and take you to myself,’ are Jesus’ words to his disciples the night before he died. (John 14:2-3). As the church year ends this month, the liturgy focus is on the ‘last days’ and the final end of the world while we are waiting for Christ to return as he promised. Continue reading Scripture notes – 33rd Sunday of the year (C) – 17th November 2019

Scripture notes – 32nd Sunday of the year (C) – 10th November 2019

Our readings today focus on the resurrection of those who follow Christ beyond the barrier of physical death. God’s love seeks communion and closeness with all, and that love cannot be ended when bodily life decays. Taking a look at some of the past history of the Jews shows us how this hope grew and developed. Continue reading Scripture notes – 32nd Sunday of the year (C) – 10th November 2019

Scripture notes – 30th Sunday of the year (C) – 27th October 2019

Judgments about who is the best, the ‘highest’, of most worth – and about what God’s judgment will be on someone – is as common now as when the Bible was written. We live in a society where we see all around a focus on celebrity, winners or losers, ‘ranking’ almost anything, and many marks of status such as titles, nobility, honours and prizes. Today’s readings ask us to reflect on what are God’s evaluations. Continue reading Scripture notes – 30th Sunday of the year (C) – 27th October 2019

Scripture notes – 29th Sunday of the year (C) – 20th October 2019

Persistence in prayer and absolute trust in God are the themes of two of today’s readings. The first story modern readers may find bizarre, the second requires us to understand how some startling details in a parable are to be interpreted. In between, the Letter urges persistence in living the Christian life, and reminds us of the value of reading and listening to scripture. Continue reading Scripture notes – 29th Sunday of the year (C) – 20th October 2019

Scripture notes – 28th Sunday of the year (C) – 13th October 2019

Two of our readings concern leprosy, when what now is more technically called ‘Hansen’s disease’ was incurable. It was much feared because of the disfigurement and disability it brought and was also known to be contagious. Since they did not have accurate ways to diagnose it, much of what was called ‘leprosy’ could turn out to be other conditions. This background explains the extensive regulations we find in the Old Testament on dealing with all skin diseases. One effective way of reducing contagion was isolation of those affected – something that was still practiced into the 20th century. Continue reading Scripture notes – 28th Sunday of the year (C) – 13th October 2019

Introducing the Gospel of Luke

Luke is the ‘most’ gospel in several ways. It is the longest of the four. It is also the only Gospel which has a ‘sequel’, as Luke also wrote The Acts of the Apostles telling of the early work of the Church. This means that Luke is the author of more than one-fourth of the New Testament. His writing is of the highest literary quality in the New Testament, employing a careful use of the Greek language and adapting it to the various styles that suit each section. (This is hard to pick up in translations so scholar’s notes help.) Continue reading Introducing the Gospel of Luke