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A SUNDAY STORY


A SUNDAY STORY

At the end of the Gospel of John, the Evangelist makes the following claim:

This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. (24-25)

This claim is the driving force behind “A Sunday Story.” Have you ever wondered about – for example – what happened to the Roman Centurion after he made his claim as to who Jesus is? Or maybe you have pondered, the woman who was caught in adultery that Jesus refused to condemn, what is her story? If you have, then you will understand the depth of the process called “walking between the lines.”
Each week (for the Sunday Gospel), our DRE, Earl Gervais will ponder the story, and share with you, what else might have been going on. Here is a brief description of how you can also join in the walking.

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In my book, Walking Between The Lines: Some Stories The Bible Didn’t Tell, I offer an imaginative way of digging into the stories of Scripture. I suggest to the reader that when Scripture is opened, it can be read, and listened to, or even retold, from the point of view of someone who was actually there – from the words of the Evangelist, or even from the words of someone “who might have been there.” It is a process of allowing the beauty and the mystery of the stories to fill our imaginations, our hearts, and our souls.

The Basic steps are as follows:

·       Pick a story from Scripture, then read it. But don’t just read it, allow it to come alive within you, close your eyes, and BE THERE.

·       Start by choosing a character – one who is actually in the Scripture story, e.g. Peter, the Samaritan woman at the well, the Roman Centurion at the foot of the cross; or imagine a character who might have been there, e.g. the owner of the boat that Jesus took out into the Sea of Galilee, or maybe a very dear friend of Jairus, the synagogue official whose daughter was brought back from death, or as we will do in this weekly adventure, the daughter of the innkeeper, or a stable hand, a shepherd maybe, an apprentice to the magi, or any number of souls who could have been there – then allow that character to share their full story with you. (You will see what I mean as you read the stories found here.)

It is my hope, my prayer, that once you allow yourself to “walk between the lines,” you won’t be able to look at our marvelous faith story any other way. And I pray that God will whisper messages, and thoughts of peace and joy into your heart. Here, in A Sunday Story, I will offer to you a story that hopefully will take you to a deeper reflection of the Sunday Gospel. And should you wish, I welcome your thoughts, and your feedback. Just e-mail them to egervais@arch-no.org. Feel free to imagine your own stories of what could have been.

MGPJ&LBEAYSWTJL

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   Week of January 13-14, 2018

As you read, or listen to the Gospel stories, have you ever wondered about those people who knew the Apostles - the relationships that the Apostles had that are not recorded in the Scriptures? Well in this week's Sunday Story, I take a look at one of Andrew's friend (the one who is not named.) And for your reflection, ask yourself, what do you do when the messiah, the Savior, is pointed out to you? Do you follow, do you rejoice, do you point out to those around you, who this Jesus is?


                                                                                                   
New Directions (John 1: 35-42)
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Cycle B

I have known Andrew for as long as I could remember. My father, Aaron, worked one of Andrew’s father’s boats.  Both of our families lived, breathed, and some of us, died Galilean fisherman. Andrew’s brother Simon, to this day still feels responsible for the death of my brother. No matter how many times I try to tell him, it was not his fault that the boat shifted and knocked Jacob into the water where he got tangled in the net. As my mother explained, Yahweh called Jacob to His side, it really was just that simple. But, I have a more joyful story to share with you.
I clearly remember the day Andrew said to me, “Yared, I think I have found the messiah.”
Of course I told him he was out of his mind, but he insisted. Then one day he convinced me to come with him to the River Jordan, and just listen, see for myself, so I did. For some time, like Andrew I began to believe that maybe, this John, this Baptizer, was indeed the One. However, it was not the case, for John would constantly remind us – it was not him we should be seeking.
Andrew and I had begun to spend more time at the river listening to John than we did working the boats, which made Simon very angry. Every time Andrew would mention to Simon that John told us that, one is coming after him who would baptize all of Israel in the Spirit, Simon would get so agitated, calling Andrew a fool for believing anything that a man who wears camel hair, and feasts on locusts would say. But then, there was this one day when everything changed. The world, our life fishing the waters of the Sea of Galilee, would be spun around, and pointed in directions that we could never have imagined.
Andrew and I were out very early the next morning. We finished repairing the two nets that had gotten caught on rocks. As soon as we finished, we headed out to meet up with John. While we were walking Andrew asked me a question that I don’t think I had ever considered, at least never since I met John.
“Yared, what would be your first words to the Christos if you get the chance to meet him?”
I had never thought about it.
“What took you so long?”
We both laughed.
“I know what I would ask,” said Andrew. “Without any hesitation, I would ask what do I need to do, so that I might follow him.”
“What if he gave you some impossible task?”
“I would figure out some way to complete it, because what could be more fulfilling in life than to follow the one who has the answers to all of life’s riddles?”
All I could do was shrug my shoulders in complete agreement.
We reached the spot where John was staying, and it was just that, a spot. John had been practically living in the wild, no shelter of any kind.
“Come, sit a moment my friends, you will not believe what happened yesterday.”
Andrew spoke, “Did we miss something?”
“I have seen him. I baptized him. I was not fit to tie his sandal strap, yet he called for me to baptize him.”
We spent the rest of the day with John, listening to him speak of doves, and voices from above. I could not make any sense of any of it other than the realization that John had experienced the Spirt of Yahweh. It must have been close to the end of the day for the sun was getting closer to the horizon. Suddenly John stood up.
John looked directly at a man who was walking by, “Behold the Lamb of God.”
Andrew also stood, “Is it Christ?”
John nodded.
Andrew grabbed at my tunic, pulled me to my feet, and we followed the man. The man stopped, turned, and faced us.
“What are you looking for?”
Something began to well up from deep inside me; a feeling unlike any I had ever had. Everything went empty, then a peace began to fill every fiber of my being. I don’t know why, but I asked, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”

“Come, and I shall show you.”
Andrew and I followed him to a small house and stayed with him for the night, and we did not sleep, we only listened. Yeshua is how he called himself, but Andrew and I knew. We had found the Christ.
When the sun rose, Andrew went to get his brother Simon. They returned, and before Simon could properly introduce himself, Yeshua called out, “You are Simon, son of John, you will be called Cephas. One day you will lead all of Yahweh’s children.
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