Reader's comments - WWJD

My friend Francisco wanted to comment but his comment was too long, so he e-mailed it to me. Here is his comment.

In reading the blog “WWJD or Shakespeare”, I found it certainly amusing –as the blogger said it -, interesting, and maybe worth it to write about it; not with the purpose to oppose those ideas; but to expose and brainstorm other ones that shed some light toward the ultimate goal of a common agreement to the Truth. Please note that my native language is not the English; so, please accept my sincere apologies for not using the adequate terms as my inner self understands it. In the “physical world” we are situated in, the reality we perceive, the events, at least according to the Newtonian description of the universe, and later the Theory of Relativity, – another completely different story would be according to the Quantum Mechanics - is a succession, a series, of individual events that takes you to a particular one that usually is the result of a n-variables. To gain understanding of a situation or a problem, one should assign values to one variable while leaving the other variables constant. So, refering to the passage in the gospel of Matthew 15: 21 and on, the woman from Canaan, it should be analyzed from different points of view; then, decide if “it is not good behavior”; or maybe that is not the issue at hand; or maybe the teaching is a different matter. To understand what really was going on in this part, we could analyze it from the social, political, economic, spiritual, moral, philosofical, teological, religious, even personal – what means to me –, etc. point of view. As a matter of fact, the Catholic Church teaches one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual. The spiritual is even further divided into the allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses. The moral sense should lead us to act justly; hence, the related passage was written for our instruction as well. The anagogical sense can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, so it is its applicability (1). One thing the reader of the gospel according to Matthew should know is that Matthew – or whoever did it - wrote the gospel for the Jewish people of that time, centering the attention on the elite, in terms they could relate and understand the proper way of the “good news”. In other words, the audience was very well verse in the Scriptures, customs, and values fostered throughout many centuries; and the things familiar to the Jewish people were challenged and radically changed. Politically, they were subjugated and slaved by the Roman imperial power that imposed the corrupt government authorities; they wanted a change. Religiously, they were guided by an authority sect that believed to be the cleanest one and “maestros” with strict adherence to Torah, God’s laws, and Moses’ rules to the point they regarded the rest – outside of the Pharisee sect – unclean people and punish them for their transgression; thus, forgetting the true meaning and intention of the Law and rules. Spiritually, the Jewish people, in general, in the region of Canaan were dead. They knew about the Scriptures, the expected Messiah, etc; nevertheless, they were still influenced by years of slavery and captivity from Babylonia. They’ve had physically returned to the land, but remained spiritually slave. In the other hand, the Canaanites were counted among the gentiles whom failed to recognize the Only One and True God as opposed to the Israelites acknowledgement of this key principle; hence, the favor of God’s will. Without this understanding there is a risk of missing the point and can prompt the reaction such as the blogger’s, especially taking in consideration the mind set of our western culture of our epoch. The passage of the Canaanite’s woman faith set the stage, as it is in many other opportunities of Jesus’s ministry, and anticipates the mission to the Gentiles: The Plan is not exclusive for the Jews, but it is extended to all the humanity. The Canaanite woman obtained the healing for her daughter by becoming a believer and by the virtue of her strong faith. Maybe the teaching is that we may have relaxed what God expect from us in our lives - and from the entire humankind - by contrasting the view on the dead-letter of the Law and the New Covenant. The instruction is to have faith and it is valid now and then. Indeed the Shakespeare’s sonnet is beautiful, but I’m still asking myself as to why the reference or comparison to the theme. Is it because ii is more likeable than the other literature? I can see that Shakespeare has the ability to exalt and compare the beauty of the Creation with words that comes from its inner self. And, I’m pretty sure the priest failed to convey the proper message to some of the audience that left the feeling of having to endure the mass; but this is different subject. Nonetheless, the Word did not go empty since we are still blogging about it. That’s good!

(1) Catechism of the Catholic Church




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1 comment:

Enrique said...

This is an aside comment but, the above post (comment) is a nice example of the fact that we don't take our morals from the bible. At the end of the day you concluded after your analysis that

The instruction is to have faith and it is valid now and then.

And that is precisely what we must do. Analyze! Analyze and think for ourselves whatever they want to feed us with.

Best,

Enrique