I continue to produce Podcast Homilies tied to the Epistle and Gospel readings in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. The Homily for Fifth Sunday in Lent (Passion Sunday) was uploaded on Thursday morning. The two readings are Hebrews 9:11-15 and John 8:46-59.
In the Epistle, traditionally credited to St. Paul, reference uses several important key words or phrase: Jesus as “high priest of good things to come” and ‘mediator of the new testament”; “not made with hands”; and “dead works.” The phrase “not made with hands” is no longer widely understood in the Western Christian tradition. It dates to the early centuries of the Church when an icon was made in what is now western Syria depicting a napkin with the face of Jesus imprinted. The illustration is an 18th Century Russian Orthodox icon modelled on the Syrian original. The concept of Jesus as “not made by (or with) hands” was incorporated into the Nicene Creed in the phrase “only-begotten Son,” which signifies that Jesus was “begotten” by the Father “before all worlds,” meaning before the Creation and not as a result of any form of man-woman union. Moslems to this day deny Jesus’ divinity owing to their understanding that God could not have had a “union” with a female consort which they think would have been necessary for conception. Listen to the Podcast Homily
The Gospel reading is part of St. John’s account of the running controversy between Jesus and the Pharisees which takes up much of Chapters 6, 7, 8 & 9. The highlights are the accusation that the “father’ of these Pharisees was not the patriarch Abraham but the devil and the climactic I Am declaration in verse 58: Before Abraham was, I Am. In Greek this is ego eimi, which is the equivalent of God’s declaration of His identity to Abraham in Exodus. Many modern translations deny the I Am identification. In New Testament: Gospels & Epistles is take up Episodes Twenty-nine to Thirty-five with a discussion of 12 examples of the unique I Am declarations, the first to the Samaritan Woman at the Well and the Last the I Am the True Vine.
Also this morning I uploaded Episode Forty-one in the New Testament series, focused on St. John’s illustration, in the words of Jesus, of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son and St. John’s unique mention of Places and People, including Samaria and Cana. the Samaritan Woman at the Well, Nathaniel, Thomas, Philip and Andrew. In the next episode I will continue the unique references to people with Peter, Nicodemus, Judas and Mary Magdalene.