Jesus and the Inversion of Social Order

Fred Laceda

They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Mark 9:30-37 NIV

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Despicable Pharisees: Reflection on Luke 18:9-14

Nestor Ravilas

What else could we get from the story? Its lesson is plain and simple, “for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted”. To dig more to it is to overdo it, and to overdo it is to spoil it. So better go and do what it says!

But for those with untrammelled imagination, follow me please into the wild.

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Poor and Strangers: The sacrificial victims among us a reflection on Mark 9:38-48

By Nestor Ravilas

They do not have to be innocent; they must be defiled with criminal stigma to deserve punishment. After all, Jesus himself was not an innocent victim as traditionally assumed. Otherwise, the crowd will not unanimously participate on his death if he was declared guiltless. His putative pretension to be the king of the Jews was the crime that had persuaded the mob to participate on his lynching. An innocent sacrifice will cause repulsion, which will jeopardize the position of those in power through a sudden gush of revolt. The case of Kian Delos Santos is a case in point. It is necessary for surrogate victims to be demonized, to be branded either as criminal or monster. There goes the argument that drug addiction and criminality are one and the same.

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The Narrative of Paul: Politics of Memory and the Subversion of Gospel Story

by Nestor Ravilas

paulI was in a classroom and challenged.  The teacher stood feisty waiting for more responses.  I was in a retreat mode; even John 1:1 was already offered to prove the divinity of Jesus, but to no avail.  Most of the first chapter of the Gospel of John is not part of the gospel story, the teacher insisted.  It was the author’s introduction of the gospel story which technically started in verse 19.  Thus it was alien to the sacred story which was entrusted and eventually become the guiding light of the emerging community inspired by the incessant retelling of this story.

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