Reflections on today's readings at mass – James 2:14-18 and Mark 8:27-35

LifeIn

Well-known member
Looking at today's Gospel reading from Mark, we see Jesus asking his disciples who they think he is. It is Peter who boldly proclaims (for the first time for any disciple) “You are the Christ!”. This event is expanded upon in Matthew's Gospel, but in Mark, the narrative immediately turns to Peter's great failure (one of many) when Jesus has to rebuke him and call him “Satan” for objecting to Jesus's plan to suffer and die at the hands of the scribes and the Pharisees.

One thing we can take from this is that God's plan for our lives may be very different from our plan, even for believers. Peter was a great believer in Jesus. But Peter's idea of Jesus as Christ at that time was Jesus as Messiah for the Jews. Peter probably was hoping that Jesus would somehow drive out the Romans and establish a Davidic Monarchy along the lines of what most Jews of the day believed the Messiah would do.

The other thing we can take from this passage is from what is not there – specifically the details in Matthew's account of the same event. In Matthew's account we read Jesus's reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” To understand the omission of these details in Mark's account it may be helpful to remember that Mark's Gospel was probably the first one to be written, and although Mark was not an eyewitness to the events in the Gospel, we was a close companion and scribe for Peter. In other words, the events in Mark's Gospel are likely his relating what Peter had told him.

If Peter were a more prideful person, one might think he would have made a bigger deal about how Jesus made him the leader of his Church, giving him the keys to the kingdom and so on, and downplayed his failure. But by the time Peter was telling his story to Mark, Peter's faith had grown considerably. He was now a much humbler man. Peter (like Paul) preferred to talk about his weaknesses and failures so as to give glory to God alone. However Matthew, being an eyewitness to the events and having more first-generation sources to draw on, was not hampered by Peter's humility and included those verses that cast Peter in a more favorable light (although they still include his failures too.)

Turning to the letter of James, we read:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
“Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, ”
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.
Indeed someone might say,
“You have faith and I have works.”
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.


From this we see that even in the first century there were people who were claiming that all they needed was faith and that works were not important. James corrects them by saying they need to have both. Indeed James demonstrates his faith through his works.
 
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PeanutGallery

Well-known member
...
If Peter were a more prideful person, one might think he would have made a bigger deal about how Jesus made him the leader of his Church, ...
There is no apostolic succession; the lavishly dressed Pope is proof.
... giving him the keys to the kingdom ...
Jesus took away the key of knowledge to the kingdom from those who rejected Jesus, and gave it to Peter.
Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
...
From this we see that even in the first century there were people who were claiming that all they needed was faith and that works were not important. James corrects them by saying they need to have both. Indeed James demonstrates his faith through his works.
Both faith and works for what purpose?
 

pilgrim

Well-known member
There is no apostolic succession; the lavishly dressed Pope is proof.

Jesus took away the key of knowledge to the kingdom from those who rejected Jesus, and gave it to Peter.
Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Both faith and works for what purpose?
Was Aaron lavishly dressed in the OT?
 

balshan

Well-known member
Back to OP's Peter's so-called apostolic successors; or, do you want to live in the OT with blood of goats and bulls?
Oh they love the OT and the ten commandments except when their priests break those ten, then they just want to forget them. Of course Jesus who is the real leader does not wear lavish garments. You made a valid point once again.
 

balshan

Well-known member
Looking at today's Gospel reading from Mark, we see Jesus asking his disciples who they think he is. It is Peter who boldly proclaims (for the first time for any disciple) “You are the Christ!”. This event is expanded upon in Matthew's Gospel, but in Mark, the narrative immediately turns to Peter's great failure (one of many) when Jesus has to rebuke him and call him “Satan” for objecting to Jesus's plan to suffer and die at the hands of the scribes and the Pharisees.

One thing we can take from this is that God's plan for our lives may be very different from our plan, even for believers. Peter was a great believer in Jesus. But Peter's idea of Jesus as Christ at that time was Jesus as Messiah for the Jews. Peter probably was hoping that Jesus would somehow drive out the Romans and establish a Davidic Monarchy along the lines of what most Jews of the day believed the Messiah would do.

The other thing we can take from this passage is from what is not there – specifically the details in Matthew's account of the same event. In Matthew's account we read Jesus's reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” To understand the omission of these details in Mark's account it may be helpful to remember that Mark's Gospel was probably the first one to be written, and although Mark was not an eyewitness to the events in the Gospel, we was a close companion and scribe for Peter. In other words, the events in Mark's Gospel are likely his relating what Peter had told him.

If Peter were a more prideful person, one might think he would have made a bigger deal about how Jesus made him the leader of his Church, giving him the keys to the kingdom and so on, and downplayed his failure. But by the time Peter was telling his story to Mark, Peter's faith had grown considerably. He was now a much humbler man. Peter (like Paul) preferred to talk about his weaknesses and failures so as to give glory to God alone. However Matthew, being an eyewitness to the events and having more first-generation sources to draw on, was not hampered by Peter's humility and included those verses that cast Peter in a more favorable light (although they still include his failures too.)

Turning to the letter of James, we read:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
“Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, ”
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.
Indeed someone might say,
“You have faith and I have works.”
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.


From this we see that even in the first century there were people who were claiming that all they needed was faith and that works were not important. James corrects them by saying they need to have both. Indeed James demonstrates his faith through his works.
You cannot work your way to heaven but you certainly can work your way to hell. If you do not have faith then your works are meaningless. A waste of time. What are the motives for those works. I love the way RCs hang on to this one verse in James and ignore the others.

I mean your institution is described here in James 1:

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Your institution ignores the word of God by not following its instructions:
1. regarding the requirements for leaders
2. Not understanding the scripture re the keys and making out it is about succession when it is not
3. not following what to do with those who call themselves brothers/sisters and who are sexual sinners. They are to be expelled.
4. Scripture says do not add to scripture. Your institution adds to the word of God with its false doctrines.
5. It works based faith teachings.

I could go on but this is a good start. I mean your institution talking about James is just one big fat joke.
 

Nic

Well-known member
Looking at today's Gospel reading from Mark, we see Jesus asking his disciples who they think he is. It is Peter who boldly proclaims (for the first time for any disciple) “You are the Christ!”. This event is expanded upon in Matthew's Gospel, but in Mark, the narrative immediately turns to Peter's great failure (one of many) when Jesus has to rebuke him and call him “Satan” for objecting to Jesus's plan to suffer and die at the hands of the scribes and the Pharisees.

One thing we can take from this is that God's plan for our lives may be very different from our plan, even for believers. Peter was a great believer in Jesus. But Peter's idea of Jesus as Christ at that time was Jesus as Messiah for the Jews. Peter probably was hoping that Jesus would somehow drive out the Romans and establish a Davidic Monarchy along the lines of what most Jews of the day believed the Messiah would do.

The other thing we can take from this passage is from what is not there – specifically the details in Matthew's account of the same event. In Matthew's account we read Jesus's reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” To understand the omission of these details in Mark's account it may be helpful to remember that Mark's Gospel was probably the first one to be written, and although Mark was not an eyewitness to the events in the Gospel, we was a close companion and scribe for Peter. In other words, the events in Mark's Gospel are likely his relating what Peter had told him.

If Peter were a more prideful person, one might think he would have made a bigger deal about how Jesus made him the leader of his Church, giving him the keys to the kingdom and so on, and downplayed his failure. But by the time Peter was telling his story to Mark, Peter's faith had grown considerably. He was now a much humbler man. Peter (like Paul) preferred to talk about his weaknesses and failures so as to give glory to God alone. However Matthew, being an eyewitness to the events and having more first-generation sources to draw on, was not hampered by Peter's humility and included those verses that cast Peter in a more favorable light (although they still include his failures too.)

Turning to the letter of James, we read:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
“Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, ”
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.
Indeed someone might say,
“You have faith and I have works.”
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.


From this we see that even in the first century there were people who were claiming that all they needed was faith and that works were not important. James corrects them by saying they need to have both. Indeed James demonstrates his faith through his works.
I generally like this liturgical approach.
I apologize for my initial oversight.
 
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Nic

Well-known member
I see you removed your papal reflections. Interesting afraid of upsetting the pope.
In charity I will again attempt to satisfy your seemingly driven criticism.
First I'm not afraid of upsetting the pope. Secondly and to the point, the gospel reading specifically makes reference where Catholics make the claim for papal origins. When I realized this I then suggested to cull out the papal claim from the other readings and behold I looked again and this is the very thing the poster had done so I removed my suggestion altogether.
Blessings...
 

balshan

Well-known member
HY
In charity I will again attempt to satisfy your seemingly driven criticism.
First I'm not afraid of upsetting the pope. Secondly and to the point, the gospel reading specifically makes reference where Catholics make the claim for papal origins. When I realized this I then suggested to cull out the papal claim from the other readings and behold I looked again and this is the very thing the poster had done so I removed my suggestion altogether.
Blessings...
Yet offering nothing about the readings of any value whatsoever. Do you agree with the RC claim? If yes why, if no why not? I see you as an RC and never mentally left the RC at all.
 

Nic

Well-known member
HY

Yet offering nothing about the readings of any value whatsoever. Do you agree with the RC claim? If yes why, if no why not? I see you as an RC and never mentally left the RC at all.
Furthering Christian charity towards your continued driven criticism I will once again show you how I can answer YOU in loving way.🙂
I had an opinion on how to avoid the apparent sub-topic, although seemingly an intended emphasis of the thread. After comparing my first and second initial answer in my first reply resulting in a third answer, I understood the author of the OP had already done what I thought he had overlooked. In seeing that, my level of interest in the topic hasn't changed an infinitesimal bit. I fail to see how discussing the papal claim in this apologetic setting can be fruitful. So in loved I bowed out. Does that yet satisfy your inquisitive mind?
Your personal opinion of me is irrelevant to the topic at hand.
Blessings...
 

balshan

Well-known member
Furthering Christian charity towards your continued driven criticism I will once again show you how I can answer YOU in loving way.🙂
I had an opinion on how to avoid the apparent sub-topic, although seemingly an intended emphasis of the thread. After comparing my first and second initial answer in my first reply resulting in a third answer, I understood the author of the OP had already done what I thought he had overlooked. In seeing that, my level of interest in the topic hasn't changed an infinitesimal bit. I fail to see how discussing the papal claim in this apologetic setting can be fruitful. So in loved I bowed out. Does that yet satisfy your inquisitive mind?
Your personal opinion of me is irrelevant to the topic at hand.
Blessings...
Still have no clues as to what your opinion is of the comments and reflections made in the op. I have allowed to criticize that is the format of discussions and apologetics.
 

Nic

Well-known member
Still have no clues as to what your opinion is of the comments and reflections made in the op. I have allowed to criticize that is the format of discussions and apologetics.
Continuing in Christian charity towards your incessant criticism, I will once again show you how to make a loving response to your curious mind.
I have no interest in the topic because I don't see it as being a fruitful conversation. So I graciously and lovingly bowed out. As a I understand Christ and Christian living in my myopic small understanding is that we are given two commandments to live by that sum up the totality of the law.
Luke 10:27, NIV
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Blessings...
 

balshan

Well-known member
Continuing in Christian charity towards your incessant criticism, I will once again show you how to make a loving response to your curious mind.
I have no interest in the topic because I don't see it as being a fruitful conversation. So I graciously and lovingly bowed out. As a I understand Christ and Christian living in my myopic small understanding is that we are given two commandments to live by that sum up the totality of the law.
Luke 10:27, NIV
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Blessings...
The very fact that you keep patting yourself on the back about your so called Christian charity means you are not being charitable. But if it makes you feel good go for it.

I love the Lord with all my heart. So nothing about the op.
 

Nic

Well-known member
The very fact that you keep patting yourself on the back about your so called Christian charity means you are not being charitable. But if it makes you feel good go for it.

I love the Lord with all my heart. So nothing about the op.
Christian charity dictates loving your neighbor as yourself as an integral part of the two-fold commandment.

Luke 10:27, NIV
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"

This will be my last comment, I've been more than patient and loving only to receive ridicule in return.
Repent.

Blessings...
 

balshan

Well-known member
Christian charity dictates loving your neighbor as yourself as an integral part of the two-fold commandment.

Luke 10:27, NIV
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"

This will be my last comment, I've been more than patient and loving only to receive ridicule in return.
Repent.

Blessings...
The fact you feel the need to explain Christian charity shows you are not doing it. By the way Jesus says turn the other cheek how many times.
I am so glad that is your last comment.

I love the Lord with all my heart and I love my neighbour as myself, I even do it correctly I love my enemies. The fact that I do not return the love you are showing me says a lot. Arrogance is not love, feeling superior is not love. As I said give yourself a pat on the back, clever you.

Still nothing on the op.
 

LifeIn

Well-known member
Jesus took away the key of knowledge to the kingdom from those who rejected Jesus, and gave it to Peter.
Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
This is better told in Matthew 23:13 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter".

However in neither case (Luke or Matthew) is it ever implied that the Scribes and Pharisees ever actually had the spiritual power to admit people into heaven. They only exercised their temporal power to place obstacles in their path. Jesus's words to Peter are the first and only time that God ever gave anyone on earth the spiritual power to be the gatekeeper of heaven. But that was not the point of the reflection. The point of the reflection was on Peter's humility in downplaying this honor when speaking to Mark and preferring instead to talk about his weaknesses and failures, which gives ordinary people hope in the greatness of God's mercy in dealing with our own weaknesses and failures.

Both faith and works for what purpose?
Because God said so? Frankly, that's good enough for me. I don't have to know God's purpose if He doesn't want to tell me. Most likely, as a mere human, I would not be able to understand His entire purpose anyway.
 

PeanutGallery

Well-known member
...
Because God said so? Frankly, that's good enough for me. I don't have to know God's purpose if He doesn't want to tell me. Most likely, as a mere human, I would not be able to understand His entire purpose anyway.
Which works did God had in mind in:
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
 

LifeIn

Well-known member
Which works did God had in mind in:
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Why would you think I had any better insight into what God had in mind than you do? However, perhaps the one example given in James can serve as a guide:

If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
“Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, ”
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?


So, I guess feeding the hungry and clothing those with nothing to wear would be included in the list of "works." I'm sure we could both add a lot to the list, right? But the point of James is not to define exactly which good works are needed. The point is that something is needed as evidence of faith. Just saying "I am a believer", and "I have faith" is not enough.
 

romishpopishorganist

Well-known member
There is no apostolic succession; the lavishly dressed Pope is proof.

Let me make sure I understand you argument:

"Peter did not dress 'lavishly' [whatever that means] therefore the Bible does not teach the papacy."

So--if the pope dressed like Peter and looked like Peter, that means the Bible teaches the papacy from your view?
Jesus took away the key of knowledge to the kingdom from those who rejected Jesus, and gave it to Peter. Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Except that in the verse you just quoted, Jesus does not take anything from the lawyers, they took it away themselves. Jesus tells them that they---the lawyers have taken away the key of knowledge.

There is nothing about Jesus taking keys from them. Note also the singular use of the word "key."

In Matthew, it isn't a "key" but "keys." In the second place, the keys referenced by Jesus and the keys that will be given to Peter are the keys to the kingdom, not the "key" (singular) of knowledge.
 
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