The video at the bottom of this page is a commentary on the Gospel of John by Fr. Francis Martin, an excellent and well known biblical scholar. He has given many priest retreats, and taught in many settings, most recently at the Dominican House of Studies here in Washington.
He has been a great teacher of mine though his retreats and tape ministry. He has also been instrumental in my spiritual life through his careful and clear articulation of a theology of transformation, and insistence that we, as Christians, come to know and live the normal Christian life, a life of on-going and total transformation by the grace of God. He is a humble and prayerful man of God, a holy priest.
Recently Fr. Martin has begun a YouTube ministry that I would like to recommend to your attention. The video at the bottom is but a sample of a growing series. I want to be brief here to encourage you to take the time and watch the video. Fr. Martin is here covering the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus, in John’s gospel. Among the points he makes are these
1. Going up to Jerusalem- You always go up to Jerusalem. It doesn’t matter where you live, south or north, even if you live in the highest mountains, you always go up to Jerusalem.
2. Temple Worship is over - The cleansing of the Temple marks a major turning point in the Lord’s life. One of the over arching themes of the Gospel of John is that Temple worship is over. Jesus is now the temple.
3. Time – we in the modern West like to control things by measuring them. Time for us (especially in America) is considered a precise measurement, and it’s a way we try to stay in control. But in ancient culture, (and in many cultures today), the idea of space and time were different, more poetic, less precise. “Tuesday morning at 10 AM” is precise for us, for the ancients, it was a more general framework. This helps explain why John places the cleansing of the Temple at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, the Synoptics at the end. The time is less the point to them. We obsess over which is right, but they were less concerned with when and more with what.
4. What is the Theology of Geography?
5. Why were there money changers and the selling of animals?
6. What was the spiritual problem against which Jesus is reacting?
Please consider taking some time to view the video. It is very informative and spiritual. Fr. Martin’s style is relaxed and subtle. Listen carefully and let the Lord teach you through him.
Father’s YouTube page is here: Fr. Francis Martin Ministries