"Un Ti Morceau"

"A Little Something," mini-lessons and reflections by our pastor, Father Paul Counce

The Gospel Reading 3

Published May 05, 2013 by Fr. Paul Counce

In my last ti morceau, I mentioned that the Gospels are Bib­lical docu­ments composed to inspire and nourish our faith, not as historical biographies of Christ. They teach the truth, even if not every literal detail is true. Why, even Jesus used fictional stories B parables, we usually call them B in a very similar way.

This helps explain some of the apparent inconsistencies in the Gospels’ texts. For example, in the Synoptic Gospels, the “cleansing of the Temple” by Jesus occurs just before His Passion and Death, in His final visit to Jerusalem at the end of his public ministry (see Mt 21:12-17, Mk 11:15-19, and Lk 19:45-48). In John’s Gospel, however, this episode is por­trayed as happening at the very beginning of His public min­is­try, on His very first visit to the Holy City (Jn 2:13-23).

Most experts in the Bible understand that the actual event that lies at the basis of this dramatic passage occurred to­ward the end of Jesus’ life. But in John’s Gospel the story is “moved” to the beginning to highlight a particular emphasis of that Gospel, namely, that Jesus from the very beginning con­fronted the religious “establishment” of His day, and was well aware of what He was doing. Almost always in the Fourth Gospel B and not so much in the others B Jesus is pre­sented as being “in control” and quite deliberately re­placing the “old” ways with His own.

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