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June 21, 2007
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June 21, 2007
Last Bible Study by Fr. John at St. Jude's —
It was so good I am trying to record some of
it here for you.
Bible Study Notes I recorded
June 20, 2007
from Bible Study given by Fr. John J. Pasquini
John 9: 1-40
As he went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should have been born blind?’ ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered, ‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be revealed in him.
'As long as day lasts
we must carry out the work of the one
who sent me;
the night will soon be here
when no one can work.
As long as I am in the world
I am the light of the world.’
Having said this, he spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man, and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (the name means ‘one who has been sent’). So he went off and washed and came back able to see.
His neighbours and the people who used to see him before (for he was a beggar) said, ‘Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one.' Others said, 'No, but he looks just like him.’ The man himself said, ‘Yes, I am the one.’ So they said to him, ‘Then how is it that your eyes were opened?' He answered, ‘The man called Jesus made a paste, daubed my eyes with it and said to me, "Go off and wash at Siloam"; so I went, and when I washed I gained my sight.’ They asked, ‘Where is he?’ He answered, ‘I don’t know.’
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. It had been a Sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes, so when the Pharisees asked him how he had gained his sight, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see. Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘That man cannot be from God: he does not keep the Sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How can a sinner produce signs like this? And there was division among them. So they spoke to the blind man again, 'What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?’ The man answered, ‘He is a prophet.’
However, the Jews would not believe that the man had been blind without first sending for the parents of the man who had gained his sight and asking them, ‘Is this man really the son of yours who you say was born blind? If so, how is it that he is now able to see?’ His parents answered, ‘We know he is our son and we know he was born blind, but how he can see, we don’t know, nor who opened his eyes.
Ask him. He is old enough: let him speak for himself.’ His parents spoke like this out of fear of the Jews, who had already agreed to ban from the synagogue anyone who should acknowledge Jesus as the Christ. This was why his parents said, ‘He is old enough; ask him.'
So the Jews sent for the man again and said to him, ‘Give glory to God! We are satisfied that this man is a sinner.’ The man answered, ‘Whether he is a sinner I don’t know; all I know is that I was blind and now I can see.’ They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He replied, ‘I have told you once and you wouldn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it all again? Do you want to become his disciples yourselves?’ At this they hurled abuse at him, ‘It is you who are his disciple, we are disciples of Moses; we know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from.’ The man replied, ‘That is just what is so amazing! You don’t know where he comes from and he has opened my eyes! We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but God dos listen to people who are devout and do his will. Ever since the world began it is unheard of for anyone to open the eyes of someone born blind; if this man were not from God, he wouldn’t have been able to do anything.’ They retorted, ‘Are you trying to teach us, and you a sinner through and through ever since you were born!' And they ejected him.
Jesus heard they had ejected him, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of man?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said, ‘You have seen him; he is speaking to you.’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and worshipped him.
It is for judgement
that I have come into this world,
so that those without sight may see
and those with sight may become blind.
Hearing this, some Pharisees who were present said to him, ‘So we are blind, are we?’ Jesus replied:
If you were blind,
you would not be guilty,
but since you say, ‘We can see,’
your guilt remains.
Spiritual Blindness and an open heart
We see the physical blindness of this man
but the writing of John is going beyond
this so we ponder our spiritual blindness.
We are to be open to God so we can hear
what is being said — our hearts need
to be open — not closed.
We shouldn't be on the defensive with
a hardened heart, but open.
If we are bitter and angry we can close
our hearts down to this openness.
We are to remain attached to the vine —
Jesus is the vine
We are the branches
Let His life flow in us — be
alive - saturated with His grace.
Jesus heals the whole person
Jesus returns the person back to
Jesus heals more than the physical ailments
Jesus heals spiritually, physically and
helps restore us to abundant
When we are doing evil we impair our
In the world today the good is made to look evil
and the evil look good.
We can see with young actresses —
They look like they have everything the
world has to offer,
They have money
They have fame
They have power
They have looks
but they are empty —
Only God can fill the need we have and
really make us happy.
Only God's way leads to happiness
We can have spiritual blindness
We must see with the eyes of Christ.
June 24, 2007 is the Solemnity of the
Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
John 3: 30
He must grow greater,
I must grow less.
We must see like Christ
The more Christ increases in us the
more we see like Christ.
The less Christ is in us — the less we see.
These things lead to spiritual blindness
(1) The World
evil is institutionalized
We may have been shocked long ago
if somebody was killed —
now we are less shocked —
Years ago - gay marriages were shocking
now this evil is institutionalized —
accepted — so you are expected
to accept it now as okay by
the world's standards
Abortion is wrong — by today's standards
in the world — we are expected to
If we don't like this evil people
can say we are bigoted —
It can become natural in the world —
we are to "go with the flow"
When we were baptized we were
baptized to be prophetic
to stand up for what is right
even when we aren't popular
not be people of the world that
"go with the glow"
Christians are to see the evil in the
have eyes to see evil
John the Baptist cry was to "Repent"
Some people come to church and
they are caught in the flow
of the world, they are misinformed —
"Oh the world is perfect"
Many errors are taught to our children
in elementary schools
Children are born into these errors
in the world
We all, human creatures, except for Mary
are subject to concupiscence
That is rebellion — an innate tendency
toward self, being self-centered
It is by God's grace our rebellion can be
Somebody can press our buttons —
wounds inside and we
react with anger
(2) We can become spiritually blind
because of the devil
We can have competing ideas
The vision of the world is tainted
In the extent we grow in Christ
we see the world as it really is —
to know ourselves is to be humble —
we are not being prideful when
God wants us to recognize our
gifts and use them for His
honor and glory.
If we don't know where we are
If we don't know where we are going
then we have a problem
We must put aside the hardened heart
and have a soft heart —
an open heart
Confession is a gift from God
we receive grace
we reflect on ourselves
we grow in self-knowledge
Confession is a chance to help conquer
If a famous actor came, the Church and
parking lot would be packed
It should be packed for Bible study
We should be really excited for Bible study
Concupiscence is this inborn rebellion,
the opposite of studying the
Ignorance of scriptures is ignorance
Ill - informed consciences
There are many ill-informed consciences today —
People just say — I acted this way because
it felt good
A formed conscience is one that does what the
Obeying the commandments
We live in a society where there are
many ill-informed consciences
To be fully human is to be more like
Christ was fully human —
a Divine Person - with 2 natures, a human nature
and a Divine nature.
When we sin - we diminish our humanity
The more we sin — the more our
inner conscience is not working
and we do not have a problem
sinning easily —
We can do many sins
The more we get to this state life has
less and less value
It used to be if somebody got killed
we were shocked.
Now sin becomes more common place
not shocked in the world today
by many sins.
John 10: 11-15
I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd lays down his life
for his sheep.
The hired man,
since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
and runs away,
and then the wolf attacks
and scatters the sheep;
he runs away
because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.
The Good Shepherd leads us to abundant
We hear the Good Shepherd in scripture
We are to be sacramental people
We need pictures of religious things
they act as reminders
Pictures of secular things all over
mold our minds in secular things
We see in St. Paul the idea of conversion —
he talks about
"old self" and putting on "new self"
We see the contrast between "blindness"
We need to be fed by
(2) go to the liturgy
(3) read spiritual writers
Fathers, Doctors of the Church
St. Teresa of Avila
St. John of the Cross
were different but both united.
St. Teresa focused on the humanity
of Christ —
suffering and tears
St. John of the Cross
idea of God transcendent
God and how He is beyond
St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross
were spiritual companions
We need to study the Book of Creation
He believes geniuses believed in God
there was order in their thoughts,
first cause, prime order
Everything in creation bears the
handprint of God
God is mindful of us
God keeps us in existence
If God did not love us, we would cease
The more we are saturated with God's
grace in our life — the more
this has an impact
The Vikings were barbaric
Christ came into the world and this
had a profound impact
the Good Shepherd loves His sheep
the Good Shepherd is trying to get
the lost sheep to return
His flock hear His voice and follow
They are obedient to the Good Shepherd
they do not follow an evil shepherd
The sheep hear the voice of the Good
Shepherd and follow Him
We are crying for meaning and purpose
in our lives
If we hear the evil shepherd we
do not follow him
Malcolm Muggeridge said he met
Jesus Christ when he met
Galatians 2: 19-20
...I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me.
People see Christ in a person
like Mother Teresa
We are stewards of our body we
don't own our bodies
Blaise Pascal was a genius
here was his wager
best way to deal with people
in all ways of probability —
you should believe in God —
harmony with God and neighbor
If you want a happy life —
you should live in harmony
as God desires by His design
We can have peace even among
negative conditions —
we can live life abundantly
We are miserable if we live not
believing in God —
desiring to fill our immediate
have everything the world can
give and yet their lives can
be falling apart.
they can be always chasing after
meaning in life, a sense
people in nursing homes who were
bitter and angry their whole life
can be more bitter and angry
in old age and
can die being angry and despairing
The pain of hell is eternity without
the presence of God
It is to our advantage to believe
in Jesus — He is the Vine
we are the branches
John 15: 1-8
I am the true vine,he prunes
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away,
and every branch that does bear fruit
to make it bear even more.
You are clean already,
by means of the word
that I have spoken to you.
Remain in me, as I in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
unless it remains part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is thrown away like a branch
these branches are collected
and thrown on the fire
and are burnt.
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask for whatever you please
and you will get it.
It is to the glory of my Father
that you should bear much fruit
and be my disciples.
The Father and Jesus are one
Jesus cursed the withered fig tree
We need to nourish our spiritual
We need Faith
Faith can lead us to good works
God prunes the branches
We are deeply rooted to the vine
We can be walking dead people
in the world
We must stay attached to the vine
We must stay deeply rooted to the
We must stay attached to Christ
The Father is the vine grower
The more we will stay attached
to the vine the more
we will live a deeper
life in Him, we will
grow and we will flourish
The more we stay one with God
the more we will flourish
Without God we die
‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
Without God we are chasers
We can have the perfect spouse,
blissful life —
3 years down the line —
it wears off - we need God
in our lives
God must be the center
All we do is for the honor and glory
The commandments are written
on our souls.
Commandments are the pathway
Harmony is the road map to
Jesus leads us down the path to
happiness, not the path to
Jesus is how He is — people can't
do what they want and then say
its okay — we must see God how
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