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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Remembering Jesus' Roots

"Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day." Lk 4:16

Jesus was a Jew. Sometimes we forget this, and it is important, if we want to understand and interpret the Scriptures in their own context, to remember who Jesus was and where he came from. Among my great delights during the years I was stationed at our friaries in Boston was the opportunity to work with Protestants, Muslims and Jews, among others, inside of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization. Together we worked as community organizers in the areas of health insurance, youth violence, and elder care. 

Getting to know people of different faiths through joint action for justice is a powerful way to challenge the assumptions and prejudices we sometimes harbor, and while the Catholic Church’s relationship with the Jews has been rocky to say the least, advocating and organizing together for the good of all is not only a bromide, it can actually heal broken relationships, and there is much to heal. As Pope St John Paul II reminds us: "In the Christian world--I do not say on the part of the Church as such--erroneous and unjust interpretations of the New Testament regarding the Jewish people and their alleged culpability (for the death of Christ) have circulated for too long, engendering feelings of hostility towards this people" 1
Today, take a moment to be grateful for the faith which has been handed onto us by our Jewish brothers and sisters.

Do you sometimes reject people because of their social class, poverty, race or religion?

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