Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Last Night in RCIA

The New Testament
Those who take us to the Person of Jesus Christ
What’s in a name? When we think about the New Testament we want to know who did the writing and who were the witnesses. We think of those who accompanied Jesus and, amongst his disciples, the apostles and evangelists. Very often authorship is about a tradition of writing rather than simply one author.  We often hear St John referred to as the disciple Jesus loved, the beloved disciple.

But Mathew, Mark, Luke and...... There are many so-called gospels. We hear about this all the time, especially when our faith is being undermined. The scriptures of the Old and New Testament form the canon of scripture, the list of books which make up the Bible. It is the Church which establishes this canon of scripture. Inspiration is about both the authorship and also the list!

In my earlier work Theophilus.... The Acts of the Apostles give us an account of the lives of the followers of Jesus after the Resurrection and Ascension. The narrative begins with the birth of the Church at Pentecost.

Saul, Saul, Why do you persecute me? Saul becomes Paul and is transformed as the outstanding teacher and preacher to the Gentiles. His conversion is detailed in Acts. The spread of the gospel and the important questions, especially between Jewish and Pagan followers of the Way, are resolved. The Acts of the Apostles tells us when followers of Jesus were first called Christians and prepares us for the supreme act of witness to Jesus, the martyrdom of Peter and Paul in Rome.

Peter & Mark in Rome?  ‘My son Mark sends you greetings...’ writes St Peter in his first letter. St Mark’s gospel -the oldest- concludes with the Lord sending the apostles, ‘Go out to the whole world, proclaim the Good News to all creation.’ The words of the scriptures are not just the devotional reading of Christians but the proclamation of Christ, the key to human history and the answer to the existence of all things.

Blessed John Paul reminds us:
'The whole of Christ’s life was a continual teaching.......'

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