Sunday, March 25, 2007

Let us start of this post with some excellent news: Welcome home Kacy! Who was accepted into full communion with the Catholic Church this morning. I am sure she will have a post of her experience on her blog in the coming days, keep an eye out for it. Congratulations Kacy!

It is always warming to my heart and encouraging to my spirit to read and hear about the faith journey's of folks who come to the Catholic Church. The ways and means the Lord has used to bring them to that point are as varied as the journey's and yet they all share a common thread of God's grace being the means that the journey moves from one step to the next.

It is an interesting parallel in the Catholic faith that the faith journey's are so different-so many and so varied- yet lead to the same place, just as within the Church there are so many different models of spirituality (Marian, Dominican, Franciscan, Thomist, etc) and all are within the Catholic Church.

Please pray for all those on their journey and may they all one day find their way home. Either in this world, or the lfe to come.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Lenten Reflection: The Doppelganger of Christ

As was the custom at Passover one prisoner was to be released and pardoned for his crimes. Pilate gave the assembled crowd a choice, Jesus Christ or Barabbas. The crowd chose Barabbas.
In reading Ratzinger's "On the Way to Christ" I found out an interesting historical twist on this moment that I never before knew about.

Some of the Syriac translation of Matthew's account Barrabas' first name is revealed to also be Jesus. So we have Jesus bar-abbas, or literally translated as Jesus Son of the Father being set up against Jesus Christ. John 18:40 refers to Barabbas as a lēstēs, "bandit;" Mark and Luke further refer to Barabbas as one involved in a stasis, a riot. Mark 15:7; Luke 23:19. Matthew refers to Barabbas only as a "notorious prisoner." Matthew 27:16. Some scholars have linked these notions to Barabbas was a member of the sicarii, a militant Jewish movement that sought to overthrow the Roman occupiers of their land by force, noting that Mark (15:7) mentions that he had committed murder in an insurrection. Though some historians do trace this uprising to the 40s-50s. Many though agree that evidence is strong to point to Barabbas being a terrorist pitted agains the Roman Empire, which in sense would make him popular amongst some of the populous for the ending of Roman occupation and reestablishing the Jewish Kingdom.

So we go back to the temptation in the dessert where the tempter takes Jesus Christ to a high mountain top and offers Christ rule over all the kingdoms of the Earth if He bows to the tempter. The illusion of ruling while submitting to the tempter offered to the one who rules the Kingdom of Heaven.

Back to the crowd...so we have the crowd choosing Barrabas. Jesus Son of the Father, who is apparently out to rid Israel of the Romans and reestablish the Jewish Kingdom on Earth. Jesus the Christ, Son of the Father in a very real way, King of the Heavenly Kingdom rejected as scripture foretold, lead to the cross.

This is a very interesting and new, to me anyways, look at this moment in the life of Christ and in it find a deeper meaning and something new to meditate upon. The doppelganger notion is quite profound, popular on modern tv, but right there in the ancient texts of the Bible.