21st Sunday of Ordinary Time Aug 23 2020
This is what we know about ol’ Shebna, so called “master of the palace”. He was the chief of staff for KinHezekiah, a weak ruler during the time when Isaiah was the main prophet of Jerusalem. Hezekiah need a lot of counsel to get through the average day. Isaiah and Shebna both had their work cut out for them.
However, Shebna was no great shakes a palace master. In the fuller passage for today, Isaiah reveals that Shebnas has ca himself and elaborate tomb, more fitting for a king rather a servant. Maybe Shabna was cooking the books and skimming the profits? Isaiah announces that Shebna is getting bounced and a fellow servant is taking his job. (Spoiler: the next guy is no better) Elsewhere, Shebna is identified as Hezekiah’s scribe. Maybe his fall weasn’t so far. Or perhaps literacy couldnt be wasted.
WE ALL MOVE THROUGH VARIOUS SEASONS IN LIFE, SOME HONORABLE, SOME DISGRACED. (Dras a time line of you lifes ups and downs)
The more youread the Bible, the more you realize its not just a book, but a library. And all these writer are quoting or referring to each others texts-without always providing the courteous citation. The original audience recognized the references. In our less oral culture, we don hear the reference and could use the footnote.
Here Paul quotes Isaiah, followed by Job, and presumes we are good with that. Curiously he is using Greek texts and not Hebrew ones, as a Rabbi would. It’s one more reasonPauls an outsider to the Jerusalem Christians: He is for Tarsus in Cilicia (Turkey), not born and bred in Glilee like the original disciples. Pal didnt walk with Jesus but often claims to know more about the mind of Christ than the Twelve! Those who think our current church has factions should read the New Testament again.
THE EARLY CHURCH WAS NO DREAM COMMUNITY OF PEACE AND JOY. What issues divide the Church today?
Moat people reading this will identify themselves as Christian, maybe Catholic, most likely believrs or at least church goers.
But do all these categories mean , and which is the most important claim for us to make in expressing our identity?
Jesus asks his followers to identify who he is, In order to do that, we also have to reveal who we are in the religious scheme of things. We cant claim Jesus as Lord, for example, unless we’re willing to identify as his servants. We cant call him Son of God unless we are prepared to be worshipers. If he is Savior of the world, then we have to let ourselves be saved. If he’s our teacher, then we better be prepared to learn our lessons. When it comes to naming Jesus, we name ourselves in the same measure. Who is he? And who are we?
MAKE CLAIMS ABOUT THE IDENTITY OF JESUS THAT MATTER MOST OF YOU. CONSIDER WHAT EACH CLAIM DEMANDS OF YOU IN TURN.