The imposition of silence in St. Mark

first_imgLocalNews The imposition of silence in St. Mark by: – February 11, 2012 22 Views   no discussions Photo credit: measureofdoubt.blogspot.comThe healing of leprosy in the Gospels focuses on two things: a command to inform the authorities and make the appropriate offering for the cure; secondly, a command to keep it otherwise to yourself. In Mark, the first feature seems not nearly as urgent as the second.Apart from fulfilling the ritual requirement, the leper (or the recipient of the miracle generally) is put under a strict obligation to keep the whole thing quiet.Why did Jesus issue such a command as the latter ? He must have known that human nature being what it is, people healed of very disabling sickness would talk about it – which is what they all did, and to all and sundry.There have been a couple of reasons historically given for Jesus’ action. One influential reason is that he knew he had to counteract the prevailing notions of the function of the Messiah, and that miraculous performances would fuel the wrong sort of expectation. There’s something to this view, I think. There was a sharp contrast between prevailing view of the character of the Messiah (which the disciples also shared) and Jesus’ own view. We should remember, for instance, that even after the resurrection, when the disciples (should have and) seemed to have gone beyond their former understanding, Peter still asked Jesus: Are you now going to establish the kingdom? By kingdom he meant the concrete political kingdom of Judah, of course. So the old convictions hadn’t yet died despite everything. For Peter it effectively died only with his own crucifixion.The interpretation I prefer has to do with another choice Jesus made, not so much in keeping with his view of the Messiah, as opposed to his countrymen’s, but his choice for the importance of faith over miracle. The great mystics have always known that one of the greatest challenges to faith is the miraculous. This is why they never paid unusual attention to things like levitation, locutions, and visions. They did not deny that sometimes these manifestations are divine gifts, but they insisted on two things, first that authenticity of any gift is shown by the fruits the gift produces. Does it increase the pride of the recipient, and the feeling that one belongs to God’s chosen; or does it effect an increase in humility and service. Overall they wrote that we should pay attention more to faith, to “dark faith,” as St. John of the Cross described it, than to what provokes the wonder of our senses.Walking by faith, however, not by sight, as St. Paul recommended, is not always simple or easy. The road along which we walk is not always smooth; nor do we always proceed with easy step and lightness of heart. It’s not just a winding road, but one that sometimes loses all its contours in mist and fog.That is why Jesus preferred it, I think. It demands more heroism. It the reason why he would not turn stones into bread. That way he would certainly have won many followers. But that would not have been a free faith but one won at the price of the miracle. That faith Jesus did not want. He preferred our free, uncompelled allegiance, that we should adhere to him drawn by the spell of his character and testimony of his words.The Church has in several ways continued this way indicated by Jesus. It certainly does not belittle the reality of the miraculous. How could it, while it serves the most awesome miracle of all, God in the flesh. But it does not make miracles, e.g., the miracles of Lourdes and Fatima, articles of faith, and it always advises us not to prefer the significance of the former over the reality of the latter. In the Gospel of John, the perspective is different from Mark’s. The Jesus of John’s Gospel is more deliberately not the human but the divine Jesus. Miracles are signs of his identity and his origin. So also are the great “I am” statements. In the world of Mark, on the other hand, we are in the theological world of the deliberately human Jesus. There’s no contradiction, of course, between the two. Mark and John are two disciples, two theologians, giving differently valid takes on how the divine is manifested in our midst.By: Father Henry Charles PhD Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share Sharelast_img read more

Banyana Goalkeeper Backs S’Africa to Beat Nigeria in AWCON Opener

first_imgBanyana Banyana goalkeeper Kaylin Swart believes her team can be victorious when they take on arch-rivals Nigeria in their opening Group B match at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, at Cape Coast, in Ghana on Sunday.Banyana have been drawn into what many call the ‘group of death’, which besides South Africa and Nigeria, also includes quality opposition in Equatorial Guinea and Zambia.“Nigeria has always been one of our rivals and we know what to expect from them, but our coaches will hopefully put some puzzles together before Sunday,” said Swart, who won her first Banyana cap earlier this year against Sweden.“Whichever way we look at it, it’s going to be a battle.” Referring to the hot and humid conditions in the Cape Coast, Swart said that the heat factor will be the same for both teams.“To say it’s hot here is a bit of an understatement, but we can either sit here and complain, or go out there and play our socks off.”Referring to the warm-up match earlier this week where Banyana went down 1-0 to hosts Ghana, Swart said: “Ghana are one of the top four nations at the tournament.“Defensively we were sound, except for the one mistake from a corner kick that we made. We have one or two things to work on but we will be ready.”Swart and striker Jermaine Seoposenwe were part of the SA side that took part in the World Cup Women’s U-17 tournament in 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago. However, the goalkeeper was quick to point out that the World Cup at any level is quite different to the Olympics where Banyana played in 2012 and 2016.“Going to the Olympics is one thing and going to the World Cup is different, but if we take things one step at a time, we will get there,” said Swart.Swart and her colleagues can be excused if the nerves are fluttering so close to the start of the tournament.“Nerves show that we are human, and I would not say that it is a bad thing,” added the goalkeeper.Following the Nigeria match, Banyana will face Equatorial Guinea on November 21, before wrapping up their group commitments against Zambia three days later.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Compulsory HIV testing may be reintroduced

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The decision by the Greek health minister to reintroduce a measure that allows police to detain anyone for the purposes of compulsory HIV tests has been branded a “shocking development” by the London-based Greece Solidarity Campaign. The group says the decision targets many of those who have already been marginalised by the austerity policies championed by the government. “The news that the health ministry of Greece is reintroducing the ministerial decree that led to the mandatory HIV tests is a shocking development. Clearly this decision is based on targeting many of those already marginalised and suffering from the results of the disastrous austerity policies, championed by the Greek government,” the group said in a statement on Wednesday. Introduced last year by the then Pasok health minister Andreas Loverdos, the health decree GY/39A resulted in the round-up and subsequent forced testing of hundreds of women. The 17 found to be HIV positive had their names, personal details and photographs published in the media, on the grounds of protecting public health. The decree was overturned in May by deputy health minister Fotini Skopouli, who subsequently resigned following Democratic Left’s withdrawal from government. But in one of his first acts as minister, Adonis Georgiadis restored the decree, in an order signed on June 26 and published on the government’s electronic website Diavgeia on July 1. The decree will formally come back into force upon publication in the government gazette (FEK). “Those targeted will include migrants, people who inject drugs and sex workers. It is also a gross infringement of human rights and is contrary to all EU human rights policies as well as all established public health policies across the EU,” the Greek Solidarity Campaign said. “In its attempts to deflect the anger and frustration of the Greek people over the poverty and humanitarian disaster inflicted on them by the policies of austerity, the Greek government is now seeking scapegoats and HIV+ people will be the latest addition.” The campaign, which visited Athens most recently in April, calls on the health ministry to end “this appalling and degrading policy and also calls upon the human rights and public health organisations to intervene, in order to prevent this attack on HIV+ people”. Source: EnetEnglishlast_img read more