Aloha Friday Message – June 3, 2018 – On the Offense

1822AFC060118 – On the Offense

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John 6:61 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you?” (offend: Scandalize, scare you off, make you doubt?)

Matthew 24:10-11 10 Then many will fall away,* and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.

*Stumble, be scandalized, disapprove of what we see in another, be offended, prejudiced against another; to cause to sin (“backslide,” fall away, give up stumble). σκανδαλισθήσονται skandalisthēsontai from σκανδαλίζω skandalizo {skan-dal-id’-zo} (“scandalize”)

Luke 7:23 23 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.

Matthew 11:6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.

Matthew 26:31-34 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters** because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 33 Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”

** σκανδαλισθήσεσθε skandalisthēsesthe = stumble, fall away, leave, fall away beside, “back-slide,” betray

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! I begin with helping you read the title. It says “On the Offense.” Most of us would read that as On the OFFense. What I will look into today is On the Offense. You might think that should be Offence but both spellings – offense and offence – are correct and the definitions are identical. When we think of Offense, we maybe think “sports,” and taking it to the competition offensively. When we think of Offense, we think of a “wrong,” a gaffe, a faux pas, or an insult. That’s the meaning I’m after today, and I do sincerely hope that by the time you finish this (if you finish this), you will not feel offended. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get goin!

This coming Sunday, June 3, 2018, is called The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It is also referred to my many as The Feast of Corpus Christi. It is a day when Catholics recall the institution of the Eucharist – Holy Communion – and what it means when we hear the words “Take, eat; this is my body.” Here is that phrase in context:

Matthew 26:26-28 26 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the [new] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

26 While they were eating, Yeshua took a piece of matzah, made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to the talmidim and said, “Take! Eat! This is my body!” 27 Also he took a cup of wine, made the b’rakhah, and gave it to them, saying, “All of you, drink from it! 28 For this is my blood, which ratifies the New Covenant, my blood shed on behalf of many, so that they may have their sins forgiven.  ~~ Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

It is Catholic Tradition, and Dogma, that the bread and wine used during the Mass become the True Presence of Christ on the Altar. The process is known as TRANSUBSTANTIATION. This is one of several “Mysteries of Faith” that we cherish and believe. Similar baffling, inexpressible Mysteries include the Divine Trinity, Jesus’ birth to the Virgin Mary, and the Resurrection of Jesus. These are things that are public knowledge but are effectively impossible to explain because only God can adequately explain it; it is a fact of Creation known only to and by God and is therefore beyond human comprehension. The word used in the New Testament is μυστήριον (mystērion) {moos-tay’-ree-on}. This word is not quite like our accepted connotation of “mystery” but more along the line of “mystical.” Mysterion is not something beyond understanding. Notably, it can only be known through revelation, and in matters of Faith for Christians, it becomes known  only when God reveals it. It is a secret to all who have not been informed by God. A prime example of this usage can be found in Mark 4:11 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; This mystery was revealed to the Apostles, and they passed that revelation down to us.

For non-Catholics, this is a sticky subject. For Christians who are not Catholics, it is very difficult to accept that Holy Communion is Christian Fellowship in the Holy Spirit with the Real Presence (Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity) of Jesus. (See last year’s discussion of κοινωνία in 1724AFC060917 – Koinonia ) Even if one professes that the Bible alone is the sole authority for knowledge of and faith in Jesus the Christ of God (“Sola Scriptura“), the prevailing interpretation of Matthew 26:26 is that the unleavened bread Jesus blessed, broke, and shared represents his body while the wine Jesus blessed, tasted, and shared represents his Blood. As a Catholic, I look at those words “Take, eat; this is my body” as being mystically but literally True. It is not a representation of the Body and Blood. It is the actual, mystical, literal, and eternal Divine Presence of Christ that I consume in the Eucharist (Greek eukharistia ‘thanksgiving’). I become what I eat.

For nonChristians, this idea is absurd, even bizarre and disgusting. Even among the early Disciples of Jesus, this teaching offended many and they just said, “That’s enough! I’m outta here.” I took some time to discern whether or not to add this passage – rather than just a link to it – and I believe it’s important to plant it firmly here (another mystery). One of the Key Verses for today is from Matthew 6. Here is that passage in context:

John 6:50-65 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”

This is the revelation of the Mystery of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. We can believe it, or not. In my case, it’s sort of like “believe it or else.” The “or else” for me would be to contradict what I see in Scripture:

τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου
touto estin  tosōma mou
this     is     the body  of me
* “omnitemporal” was, is, will be

That is in my mind whenever I receive the Precious Body and Precious Blood (↔ Music Link). It is neither my goal nor my desire to convince you, dear reader, that this and this only is correct. I believe it is TRUE. IF you believe as I do, what I have written here should not offend you. IF you do not believe as I do, what I have written here might, perchance, offend you – scandalize you – but my purpose here is only to state my negligible understanding of a Great Mystery (mystērion) of Faith. I give it to you in Love. I hope you accept in the same way.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

Here is a little table of places in the New Testament where the verse(s) speak about “stumbling,” or being offended, or an offense.

New Testament Matthew 5:29 Matthew 5:30 Matthew 11:6
Matthew 13:21 Matthew 13:41 Matthew 13:57 Matthew 15:12
Matthew 16:23 Matthew 17:27 Matthew 18:6 Matthew 18:7
Matthew 18:8 Matthew 18:9 Matthew 24:10 Matthew 26:31
Matthew 26:33 Mark 4:17 Mark 6:3 Mark 9:42
Mark 9:43 Mark 9:45 Mark 9:47 Mark 14:27
Mark 14:29 Luke 7:23 Luke 17:1 Luke 17:2
John 6:61 John 16:1 Acts 24:16 Acts 25:8
Acts 25:11 Romans 4:25 Romans 5:15 Romans 5:16
Romans 5:17 Romans 5:18 Romans 5:20 Romans 9:33
Romans 14:20 Romans 14:21 Romans 16:17 1 Corinthians 8:13
1 Corinthians 10:32 2 Corinthians 6:3 2 Corinthians 11:7 2 Corinthians 11:29
Galatians 5:11 Philippians 1:10 James 2:10 James 3:2
1 Peter 2:8
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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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