Archive pour la catégorie 'in lingua inglese – da controllare anche « English text »'

The Birds and the Trees: Mark 4:26–34, Other Text

http://www.biible.info/biible-share.jsp?url=http%3A%2F%2F311at.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F06%2Fbirds-and-trees.html&title=three+eleven%3A+The+Birds+and+the+Trees

(questo commento mi è piaciuto, lo potevo tradurre, ma con Google, lo lascio in inglese, chi non lo legge può utilizzare il traduttore che preferisce)

Sermons from Faith Lutheran Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

The Birds and the Trees

Text: Mark 4:26–34

Other texts: Ezekiel 17:22–24, 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-12

We just heard two of what are called Jesus’ agricultural parables. It turns out that Jesus wasn’t much of a farmer—he was a city boy—and some of these parables show that. For example, the mustard seed is not the smallest of all seeds, as any gardener would know. But the parables are not instructions about gardening, fortunately. They are ways to help us think about a God who might not think in exactly the same way that we do.
Parables demand interpretation. They are supposed to shake us up, and after being shaken, we are supposed to put our pieces together in a new way. So parables are not about what they seem, which means we have to think about what they are about.
A common way to interpret the parables we heard today, especially the second one about the tiny mustard seed, is to conclude that a little faith goes a long way. See, we say to our evangelistic selves, faith starts small in people but it grows and grows. Or, a small faithful church grows and grows. Or, small faithful movement. And our job, being faithful Christians, is to plant the seeds, to sow them, to scatter them, as it says. And though things look hopeless at first, much will be accomplished in the end. We are the agents, in this view, and the parable charges us to go out and do something. Because we are responsible. We are in control.
This notion, that it is up to us, places a great burden on us. It puts us right in the middle of the chain of salvation. No sower, yields no harvest. But it is attractive because we do like to think of ourselves as controlling the universe. And we try hard to do so.
But in the end, this only leads to suffering. Both in others and in ourselves, as we forcefully and sometimes forcibly manipulate events and people. We want to align things through our clever wills so that things work out the right way.
Out of this comes sorrow. For we are too puny, too ignorant, too mean, too short-sighted, and too mortal to succeed at this for long. We are not in control, and life has a sometimes harsh way of reminding us of that.
God does not think as we do. (I think.) We are made in the image of God, and we therefore share some parts of God’s nature, but who knows what those parts are? God is not totally weird to us—that’s one of the great things about God—but God is constantly reminding us in scripture (and in life) that God has different ideas than we do.
In the passage from the first book of Samuel, God’s prophet Samuel is sent to the house of a man named Jesse. Samuel’s job is to pick out the next king of Israel. “It must be this tall, strong, oldest son,” thinks Samuel. Nope, not him, says God. “Then surely it is the second son,” thinks Samuel. Wrong again, says God. This goes on through five other men, seven sons in all. None are God’s choice. In the end, young David, just a boy, is called in from his job tending the sheep. David is the one. David is chosen, and in the end he becomes Israel’s greatest king. The Lord teaches Samuel that mortals—people, you and me—see things one way, God sees something else.
In Ezekiel, what we think to be high and mighty, God brings low. The poor and despised, God raises up. What prospers, God diminishes. What is impoverished, God nourishes. The things that people do, God undoes. The things people neglect, God provides for.
It is not, I think, that God is wiser than we are, or smarter, or knows more, or is more just, though all those things are no doubt true. It is that God is freer than we are. God is less burdened by all the things that not only cloud our vision but, even when we see what must be done, make us deny what we see. We bring to every situation a lot of baggage that God is evidently free of.
The parables in Mark tell us, they say, something about what the kingdom of God is like. If that is so, then the rule of God—which is what the kingdom means; the place in which God’s rule prevails—the kingdom is a place, first, of life and growth. These are about living, growing things. And it is a place, second, of provision and plenty. Ripe wheat comes from the harvest. Great shrubs are full with large branches. And it is place, third, of utility, of usefulness. The grain is harvested for nourishment. The branches provide homes for the birds.
And finally, it is a place in which God does the work, not us.
We are the beneficiaries, not the agents. We are not responsible for the useful bounty that comes out of these gardens. It is as if, it says in Mark, as if someone were to scatter seed on the ground and then sleep and rise day and night. How that works, the scatterer does not need to know. The earth produces of itself. And then, after all this happens, that “someone” gathers all the harvest. What these parables say—and they are not alone in the Gospel—is that God provides for us, God’s creatures.
Whenever we hear or read scripture, it is good to pay attention to how we feel. To our hearts. How we feel is a good clue—a better clue than what we think—it is a good clue to what’s going on in the text. And in these parables and in the words of Ezekiel, I suspect, we do not hear yet another burden that God has put on our shoulders. Instead, we hear them with thanksgiving. They comfort us rather than frighten us. That is because the burden is taken up by God. “I, the Lord, have spoken. I will accomplish it,” it says in Ezekiel. I will undo the injustices, I will give water to those who thirst. I will provide dwelling places for my creatures. I the Lord will do these things.
God is the source of all life. We are the living. God gives us life and sustains us. We are the birds. Without the bush, we have no place to nest. We are the tree. Without water we die. God provides the bush, God provides the water. Without God, there is nothing.
The parables are not stories about our power, about how powerful we are. Our power is a joke. A myth. The cause of our sadness. They are instead stories about our dependence, about our powerlessness.
We long for freedom and peace and fulfillment in our lives. Jesus teaches us in the parables that we will not find them in our power to control the world, but in God’s power to provide for us.

Thanks be to God.

Longing, Desire, and the Face of God

http://liturgy.slu.edu/2OrdB011512/reflections_rolheiser.html

(a me questo studio – per la domenica odiena – sembra bellissimo, mi sono aiutata con il traduttore Google, ma non viene molto bene e non ve lo propongo, per chi conosce l’inglese meglio, altrimenti ci sono anche altri traduttori validi per l’inglese)

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time B – January 15, 2012

Reading I: 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
Responsorial Psalm: 40:2,4,7-8, 8-9, 10
Reading II: 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Gospel: John 1:35-42
———————————————

Longing, Desire, and the Face of God

Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him. . . , “Where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see” (Gospel )
At the center of our experience lies an incurable disease, a disquiet, a restlessness, a loneliness, a longing, a yearning, a desire, an ache for something we can never quite name. For what are we longing? What would satisfy our restless energy?
Anne Frank, in her famous diary, asks exactly this question: Today the sun is shining, the sky is a deep blue, there is a lovely breeze and I am longing – so longing – for everything. To talk, for freedom, for friends, to be alone. And I do so long … to cry! I feel as if I am going to burst, and I know it would get better with crying; but I can’t. I’m restless, I go from room to room, breathe through the crack of a closed window, feel my heart beating, as if it was saying, ‘can’t you satisfy my longing at last?’ I believe that it is spring within me; I feel that spring is awakening. I feel it in my whole body and soul. It is an effort to behave normally, I feel utterly confused. I don’t know what to read, what to write, what to do, I only know that I am longing.
That same question is asked everywhere. What would satisfy us? Why this relentless restlessness? In her Children of Violence series of novels, Nobel-prize winning novelist, Doris Lessing, has her heroine, Martha Quest, pose that question as life’s central question: Towards what is all of our energy directed? Devoid of a religious perspective, Martha can only understand human desire as blind, erotic energy, a kind of voltage, ten thousand volts of energy inside us. For what? For whatever we choose – creativity, love, sex, hate, martyrdom, boredom.
What are we longing for ultimately? What would satisfy our restless hearts?
Classically, Christian spirituality has answered the question with a single image, all of our restlessness and disquiet is ultimately a longing to see the face of God. Most famously, Augustine put it this way: You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until the rest in you! In writing that, Augustine drew upon personal experience, but also upon a motif that had long expressed itself within religious men and women.
The idea begins early in the Jewish scriptures: Already at the time of Moses, people are asking the question: Who can see the face of God? We see this in Moses himself when he goes up the mountain to meet God. He asks to see God’s face. God replies: No one can see the face of God and live! (Exodus 33,20) However, when Moses asks this question his desire is still quite literal, his desire is to physically see God.
But as their faith matures, the people of the Israel begin to understand this motif differently. Longing to see the face of God eventually is understood not so much as the physical curiosity to see what God looks like, but rather as an image, a symbol, an end-point for all human desire. To see the face of God is to have all desire quenched, all restlessness stilled, all aching quieted. To see the face of God is to attain complete peace. This is what the Psalmist means by the words: As a deer yearns for flowing streams, so I yearn to see the face of God. I thirst for the living God; when shall I see the face of God? (Psalm 42,1-2)
By the time of Jesus, the idea is everywhere present in Jewish spirituality that the only answer to human longing is to see the face of God. To see God’s face is to come to peace. But we are still left with the question: Who can see the face of God? How is this to be achieved?
Jesus gives an answer: Who can see the face of God? He answers simply: Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall see the face of God. (Matthew 5, 8) That simple phrase then became a one-line mandate to encompass the entire spiritual quest. The Desert Fathers, the classical mystics, and subsequent Christian spirituality in general have focused on one thing in their praxis – attaining purity of heart so as to see the face of God. To work at attaining purity of heart is the ultimate spiritual task.
It is also life’s ultimate task. We long for many things and like Doris Lessing’s heroine, Martha, are both buoyed up and fatigued by our own insatiable energies. These energies push us in every direction, towards creativity, love, sex, hate, martyrdom, boredom. Sometimes we know what we want, a particular relationship, achievement, acceptance, status, job, or home, and we believe that we will find peace by attaining it, but experience has taught us that full peace of heart will not be found, even there. Where will it be found? In purity of heart, in removing those things inside of us that block our connection to the author of all the persons, places, beauty, love, color, and energies for which we ache.At the center of our experience lies an incurable dis-ease, a disquiet, a restlessness, a loneliness, a longing, a yearning, a desire, an ache for something we can never quite name. For what are we longing? What would satisfy our restless energy?
Anne Frank, in her famous diary, asks exactly this question: Today the sun is shining, the sky is a deep blue, there is a lovely breeze and I am longing – so longing – for everything. To talk, for freedom, for friends, to be alone. And I do so long … to cry! I feel as if I am going to burst, and I know it would get better with crying; but I can’t. I’m restless, I go from room to room, breathe through the crack of a closed window, feel my heart beating, as if it was saying, ‘can’t you satisfy my longing at last?’ I believe that it is spring within me; I feel that spring is awakening. I feel it in my whole body and soul. It is an effort to behave normally, I feel utterly confused. I don’t know what to read, what to write, what to do, I only know that I am longing.
That same question is asked everywhere. What would satisfy us? Why this relentless restlessness? In her Children of Violence series of novels, Nobel-prize winning novelist, Doris Lessing, has her heroine, Martha Quest, pose that question as life’s central question: Towards what is all of our energy directed? Devoid of a religious perspective, Martha can only understand human desire as blind, erotic energy, a kind of voltage, ten thousand volts of energy inside us. For what? For whatever we choose – creativity, love, sex, hate, martyrdom, boredom.
What are we longing for ultimately? What would satisfy our restless hearts?
Classically, Christian spirituality has answered the question with a single image, all of our restlessness and disquiet is ultimately a longing to see the face of God. Most famously, Augustine put it this way: You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until the rest in you! In writing that, Augustine drew upon personal experience, but also upon a motif that had long expressed itself within religious men and women.
The idea begins early in the Jewish scriptures: Already at the time of Moses, people are asking the question: Who can see the face of God? We see this in Moses himself when he goes up the mountain to meet God. He asks to see God’s face. God replies: No one can see the face of God and live! (Exodus 33,20) However, when Moses asks this question his desire is still quite literal, his desire is to physically see God.
But as their faith matures, the people of the Israel begin to understand this motif differently. Longing to see the face of God eventually is understood not so much as the physical curiosity to see what God looks like, but rather as an image, a symbol, an end-point for all human desire. To see the face of God is to have all desire quenched, all restlessness stilled, all aching quieted. To see the face of God is to attain complete peace. This is what the Psalmist means by the words: As a deer yearns for flowing streams, so I yearn to see the face of God. I thirst for the living God; when shall I see the face of God? (Psalm 42,1-2)
By the time of Jesus, the idea is everywhere present in Jewish spirituality that the only answer to human longing is to see the face of God. To see God’s face is to come to peace. But we are still left with the question: Who can see the face of God? How is this to be achieved?
Jesus gives an answer: Who can see the face of God? He answers simply: Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall see the face of God. (Matthew 5, 8) That simple phrase then became a one-line mandate to encompass the entire spiritual quest. The Desert Fathers, the classical mystics, and subsequent Christian spirituality in general have focused on one thing in their praxis – attaining purity of heart so as to see the face of God. To work at attaining purity of heart is the ultimate spiritual task.
It is also life’s ultimate task. We long for many things and like Doris Lessing’s heroine, Martha, are both buoyed up and fatigued by our own insatiable energies. These energies push us in every direction, towards creativity, love, sex, hate, martyrdom, boredom. Sometimes we know what we want, a particular relationship, achievement, acceptance, status, job, or home, and we believe that we will find peace by attaining it, but experience has taught us that full peace of heart will not be found, even there. Where will it be found? In purity of heart, in removing those things inside of us that block our connection to the author of all the persons, places, beauty, love, color, and energies for which we ache.

Fr. Ron Rolheiser

All’Areopago digitale: Lezioni di St. Paolo

questo studio è in inglese, in questa lingua, da varie parti del mondo, ci sono molti studi su S. Paolo, io l’inglese lo leggo, ma non sono in grado di fare la traduzione, mi sembra che la traduzione Google sia comprensibile, forse, vale la pena di leggerla ugualmente, certo chi conosce l’inglese puù leggere dal testo originale, dal sito:

 http://viralcatholic.com/lessons-from-paul#more-70

All’Areopago digitale: Lezioni di St. Paolo

[The Digital Areopagus: Lessons From Saint Paul]

da BRIAN Killian su 3 Maggio 2011
Ad Atene, San Paolo predicò ai Greci. All’Areopago, il luogo d’incontro dei filosofi che amava ascoltare nuove idee e di discussione-Paul ha dato il suo famoso discorso. Sulla strada per all’Areopago, Paolo aveva preso nota di uno dei loro altari con la scritta: « . Per un dio ignoto » ET che era necessario per ottenere tutti un piede nella porta della loro mente. Egli cominciò a dire ‘em di questo ignoto Dio, Creatore e Padre di Gesù Cristo chi ET risuscitato dai morti. Anche se Paolo predicò in molti luoghi, per molti versi questo episodio all’Areopago è un modello per noi che Scherzi a prendere la chiamata a evangelizzare il « digital areopago »-Internet. Ecco alcune riflessioni sulla quell’incontro.
Ora, mentre Paul WS in attesa di ‘em ad Atene, la storia Provocato Spirito dentro di lui era come lui ha visto la città che era piena di idoli. Così nella sinagoga ET Arguedas con gli ebrei e le persone pie, e nel mercato ogni giorno con coloro che per caso di essere lì. Alcuni dei THW aussi epicurei e filosofi stoici lo mette. E alcuni dicevano: « Che cosa dice questo ciarlatano? » Altri Disse: « Sembra essere un predicatore di divinità straniere » – poiché annunziava Gesù e la risurrezione. E hanno preso possesso di lui e lo ha portato a all’Areopago, dicendo: « Possiamo sapere che cosa è questa nuova dottrina che si presenti? Per alcune cose strane Bring You alle nostre orecchie, vogliamo sapere che cosa queste cose Appositamente dire.  »
« Il suo spirito Provocato witihin lui era come vide la città che era piena di idoli »
Questo è l’inizio di evangelizzazione, Essere Provocato dal bisogno della gente di Dio. Ci deve essere spostata, come era san Paolo, per la presenza di idoli nella vita di tanti uomini. In rete anche tutti gli idoli che la gente ha fatto nel mondo offline. Il web ha il suo lato oscuro, è una città piena di idoli, è pieno di persone che si perdono, che vagano nel buio, che cercano le notizie di cose nuove. Questo dovrebbe provocare il nostro spirito troppo, vedendo tanta oscurità, il vuoto, e l’errore, We Should Be Moved per portare il calore della carità, la luce della verità, e il fuoco del Vangelo sul web.
« Così nella sinagoga ET Arguedas … e nel mercato ogni giorno »
La sinagoga e il mercato. Questa è un’immagine delle due direzioni di evangelizzazione. Intra ed extra, i rivestimenti interni e rivestimenti direzioni verso l’esterno della testimonianza e dell’evangelizzazione. Le sinagoghe religiosi che rappresentano propri simili. E ‘la « caduta », che ET Have To predicare al fine di ispirare e di rafforzarsi a vicenda la propria fede. Come pellegrini sulla strada, abbiamo bisogno di una spinta alla nostra fede, la ragione di speranza, e gli esempi di fede. La sinagoga può anche rappresentare le nostre esigenze di entrare in altre religioni, dialogo con i cristiani e con coloro che sono separati da noi. Scopo conversare con i nostri e quelli con religiosamente vicino a noi non è sufficiente. Non possiamo predicare al coro semplicemente Oro si impegna in inter-religoud dialogo. Dobbiamo andare al mercato aussi. Il mercato è dove incontriamo quelli al di fuori del coro.
Non si sa mai quello che troverete nella piazza del mercato. Che Paolo era comodo andare al mercato a predicare e ci mostrano che sostiene Predicare il Vangelo è incompatibile con non è l’attività del mercato. Il mercato è dove la gente comune le cose, e che è stato Paolo aveva notizia troppo bella per tenere a sé. La predicazione di Paolo al Marketplace che dovrebbe mostrarci sul Web, una forma di evangelizzazione è il marketing. Il Vangelo non hanno finalità commerciali, l’obiettivo se si ignora il « marketing » Tu non lo sarà nemmeno un evangelista molto efficace. Sul web si trovano sia la sinagoga e il mercato. Ci dovrebbe essere sia in questo momento.
« Hanno lo afferrò e lo portò a all’Areopago »
All’Areopago Dov’era la spazio porta la gente a sentir parlare di nuove idee e per discutere e filosofeggiare. Era in quel luogo che Paolo discorso fatto storia per gli Stoici greci e filosofi. Il Web è all’Areopago digitale Perché è un popolo globale spazio pubblico Dove Incontro dibattito e discutere, ascoltare e scambiare notizie e opinioni e le loro opinioni. Come Paolo, dobbiamo presentare esserci anch’io, con coraggio Annunciando siamo News proprietario di Good, la ragione della nostra speranza, la « risurrezione dei morti. »
« Bring You cose strane per le nostre orecchie »
Perché era quello che i Greci Heard That strano e nuovo si fermarono ad ascoltare. Questo è l’anno lezione importante. Messaggio di Paolo non avrebbero avuto se era solo Annunciando cose che erano vecchio cappello per i greci. Se Annunciando Egli era qualcosa che era e standard comuni, che non avrebbe ottenuto l’attenzione della gente è. Cose scopo che sono strane, cose che sono diverse, distinguersi e attenzione attrazioni. Papa Benedetto implorando di andare oltre le formule della fede che non ci parlano più, e make ‘em nuovo. Quando Modi di pensare la fede diventa stantio, dobbiamo fare ‘em sale di nuovo. Make ‘em sembrare (apparentemente) così strano che raggiungano le orecchie della gente. Il Vangelo deve sempre essere fatta ogni nuovo popolo e di ogni età in modo che possa properyly sfida ‘em.
Così Paolo, in piedi in mezzo all’Areopago, disse: « Uomini di Atene, vedo che in ogni modo siete molto religiosi. Per lungo ho superato, e gli oggetti osservati del vostro culto, ho trovato altare anni aussi con l’iscrizione « A un dio ignoto ». Quello che voi adorate Appositamente sconosciuto, io ve lo annunzio a voi …. Quando sentirono parlare di risurrezione dei morti, alcuni lo deridevano; Altri obiettivi Disse: « Ti sentiremo su questo un’altra volta. » Così Paolo uscì da quella riunione. Scopo Alcuni uomini si unirono a lui e creduto, tra i quali Dionigi l’Areopagita e una donna di nome Damaris e altri con ‘em.
L’altare di « un dio ignoto »
Aristotele diceva che una persona non può venire non sa cosa ET, ad eccezione di ET-through sa già cosa. In altre parole, al fine di insegnare qualcosa di nuovo qualcuno, si deve vedere si riferisce a qualcosa che già sanno. Paolo fa uso di questa lezione fundemental nella comunicazione, dal discorso circa l’inizio della storia di Dio creatore con un riferimento al luogo di loro dio sconosciuto. Con l’introduzione del Dio ebraico per mezzo di qualcosa che già conoscono a loro in qualche modo, ET rende il passaggio più facile per la novità del suo messaggio. Questo è il marchio di tutti i grandi maestri. Basta guardare a Papa Benedetto e l’ET usa metafore per insegnare la fede. Ora, Gesù e le sue parabole. Iniziano con qualcosa che la gente sa, e si riferisce quindi a qualcosa che non sapevano, portando nuova comprensione. Questo metodo funziona con i nuovi media come fa con i vecchi media. E ‘uno dei fundementals della creazione di contenuti grandi e ingrediente essenziale in anno Creazione di contenuto virale che si diffonde attraverso il web.
« Alcuni lo deridevano; Altro obiettivo ha detto ‘Ti sentiremo su questo un’altra volta’.
Quando usciamo al mercato, in linea o qualsiasi altro luogo, dobbiamo aspettarci di essere derisi e ridicolizzati. Questo non ci deve fermare, sarà anche per chi dice « We Will sente di più su questo », e altri aussi crederanno. Non sappiamo quello che sono stati piantati i semi e quando saranno i suoi frutti. Scopo se le persone sono in giro, ci può essere certi che altre sono segretamente desiderose di saperne di più.
« Alcuni lo raggiunse e credette ».
Non è forse questo l’obiettivo di tutta l’evangelizzazione? Solo Annunciando la Buona Novella crederete persone e unisciti a noi, divenendo membri del Corpo di Cristo. La predicazione di Paolo nella sinagoga, il mercato, e all’Areopago ci mostra come evangelizzare online. Le caratteristiche delle azioni Internet ‘em all. Se Paolo oggi erano intorno, No Doubt ET Sarebbe stato in linea. ET Come non potrebbe essere attratto da tutte le persone lì? Come potrebbe resistere ET Such A all’Areopago globale? Tutto quello che dobbiamo guardare alla storia DO IS metodo e applicarlo ai nostri sforzi in linea. E se siamo fortunati, ci sarà preso in giro, bevuto ci sarà anche dare i suoi frutti.

Christ the Lord is risen again!

dal sito:

http://revprs.blogspot.com/2009/04/joy-of-resurrection-6.html

Christ the Lord is risen again!
Christ hath broken every chain!
Hark! angelic voices cry,
singing evermore on high,
Alleluia!

He who gave for us his life,
who for us endured the strife,
is our Paschal Lamb today;
we too sing for joy, and say:
Alleluia!

He who bore all pain and loss
comfortless upon the cross
lives in glory now on high,
pleads for us, and hears our cry;
Alleluia!

He who slumbered in the grave
is exalted now to save;
through the universe it rings
that the Lamb is King of kings:
Alleluia!

Now he bids us tell abroad
how the lost may be restored,
how the penitent forgiven,
how we too may enter heaven.
Alleluia!

Thou, our Paschal Lamb indeed,
Christ, thy ransomed people feed;
take our sins and guilt away,
that we all may sing for aye
Alleluia!

Peter Simpson (deacon in the Catholic Church)

St. Paul’s Prayers for Wisdom and Understanding (4 Prayer: Ep 1: 17.23; Ep 3:14-21; Ph 1:1,9-11; Col 1:1,9-11)

dal sito:

http://www.aaidu.org/prayer.html

St. Paul’s Prayers for Wisdom and Understanding  

(Amplified Version)

 Paul’s Prayers  (4 Prayer: Ep 1: 17.23; Ep 3:14-21;  Ph 1:1,9-11;  Col 1:1,9-11   )

   
 First Prayer 

       [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the deep and intimate knowledge of Him

     By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones).

    And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength.

       Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places].

       Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.

     And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the Church, [a headship exercised throughout the church].

      Which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all [for in the body lives the full measure of Him who makes everything complete, and who will everything everywhere with Himself]. Amen
  
    Ephesians 1:17-23 
  
  
Second Prayer
  
            For this reason [seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

       For whom every family in heaven and on earth is named [that Father from whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name].

      May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell [settle down, abide, make His permanent home] in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,

     That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God's devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];

      [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

       Now to Him who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super abundantly far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams]-

      To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen so be it
  
    Ephesians 3:14-21  
 
   Third Prayer

  
        PAUL AND Timothy, bond servants of Christ Jesus (the Messiah) to all the saints (God’s consecrated people) in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops (overseers) and deacons (assistants).

     And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment],

      So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble].

      May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honour and praise of God that His glory may be both manifested and recognized. Amen
  
    Philippians:1:1,9-11 
  
   Fourth Prayer
  
        PAUL, AN apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the will of God, and Timothy [our] brother.

     For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things-

     That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition].

      [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy.
  
    Colossians:1:1,9-11

SAINT PAUL APOSTLE JOURNEY, ANIMATED INTERACTIVE MAPS (ANDATE A VEDERE! MA METTO ANCHE IL LINK)

 http://www.apostlepaulthefilm.com/paul/journeys.htm

Journeys
Below you will find links to animated, interactive maps for each of the Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys. Click on a city or district name for information on the history of that region and Paul’s ministry there. Information about the modern-day cities is sometime also provided.

PAUL – ENGLISH (IN LINGUA INGLESE)

una parte l’ho messa io tra dei trattini, la traduco perché riguarda il soggiorno in Arabia del quale trovo poco, dal sito:

http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/paul.html

Paul

Paul, the apostle, was born about the same time as our Lord. His circumcision-name was Saul, and probably the name Paul was also given to him in infancy « for use in the Gentile world, » as “Saul” would be his Hebrew home-name. He was a native of Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, a Roman province in the southeast of Asia Minor. That city stood on the banks of the river Cydnus, which was navigable thus far; hence it became a center of extensive commercial traffic with many countries along the shores of the Mediterranean, as well as with the countries of central Asia Minor. It thus became a city distinguished for the wealth of its inhabitants.

Tarsus was also the seat of a famous university, higher in reputation even than the universities of Athens and Alexandria, the only others that then existed. Here Saul was born, and here he spent his youth, doubtless enjoying the best education his native city could afford.

HIS RELATIVES – His father was of the straitest sect of the Jews, a Pharisee, of the tribe of Benjamin, of pure and unmixed Jewish blood (Acts 23:6; Phil. 3:5). We learn nothing regarding his mother; but there is reason to conclude that she was a pious woman, and that, like-minded with her husband, she exercised all a mother influence in moulding the character of her son, so that he could afterwards speak of himself as being, from his youth up, « touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless » (Phil. 3:6).

We read of his sister and his sister’s son (Acts 23:16), and of other relatives (Rom. 16:7, 11,12). There is no indication that Paul was ever married.

Though a Jew, his father was a Roman citizen. How he obtained this privilege we are not informed. « It might be bought, or won by distinguished service to the state, or acquired in several other ways; at all events, his son was freeborn. It was a valuable privilege, and one that was to prove of great use to Paul, although not in the way in which his father might have been expected to desire him to make use of it. »

HIS EDUCATION AND CAREER – Perhaps the most natural career for the youth to follow was that of a merchant. « But it was decided that… he should go to college and become a rabbi, that is, a minister, a teacher, and a lawyer all in one. »

According to Jewish custom, however, he learned a trade before entering on the more direct preparation for the sacred profession. The trade he acquired was the making of tents from goats’ hair cloth, a trade which was one of the commonest in Tarsus.

His preliminary education having been completed, Saul was sent, when about thirteen years of age probably, to the great Jewish school of sacred learning at Jerusalem as a student of the law. Here he became a pupil of the celebrated rabbi Gamaliel, and here he spent many years in an elaborate study of the Scriptures and of the many questions concerning them with which the rabbis exercised themselves. During these years of diligent study he lived « in all good conscience, » unstained by the vices of that great city.

After the period of his student-life expired, he probably left Jerusalem for Tarsus, where he may have been engaged in connection with some synagogue for some years. But we find him back again at Jerusalem very soon after the death of our Lord. Here he now learned the particulars regarding the crucifixion, and the rise of the new sect of the « Nazarenes. »

For some two years after Pentecost, Christianity was quietly spreading its influence in Jerusalem. At length Stephen, one of the seven deacons, gave forth more public and aggressive testimony that Jesus was the Messiah, and this led to much excitement among the Jews and much disputation in their synagogues. Persecution arose against Stephen and the followers of Christ generally, in which Saul of Tarsus took a prominent part. He was at this time probably a member of the great Sanhedrin, and became the active leader in the furious persecution by which the rulers then sought to exterminate Christianity.

But the object of this persecution also failed. « They that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word. » The anger of the persecutor was thereby kindled into a fiercer flame. Hearing that fugitives had taken refuge in Damascus, he obtained from the chief priest letters authorizing him to proceed thither on his persecuting career. This was a long journey of about 130 miles, which would occupy perhaps six days, during which, with his few attendants, he steadily went onward, “breathing out threatenings and slaughter.” But the crisis of his life was at hand. He had reached the last stage of his journey, and was within sight of Damascus. As he and his companions rode on, suddenly at mid-day a brilliant light shone round them, and Saul was laid prostrate in terror on the ground, a voice sounding in his ears, « Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? » The risen Savior was there, clothed in the vesture of his glorified humanity. In answer to the anxious inquiry of the stricken persecutor, “Who art thou, Lord?” he said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9:5; 22:8; 26:15).

This was the moment of his conversion, the most solemn in all his life, blinded by the dazzling light (Acts 9:8), his companions led him into the city, where, absorbed in deep thought for three days, he neither ate nor drank (9:11). Ananias, a disciple living in Damascus, was informed by a vision of the change that had happened to Saul, and was sent to him to open his eyes and admit him by baptism into the Christian church (9:11-16). The whole purpose of his life was now permanently changed.

——————————————–

Immediately after his conversion he retired into the solitudes of Arabia (Gal. 1:17), perhaps of “Sinai in Arabia,” for the purpose, probably, of devout study and meditation on the marvellous revelation that had been made to him. « A veil of thick darkness hangs over this visit to Arabia. Of the scenes among which he moved, of the thoughts and occupations which engaged him while there, of all the circumstances of a crisis which must have shaped the whole tenor of his after-life, absolutely nothing is known. ‘Immediately,’ says St. Paul, ‘I went away into Arabia.’ The historian passes over the incident [compare Acts 9:23 and 1 Kings 11:38,39]. It is a mysterious pause, a moment of suspense, in the apostle’s history, a breathless calm, which ushers in the tumultuous storm of his active missionary life. » Coming back, after three years, to Damascus, he began to preach the gospel “boldly in the name of Jesus” (Acts 9:27), but was soon obliged to flee (9:25; 2 Cor. 11:33) from the Jews and betake himself to Jerusalem. Here he tarried for three weeks, but was again forced to flee (Acts 9:28,29) from persecution. He now returned to his native Tarsus (Gal. 1:21), where, for probably about three years, we lose sight of him. The time had not yet come for his entering on his great life-work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.

———————————————————-

At length the city of Antioch, the capital of Syria, became the scene of great Christian activity. There the gospel gained a firm footing, and the cause of Christ prospered. Barnabas (q.v.), who had been sent from Jerusalem to superintend the work at Antioch, found it too much for him, and remembering Saul, he set out to Tarsus to seek for him. He readily responded to the call thus addressed to him, and came down to Antioch, which for “a whole year” became the scene of his labors, which were crowned with great success. The disciples now, for the first time, were called “Christians” (Acts 11:26).

The church at Antioch now proposed to send out missionaries to the Gentiles, and Saul and Barnabas, with John Mark as their attendant, were chosen for this work. This was a great epoch in the history of the church. Now the disciples began to give effect to the Master’s command: « Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. »

The three missionaries went forth on the first missionary tour. They sailed from Seleucia, the seaport of Antioch, across to Cyprus, some 80 miles to the southwest. Here at Paphos, Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, was converted, and now Saul took the lead, and was ever afterwards called Paul. The missionaries now crossed to the mainland, and then proceeded 6 or 7 miles up the river Cestrus to Perga (Acts 13:13), where John Mark deserted the work and returned to Jerusalem. The two then proceeded about 100 miles inland, passing through Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia. The towns mentioned in this tour are the Pisidian Antioch, where Paul delivered his first address of which we have any record (13:16-51; compare 10:30-43), Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. They returned by the same route to see and encourage the converts they had made, and ordain elders in every city to watch over the churches which had been gathered. From Perga they sailed direct for Antioch, from which they had set out.

After remaining “a long time”, probably till A.D. 50 or 51, in Antioch, a great controversy broke out in the church there regarding the relation of the Gentiles to the Mosaic law. For the purpose of obtaining a settlement of this question, Paul and Barnabas were sent as deputies to consult the church at Jerusalem. The council or synod which was there held (Acts 15) decided against the Judaizing party; and the deputies, accompanied by Judas and Silas, returned to Antioch, bringing with them the decree of the council.

After a short rest at Antioch, Paul said to Barnabas: « Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. » Mark proposed again to accompany them; but Paul refused to allow him to go. Barnabas was resolved to take Mark, and thus he and Paul had a sharp contention. They separated, and never again met. Paul, however, afterwards speaks with honor of Barnabas, and sends for Mark to come to him at Rome (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11).

Paul took with him Silas, instead of Barnabas, and began his second missionary journey about A.D. 51. This time he went by land, revisiting the churches he had already founded in Asia. But he longed to enter into “regions beyond,” and still went forward through Phrygia and Galatia (16:6). Contrary to his intention, he was constrained to linger in Galatia (q.v.), on account of some bodily affliction (Gal. 4:13, 14). Bithynia, a populous province on the shore of the Black Sea, lay now before him, and he wished to enter it; but the way was shut, the Spirit in some manner guiding him in another direction, till he came down to the shores of the AEgean and arrived at Troas, on the northwestern coast of Asia Minor (Acts 16:8). Of this long journey from Antioch to Troas we have no account except some references to it in his Epistle to the Galatians (4:13).

As he waited at Troas for indications of the will of God as to his future movements, he saw, in the vision of the night, a man from the opposite shores of Macedonia standing before him, and heard him cry, « Come over, and help us » (Acts 16:9). Paul recognized in this vision a message from the Lord, and the very next day set sail across the Hellespont, which separated him from Europe, and carried the tidings of the gospel into the Western world. In Macedonia, churches were planted in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. Leaving this province, Paul passed into Achaia, “the paradise of genius and renown.” He reached Athens, but quitted it after, probably, a brief sojourn (17:17-31). The Athenians had received him with cold disdain, and he never visited that city again. He passed over to Corinth, the seat of the Roman government of Achaia, and remained there a year and a half, laboring with much success. While at Corinth, he wrote his two epistles to the church of Thessalonica, his earliest apostolic letters, and then sailed for Syria, that he might be in time to keep the feast of Pentecost at Jerusalem. He was accompanied by Aquila and Priscilla, whom he left at Ephesus, at which he touched, after a voyage of thirteen or fifteen days. He landed at Caesarea, and went up to Jerusalem, and having “saluted the church” there, and kept the feast, he left for Antioch, where he abode “some time” (Acts 18:20-23).

He then began his third missionary tour. He journeyed by land in the “upper coasts” (the more eastern parts) of Asia Minor, and at length made his way to Ephesus, where he tarried for no less than three years, engaged in ceaseless Christian labor. « This city was at the time the Liverpool of the Mediterranean. It possessed a splendid harbor, in which was concentrated the traffic of the sea which was then the highway of the nations; and as Liverpool has behind her the great towns of Lancashire, so had Ephesus behind and around her such cities as those mentioned along with her in the epistles to the churches in the book of Revelation, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It was a city of vast wealth, and it was given over to every kind of pleasure, the fame of its theatres and race-course being world-wide » (Stalker’s Life of St. Paul). Here a “great door and effectual” was opened to the apostle. His fellow-laborers aided him in his work, carrying the gospel to Colosse and Laodicea and other places which they could reach.

Very shortly before his departure from Ephesus, the apostle wrote his First Epistle to the Corinthians (q.v.). The silversmiths, whose traffic in the little images which they made was in danger (see DEMETRIUS), organized a riot against Paul, and he left the city, and proceeded to Troas (2 Cor. 2:12), whence after some time he went to meet Titus in Macedonia. Here, in consequence of the report Titus brought from Corinth, he wrote his second epistle to that church. Having spent probably most of the summer and autumn in Macedonia, visiting the churches there, specially the churches of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, probably penetrating into the interior, to the shores of the Adriatic (Rom. 15:19), he then came into Greece, where he abode three month, spending probably the greater part of this time in Corinth (Acts 20:2). During his stay in this city he wrote his Epistle to the Galatians, and also the great Epistle to the Romans. At the end of the three months he left Achaia for Macedonia, thence crossed into Asia Minor, and touching at Miletus, there addressed the Ephesian presbyters, whom he had sent for to meet him (Acts 20:17), and then sailed for Tyre, finally reaching Jerusalem, probably in the spring of A.D. 58.

While at Jerusalem, at the feast of Pentecost, he was almost murdered by a Jewish mob in the temple. (See TEMPLE, HEROD’S.) Rescued from their violence by the Roman commandant, he was conveyed as a prisoner to Caesarea, where, from various causes, he was detained a prisoner for two years in Herod’s Praetorium (Acts 23:35). « Paul was not kept in close confinement; he had at least the range of the barracks in which he was detained. There we can imagine him pacing the ramparts on the edge of the Mediterranean, and gazing wistfully across the blue waters in the direction of Macedonia, Achaia, and Ephesus, where his spiritual children were pining for him, or perhaps encountering dangers in which they sorely needed his presence. It was a mysterious providence which thus arrested his energies and condemned the ardent worker to inactivity; yet we can now see the reason for it. Paul was needing rest. After twenty years of incessant evangelization, he required leisure to garner the harvest of experience… During these two years he wrote nothing; it was a time of internal mental activity and silent progress » (Stalker’s Life of St. Paul).

At the end of these two years Felix (q.v.) was succeeded in the governorship of Palestine by Porcius Festus, before whom the apostle was again heard. But judging it right at this crisis to claim the privilege of a Roman citizen, he appealed to the emperor (Acts 25:11). Such an appeal could not be disregarded, and Paul was at once sent on to Rome under the charge of one Julius, a centurion of the “Augustan cohort.” After a long and perilous voyage, he at length reached the imperial city in the early spring, probably, of A.D. 61. Here he was permitted to occupy his own hired house, under constant military custody. This privilege was accorded to him, no doubt, because he was a Roman citizen, and as such could not be put into prison without a trial. The soldiers who kept guard over Paul were of course changed at frequent intervals, and thus he had the opportunity of preaching the gospel to many of them during these “two whole years,” and with the blessed result of spreading among the imperial guards, and even in Caesar’s household, an interest in the truth (Phil. 1:13). His rooms were resorted to by many anxious inquirers, both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 28:23, 30,31), and thus his imprisonment “turned rather to the furtherance of the gospel,” and his “hired house” became the center of a gracious influence which spread over the whole city. According to a Jewish tradition, it was situated on the borders of the modern Ghetto, which has been the Jewish quarters in Rome from the time of Pompey to the present day. During this period the apostle wrote his epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and to Philemon, and probably also to the Hebrews.

This first imprisonment came at length to a close, Paul having been acquitted, probably because no witnesses appeared against him. Once more he set out on his missionary labors, probably visiting western and eastern Europe and Asia Minor. During this period of freedom he wrote his First Epistle to Timothy and his Epistle to Titus. The year of his release was signalized by the burning of Rome, which Nero saw fit to attribute to the Christians. A fierce persecution now broke out against the Christians. Paul was seized, and once more conveyed to Rome a prisoner.

During this imprisonment he probably wrote the Second Epistle to Timothy, the last he ever wrote. « There can be little doubt that he appeared again at Nero’s bar, and this time the charge did not break down. In all history there is not a more startling illustration of the irony of human life than this scene of Paul at the bar of Nero. On the judgment-seat, clad in the imperial purple, sat a man who, in a bad world, had attained the eminence of being the very worst and meanest being in it, a man stained with every crime, a man whose whole being was so steeped in every nameable and unnameable vice, that body and soul of him were, as some one said at the time, nothing but a compound of mud and blood; and in the prisoner’s dock stood the best man the world possessed, his hair whitened with labors for the good of men and the glory of God. The trial ended: Paul was condemned, and delivered over to the executioner. He was led out of the city, with a crowd of the lowest rabble at his heels. The fatal spot was reached; he knelt beside the block; the headsman’s axe gleamed in the sun and fell; and the head of the apostle of the world rolled down in the dust » (probably A.D. 66), four years before the fall of Jerusalem.

Author: Matthew G. Easton, with minor editing by Paul S. Taylor.

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