Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monday Night Bible Study

One of the most formative things that I did when I was a student at Cal Poly was a bible study during my third year. There were about 15 of us. We were lead by two students, one of whom is now a budding philosophy professor in Texas. The general plan was to read and discuss the Gospel reading for the coming Sunday, and talk about what the priest preached on at Mass the previous day. Quick explanation: in the Catholic Church, the readings for each Sunday, with a few exceptions, are the same across the world. For most Sunday Masses, there are four readings: the First Reading is usually from the Old Testament, there is a Psalm (usually sung), the Second Reading is usually from one of the New Testament letters, and then the Gospel (from one of the four Gospels). If I went to Mass in Tres Pinos, London, Rome, or Barbados, the readings would be the same. The topic and delivery of the homily, or sermon, is entirely up to the priest or deacon preaching. It was interesting to play the "Did Father Mike get our notes or not game".

I was thinking about it the other day, and things like MNBS are some of the things that I really miss about being out of college, and one of the few Catholic "young adults" in the area. Way too old for a youth group, and the few study/discussion groups that the parish puts on are rarely at a conveinient time. So... here's the plan. Alie and I are going to start our own MNBS; a huge group of, well, two. We'll look at the coming week's readings, chat about them, and I'll put up my/our own reflection. Your comments are always welcome.

We will try to do this on Monday evenings. We will see how long this lasts. There may be a hiatus during harvest, or if a Snuffin is sick. I do not pretend to be the pope, or a theologian. While I am a pretty faithful and orthodox Catholic, I do not know it all. If you think that I have something wrong, let me know in the combox. Just be civil; I don't have time to moderate comments.

A few MNBS resources:

The Gospel for the coming week. Get a Bible. I'll post a link to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops site. They have links to each day's readings. Nifty.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Think the Boy Scout Handbook, only for Catholic theology and doctrine. Very handy; lots of references, footnotes, and so forth.

Enough preliminary stuff. Let's get cracking!

Gospel for 15 Feb 2009 (Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time-Year B):
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
"If you wish, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
"I do will it. Be made clean."
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning the him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
He said to him, "See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them."
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
(Mark 1:40-45)

The Reflection: Again, Jesus heals someone. In last week's Gospel (Mk 1:29-39) Jesus heals Simon Peter's mother-in-law. He heals someone who was an outcast, a leper. On the healing, the leper believes that Jesus has the power to heal him and asks for healing. Applied to us, how many of us realize that we are broken, need healing, and have the guts to ask someone for help. How many of us recognize that there are people that are capable of helping us?

For Jesus' part, he feels pity for the leper. Doesn't this point to the human part of Jesus' nature; he is both divine and human? He tries to hide his identity, and it fails. He is found out, and the crowds following him are getting bigger and bigger. To a degree, it seems like Jesus is either avoiding his vocation or is a bit scared of the enormity of his mission.

Ok, now you have my $0.02. Let's do this again next week.

1 comment:

jbonannord said...

I read something recently about why Jesus didn't want to tell people who he was...I'll see if I can find it.
I'm excited about homily I'll hear for this Sunday's readings because I'll be going to a Sunday wedding. I can't wait to see how the priest will tie them in to marriage.