Thursday, September 18, 2008

Few Notes From The Sunday Bible Class of 07/09/2008

My Thoughts on Sunday Bible Study Class: When a JY brother invited me for this class I expected food there. ;-) But on attending the few sessions I realized what one gets there is ‘food for thought’ & ‘food for the soul’ which is word of God. I like the scripture in apostolic letters where we are exhorted ‘To be able to give an account of the hope we have’ – or in other words we have to be equipped to explain/defend our faith. For this we need knowledge & insights into our catholic faith. This Sunday class is working towards the same. Lets ask ourselves, can we ever be fully catholic without knowing anything about the treasure-trove that it has in the form of its teachings which cater to our spiritual needs. And lastly, the best thing about this class is – Its FREE !! ;-)

Bible class of 7/9/2008 – A Short Summary
Fr. Tom enlightened us on 2 topics this day, which touched upon,
a)Paul’s Paradigm shift & his qualities
b)The immaculate conception

A) Paul’s Paradigm shift:
As we all know well, the ‘Christ Encounter’ on the road to Damascus changed Saul forever. Until then an upholder of the Law, we see dramatic change in Paul. From a persecutor he is now a preacher. Earlier the Law alone was his reference, now Christ & Grace become his refrain. This ‘change of thinking’ which results in ‘change of person’ is what can be simply put as a ‘Paradigm shift’ or ‘Paradigm change’. Later we see renewed Paul exhorting us to ‘Put on the MIND OF CHRIST’ or ‘not to conform to the standards of the world, but to be transformed, by the RENEWING OF THE MIND”.
We see clearly how paradigm shift in Paul resulted in changes in his Attitudes ( the way we respond to people, situations) & thoughts , actions. Paul went thru what is called ‘Metanoia’ – change of attitude. The call to change is for all of us. Let us check ourselves – has the Christ experience brought about any changes in my attitudes & thinking? Like Paul can we also say “Be imitators of Christ, as I am of him”? Are we thinking with a Christ’s Mind? Do we look at people & situations through Christ’s eyes?

Trivia Time: Did you know 1 Thessalonicans is the first ever book of the Bible to be written down. Gospels were written much later. Imagine Paul writing this letter not knowing it would one day be part of the Bible. He was building on nothing. No wonder scholars look up to him as a ‘greatest mind’ next only to Christ.

B) Immaculate Conception: Many are not aware that Immaculate Conception is NOT birth of Jesus thru a virgin. This dogma of the Catholic Church asserts the immaculate conception of Mary, in her mother’s womb. Jesus being born of a virgin is refered to as ‘Virgin Birth’ & is akin to God’s act of original creation, where in thru the power of spirit, he created everything out of nothing.

Immaculate comes from the latin origins – Im(without) + Macula (stain). An assertion of this is also reflected in the annunciation where angel of the lord addresses Mary as “Favored one” – in the greek original the word used is “Kecharitomane” which translates to ‘full of grace, intensively & extensively”. So Mother Mary was without sin – even at the time of conception & afterwards too.
To understand this better, lets look at our own lives. For example I have never indulged in smoking or drinking. In fact never felt like doing it for there was not even a temptation to see its taste. This is not because of my own strength. So I will say ‘God has given me the GRACE not to be into this sin’. If god can give me GRACE to stay away from some sins, can not the same God give full GRACE to Mary to stay away from all sins’.

1 comment:

Thomson Mathew said...

Thanks Santosh for the beautiful sharing.
One thing that appeals to me most about St.Paul is his 'Universality' in approach.This is one of his greatest paradigm shift i believe,a shift from Jewish ways to more Gentile way.We at this point need to ask ourselves are we all really universal when we come to proclaiming the good news.

Thnx Santosh..Happy Blogging & welcome to JYdiscovery!