Satisfying hunger

Let us pray (in silence) [to the God who alone can satisfy our deepest hungers]


God of the hungry,
make us hunger and thirst for the right,
till our thirst for justice has been satisfied
and hunger has gone from the earth;

through Jesus, the Christ, the bread of life,
who is alive with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.

NZPB p. 578c

Unfortunately, the RCL, like its parent, the RC three year Sunday cycle of readings, leaps more than a chapter in Luke's gospel from last Sunday's gospel reading to this Sunday's. This misses some of the frame for this Sunday that is worth attention: the disciplines of fasting (Lk 5:33-35), and of prayer and solitude (6:12); Jesus choosing of "the twelve" and calling them "apostles" (a particularly Lukan thread which, in his definition of Acts 1:21-22, surprisingly appears to exclude Paul his mentor).

In starting today's gospel reading, the text needs to be clarified as v.17 "Jesus came down with the twelve..." Then he addresses his disciples (Greek: mathetas - related to our English word "mathematics"). "Disciple" and "discipline" (see my previous paragraph) connect even in English. The LXX (Septuagint) uses this Greek word for the Hebrew root lmd. Jesus' talmidim (disciples) have a master/disciple relationship with Jesus not greatly dissimilar to that found also in the Greek context of Socrates, Plato, and the Academy. Protagoras, the famous sophist, had taught, charging for his lessons (a teacher/pupil model). Socrates, in contrast, refused payment and gives himself more than merely his knowledge. Common meals expressed this fellowship. The Jewish first century CE rabbi/talmidim relationship also had an intimate, trusting foundation through which the talmid hoped to come to resemble the rabbi.

The Beatitudes are so called from the Latin for "blessed". The Greek makarioi corresponds to the Hebrew asher and means "blessed", "fortunate", and "happy" (the Jerusalem Bible translation). These are the be-happy-attitudes. The BE (as opposed to DO) attitudes. Jesus' beatitudes have a strong emotional punch. God in this eschatological reversal contrasts true with false happiness and distinguishes between what is primary and what is secondary.

I cannot find any previous history of the collects on page 578 of NZPB.

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