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Seminar 15:
Jesus: The Compassion of God

Jesus: The Compassion of God: The Distinctive Spirituality of St Matthew's Gospel

The Gospel of Matthew invites us to look out at humanity through the eyes of Jesus and see it as He sees it: in particular, as burdened and afflicted. Taking up the role of the Servant figure of Isaiah, Jesus comes among us as the healing presence of God ("Emmanuel: God with us"), who promulgates a burde-lifting, rather than burden-imposing interpretation of the Torah (Law). He does so on the basis that what God wants is "mercy, not sacrifice" (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13; 12:7) and that the "weightier matters" of the law are "justice, mercy and faith" (Matthew 23:23).

By adopting and living out this mission of Jesus, the community of the Church takes up Israel's mission to be "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" . It is not a community of the perfect: it contains good and bad; its faith is often weak. Like Peter, it follows Jesus' bidding to come to him in faith across the water (14:28-33). In their dealings with each other, its members try to reflect the acceptance, compassion and forgiveness they have themselves experienced from God (Matthew 18).

Date Wednesday 3 September
Time 7.30 - 9.30 pm
Venue St Peter's, Eastern Hill
Cost $15 (concession: $12)
Conductor Fr Brendan Byrne, SJ
teacher of New Testament at Jesuit Theological College, within UFT. His most recent books are The Hospitality of God (a summary of Luke's Gospel), and his commentary Romans (1996).

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