Archive for "April, 2012"
In a traditional Ojibway ceremony, Archbishop James Weisgerber, head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg, was symbolically adopted into the aboriginal community.
Through “gracious and comforting words” (v. 13), God commissions Zechariah to proclaim God’s determination to restore the fortunes of Jerusalem. Despite the people’s past sins, God has returned to Zion and will once again “comfort” and “choose” them.
The thematic introduction to the prophecies of Zechariah begins with a date formula placing the prophecy in October or November 520 B.C.E., toward the end of Darius’s second year as Persian emperor. Zechariah begins his prophecy just before Haggai’s last recorded ORACLE. According to Ezra 5:1 and 6:14, HAGGAI and ZECHARIAH worked together.
The messages of chaps. 1-8 are dated over a two-year period from October-November 520 B.C.E. (1:1) to November-December 518 B.C.E. (7:1). Haggai emphasized the material prosperity Judah would enjoy upon completion of the Temple. Zechariah’s focus was on the subsequent glories and exaltation of the messianic kingdom.
As Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass before over 100,000 people on Easter Sunday, he called for an end to violence specifically in several countries, mostly in the Middle East. Most Americans probably don’t equate Christianity with the Middle East.
Peter’s advice to slaves seems harsh or even non-Christian to freedom-loving Americans. It is helpful to note, however, that he envisions a situation where even slaves must draw the line and say “No” to what their masters command. Otherwise, why would the masters beat them?
“For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered on your behalf, leaving behind an example for you so that you should follow in his footsteps; who ‘committed no sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth’; who when reviled did not revile in turn, did not threaten when he suffered, but handed himself over to the one judging justly; who bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that by dying to sins we might live to righteousness; by whose wounds you may be healed.
In the legally and socially complex world of the NT, “slavery” designates the various systems of compulsory labor and dependency in which at any one time as many as one-third of the urban population was owned by a large number of the others.