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Seventy-two other disciples

    IN an earlier account Luke describes Jesus as sending the Twelve Apos­tles (represent­ing the Twelve tribes) on a mis­sion to the whole people of Israel (cf Lk 9:1-6). In the Gospel, Luke reports of a parallel mission given to 72 disciples, recalling the 72 el­ders who were anointed to assist Moses in his […]

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A large number of people followed

  MARK mentions that the people come from seven geographical areas, thereby implying the universal character of Jesus’ mission. The salvific actions of Jesus – teaching, healing, casting out evil spirits – are meant for the whole world. The crowd presses upon Jesus because of the healing miracles and the power of his preaching. But […]

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The man with a withered hand

  WHILE the Pharisees adhere to the strict observance of the law that prohibits work on the Sabbath (cf Ex 31:12-17), Jesus’ gaze goes beyond the legal casuistry as he heals the man with a withered hand. It is an accepted prin­ciple among the Jewish rabbis that “any danger to life takes precedence over the […]

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New wine… into fresh wineskins

    JESUS inaugu­rates a new order of life that surpasses that of the old Mosa­ic Law and practice. The Jews are accus­tomed to the tradi­tions of their forefathers wherein prayer, almsgiving, and fasting are considered the “three pillars of Judaism” (cf Tb 12:8). The coming of Jesus presents a new form of relationship not […]

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  JESUS performs his first sign or miracle at the wedding in Cana. John sees this as an initial mani­festation of Jesus’ divine powers as Son of God and Messiah. Jesus reluctantly accedes to his mother’s request though his “hour” has not yet come. His hour of glory as Son of God will be revealed […]

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Not… the righteous but sinners

  AT the outset of his ministry, Je­sus makes it clear that his saving mis­sion is intended for all sinners. In fact, everyone is a sin­ner. In the Gospel, Mark contrasts the welcoming attitude of sin­ners against the cynicism of the scribes and Pharisees. The Phari­sees are a group of conservative Jews who adhere strictly […]

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