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In the Gospel, we read this priest's denunciation of the scribes and pharisees and lawyers, and raises this big problem of the external structure of the Church. The scribes and pharisees were the guardians of religion, the religion of Moses, and yet they were the great obstacle to the Gospel. And so also with St. Ignatius, he stands for a great spiritual tradition, and he also is persecuted as a result of it. And the difficulty is that people are persecuted. They stand for a certain principle, and the others stand for another principle. It's not simply good and evil, it's two principles, really it is a great religion, and yet it withstood this message of the Gospel. In the same way it was much as good in the Roman Empire,


and yet it withstood the message of Christ, the Gospel. So confronted with this conflict of values, values which conflict with one another, and we're all involved in this conflict, we have to discern our way, and find a way which is truth, and leads to all these conflicts. And I think it's the discernment the Church as a whole has to make, and we ourselves have to make in our lives. So we ask that the light of the Holy Spirit which shows us the path, and all these sins these people have committed. Glory be to you. Glory be to you, Lord. These woes of the Pharisees represent a kind of crisis in the Gospel. Jesus is met with opposition from the beginning, and it gradually accumulates, until finally leads to passion and death.


And the people who organized this opposition were these scribes and Pharisees, who were the keepers of the law. Their duty was to preserve the law. And of course the law came from God, originally the law of Moses, and it had been developed in the course of time under many minute regulations. But Israel really lived by the law, and Jesus was seen as one who was opposing the law. Small things, but very real for them. And so this raises a very acute problem that the opposition to Jesus didn't come from the wicked people, it came from the good people, people who were trying to preserve the law of God. And I think we see in that a very tremendous problem that, as I said, the conflict in the world is not normally between good and evil, it's between two goods, good things, values which people value so much


they even prepare to give their lives for them. And that is the world we live in, this conflict of values. And Jesus came into that, and he met with this tremendous opposition from the, probably you could say the best people, you see. The scribes and Pharisees were not evil people, they were good people, and they were defending what they believed to be the law of God. And yet they come into opposition with him where he tries to reveal a deeper law, something that goes beyond the law of Moses, a more legal religion altogether and opens the world to this transcendent truth, this love of God. And I think we all face that all the time, you see, how religion has to have some external structure and form, and it has to have laws. We read in that letter to Timothy, already you can see the beginning of a Christian law. It's very interesting, you see, the early church rejected the law of Moses.


They struggled over the question of circumcision, should a Christian be circumcised, and the church decided against it. So it separated itself from Judaism, from the whole law of Moses, which had been given by God in the beginning. And St. Paul's whole work was to preach this freedom from the law. The law was a pedagogue, as you were children, not slaves, and once you were free, you had the freedom of the gospel, the freedom of the children of God. So Christianity came with this message of freedom from the law. But inevitably they found you had to have some law. And so with the pastoral letters we're reading towards the end of the 1st century, you begin to have these laws. No one should be charged against an older, unless with two witnesses. So the church had to organize itself. So once more a law began to come.


And we know that law went on. It was developed by Justinian and the Roman Empire, and we have our Code of Canon Law today, the most elaborate code, maybe 200 pages or so. And so you cannot do without law. And yet the danger always is that the people who please the king to the law lose the real meaning of the law, lose that truth and love, which is the end of the law. Love is the end of the law. To love your neighbor as yourself fulfills the law and the prophets. So we're always involved in this. Religion demands law of some sort, and the danger is the law takes over, and the meaning of religion, which is love, gradually gets lost sight of. And this has happened again and again in the church. We look back on the history of the church, we see some terrible things have been done in the name of religion, in the name of Christ, terrible persecutions of people have taken place.


So we're all involved in this, and I think today we still have to discern, you see, within the church what is of law, what comes from the law, and what comes from grace, what comes from love. And it isn't an easy discernment. You can't do without the Canon Law. You can't do without these regulations. And yet within them and beyond them, we have to see the law of Christ, which is the law of love, the law of the gospel. So we all have to discern that, and I think particularly those who are religious. When we're religious, we join a religious order, and again we have a constitution, we have laws and regulations, which we have to observe. And yet we know that all those regulations are intended to enable us to fulfill the love of God and the love of our neighbor. There is no other law except the law of love, which is the love of God and the love of one's neighbor. And you see the conflict in the world. Many people reject religion precisely for that. They say it's awful, they're occupied with all these minor things


and neglect the supreme reality of love. You don't see love, the great religion. You see mostly some Hindus and Buddhists and Christians and Jews fighting one another and doing all sorts of atrocities and say, well, what is the good of religion? And there's a valid validity in it because they say religion has these two aspects. It has the aspect of law and it has the aspect of love. And you can't do without either of them. Love without law becomes chaos, becomes licentiousness, you see. It's a simple license. On the other hand, law without love, of course, is simply a prison. And so we're in between the two. I think we all have to reflect on it in the church as a whole, in religious life, and in Christian life, the life of the world. So we ask for that discernment of spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can discern, you see, the truth. Jesus came with the truth of the Holy Spirit and they couldn't respond to it,


they couldn't recognize it. But he comes to us today with the same truth as the Spirit and we have to discern in the church what really comes from the Spirit and what comes from law, what comes from man, actually. So we ask for this discernment of spirit. As you know, each of the evangelists has his own outlook. The message of the gospel came down through various channels, through Jesus himself, immediate apostles, and early followers. And each had his own story to tell and all these stories were gradually collected together and each evangelist has his own sources and puts them together in a somewhat different way, his own outlook and his own theology, as we say, his own understanding of the gospel.


And one can find many different ways of describing the different evangelists. And as I suggested, Luke has this character of emphasis on the Holy Spirit. It's very remarkable in the early chapters of the infancy, he keeps saying, Simeon came to the temple in the Holy Spirit and Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit and so on. And then this emphasis on the prayer of Jesus, he was tired of a solitary place to pray, he remained all night in prayer. These are two aspects which are not so much emphasized. And the other aspect which was brought out in the prayer which we read is his concern for the poor. And perhaps it's worth reflecting, you see, that there's two aspects of the gospel. One is this more interior aspect, prayer in the Holy Spirit. The other is more exterior aspect, the concern for the poor,


and they emphasize also the universality of redemption is the companion of this for the Gentiles. And we have to keep those two together in our minds. Today the emphasis is very much on the poor and rightly there is this tremendous need everywhere and this great concern. But it would be a great mistake to think that physical and material poverty is the great problem and to neglect this other side that of the Holy Spirit and prayer, unless we face the poverty of the world and suffering of the world in the Holy Spirit and with prayer, we don't really bring the gospel to it. And that's why I feel we need to emphasize more and more this interior aspect of the gospel. It doesn't come out so much naturally unless we're talking about what Jesus said and did and we get this impression of an external activity. But behind all the external activity, what was this life of prayer?


A life in the Holy Spirit. St. Luke says somewhere he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, he said. And so Jesus was living in the Holy Spirit and it doesn't come out so much. St. John's Gospel brings it out perhaps more. But we need to reflect on that, that he was living in the Holy Spirit. All those works that he did and the wisdom came from his mouth came from the Holy Spirit within. And the life of the Holy Spirit was nourished by prayer. His prayer was always to turn to the Father. Whatever he did came from his relationship with the Father. So behind the gospel, it's merely the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Jesus was living in that relationship, sonship to the Father, depending on the Father's will, and living in the Spirit, the power of the Holy Spirit guiding him for whatever he has to do. And that surely is a model for a Christian. We have to live from this inner life of the Spirit. The Spirit is given to each one of us and it can grow in us


or it can simply remain static like the talent which was buried. And on the other hand, it can grow continually and it opens us more and more to prayer. It opens us to the Father. We discover more and more that God is in our lives, he's guiding us, he's directing us, and our lives come more and more under that control of God and his Father. And then in that relationship, sonship to the Father, we grow in the likeness of Christ. We discover Christ within, discover Christ in others, we build up the whole body of Christ. So perhaps we can reflect on this mystery of the gospel. It's this mystery of the Spirit. In the mystery of the Spirit and prayer, we discover our relationship to God. It's summed up beautifully by St. Paul in the letter to the Ephesians when he says, I lift up my hands to the Father in whom all fatherhood and heaven on earth is named, that he may fill you with his Spirit


in the inner man. He asks for the Christian Spirit that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. The three aspects, the Father sending his Spirit into the heart, and in the Spirit we grow in the likeness of Christ and become sons of God. So that is the Christian mystery really, the mystery of life in the Trinity. That's what we all have to discover. It was on 18th October morning, Luke chapter 9, 1 to 10. Sorry, Luke chapter 10, 1 to 9. 18th October evening, first letter to Timothy, chapter 6. Letter of St. Paul to Timothy, chapter 6. Word as for you, men of God,


shun all this. Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Who is interested to read these lists of virtues? In the Bhagavad Gita there are a whole list of virtues. You're extremely close to this. And in every religion you have this. Its moral principles are basically the same. They've got a different context. They're seen in a different way, experienced in a different way, and yet they have a basic similarity. See, righteousness, particularly in Hebrew you could say that God's righteousness can obviously, in a sense, is universal. Then godliness is obviously universal. Faith and love, obviously Christian faith, not the same as Buddhist faith or Muslim faith, and yet there's something common in each. Faith is essentially that commitment to the transcendent, one beyond whatever form we may give to it.


And love, steadfastness, gentleness. You see, these are universal, these are principles universal in religion, you could say. Then fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called. This idea of life as a battle is not so popular in the East, I think. You don't glorify that fight, battle, so much. But in the context of the West, it's difficult, really. And it has its value, obviously. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. This is interesting, you see. This refers obviously to baptism. When you were baptized, you made your profession of faith before many witnesses, and then you were called to eternal life. That's the meaning of baptism. It's death to this world and calling to eternal life. And it was made in the presence of many witnesses.


Then in the presence of God, who gives life to all things of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession. It's interesting, you see. Jesus himself is said to have made this good confession. A Christian makes his confession of faith baptism. Jesus made his before Pontius Pilate. That was his testimony before the world. And I think we would take, if you like, Pilate says, Jesus says to him, I came to bear witness to the truth. And Pilate says, what is truth? You mustn't wait for an answer. So he takes his testimony of Christ. I charge you to keep the commandment, unstained and free from reproach, appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. The commandment is, I think, must be the commandment of love. Jesus said, this commandment I give you, that you love one another, that is the great commandment. Love of God, love of one's neighbor,


calling him to that. And until the appearing, this parousia, as you know, the early church lived in this constant expectation of coming. And I think it's very meaningful, I think, in the sense we always have to live in that. Otherwise you settle down in this world and it's very remote. But you have to realize that the kingdom of God is at hand always. The coming of the Lord is always at hand. And we have to live in that expectation. And they did so in a very meaningful way. And this will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only sovereign, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And now we have one of these rather interesting expressions of, let's say, the majesty of God. And they're not too common in the New Testament, really. Jesus spoke very simply of God as his father. He didn't give any of these elaborate terms. But it is


a tradition. And again, in the Upanishads, for instance, we're just reading now the Svatasvata Upanishad. It's one of the most interesting because it's theistic. It's a very strong affirmation of a personal God. And towards the end he speaks of this He who is God of Gods and Lord of Lords and Master of Masters. The same idea, you see, of the one supreme God. So he says the blessed and only sovereign, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And then a wonderful phrase, who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light. All this is rather, I think you could say, rather Hellenistic. It's living in the Roman Empire with this... The Greeks had many terms like this for God. And it has a rather Greek feeling about it, at least in my mind. Has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light. And that's very important, this concept. God is beyond


all visible being, all creation, beyond all unapproachable light, you see. The other way of putting it is God dwells in the darkness, beyond all light. So say it's two different ways of expressing the same thing. It always means the absolute transcendence of God, beyond all. Whom no man has ever seen or can see. And that is the Hebrew way of saying that no man can ever know God properly. We can never know God in this world. We can know, have some knowledge about him and be directed towards him, but to know God as he is is always beyond us. And I mentioned to some of you, Karl Rahner, just before his 80th birthday they had a celebration. He died a few weeks or months later. He made a sort of confession of his life as a theologian. And one of the principal points he made was that you can never speak anything properly about God.


Whatever you say, it's yes and no. God is all this, king of kings, lord of lords, whatever you like to say, and yet he's totally beyond everything you can say. And he said, how rarely theologians keep that in mind. We keep talking about God, saying this and that, which is true as far as it goes, but we often forget to say yes, but he's infinitely beyond what I'm saying. One of the early council of the church said that anything we can say about God is infinitely remote from the reality of what he is. So that's something always to bear in mind. We shouldn't talk too much about God. Whom no man has ever seen or can see, to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. So it's a beautiful doxology, as they say, glorification of the supreme, and it's good to say all these things. We have to say them, and we chant them, and one day Satyagraha is under, and we praise God in our own way, and yet


remember that he's beyond it all. That's the point. We have to keep that always in mind. Man speaks against the son of man, it shall be forgiven him. And blasphemes the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him. And I think the meaning of that is that God reveals himself in many ways, and in Jesus among others, and we can be mistaken about that, but there is a revelation in the heart, the Holy Spirit is present in the heart of each person, and if we go against our heart, against our inner conscience, our inner self, then nobody can save us, at least our whole being is there. This interior religion, this experience of God within, that is the ultimate, and that is why we say that people may not believe in any religion, and yet if they follow


their conscience, their inner heart, then they're on the way of salvation. So we all need to recognize this mysterious presence of God in the heart, and on Saturday we keep the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and we think of her as one who lived from the heart, and this inner depth of our being is open to the Spirit of God continually, and that is what we're all taught to do. This gospel, Jesus says, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God, and there's an apparent distinction between Jesus and the Son of Man, I think it's really only apparent, because the Son of Man is this universal man, it is man, in the Hebrew


the Son of Man and man is really the same thing, and Jesus stands for this humanity, he is man as God wills and tends him to be, and that is why to acknowledge Jesus is to acknowledge our humanity, to acknowledge what we're really called to be, and on the other hand to deny him is to deny our humanity, deny our real being, and I think this is very important, because it's, as he says, everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, that is, if we speak against the outward appearance, as it were, then we can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, because man is not man as he appears outside, man is this image of God, this manifestation of God in the flesh, and to recognize


that is to recognize one's own inner being, one's true self, and I think there's a very deep message in this, really, that it's not an external belief, believing that Jesus is the Son of God or something which saves one, it is realizing God within, discovering Jesus is this manifestation of God and of man, of man as God intends him to be, and when we recognize Jesus, we recognize our true self, we discover our self, we realize God within, and that is to be open to the Holy Spirit, and on the other hand, to deny this presence of God within, the inner reality of our lives, that is to deny ourselves, to become nothing as it were, and that is the essence of sin, it's this failure to be oneself, to be what one is called to be, to realize one's person, one's being, so there's


very deep meaning, really, in this, and he goes on to say, when they bring you before synagogues and rulers, do not be anxious what you are to answer, what you are to say, the Holy Spirit will teach you in that hour, you see, if you're living from the inner center of your being, from this Son of Man within, if you like, then the Holy Spirit speaks within you, you no longer speak of yourself, and your true self is not your outer self, you see, the true person, the true man is not the outer man, it's the inner man, and the inner man is man in the image of God, the man in whom God is present and who is present to God, and Jesus is that man in whom God is totally present and who is totally present to God, and as we become truly ourselves, we become one with Him, we are one with that eternal Son of Man, so there's a very deep meaning in this, which we all need to reflect on, it's the


God's revelation comes to us through Christ, but we only know Christ when we know Christ within, it isn't accepting simply some external manifestation that can take us some distance, no doubt, but only when you realize Christ within, as Paul says, Christ in you, the hope of glory, when that realization takes place, then you discover yourself, you find who you are, and you discover God, you find that you are in God and God is in you, and that's the goal of life, to discover this inner reality, so we all ask for that insight into the inner meaning of this faith in Christ, you see, it's a discovery of one's true self, discovery of the true self of humanity, you see, it's to become fully human, and Jesus is a person who is fully human, and because He's fully human, He's fully divine, because man is only man when he's in God and when God is in him, so this is what we have to seek, this experience of God within, Christ in the


heart. That was 19th October morning, Luke chapter 12, 8 to 12. These letters to Timothy are written comparatively late, it's very interesting, you see, that Timothy himself was from childhood acquainted with the sacred writings, born in a Christian family, maybe second or third generation, so he says, continuing what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learnt it, and how from childhood you've been acquainted with the sacred writings, whether he's referring to the apostles from whom he learnt it, or from his family, it's not certain, and also it's not quite so what is meant by the sacred writings, which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in


Christ Jesus, whether there were Christian writings at this time, would be the question. As you know, it's generally thought the Gospels in their present shape took all in the 70s and 80s, and it's not certain when this letter was written, but it should have been written before that, so that probably the sacred writings would be the Old Testament, but then the Old Testament interpreted by Christian teachers in the light of Christ, and that's how Timothy would have received it. I'm not quite sure what critics would say of that, but I think that's probably how it would be understood. Then you see it says, all Scripture is inspired by God, and presumably it means the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. And of course, the Church grew up on the Old Testament, and therefore always interpreted in the light of Christ.


Jesus himself began, remember the two disciples of Emmaus, he interpreted them all that could be written of him, beginning with Moses and the prophets. So that tradition was handed down, you find it in St. Paul, you find it all through the New Testament, interpreting the Old Testament in the light of Christ, and that would have been a tradition in the Church before it was written down. It would have been when you were instructed in the faith, it would have been shown how to understand the Old Testament. And that would have been the teaching that Timothy would have had. And all Scripture of that kind is inspired by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. And that is the idea that the Bible is this guide to Christian living altogether. But of course it has to be interpreted, and it has to be interpreted in the light of Christ, and that is where the tradition of the Church comes in. Because if you take the Bible to yourself, you can get all sorts of weird ideas, as many people do. And it's only


when the Bible, the Old Testament especially, is interpreted in the light of Christ, and according to the tradition, that you get the real meaning of it. Otherwise, as I say, you get wild meaning, as many people do. That the man of God may be completely equipped for every good work. Obviously there was a thorough training you see in this Christian doctrine based on the Old Testament, but in the light of the New. Then I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead by his appearing and his kingdom. You see, all this is done in the context of the presence of God, of Christ, and of his appearing, his parousia, and his kingdom. They were always living in the presence of God in the context of the kingdom of God. It was at hand, already present in some measure, and they're waiting for its final manifestation. And that is the context, you see, of all this teaching and so on. It isn't some abstract theory which has been


given, it's a doctrine which reveals the presence of God and the kingdom of God in their midst. It's an awakening, a real initiation, you see, into a living reality. And the difficulty is, of course, as time goes on, it gets put down in doctrines and catechisms, and it all becomes abstract and comparatively unreal. And to recover the reality that the real presence of God in the teaching and in the community, that is the great need. So preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort. Presumably all this is within the Christian community. See, the preaching took place in the community, and you had to advise and consult, rebuke and exhort, and be unfailing in patience and in teaching. Emphasis is very much on the preaching and teaching, you see. Obviously, that was the great work of the apostles. You remember, in the Acts of the Apostles, at the time


when they chose the deacons, they said, we can't attend to tables, we'll give our turfs to the... The word of God unto prayer, and this prayer, this awareness of the presence of God, and then the word is the teaching and the preaching, you see. That was the great work of the apostles and their successors. That was 2nd Letter to Timothy, Chapter 3, Verse 14, to Chapter 4, Verse 2. That is on 19th October evening. 28th October morning. We all have to pray for that, but there is so much in our own lives that we don't try to control and look to what others have decided for us. ...great meaning,


I think, for people today. But first of all, it's rather an astonishing request of these two disciples, wanting to sit at his right hand, at his left. A kind of presumption which you wouldn't have expected. It's self-confidence. And one must remember that the concept of the Messiah in Israel was a king who would rule, and they were expecting that Jesus came into his kingdom, he would rule, and they would be able to have power alongside him. And so he says, You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I will drink, to be baptized, to be baptized, from which I will be baptized? In other words, are you able to undergo the sufferings and death which I am going to undergo? And they, rather blindly, I think, say we are able about what they understood, what really he was asking of them. But then he says, You shall drink the cup that I drink, to be baptized. And we know, actually,


James was martyred, the first to be martyred. And... But, he says, To sit at my right hand and my left is not mine to grant, but for those for whom it has been prepared. And this shows, which is very important, and perhaps we've rather lost it, I dare say, that authority is always given by God. If something comes from above, it's not something we get for ourselves, it's something we're given. It's a privilege which is bestowed on us. And then he goes on to say, You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them. Their great men exercise authority over them. And in all secular society, you always have people at the head, and they have this authority, and they normally abuse it in various ways. Because, as we know, power corrupts. That is the great problem of all human society, that all power


tends to corrupt. Once a person feels he has power over others, he begins to use it, his own ends, his family, and so on. And you get all these corruptions which exist in society. And Jesus wanted to form a society which would be different from that. Power would not be exercised in that way. So he says, It shall not be so among you, but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, whoever would be first among you must be the slave of all. It's a very wonderful saying, something, I don't know if it's ever been said before, this idea that the king, the emperor, the ruler, the lord, the noble, whatever, is to be the servant. And actually that did prevail as an ideal in the Middle Ages. It was very well understood that the king was there to protect the people, to help them, to guide them, and so on. There was a very deep understanding. But of course the problem is that


once people get into a position of power, it always corrupts. It makes them selfish and they dominate others. And today it's quite remarkable in a sense that people do recognize today that authority is given for service. When you're made an MP or an MLA, in principle you're there to serve the people. You're elected to serve the people. And of course it goes to people's heads immediately. You have this power over others and everybody comes with press from you. And you begin to use your power for your own benefit or for the benefit of your family or your friends. And all these abuses come. And that is the problem of power. It's never really been solved. And it's not been solved in the church. We have the same problem in the church. Bishops and popes and priests and people are given power. Sometimes it's used, as Jesus wanted it, but more frequently it's used as human beings do. They use it to exercise their own


power over other people. Some with good intentions it may be but nevertheless you get this power system where there is power over other people all through the ladder goes right up to the Holy See. And this power is exercised over others maybe with good intentions maybe with less good intentions but always there is that dominating others, you see. And that is what Jesus really came to overcome. And of course it's extremely difficult because anybody who is given power even though he has good intentions will tend to misuse it. As Lord Acton, you know, said all power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely this is praised. And we see it around us all the time. Power corrupts people. So I think we have to be deeply aware of that. You see whenever one is given any authority whatever, a parent in a family or a teacher in a school or a man


in charge of an office or something you will have a tendency to exercise your power selfishly in the wrong way. And to be aware of that is a beginning to try to exercise in the right way. And Jesus gives himself as the example. The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. See, it's a reversal of the whole system of power. And the whole life of Jesus was that reversal you see, the very opposite of a king. The king was to come to rule establish a kingdom to his disciples in positions of authority instead of that, to their dismay he goes up to Jerusalem to be crucified, to lose all power. You see, he becomes totally powerless on the cross. He surrenders power altogether. And only when he's made the surrender of power in the resurrection is he able to exercise that power. And that is the law. When we give up human power, human control manipulating others


and surrender to God then God can act through us and our power becomes service. And then as I said it is not for me to give even. He was not to give it. It comes from the Father, this gift of God. And only when power is exercised as a gift of God and the service of others has it real value. So I say this is the problem of all human society all over the world today people are giving their powers and again and again they're misused. And yet, I think today there is that idea that those who are given authority are called to serve the people. Something has been achieved really. They do recognize it but when it comes to practice of course it's very different. So I'd say we all have to serve because we all have power in some way. We're all exercising power over others some more, some less. But always the tendency is to use it selflessly and always the call is to surrender the self and to allow God to work through us


and then our authority this service. That's what we ask for ourselves and for the church. That was Mark 10.35-45 ...personal ways and very close relation with Timothy and it's interesting he mentions his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice so he's a Christian of second generation. It's interesting you see that's why as I say the church is well established now. It says, born an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus. That's always very meaningful the opening senses of his letters because this life in Christ Jesus it's a new life which comes through baptism


and through the Holy Spirit and it transforms the ordinary human life into something new. Paul says if anyone is in Christ there is a new creation a new way of living existence. To Timothy my beloved child grace, mercy and peace from God the Father it does seem to have a very special relation with Timothy as you see he lay hands on him, he ordained him and he is a very special fruit of his apostolate. I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience as did my fathers and I remember you constantly in my prayer and it's interesting it says as did my fathers, meaning his Jewish fathers and he always was very faithful to his Jewish inheritance. He said I was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, circumcised the eighth day and so on and he came from this very strong Jewish tradition and of course it was transformed but in Jesus he felt it had been fulfilled. He never renounced Judaism, it was simply


Jesus was the Messiah in whom all the promises and prophecies had been fulfilled. I remember your tears and I long night and day to see you that I may be filled with joy always or not always but so often in these letters Paul had a very personal relationship with his disciples. Timothy as we say a very special one but as I remember your tears I long night and day to see you that I may be filled with joy I'm reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and I'm sure dwells in you I say you have three generations you see so it's very very interesting how the faith came down from one generation to another and now here's one, this Timothy is a young man who's received this faith from his parents and his grandparents. Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands and as you know laying on of hands is a way


in which every ministry was conferred and there were many ministries in the church and was always seen as a gift of God it's a charism a gift of God and was given as I say a variety of these gifts you know in the letter to Corinthians and so many and Timothy had one of these charisms bestowed on him for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control interesting names he gives to this gift of a spirit, very first of all of power, he often says you know our preaching is not the worldly wisdom but the spirit of power and they were very conscious of the power of the Holy Spirit we're reading this book on healing in the refectory and it brings out there how this gospel was always preached as a message of salvation but also a power to heal and love of course


as the Christian gift and then self-control I think it's probably the Greek word which is very translated it meant self-control restraint modulation prudence, all that sort of wisdom, practical wisdom, so it's a little perhaps like our tapas discipline and discipline of self-control so people question whether this letter is actually as Paul wrote it may be edited later on but I think quite definitely in the personal letter of Paul you feel that there's something very personal in it and Timothy has this very special relation to it 21st October morning from the gospel of Saint Luke any of the secular affairs


when you came with the what the text of the things of the things of God he separated himself from secular business and this was a problem in a sense but all concerned with secular problems today it has a lesson that he saw the danger of getting involved in all these secular affairs and forgetting God and that is of course exactly what happens I think we all have to judge ourselves in that way, how much we're involved in secular affairs involved in a sense very absorbed in them and then we forget God altogether but our perspective changes when we see things as they are as God sees them so we have to ask repentance, a change of heart when we see things as God sees them and that's a lot of that you came


Christ Christ according to Luke Glory to you Lord one of the multitudes said Jesus teacher bid my brother divide the inheritance with me this gospel is very interesting I think from a practical point of view it's very relevant this man wants Jesus to help him to divide his inheritance in India it's very too common the Christian inheritance comes and people struggle to get their inheritance and make a great issue of it and Jesus absolutely refuses to enter into it who may charge over you and that seems to have been his attitude towards


as I say secular affairs he wouldn't interfere in them in any way and he saw the great danger obviously he didn't deny secular values he said give to Caesar the things of the Caesars he allowed that political and social economic world but he saw that the great danger was that people get absorbed into that world and they forget about God and that of course is exactly what happens today tens of hundreds of millions of people today who are simply absorbed in the secular world and they don't deny God they simply forget about it and it no longer is relevant to their lives until the moment comes when death comes or some disease or something and then their whole life collapses you see you put your trust in all these things you get cancer or your child dies or your wife dies or whatever


and your whole life goes to pieces immediately and so Jesus was one concern was to help people not to get absorbed in these things and he gives this illustration of this man it's very typical you see man has very rich land his land brought forth plentifully what shall I do? I have nowhere to store my crops I will pull down my barns and build larger ones I will store my grain and my goods I will say to myself so you have ample goods laid up for many years, take your ease eat, drink and be merry and really the vast majority of people are almost entirely concerned in doing that, in getting a property getting money laying up for the future assuring their life and so on at every level and ignoring death you see that is the real problem it's not that these things are wrong you need to have a land and a house family and all these things


and Jesus doesn't deny that but it's forgetting that we hold them in this what shall we say precarious way you see we don't know when we're going to die and when the whole world is going to end we're always in this state of expectation, waiting and we forget that forgetting God God is the eternal reality we're in time and we're building up things in time but time is passing away and the eternal is always there and unless we see time in relation to eternity unless we see the passing world in the context of death death is the end of this world and it's the beginning of eternity it's the awakening to the eternal reality and if we're always asleep in this world living in this world dead to the world to come then we're living in an illusion and that's what in Hindu we mean by Maya this illusion that this world


this world is everything it says in the Karthik Vishad fools mumbling about in darkness say this world is everything there is no other you see millions of people they may not exactly say some certainly will but the others will simply forget about any other world this world is everything there is no other and then they go on from death to death that's the way of death when you put your trust in the present world so I think the gospel calls us continually not to deny today the church is concerned with all these secular values economic, social, political values they all have their place Caesar has his place in the world and we can't do without them but the danger is he's getting absorbed into them and forgetting that there's anything beyond and they always have to be seen


in the context of the beyond of death, of eternal life death and eternal life are two aspects of the same thing and so it's a perspective and so Jesus ends by saying fool this night your soul is required of you the things you have prepared, whose will they be so is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God it isn't wrong to lay up treasure but when you do it for yourself forget God, forget eternal life forget the real meaning and purpose of life so I think we have to keep balancing this because I think perhaps the tendency in the past has been to exaggerate the unworldliness and then people react against that and say it's quite impractical it's this kind of religion it's no use to us but we have to accept the values of this world and the necessities which they impose on us


but always in the perspective of eternal life in the perspective that death is round the corner and we don't know when it's going to come when the end is going to come but as I say, it may come to ourselves it may come to a wife or a child or a friend it may come to a whole city we have again and again some disaster strikes we have Mexico City all living happily and suddenly an earthquake comes and so many buildings simply collapse around them suddenly death comes upon you like that and the same in Bhopal all these tragedies suddenly come and people are not expecting them they're going on happily thinking it's all going to stay then suddenly it comes and that's what we have to be prepared for the value of the good things are there but they're also precarious and we must be aware that they can suddenly be taken from us and if we're rich towards God then we're not disturbed when these things happen we're ready for it but if we're not, then it takes us by surprise


and our life collapses so we need to reflect on these things what is the real place of secular values and economic values especially and socially in our lives and the life of the church in the world That was Luke 12, 13-21 Paul here gives us a reminder of the kind of basic truths of the past for us at this time it was necessary to remind people then to think clearly before them he says, remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead, descended from David as preached in my gospel it's a little abbreviated but it rested on two things one, Jesus was the Messiah ascended from David his promise to Israel and he proved himself through the Messiah by rising from the dead that was the basic message of the Jews from the beginning


there's two things, there's Jesus, whom Christ the crucified God has made Lord and Christ and we know this because of his rising from the dead of which we are witnesses then he says, the gospel of which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal but the word of God is not fettered letters presumed to have been written from Rome when he was imprisoned there and as you know it wasn't a very rigorous imprisonment you were allowed to meet people and talk and preach the gospel and so on so he says the word of God is not fettered therefore I enjoy everything for the sake of the elect that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory and this idea of the elect is very strong of course it comes in Israel from the beginning that Abraham was chosen by God and Israel was the chosen of God and there's a deep truth in that as you know the Kartu Upanishad says not by much learning and so on but you know the Atman chooses


it's a way of speaking of course I think you can't say that God really chooses people in that way but it's something we experience that we discover God not because we found him but because in this wonderful way he has found us it's the experience of being chosen of being elected I think which is behind it so I enjoy everything for the sake of the elect that they may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with eternal glory and salvation was eternal glory and the word glory is very rich it's a sort of expression of all that it means to the reality of God is his glory it's the images, it's the radiance of the sun the radiance of the divine being and that is eternal of course beyond time and space and then he says the saying is sure and presumably this was one of these traditional sayings


which have come down in the church if we have died with him we shall also live with him if we enjoy we shall also reign with him and that of course is the sort of fundamental message as the resurrection of Christ was the primary message the consequence of that was that the Christian also has to die and to be raised with him if we die with him we shall live as St. Paul said if you who are baptized into Christ were baptized into his death that you might be raised to new life in him so that is the basics of the gospel message if we deny him he will deny us if we are faithless he remains faithful but he cannot deny himself again if you see that Jesus denies us I don't think he comes to the gospel he says any man denies the son of man but I think really the meaning of that is that God doesn't deny anybody but if we deny him


we prevent his grace coming to us you see there is always an element of freedom we can accept God or we can deny God, refuse that offer and then it doesn't come it isn't actually he is denying us we are denying ourselves that grace I think we always have to see in that light just as God doesn't condemn anybody to hell, hell is simply closing on itself refusing grace refusing love, refusing truth refusing reality it's not something that God does it's something that the free will can do I don't know whether it does actually but the possibility is there of closing in on the self, totally denying the truth, denying reality but he cannot deny himself, God is always himself and is always loved, is always offering himself to every human being That was


second letter to Timothy chapter 2 8 to 14 on 21st October evening 22nd October morning from Saint Luke's Gospel It's remarkable how Jesus left his disciples with this expectation of his return he puts it in a very dramatic way that your loins be girded your lamps burning be like men who are waiting for their master to come from the marriage feast, that they open him at once when he comes and knocks blessed are those servants who master finds awake when he comes, it's a picture of people simply waiting for an event to take place at any moment, and that I think is how we're supposed to live our lives, and the opposite of course


is when we settle down in the world, we find our place here and we think this is all and it's a great temptation I think today especially the world offers so many opportunities people get quite convinced that this is all, now the vast number of Christians today when they have these questionnaires, ask whether they've even a future life, they say no and I think it becomes more and more difficult for many people to see beyond the present and yet the whole gospel seems to be directed towards that, to help us to realize that this world is passing away I sometimes think we're like people who are on a journey and go by train and they change at a station and they have to wait for another train, and the train doesn't come for some time, and they begin to settle down, they have their meals and they have a rest, and finally they settle down there, and they forget that the train is coming, and when


it does come, there's great weeping and lamentation that they think some disaster has happened, and we are people on a journey, and we're going to a final destination, and if we stop here, we've simply missed the point of life another way of saying it is the famous saying the world is a bridge, pass over it don't build your house on it but we're all tempted to build our house here, to make this a final resting place, and so the gospel comes to challenge us day by day, and really what it means is to keep death before our eyes, death is coming sometime, coming to anybody at any time, as we know we read the paper every day so many people have been killed suddenly, or buses have collapsed, fallen over or train or whatever there's some accidents, and people have been killed, dying every day unexpectedly, so death is always there, and Jesus puts death simply as this passage this coming of the Lord


and we have to be waiting for that coming the way they put it sometimes is it's already and yet not yet the kingdom of God is here now, all around us, it's everywhere and at every time, and yet it's not realized, it's present and yet not fulfilled and we have to be waiting for it's fulfillment, and it's really like birth, you see, we're like children in the womb, and it's a nice life living in the womb, shut up in that little world and quite happy there and the thought of birth must be terrible to come out of the warm place into the cold air outside and so it is with us to go out of this comfortable world maybe an uncomfortable world, at least it's one we know, but to go out into the darkness, into the world beyond, that is something mysterious and terrifying, and so people try to keep death out of their sight and yet I think when I say


the gospel is to keep death always before one's eyes live each day as though it were the last and in many ways to be condemned to death is a great blessing I remember one priest I knew who was chapped in at a prison, and he said it was quite remarkable how people condemned to death had nothing else to do except prepare for death and if they were open in any way he had the most wonderful apostolate he said, there's many people he brought, they were really simply waiting for the coming of the Lord so to be aware that death is coming and to be prepared for it that's for a wedding feast, you see, it's a beautiful expression they're waiting for the master to come for the wedding feast I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table he will come and serve them he comes in the second watchman the third, and find them so blessed are their souls it's to come into the presence of the Lord and to be served by him


to be welcomed by him into one's home so to try to realize, you see the trouble is it's the opposite of what everybody naturally expects we all think this world is going on as it is forever, and there's something vaguely beyond, whereas the opposite is true this world is passing away all the time and the reality is waiting for us all the time the reality where the Lord is and where he's waiting for us to receive us into our home so we ask for that insight into that mystery of life which is the real reality in which we live that was Luke 12 35 to 38 this letter to Timothy as you know, it's Paul who calls


the message the Gospel which has been entrusted to him, and you remember it's the second or third generation his grandmother was a Christian and his mother and he's received this gift from the laying on of hands, so he says do not be ashamed of testifying to our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner but share in suffering for the Gospel and the power of God as you know he writes from prison and giving witness to the Lord there, and he calls Timothy to share in that suffering for the Gospel, and always in St. Paul and it's the general Christian message it's through the cross that we come to this experience of God I think that's one particular Christian experience, that it's through suffering that you experience the reality of God, the love, the forgiveness the mystery of God it's one way, there are many other ways yoga is a way which is not really the way of suffering


but the way of the cross is a way by which we experience this mystery of God's grace, forgiveness love, and so he calls him to share in that who saved us and called us for the holy calling not in virtue of our works and this is very Pauline of course, this idea we're not saved by our works, but by our free choice of God and that means by virtue of grace and it's interesting that he says the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago it's a grace which comes from the beginning he says he chose us in him before the foundation of the world and this mystery of grace is present in the whole creation and all of humanity and in some way everyone is offered this grace this offer of transcendence going beyond and experiencing the mystery of God some way it's offered and we know from those primitive tribes in the earliest time, people have always had


this sort of awareness of transcendent mystery, giving it all kinds of names and then it's a mystery of grace which is offered to everyone and it's not in virtue of our works the offer comes to us and works a result from our accepting it and we accept the grace of God in us, then it works its purpose in us and now it's manifested through the appearing of our saviour Jesus Christ, you see the offer of grace has been from the beginning the first man oh you have to go back the offer of grace is given and the mystery is revealed in the appearance of Jesus who abolished death and brought life and immortality to life the death and resurrection of Christ is the manifestation of the mystery which has been present from the beginning the remarkable pause in the one of the documents of the Latin council I'm not quite sure which it is where it says that since Jesus Christ died


for all men and all have one end, one goal, namely union with God he died for all and all have one goal we must believe that it weighs down only to God the Holy Spirit enables every person to be associated in some way with the paschal mystery every human being is associated with the death and resurrection of Christ or in other words it's the universal it's a sacrament of salvation it's a sign of salvation people may never have heard of it and through that mystery they are related due to the suffering of the death and resurrection of Christ so all humanity is included in this mystery of grace which is manifested a sign is given in the death and resurrection of Jesus but the reality is present everywhere to every human being for this gospel I was appointed a preacher an apostle and teacher therefore I suffer as I do now it is the three things, a preacher, an apostle


and a teacher and in the early church there were these various ministries made some prophets, some apostles some teachers, some preachers, some administrative masters and so on you see and St. Paul receives three of these charisms given to him apostle, which is also rather unique of course normally the apostle is one who has known Christ St. Paul had that vision of course which made him an apostle and then the preacher and teacher as we saw is normal functioning in the church to preach and to teach to proclaim the gospel and then to teach, to give instruction those are the two things therefore I suffer as I do and part of the mystery of this grace of the gospel is as I said but it's death and resurrection in Christ you see and it's the mystery of Christ and death is suffering


in innumerable different ways the death of the ego you see the death of the outer self which opens us to the true self, to the inner light and as it goes on, I'm not ashamed for I know whom I have pleased and I'm sure he's in the God until that day what has been entrusted to me, it's a gift of God which has been entrusted until that day put in a capital letter and they're all waiting as you know for that day of the Lord, just as we saw in the gospel this morning Jesus told his disciples, your right people waiting for the master to come and take them to the marriage feast so all this is given and is to be used in this world while we wait for the final manifestation of that day and then it instructs him, follow the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me in the faith and love of Christ Jesus these sound words are doctrine and of course there was


a basic doctrine which was communicated, it was very simple and basic, very basically I think it was that the death resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit, forgiveness of sins membership of the body, these are the basic doctrines which were passed on in tradition and come down to us, these are the sound words not a very elaborate doctrine of the trinity and incarnation which grew up later, it was much more simple and fundamental and God, with faith and love in Jesus you see faith and love and gnosis wisdom you see, it's the doctrine which leads to knowledge, to gnosis, to wisdom, to understanding so it's not only faith and love it's faith growing to understanding through love, that's the Christian mystery, God the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, you see the truth is not simply some doctrine which


you can just pass on, it's a doctrine which comes, received in faith and in love and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and I think we've rather lost that you see, you get the catechism and children learn it in school and they think they've learnt the Christian faith but obviously that's just a bare bone you see unless it's given life to the Holy Spirit it has no meaning and no value and so the truth has to be communicated through the Holy Spirit in faith and in love and then you have the Christian mystery and you have the reality not there, you have to put it in this form so as I say I always think these letters really bring home what the Christian gospel is you see, how it was lived and how it has to be lived it's a wonderful summary of the Holy Mystery that was first letter to second letter to Timothy first chapter verses 8 to 14 this whole theme


of the coming at the end is difficult I think people today are very much concerned with the development of the present world occupying all attention to the vast problems of poverty and disease and unemployment and crime and so on but the whole potential set of how to remedy the present situation to make a better life for people and of course that's a very light concern and yet this other aspect which the gospel brings out so strongly that there's an end to something, it's all there to end you know, it's a wall to an end it's all precarious and therefore we have to keep in mind this coming to the Lord as he says you must both be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect


and then he goes on to Petrus are you telling this for all that he says who is the faithful steward and if on the other hand if you misbehave start beating people and so on then you'll get your punishment in the world to come and so there is always this contrast between this world and the world to come and I must say it's difficult for people today to to it's difficult for all of us to get the proper relation between the two in the past the tendency really was to reject the world, to be a Christian was to deny the world he who loves the world is not the love of God and so there was a very strong tendency as I say to reject the world when you become a Christian


or when you become a monk or a religious you leave the world behind you live a new life in the church life in Christ and you want nothing to do with the world and that was not at all uncommon view of religious life I remember I was told at least in the 1914 war there was a community of monks in Canada I think it was who didn't even know that there was a war they just lived their own life and today of course we feel very much the reverse that we're responsible for the world and particularly for the sufferings of the world and the needs and so it's difficult to keep the balance in one's life and I think we all have to seek that balance the demands of the world are so clear in monastic life today we don't think of monks as separating themselves simply escaping from the world, they are responsible for the world around them


and yet at the same time they're responsible for the life to come and to witness to the world that there is something beyond see the day to day people think this world is everything, we must do our duty to help others here make a better life and so on and obviously all that is right but at the same time they have to be aware that it's not going to end here it's all going to end in death and destruction in the end and there is something beyond and people need to be reminded constantly that there is a world beyond and I belong to another world of consciousness if you like, living in this world of sense consciousness and rational consciousness and there is a deeper level of being and of course all over the world today people are discovering at deeper levels you see in the west in many ways it's rather different but many people are disillusioned with all that the world can give they've had everything that the world can give and they're not satisfied and then they wait, there is something beyond this


world and they come to India in search of that deeper meaning in life and so these two currents are going all the time one that demands the world and the need to make a better life here and the other the call to something beyond and I think each person has his own particular calling in that way, some are called much more obviously the servant world, yet they've always got to be reminded that that is not all there is something beyond and those who are called to discover a deeper level in their life to discover God discover this deeper level of consciousness they also have to be reminded that they have obligations to the world not just leave people as they are so as I say each person has his own calling, religious orders have theirs and people engaged in work of every kind each have their own obligations and calling and we have to discern it's really a discernment of spirit and each has his own calling


St Paul in the letter to Timothy again and again speaks of this, God has called us in Christ and each has his own calling and we're called to eternal life in Him, that is our final fulfillment, at the same time we're called to serve to do work in this world and to have God's purpose in this world for us, so I think we all have to ask, as I say, what is God asking of me, what is my calling, how do I respond to the problems of the world and how do I respond to this call of God for an inner life to discover the mystery of God God within, the kingdom of God within the heart and the soul of each person so we ask for that insight into the Holy Spirit It was Luke 12 38-48 but also there were Christian


affirmance as well, it says in time of conflict, as Paul instructs Timothy remind them of this and chastise them before the Lord to avoid disputing about words, which does no good it only ruins the hearers and as we all know there's a terrible danger once the doctrine gets expressed, put into words then people get to dispute about them and that was why the Buddha, you know was so reserved, he didn't want to say people ask what is Nirvana he wouldn't say because he said you only start disputing about it follow the noble path the right way and you'll find your goal and don't get involved and so Paul has the same principle don't get involved disputing about words and do your best to present yourself to God as one approved of work and there's no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth very interesting, first of all present yourself as a workman approved and it's shown in a very practical


sense, it's not simply a mystical doctrine, it's a way of life you see, that is really it's a Christian way of life, a workman is one who's mastered that way of life and is able to guide others in it and then rightly handling the word of truth it's a very interesting phrase the word of truth is this doctrine which has come down which isn't just a matter of words you see it's a way of life really but it's a way of life which has to be expressed in some language some form of doctrine and that has to be handled in the right way to pass it on to others so that it has meaning for them, it's always a living process you see, this word of truth it isn't simply some formula which you pass on, it's a living message, it's actually the message of Jesus himself which you have to communicate to others to handle in a sensitive and understanding way, so that is what's important as a line then avoid use of such godless chatter


for it will lead people to more and more ungodliness and obviously there was the danger then, as there is now always people begin to dispute and then to question the existence of God and so on remember the Roman Emperor at that time, it's very much like today, there were every kind of atheism, agnosticism and sophistry and a lot of philosophical schools all disputing about every conceivable thing so it was warning them against that kind of ungodliness and their talk would eat its way like gangrene I think we left out this passage he goes on to speak of certain people who departed from the truth then he goes on, in a great house were not only vessels of gold and silver, but also wood and earthenware, some for noble use, some for ignoble I must say I don't quite appreciate that image, I think


the idea that wood and earthenware are less valuable than gold and silver is mistaken I'm not very fond of gold and silver vessels at all, I think wood and earthenware are much more practical and sensible, but he wants to distinguish between the more precious and the less and that makes it an image you see, if anyone purifies himself for what is ignoble he will be a vessel for noble use consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work, again you see it's a very practical thing, it isn't some mystical doctrine, it's a good work for which you have to be ready, and so shun youthful passions aimed at righteousness faith, love and peace along with those called by the Lord in a pure heart, youthful passions of course because Timothy was a young man who was probably exposed to them and then he puts this gold before him, oh is there like these lists you know of virtues, are they revealing


righteousness, called traditional Hebrew virtue also the Old Testament righteousness is the mark of the just man the holy man, then faith and love of course, together with hope, those are the great Christian virtues, and then peace is always very important too in India we speak of Shanti it's very fundamental in the whole Indian understanding of religion along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart and this takes us back again and again to the Beatitudes, you see blessed are the pure in heart and blessed are the peacemakers Paul doesn't quote the New Testament Gospels much but he obviously was very deeply involved with them they take them into its own heart have nothing to do with stupid senseless controversies you know that they bleed quams and obviously there must have been a lot of controversies as I say, in a very


sophisticated world they were living in, with many philosophical schools and teaching different doctrines, it would be only too easy to get involved in all these and you get the same today of course you get logical positivism and linguistic analysis, all these philosophical things which distract people from the truth of religion and the simple realities but the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone and an apt teacher forbearing correcting his opponents with gentleness it's very interesting isn't it I mean there is a rather firm stand against false doctrines and so on but he has to be an apt teacher but to be forbearing and correcting his opponents with gentleness it's extremely important it's very interesting that it should have been so prominent already because the danger is of course once you begin to set up your own doctrine and put others down you get very violent


in it, very common in the whole history of the church and even in the 1st and 2nd century, but St Paul obviously at this time they were very sensitive about this God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth and escape from the snare of the devil after being captured by him to do his will, and of course there's a very strong sense of truth, of error of righteousness, unrighteousness very, the Hebrew tradition is always in that way it's rather black and white either you're on the side of truth or you're on the side of error today we're much more sensitive to all the various shades between black and white and it's much more complicated in a way, for instance in the past, in very up to recent times we've always felt there's only one truth one way of truth and you have to accept that, the true doctrine, but today we speak and it's more than one theology theology is a way of expressing


the mystery of faith, and there are several theologies, even we say in the New Testament the theology of St Paul is not the same as that of St John that of St Matthew is not the same as that of St Luke and so on, we realize how much more subtleties there are of differences in the way of expression and it applies to the theology today that in the past especially they were much more insistent on one way of truth, the right way orthodoxy of the right way and everything else is to be rejected and of course it depends a little on the situation, sometimes you have to insist on the right expression of faith but at other times you need to be more open to different ways of expressing the same mystery and I think today we're much more aware of that many people are leaving today second letter to Timothy chapter 2, from 14 to 26 I mean it's partly due to the Hebrew


way of speech they tend to express themselves in a way that the consequences of an act as shown are suggested to be intended and not merely the consequences to explain what Jesus says elsewhere I speak in parables that hearing they may not hear, seeing they may not see and perceiving they may not understand and the meaning of that is not that the parables intended to blind people but that the effect can be such the truth can be such that when they won't accept it they become blind to death and so here also Jesus says I'm not doing peace but a sword and people I know have been very disturbed by that, I once heard from somebody


who was thinking of becoming a Christian and when they came to this they decided against it, I came not to bring peace but a sword and what Jesus means is that the effect of his words of the truth will be to cause division and that is inevitable, the truth divides and particular division Jesus had in mind was that of family ties you see family ties bind people and it prevents them seeing the truth they're tied by their family tradition custom, caste, whatever it is and they can't get beyond and he saw clearly that the gospel had to break these ties but when it's broken them and they've divided father against daughter and father against son and so on, it reunites at a deeper level, he doesn't say that here but that is the actual reality of the gospel to divide in order to unite you have to separate from attachments of every kind particularly family attachment


also attachment of the world, money goods, possessions and so on, but when you've detached yourself you can be reunited and then you rediscover your family at a deeper level of love, this agape the love of the gospel is far beyond more than human family love and you have to break the one in order to discover the other but I think it's very important you see not to take merely the negative aspect it sounds rather terrible dividing puts humanity in this way and it's against everything that people today seek of the unity of mankind, but we have to recognize I say that division has to take place, it's what in the Bhagavad Gita is called detachment that is the real secret you have to detach from your family from friends, from the world from possessions, all these things and then as Jesus said elsewhere you could have them all back father and mother and wife and children and friends and lands and everything


but with persecution he said you've still got this division that takes place we have to be divided from the world from this possession so it's the message really of the gospel is death and resurrection which is dying to the world dying to oneself, dying to sin which is division, separation