Lectionary Year A
June 30, 2002
Step V: Hermeneutical Bridge
(JFC) A. SUMMARY OF SALIENT FEATURES
The most salient features might be found in the context. Here, in this
passage of very few statements, we read some of Jesus' earliest callings of
the disciples to go out into mission. He knows the environment into which
He calls them to go. He also assures them they will find accommodations.
Even more than that, the "center of gravity" here seems to be God's will
for the mission and the followers' discovering that this God is preparing for
their obedience to be facilitated by cooperation on the parts of those who
reside where they go. Another nearly major theme is in the identification
of the receivers with the Sender and God, too.
(JFC) B. SMOOTH TRANSLATION
40 Whoever welcomes you warmly welcomes Me. Whoever welcomes Me
receives God who sent Me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet, as one
prophesying, receives a prophet's reward. Whoever welcomes a righteous
person trying to be righteous, will receive the reward of Righteousness
attempted and approached. 42 Whoever gives even a cup of water to anyone
thirsting, as disciples do (both thirst and give), definitely, I tell you,
will never loose their rewards.
(JFC) C. HERMENEUTICAL BRIDGE
People today are taught to avoid hitchhikers and not to go out of town without confirmed reservations. Jesus' contemporaries learned no such
cautions. So, when our Lord sends out folk today to engage in mission
work, they need some confidence they will be respected and supplied what they
need. If and when they/we go anticipating they/we represent Jesus Christ,
surely, our attitudes and styles will get appropriate responses. They/we
won't know unless and until they/we try it. Faith requires us to experience
these promised hopes before we believe/trust them to be true and accurate.
In the movie "Instinct", the psychiatrist, Ethan Powel played by Anthony
Hopkins, got "welcomed", he said, by the gorillas in Africa he lived with and
studied for 2 years, as "a man among gorillas", he called it. Does that
dialogue suggest that in our generated form, we have instincts that welcome
others, as different as they might be, into our circle of family and friends?
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