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Lectio Divina...for the building up of God's Kingdom


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Initial post: Sep 26, 2011 10:08:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2011 10:10:38 AM PDT
Theresa says:
Lectio Divina is more of a 'personal application'---rather than a 'personal interpretation'---of Scripture. It's a prayerful focusing on God's Word, and then an application of His inspirations to one's life. God reveals; we apply.

For the thread to remain on topic and be productive, it may need to resemble an online seminar with topic, 'homework', 'assignment', discussion. The Holy Spirit will be the Instructor, and all effort and glory... for God.

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 10:15:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2011 5:04:00 PM PDT
Theresa says:
Topic: The Gospels (Each week, on Monday, a new Gospel reading will be posted. The selection of passages will correspond to the upcoming Sunday in the liturgical calendar year.)

'Homework': Practice Lectio Divina by reading the suggested passage and listening for the voice of God within any particular word, phrase or image that especially 'speaks' to you at that moment. Reflect on that quietly.

'Assignment' is to post answers to:
---Which word/ phrase/ image touches your heart and speaks to your life?
---How does this relate to your relationship with Christ?...with others?
---How will you respond to God's voice and/or what will you do about it?

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 10:16:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2011 10:18:18 AM PDT
Theresa says:
This week's topic/ passage: Mt 21:33-43

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 12:45:08 PM PDT
Amicus says:
Hi Theresa,

Several things jumped out at me when I read this parable. First of all, I thought, "I liked LAST week's parable (verses 28-31). I don't like this one as much!" In this parable, the Son is killed. The greedy tenants killed the servants and then the Son. It seems depressing. There isn't even a hint of the Resurrection or forgiveness.

Instead there is a warning repeated twice:
"He will bring those wretches to a wretched end . . . and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit."

I also noticed a hint of theology: The Landowner planted a vineyard (he created the world? or he established Israel in the Promised Land? or, does this refer to the Covenant?); then he turned the vineyard over to the tenants (gave the earth to humanity? or perhaps, gave the Promised Land to the Hebrews?).

Then the Landowner "moved to another place." Later, he sends his servants (the prophets?) and his Son to them.

This reflects the Western idea that God is separate from his Creation. The prophets were his attempts at communication with us. And his Son bridges the gap.

I'm sorry if this is rambling. Another thing I wondered about is the "motive" that caused the tenants to kill the servants and the Son. WHY did they kill them? It appears that they were greedy to control the vineyard. "Come, let us kill him, and take his inheritance." Apparently, they didn't want to give the Landowner "his share of the crop."

And I wondered, "How does this apply to us? How do we give God 'his fruit' (verse 34) and 'his share of the crop' (verse 41) ?"

This seems to be the important question, to me.

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 2:46:08 PM PDT
Theresa says:
Amicus...Hello! and thank you for joining in.
Those are some excellent reflections! and they've shed much light on what could otherwise be a difficult parable. (At least it was for me.)

I'm glad you pointed out the relevance of the phrase "moved to another place." I never would have seen/caught that. And, the idea that God is separate from the universe is such an important point to make, especially in these times of New Age ideas.

Great question there: What are some ways we can give God 'his fruit'...'his share of the crop'?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 3:04:45 PM PDT
Theresa -

Hmm. To start with, I would not consider any 'group' or 'groups', but rather individuals. We understand that Jesus built a Church and that He is the Cornerstone. The teachings of His Church ARE His, yet the sins that killed Him are not just 'theirs', but 'ours'...

Have to go for now, so will ttyl. =)

God bless you.

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 3:45:00 PM PDT
Thanks for stopping by, Dumplin'. =)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 4:13:13 PM PDT
Amicus -

If you don't mind, I'd like to comment on this part of what you wrote:

"Another thing I wondered about is the "motive" that caused the tenants to kill the servants and the Son. WHY did they kill them? It appears that they were greedy to control the vineyard. "Come, let us kill him, and take his inheritance." Apparently, they didn't want to give the Landowner "his share of the crop."

And I wondered, "How does this apply to us? How do we give God 'his fruit' (verse 34) and 'his share of the crop' (verse 41) ?"

This seems to be the important question, to me."

*****

This is a good question, imo. It seems that there's always the chance that we might get a bit too comfortable, and when the Master's away, to definitely take all He has given us for granted...

We aren't supposed to 'bury our talents' or hide our light under a bushel - we are to use the gifts God's given us for HIS glory. Too many times man loves the gift and forgets the Giver, rather than giving Him thanks and praise for all He's given us, which is as it should be...

Thanks for letting ME ramble. =)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 4:24:38 PM PDT
Verse 35 is very disturbing to me...

Man's inhumanity to man is disturbing, period. When a person or persons deliberately conspire to hurt someone else, it is not to be believed, and yet it happens. Thoughtlessness is bad enough - where one unknowingly hurts someone without meaning to - but deliberately? It's barbaric in my opinion.

It's heartbreaking, too. Such hardships should increase our trust in Christ, to give us the strength to do whatever it is that needs to be done in such circumstances. In times of trials, it's best to go to His Church and ask what can and should be done regarding the circumstances - as this is what Christ instructed us to do, therefore we know we're getting HIS answer to our problems, and not just someone's opinion on the matter.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 4:33:15 PM PDT
Theresa says:
Hi, Faith!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Yes...so humbling to realize that, in a way, whenever we sin we aren't giving God his share of the "crop" that He helped us 'grow' in the first place. Great, but sad, point.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 4:39:33 PM PDT
Theresa says:
Faith...
So worth repeating: "Too many times man loves the gift and forgets the Giver...."

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 5:29:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2011 5:33:46 PM PDT
Theresa says:
It's verse 41 that caught my attention: And he will "let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons."

Can we understand this to mean that if we---as individuals or as a nation---don't give God his share of our 'harvests' (from what He has sown) then he will turn and 'sow' somewhere else? This is a disturbing thought.

Been thinking about giving Him more of 'my' time. He's given me 61 years. How much of that have I given back to Him? And the answer is disturbing, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 6:04:11 PM PDT
Hi Theresa =)

You are most welcome. Well, we have to be careful to avoid becoming puffed up with pride and seeking man's praise - or making 'gods' out of the gifts we have been given BY God.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 6:27:59 PM PDT
Hmm...

Well, we know God will forgive us if we remain in Him, or return to Him like the Prodigal son...

Will He bless another natiion, say - if we reject Him? Well, He DOES want all the nations to know Him. Will He take from us and give to another? We do know if we become puffed up with pride, this can endanger our souls if we do not remain in Him. Would someone else get what would have been ours? We'd lose out on the joy of being with Christ forever - that should be our MAIN concern. Godly people suffer hardships, so material loss in this world isn't really a gauge, imo. Although we can indeed add to our hardships ourselves due to the choices we make.

Hmm. Quality and quantity of the time we give Him - thank you for the reminder! The time we have IS a gift from Him - and is something we'd all be wise to keep in mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 7:08:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2011 7:10:38 PM PDT
Verse 43 does say the 'Kingdom of God will be taken away from' and given to people who WILL produce its (meaning Heaven's) fruit (emphasis mine)...

So if we squander what we have and do not use it for God's glory and rather our own selfish purposes (verse 41 - which is what you pointed out) it will be given to someone else...

And it does mention a 'wretched death' to the 'wretched' and thankless fruit squanderers.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 7:14:41 PM PDT
Theresa says:
...quantity vs. quality time we give Him. That's a thought.
I agree it should be both. It seems that devoting even a whole lot of time for Him isn't much good if it's not sincere, and if one's heart isn't in it. And, He would surely know the difference.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 7:54:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2011 8:03:26 PM PDT
Theresa says:
Ah, it does. (Somehow I must've skipped that last verse!)
So...I'm guessing He's clearly telling us that we'd better spend some quality time building up that "Kingdom" somehow.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 8:11:00 PM PDT
Agreed...

Addressing this, specifically (copied from your second post):

"How does this relate to your relationship with Christ?...with others?"

As far as my relationship with Christ goes, imo His Words command respect. And as you stated before, He knows why we do what we do...

(To be continued)

Posted on Sep 27, 2011 3:49:41 AM PDT
If we manage to work (sincerely) through Him, with Him, and in Him, then the 'quality' (for lack of a better word) of what we do will be there, even if we come to Christ later in our life...

Posted on Sep 27, 2011 5:32:32 AM PDT
Howdy, Dumplin' -

You working alone today?

Posted on Sep 27, 2011 5:41:45 AM PDT
Hmm...

I've always been a Catholic, and with age has come the increasing realization of the responsibility we are given. Over time I realize I turn to and rely on the Holy Spirit more often - while continuing to learn to apply His Word to...everything. That said, I know I don't always get it right.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2011 6:53:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2011 6:57:47 AM PDT
Theresa says:
Faith,
that's a profound thought: That whatever 'good we do' is really not of ourselves, but only through the power of God that makes it possible. And, that power is of the Holy Spirit which is made available through the Word of God---Who pre-exists and IS the incarnate Jesus (in eternal 'time'). All salvation is through Jesus Christ...whether or not we know this, or believe in this. That Jesus/the Word has been working through, with, and in His creation since "the beginning" is a whole meditation in itself.

Posted on Sep 27, 2011 7:34:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2011 1:16:06 PM PDT
Theresa says:
Would like to bring up the context of this week's passage/parable, because we needed to jump into the near end of Matthew's Gospel to remain in step with the liturgical calendar. (Not being a Scripture scholar, I'm sure others in these threads could surely add to the background here!)

Jesus is aware that His ministry on earth is nearing an end and He seems to speak with more urgency.The passage appears, in Scripture, after the Transfiguration and His entry into Jerusalem. This passage is sandwiched within a string of parables that often refer to the "kingdom of God/heaven." Jesus is speaking to His disciples, but often implies the "chief priests and the Pharisees" as stated in v. 45.

Last week's Gospel reading also was about a "householder" who owned a "vineyard." It was the parable about the laborers that were hired at various hours throughout the day yet all received the same promised wage.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2011 10:22:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2011 10:30:35 AM PDT
Theresa,

If you are sticking to the Sunday liturgical readings on the three-year cycle, you would be at the end of Matthew. However, if you are using the daily readings for the cycle, today's is Matthew 4:12-25...

BTW: The parable you have been discussing is interesting.

In my understanding: The vineyard refers to creation. The servants who were sent were the prophets, whom sinful man either did not listen to, or murdered. The son who is sent is the Son. And the parable is to remind us of our relationship to God, who is the creator and reconciler of His creatures and His creation. It does not refer to any necessity of works for justification/salvation, but of our relationship to God as our creator/reconciler/sustainer.

And, just for the record, I appreciate your efforts here, and am amazed ant the negative votes you and Faith have received. Lectio Divina is a good and proper discipline for all Christians, and was practiced by both RCC monks and mystics, and the Evangelical Reformers. And a similar discipline is found in the mystical tradition of the Eastern Church.I am not sure how anyone could possibly object to this discussion.

Grace and Peace, Sister.

S.D.G.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2011 11:24:39 AM PDT
Gary Mirto says:
Bruce,
I completely agree with you regarding this thread. As for the negative voting, there will always be some wandering out in the weeds somewhere. I should know. I have been there on occasion.

Best regards,
Gary
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Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  52
Total posts:  8544
Initial post:  Sep 26, 2011
Latest post:  11 hours ago

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