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Chapitre général - Capitulo General - General Chapter

Le Chapitre général des Religieuses de l’Assomption, juillet 2006

Lectio divina : collaborate in the work of God

Rubrique : Jour après jour, Le billet biblique — Sophie, 10:00 am

Biblical authority is for a mission – to collaborate in the “work” of God.
Biblical Texts : John 17:2; 10:10; 5:30; 6:38; 14:10; 4:34; Psalm 8:3; Exodus 34;10; 5:17; Psalm 82:1-7; Micah 6:8.

  • According to the Johannine Jesus, authority is meant to give eternal life or the fullness of life.

“Since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him” (John 17:2).

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10)

Leadership/authority is the capacity to inspire and influence others for the better. Good leadership unifies and build bridges and is always directed towards the fullness of life, freedom and well-being. All Christians, by virtue of their baptism, are called to some form of leadership.

  • The Johannine Jesus defines his mission as “doing the will of the Father who sent him” and “accomplishing God’s work.”

John 5:30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me”.

John 6:38 “for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me”.

John 14:10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works”.

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work”.

The Johannine usage of “work” stems from the Jewish theological background. In the OT, it is used to refer to the creative activity of God (Ps 8:3) or the liberating activity of God on behalf of the people of Israel (Exod 34:10).
In the Gospel of John, chapter 5, when Jesus was accused by the Jews for breaking the Sabbath laws, Jesus defended himself by saying:

John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.”

In John 5 the use of the verb, “to work”, reflects Jesus’ cooperation in the creative and liberating acts of God. That Jesus performs this healing on the Sabbath is a clear indication of the fact that the divine “life-giving” and liberating activities are shared by Jesus.

  • One of the most powerful articulations of God’s will or God’s work is found in Psalm 82, which is cited by the Johannine Jesus in John 10 to justify his mission.
    Psalm 82:1-51 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
    2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?
    3 Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly
    and the destitute.
    4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the
    wicked.”
    5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk around in
    darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
    6 I say, “You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you;
    7 nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.”

    • The leaders are judged by God
      • for their oppression of the weak and the orphans
      • for their indifference towards human suffering (2-4)
    • The leaders are accused of walking in darkness (v. 5)
    • This injustice shakes the very foundations of the earth. In other words, the world is threatened with falling into chaos once more (v. 5).
    • The leaders (gods) are judged because they are not doing the will of God; they are not accomplishing God’s work.
    • God’s radical and universal concern for justice, peace, solidarity and integrity of creation articulates God’s work.

    As the judgment of God in vv. 6-7 indicates, the maltreatment of the poor and the down trodden, the lowly and powerless, is a matter of life and death to the gods/leaders.
    Unlike these leaders who are judged by God, Jesus goes on affirming that he does the will of his father and thus reveals his identity as the true Son of God.

    John 10:37 “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.

    “I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me” (John 8:28).

    John 12:49 “for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak”.

  • Biblical leader is constantly in communication with God and is always in communion with God. She abides in God’s love and accomplishes God’s work.
  • Biblical leader walks humbly with God establishing justice and revealing God’s love and compassion.

Micah 6:8 “God has told you, O Human being, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love goodness/compassion, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Rekha Chennattu

L’autorité biblique est en vue d’une mission – celle de collaborer avec les “oeuvres” de Dieu.
Références bibliques : Jn 17,2 ; 10,10 ; 5,30 ; 6,38 ; 14,10 ; 4,34 ; Ps 8,3 ; Ex 34,10 ; 5,17 ; Ps 82,1-7 ; Mi 6,8.

  • Selon le Jésus de St Jean, l’autorité est en vue du don de la vie éternelle ou de la plénitude de la vie. (Jn 17,2 ; Jn 10,10)

Le leadership/l’autorité est la capacité d’inspirer et d’influencer les autres en vue du meilleur. Un bon leadership unifie et crée des ponts ; il est orienté vers la plénitude de vie, la liberté et le bien-être. Tout chrétien de par son baptême est appelé à une forme de leadership.

  • Le Jésus johannique définit sa mission comme “faire la volonté du Père qui m’a envoyé” et “accomplir les œuvres de Dieu “. (Jn 5,30 ; Jn 6,38 ; Jn 14, 10 ; Jn 4,34)

L’emploi johannique du mot “œuvre” a ses racines dans la théologie juive. Dans l’AT, il se réfère à l’activité créatrice de Dieu (Ps 8,3) ou à son action de libération en faveur d’Israël (Ex 34,10).
Dans l’évangile de Jean (ch 5) quand Jésus est accusé par les juifs d’enfreindre les lois du Sabbat, il se défend en disant “Mon père est à l’œuvre jusqu’à présent et j’oeuvre moi aussi” (5,17). L’emploi du verbe “oeuvrer” ici indique que Jésus collabore aux œuvres créatrices et libératrices de Dieu . Que Jésus fasse cette guérison le jour du sabbat montre clairement que Jésus participe à l’action divine : donner la vie et libérer.

  • Une des mises en lumière les plus claires de la volonté divine ou de l’œuvre de Dieu se trouve dans le Ps 82,1-7 qui est cité par Jésus en Jn 10 pour justifier sa mission.

Dans ce psaume

  • Les dirigeants sont jugés par Dieu
    • pour leur oppression des faibles et des orphelins
    • pour leur indifférence à la souffrance humaine (v. 2-4).

  • Les dirigeants sont accusés de marcher dans les ténèbres (v. 5).
  • Cette injustice bouleverse les fondations même du monde. Autrement dit, le monde est menacé de retomber dans un état de chaos.
  • Les dirigeants sont jugés car ils ne font pas la volonté de Dieu ; ils n’accomplissement pas son oeuvre.
  • Le souci radical et universel de Dieu pour la justice, la paix, la solidarité et l’intégrité de la création, articule toute l’œuvre divine.

Comme l’indique le jugement de Dieu aux versets 6 et 7, la maltraitance des pauvres et des opprimés, des humbles et des sans-pouvoir détermine la vie ou la mort des dieux / leaders.
Contrairement à ces leaders condamnés par Dieu, Jésus affirme qu’il fait la volonté de son Père et révèle ainsi son identité de vrai Fils de Dieu. (Jn 10,37-38 ; Jn 8, 28 ; Jn 12, 49).

  • Le leader dans la Bible est constamment en communication avec Dieu et en communion avec Lui, demeurant dans l’amour de Dieu et accomplissant son oeuvre.
  • Le leader dans la Bible marche humblement avec Dieu, établissant la justice et révélant l’amour et la compassion de Dieu. (Mi 6,8)

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