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JESUS SIGN OF CONTRADICTION

Read­ing Time: 2 minutes

Introduction

In 1979, “Sign of Con­tra­dic­tion” was pub­lished. This book is a col­lec­tion of Len­ten dis­courses of bish­op Karol Józef Wojtyła, who later became pope John Paul II in 1978. “Sign of Con­tra­dic­tion” is a col­lec­tion of bish­op Wojtyla’s reflec­tions to pope Paul VI and his co-work­ers dur­ing their Len­ten Retreat in March 1976. The title of the book is a ref­er­ence to Simeon’s proph­ecy to Miryam in occa­sion of the Present­a­tion of Jesus in the Temple in keep­ing to the Jew­ish cus­tom (cf. Luke 2:22–32), that Jesus is destined to be the cause of the fall­ing and rising of many in Israel and will be a sign that will be rejec­ted. Furthermore,because of him, the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed, while a sword will pierce the mother’s soul (cf. Luke 2:34–35). Accord­ing to Wojtyla, the words of Simeon “sum up most feli­cit­ously the whole truth about Jesus Christ and his mis­sion…” (Sign of Con­tra­dic­tion, p. 197). Luke 12:49–53 con­tains three ideas: The pur­pose of Jesus’ advent and mis­sion (cf. Luke 12:49); the means by which he would accom­plish mis­sion (cf. Luke 12:50); and, the con­sequences of his mis­sion (cf. Luke 12:51–53). Is Jesus really a sign of contradiction?

Jesus as sign of contradiction

 Wheth­er Jesus is a sign of con­tra­dic­tion or not, is not for us to decide. The Gos­pel has already answered the ques­tion. Simeon’s words or declar­a­tion that Jesus is destined for the rise and fall of many in Israel, and a sign, which is spoken against, presents Jesus as a sign of con­tra­dic­tion (cf. Luke 2:34; cf. also Acts 28:22). In the Gos­pel accord­ing to John, we read, “there was a divi­sion among the people because of Jesus” (John 7:43). And what was the dissension?

Conclusion

Jesus was and is still (via the Gos­pel) a rad­ic­al who calls for rad­ic­al decision. Atten­tion! My use of ‘rad­ic­al’ should not be under­stood as strange or fun­da­ment­al­ism. It is going against a com­mon and selfish interest. It is being ori­gin­al and refus­ing to be mem­ber of the crowd (cf. M. Heide­g­ger). To be rad­ic­al is to be object­ive, just and work­ing for the com­mon good and justice. It is god­li­ness. There is no middle way in the call to dis­ciple­ship. It is either a clear yes or a clear no. This is the fire Jesus brought and keeps bring­ing to human­ity. As an hon­est lead­er and a leading/exemplary ser­vant, Jesus showed his own desire in ful­filling his own mis­sion, which he described as bap­tism and which he con­vin­cingly accom­plished, bring­ing sal­va­tion to human­ity. The decision to imit­ate him must nat­ur­ally arouse divi­sion. This dis­agree­ment is simply the con­sequence of the decision to abide by the teach­ings of Jesus, which cer­tainly, were new, and dif­fer­ent in the con­text they were giv­en. The per­se­cu­tions of the early Chris­ti­ans speak for themselves.

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE:
SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the 20th Sunday is found in
The Word of Life, vol. III, pages 448–467. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo
or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com
or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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