Κυριακή 17 Δεκεμβρίου 2017

The Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, the Parable of the Great Supper & the blasphemy of Racism (second Sunday before the Nativity)

The Forefathers of Christ

fr. Stephen Freeman

Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi

The Holy Forefathers of Christ
Among the greatest blasphemies ever constructed by humankind was that of Nazi Germany. Not satisfied with their political dominance, they also sought a religious dominance as well. The notion of an “Aryan Christ” was perhaps the depths of their theological blasphemies mirrored in their dehumanization and murder of the Jews. At many points in the past two millennia, the relationship between Christians and Jews has hit low points – with the Jews almost universally at the short end of the stick. But to seek to create a Christ who Himself was not a Jew is (for a Christian) the worst of insults.

The second Sunday before the Nativity, in Orthodox Tradition, is set aside as the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers in which the Church remembers all those who are of the ancestry of Christ.

These are the ancestors of Christ according to the flesh, who lived before the Law and under the Law, especially the Patriarch Abraham, to whom God said, “In thy seed shall all of the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3, 22:18).In this modern century it also stands as a stark reminder that Christ was a Jew and as He said, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). There is a tendency (seen at is worst in Germany of the 1930’s and 40’s) to divorce Christ from His history, to treat Him as though He simply appeared on earth, full-grown. This same tendency diminishes the role of His mother in the events of our salvation, contrary to the witness of Scripture.

For most of the Christian Church divorced from the fullness of Orthodox Tradition, the saints are only those of the New Testament, the Old Testament having been relegated to a questionable status (not questionable as Scripture, per se, but often divorced from its proper role in the story of salvation). Many Christians, on the popular level, distance themselves from the Old Testament saying, “I believe in the God of the New Testament.” This last statement is, though unknown to many, a heresy (Marcionism). The theological maxim: the law of praying is the law of believing, is again manifested in its proper manner in Orthodox worship. There, the ancestors of Christ are remembered in a singular way, understanding that the plan of our salvation stretches through the whole of human history (indeed it is prophesied in Genesis). Added to this is the Orthodox custom of celebrating Old Testament saints, many with their own singular feast day (Churches are named for them as well). Unless the Church actually incorporates the whole life of the people of God into its own worship life, its people will begin to think that those prior to the New Testament have some lesser value – occasionally to a disastrous conclusion.

It is true that for Christians, the New Testament is the means for reading the Old (a neglected practice by those who practice a number of the so-called historical approaches). We must learn to see in the Old the shadow of the New and in so doing, not to despise the shadow because it was yet looking for its fulfillment. To despise the shadow is to despise the image is to despise the very reality itself.

Related to a theme I have touched on several times lately – to preach the fullness of the Gospel of Christ – the Christian story must not be truncated in any manner. Thus to remember the ancestors of Christ is to remember that the Gospel of Christ, the salvation accomplished on the Cross, is a Divine work, taken up by generations who preserved the Torah, who observed the Law, who suffered under Egyptian, Philistine, Babylonian, Persian, Alexandrian and numerous other oppressors as well as struggling against their own temptations (no less than we must ourselves).

There is a great line of faithfulness that runs throughout those generations, despite any lapses, that finds its culmination for Christians in the Theotokos, the one whom all generations will call blessed. She recapitulates the whole of human history that had gone before, and unlike the primordial ancestor Eve, she responds to the initiative of God with, “Behold the handmaiden of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy word.” And thus the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. But let us tell the whole story that the fullness of the mercy of God might be remembered and the full company of His faithful children recalled. May they be blessed forever.

Stichera on Lord I Call for the Sunday of the Holy Ancestors, Tone 8:
Today, as we celebrate the memorial of the Forefathers, let us the faithful raise a hymn to Christ the Redeemer, the Lord who magnifies them among all the nations, and faithfully performs extraordinary wonders, as he is mighty and powerful; and he showed forth from them a rod of power for us, pure Mary the Child of God who alone knew no man, from whom the flower, Christ, came forth, blossoming life for all and pleasure without cost and eternal life.

The Parable of the Great Supper

The Gospel of the Day (from here)

For Russian, Portuguese, Swahili and Arabic please scroll down 

Luke 14:16-24
Then Jesus said unto him, “A certain man made a great supper and bade many.
And he sent his servant at suppertime to say to them that were bidden, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’
And they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said unto him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I need to go and see it. I pray thee have me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to test them. I pray thee have me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
So that servant came and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor and the maimed and the halt and the blind.’
And the servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.’
And the lord said unto the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
For I say unto you that none of those men who were bidden shall taste of my supper.’”
Matthew 12:14
Then the Pharisees went out and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him.

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen

Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi

why is it that we have this particular reading, about the Great supper, two Sundays before the Nativity? What is it that the church is trying to teach us, and why do we remember the Holy Forefathers today?
It is hard to explore all the aspects of this reading. We cannot but scratch the surface of what this parable means in the Christian life, but it is here primarily because one cannot celebrate a feast without being morally prepared.
This parable tells us sins to avoid, attitudes to avoid. It tells us to wake up! It tells us to be ready. We commemorate the Holy Forefathers today, because they indeed were part of the preparation for Christ. Without them, there would have been no God-man, Jesus Christ, because He was born of a woman, who was of their lineage, and, if this is not exactly so in a physical sense], their prophesies and piety prepared the way for the coming of Christ. That was part of God’s plan.

We Orthodox Christians never forget from whence we are come from. We not only remember that we are from the dust of the earth, but we also remember those who have preceded us, and indeed, are joined to us, in piety, and in faith, and in struggle. We never feel disassociated from our history.

"Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor and the maimed and the halt and the blind" (Luke 14:21). Icon from here.

I tell you, if you do not take this time today, and in the remaining days to prepare yourself for Nativity, you will MISS it. You may come to church, but you will miss the incarnation. It will not touch you. A man must be prepared for anything that is of value. You must prepare, so that you can inculcate virtue into your hearts, and know what it is that the Lord wants you to know. Now, we prepare not as the world prepares, right? The world prepares with frivolity, and partying. Now, they are already forgetting [3].
There is some background preceding this parable which we must know. The Lord was at a gathering, and discussing theology with the Pharisees. This parable is in reaction to what a Pharisee has just said. Let’s look hear the verses immediately preceding Jesus’ response.
“Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”
This Pharisee made a correct statement, but with an incorrect understanding.
He was thinking, blessed is the Jew that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God, and our Lord gave this parable partially to say to him, and all the Jews,
“No, Pharisee, it is not just the Jews that will eat bread with me, it is all that will worship me as God. It is all that live according to who I am. Your inheritance is not in your bloodline, but it is in how you live, and how you act, and how you believe.”
After all, in another time, just before they were going to crucify Him, what did He say: “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” 

From here
This parable is much more than an indictment of the misunderstanding of the Pharisee. It is very important to understand this, but even more important, here we see God’s economy,] His great love for mankind.
It is truly awesome, and difficult to speak of, how God loves us so, and how He is so assiduous in His care for us, that we would know Him. Listen carefully, as we go through the short verses of this parable. Listen to the care God is taking in preparing us for the revelation of Himself in us. Then, contrast that with the heedlessness of these people He spoke with, and tremble and learn. See if there is anything in your heart that is like any of these people, and amend yourself.
You don’t have much time. Your life is but a vapor. [7] You have very little time to repent, very little time to inculcate virtue in your heart. Whether you live a hundred more years, or whether you die today, you still have very little time, and this is the period, right now, to especially think on these things, and prepare yourself, so that when God reveals Himself, as He surely will, you will know Him. You won’t miss Him.

THE LORD SAID THIS PARABLE: A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. “
Such theology, in one sentence! Such symbolism, such truth, such love.
What is this great supper? It is the incarnation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and all the implications of that great event.

And it is great, because we cannot fathom it. It is the mystery of our salvation, which we cannot understand, but we can be warmed by it, and enlightened by it, and saved by it, even though we don’t completely, and never will completely understand God.
It is a supper, not a dinner. I did not understand this distinction until I came to the South. In the North, we considered supper and dinner to be the same meal, but actually, supper indicated the evening meal. The evening meal is Christ coming in the latter times. At a particular time he made the supper, and at supper time He said to His servant, go to them that were bidden.
And Who is this who is that is making the supper? It is God, our Father, who loves us, and desired good things for us.
He spreads a table laden with delicacies, and the fatted calf, His own son, for us.
Who is this servant? None other than the Lord Jesus Christ, who refers to Himself as a servant, because He was willing to be made in the form of a servant. [9] He, being God, despised not becoming man, and becoming a servant, obedient to His father in all things, Who He was completely equal to, as God.

Who are them that were bidden?
In the beginning, these were the Jews. Later, it would be everyone, every man. Did you see that is a double calling? “To say to them that were bidden” – they were already bidden, and He is going out again to call them, and say “Come, all things are made ready”. This call is resounding to us now. It resounds to every man.

We are called in two ways.
First of all, every man has the internal law written on his heart. Doesn’t the apostle say this in his epistle to the Romans? It’s written in our hearts [10] – every man knows something of God, because God has created Him. And every man reaches out to God because it is natural for the created to reach out to the creator. There is an inner reason that will surely lead a man towards God, if he does not let his sin interfere. It’s built into us.

Icon from here

Now, with this inner condition that predisposes a man towards searching for God, and desiring Him, a man is made ready to hear the Gospel, to hear the preaching and the teaching of the holy church, to see the life of the church, and to be enlightened by every aspect of our life, and to have life in Christ. There are these two callings, and both of them are operating simultaneously in us at all times. The first calling prepares for the second.
“And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come”
“They all with one consent” – do you know who that was? He was indicting the Jews, and especially the Pharisees and Sadducees, those who with one consent would eventually have him crucified.
And they all made excuses for themselves. These excuses are, in microcosm, the sins that keep a man away from God.
One bought a piece of ground. He was a lover of possessions, He was looking down. He was a lover of earthly things. He was a lover of wealth.
Another one had bought five yoke of oxen. The fathers speak of these as indicating the five senses, and a yoke shows they apply equally to everyone, to both sexes, because a yoke holds two oxen.
The senses are a great gift, given to us by God. Our church understands this, because our faith is truly a sensual faith. We feel our faith. We see our faith, in our icons, in the incense, in our liturgics, in our preaching and teaching. We use all of our senses. We taste and see that the Lord is good, literally, as well as in a spiritual way. The senses are given to us for our enlightenment, and to bring God into our hearts. The senses are not evil – far from it – it depends on how one uses the senses. We must be always having this prayer on our lips from the communion prayers, communion prayers: “Purify my soul, sanctify my mind, enlighten the simplicity of my five senses.” The senses are good and holy, but when they are used only for pleasure, and the living of our life, then they contribute to our damnation, because they blind us to the one who created the senses.

Another one married a wife, and this is a metaphor for lust, and illicit pleasures in life.
Of course, we understand that lawful marriage is a great blessing. “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” [13] So it says. Marriage is good, but to be caught up in pleasures is evil. As an aside, I tell you, those that are married, and those that may someday be married, we fast from the flesh sometimes, during the fasts, according to our strength, we fast from martial relations. This is not because marital relations are sinful in any way, because the marriage bed is undefiled, but in order so that we do not allow any gift that God has given us to control us, and as the Apostle says, to devote ourselves to prayer.
Pope Gregory the Dialogist has said some marvelous things about this parable in his marvelous sermon, and I must share this with you.
There are two kinds of hunger in the world. There is carnal hunger, a natural hunger. Everyone has it. These sins are all carnal type things, wanting money or wealth, indulging in the pleasures of life, or even in illicit things. Eventually, the indulging in carnal pleasures leads to satiety, and even revulsion. A man who gorges himself with food will eventually pull away from the table, and will not want food for a long time. It is the same, really, with any other kind of pleasure. We get tired of it. We have enough of it.
Spiritual hunger is much different than this. It takes a longer time to develop a palate for spiritual things. The sweetness of the Lord is so sweet, that He is too sweet for us, until we have lived the Christian life for a period of time, and struggles, and then He becomes so sweet that all we want to do is taste of Him. In the beginning, this food appears bland, or even unpalatable to us. We must learn to continually strive to taste of the Lord, to taste of spiritual things, even though they might not appear to us to be so pleasurable compared to the inticements of the world, the flesh pots of Egypt shall we say. If we do this, surely the Lord will enlighten us, and He will become sweet to us, and we will want nothing else beside the Lord.
Men barter carnal things over and over for their salvation. An honest man realizes that he does this too, even if only on a small scale.
So I tell you again, the clarion bell has sounded, the final preparation for the Nativity. We must make ready. We must consider within ourselves – do we have a field, or a yoke of oxen, or a wife that we are paying more attention to than the Lord?
I speak in spiritual terms of course. If we are, is it endangering us, to turn down His invitation? I tell you, these people, who said they did not want to come to the supper did not even know what they were turning down. They were too taken with what they were doing at the moment. They did not know that they were rejecting our Lord permanently.
“So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”
From here

Here is something great, and something terrible. It is impossible to understand – how much our Lord loves us. He sees that the Jews have rejected Him, and indeed, He sees that many other men have rejected Him, and He is angry, but He is full of love. And He says “go out QUICKLY, with haste in to the streets, the lanes of the city. Go find people that are lost. Go struggle to bring them to me”.

And those that are poor, maimed, halt and blind are ourselves, brothers and sisters. We are those things of which the Lord has spoken: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” [17] First the Jews, later the Gentiles – behold the great patience of our God, and His care for us.Now what about these streets, and the lanes? Streets and lanes crisscross and wind, and are hilly, and sometimes are overgrown and rutted. Sometimes they are very hard to negotiate. It is very easy to get lost, and it takes great labor to find your way along them. This is what our Lord did. Didn’t He labor more than all? Didn’t He go onto lanes to find the Samaritan woman? Didn’t He proceed with great effort across a tempestuous sea to free the Gadarene demoniac? Didn’t He free the ten lepers (and yet only one was truly freed)? Didn’t He cure the affliction of the Canaanite woman’s daughter? He sought out and found those that had need, and He gave them all that they needed.
“And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. “

What is this? Our Lord still cares. Do you see how complete His care is for us? “Go out into the highways” – and where are highways? They are far away from the city. They lead a man FAR AWAY from God, like the prodigal son, far, far away. What of these hedges? Thieves hide in hedges, and wild beasts and snakes, and they are dangerous to a man. Our Lord goes even into the highways and the hedges. He searches every corner of the earth for a man that will believe in Him.
What is this word, “compel”? What an amazing thing our Lord says! “Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled!” After all, in another place, He said that in my Fathers house there are many mansions [19]. There is room for all, if only all will believe.
But what is this “compelling”?
We have free will, and God does not force any man to believe, but love compels a man to act. This compelling is from God caring for us so much that we finally begin to notice. It is from Him becoming incarnate for our sake, living and being born in humble circumstances, having no roof under which to lay His head [20], being hated and despised, and finally crucified, and being maligned and slandered and blasphemed by so many. And it is the actions of the Apostles, and the incredible feats of bravery of the martyrs and the saints that COMPEL us to live the Christian life.

"A certain man made a great supper" (icon from here)

When one looks upon these things, one is so filled with awe, if you truly understand it, you MUST live the Christian life! How can you do anything else?It is like a spring that is flowing out of your belly. Didn’t the Lord say that: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”? Can you stop the river from flowing down the mountain side? Can you stop the waterfall from falling? It not possible! The water is COMPELLED to fall, and so are we, by God’s incredible love for us. You see the incredible beauty, the profound love of our Savior for us. His love gives us no other option, but to follow Him. But indeed, there are some that don’t follow Him. A tragedy.
“For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. For many are called, but few are chosen.” ]
He speaks of the men that are bidden that did not obey the call, and yet, He tried to compel them by showing them goodness, and grace, and mercy. And they did not listen, because they were concerned about their grounds, or their lusts, their pleasures, their pride. They were concerned about everything, save holiness, and sanctity, and blessedness.
These are marvelous words, and they are terrible words! They give us hope that indeed, God will save us, because we see how much He cares. We see how much He pursues us. They also show that we will have no excuse if we do not obey His call, in the end.
Who are those who are called? All mankind is called, every man. Who are the chosen? Those are chosen who obey the call. We can decide if we are of the chosen, or are of the goats on the left hand side. It is our decision, and although the Lord desires to compel us, He will not force us. But, if we live the Christian life with care, we WILL be compelled. It will not be possible for us to do anything but love our Savior and be pleasing to Him.
You must, as Christians, struggle to feel in all ways compelled to love your Savior. In every way. Now, we have a few days left. Let us continue our preparation. Let us hope, that despite our sins, in light of our Savior’s great love for us, that He will enlighten us, that He will make us able to see Him, that He will help us with whatever sins beset us – because I tell you, our sins are trivial compared His mercy. We only need to understand that, we only need to struggle against our sins, and God will help us. Amen.

The Goslep of Day in Russian, Portuguese, Swahili and Arabic (from here)

От Луки 14:16-24
16 Иисус ответил ему:

– Один человек приготовил большой пир и пригласил много гостей. 17 Когда подошло время пира, он послал своего слугу сказать приглашенным: «Приходите, уже все готово». 18 Но один за другим приглашенные начали извиняться. Первый сказал: «Я купил землю и мне надо пойти и посмотреть ее. Извини меня, пожалуйста». 19 Другой сказал: «Я купил пять пар волов и иду испытать их, извини меня, пожалуйста». 20 Третий сказал: «Я женился и поэтому не могу прийти».
21 Слуга вернулся и рассказал все хозяину. Тогда хозяин дома рассердился и приказал слуге: «Пойди скорее по улицам и переулкам города и приведи сюда бедных, калек, слепых и хромых». 22 «Господин, – сказал слуга, – то, что ты повелел, выполнено, но еще есть место». 23 Тогда хозяин сказал слуге: «Пройди по дорогам и вдоль изгородей и уговори всех, кого встретишь, прийти на пир, чтобы дом мой был полон гостей. 24 Говорю вам, что из прежних приглашенных никто не попробует моего обеда».
От Матфея 12:14
14 Фарисеи же, выйдя, стали совещаться о том, как им убить Иисуса.

Избранный Слуга
Узнав об этом, Иисус ушел из тех мест.


Lucas 14:16-24
16 Porém ele lhe disse: Um certo homem fez uma grande ceia e convidou a muitos. 17 E, à hora da ceia, mandou o seu servo dizer aos convidados: Vinde, que já tudo está preparado. 18 E todos à uma começaram a escusar-se. Disse-lhe o primeiro: Comprei um campo e preciso ir vê-lo; rogo-te que me hajas por escusado. 19 E outro disse: Comprei cinco juntas de bois e vou experimentá-los; rogo-te que me hajas por escusado. 20 E outro disse: Casei e, portanto, não posso ir. 21 E, voltando aquele servo, anunciou essas coisas ao seu senhor. Então, o pai de família, indignado, disse ao seu servo: Sai depressa pelas ruas e bairros da cidade e traze aqui os pobres, e os aleijados, e os mancos, e os cegos. 22 E disse o servo: Senhor, feito está como mandaste, e ainda há lugar. 23 E disse o senhor ao servo: Sai pelos caminhos e atalhos e força-os a entrar, para que a minha casa se encha. 24 Porque eu vos digo que nenhum daqueles varões que foram convidados provará a minha ceia.

Mateus 12:14
14 E os fariseus, tendo saído, formaram conselho contra ele, para o matarem.

Luka 14:16-24
16 Yesu akamjibu, ‘ ‘Mtu mmoja alikuwa anaandaa karamu kubwa, akaalika watu wengi. 17 Wakati wa sherehe ulipofika, akamtuma mtumishi wake akawaam bie walioalikwa, ‘Karibuni, kila kitu ni tayari sasa.’ 18 Lakini wote, mmoja mmoja, wakaanza kutoa udhuru. Wa kwanza akasema, ‘ Nimenunua shamba, lazima niende kuliona. Tafadhali niwie radhi.’ 19 Mwingine akasema, ‘Nimenunua ng’ombe wa kulimia, jozi tano; nimo njiani kwenda kuwajaribu, tafadhali niwie radhi.’ 20 Na mwingine akasema, ‘Nimeoa mke, kwa hiyo siwezi kuja.’

21 “Yule mtumishi akarudi, akampa bwana wake taarifa. Ndipo yule mwenye nyumba akakasirika, akamwambia mtumishi wake, ‘Nenda upesi kwenye mitaa na vichochoro vya mjini uwalete maskini, vilema, vipofu na viwete.’
22 “Baadaye yule mtumishi akamwambia ‘Bwana, yale uliyon iagiza nimefanya, lakini bado ipo nafasi.’ 23 Ndipo yule bwana akamwambia mtumishi wake, ‘Nenda kwenye barabara na njia zilizoko nje ya mji uwalazimishe watu waje mpaka nafasi zote zijae. 24 Ninawaambia, hakuna hata mmoja wa wale niliowapelekea mwaliko rasmi atakayeionja karamu yangu.”


ﻟﻮﻗﺎ 14:16-24
16 فَقالَ لَهُ يَسُوعُ: «كانَ رَجُلٌ يُعِدُّ لِوَلِيمَةٍ عَظِيمَةٍ، وَدَعا أشخاصاً كَثِيرِينَ. 17 وَفِي وَقتِ الوَلِيمَةِ أرسَلَ خادِمَهُ لِيَقُولَ لِلمَدعُوِّينَ: ‹تَعالَوا لِأنَّ العَشاءَ جاهِزٌ!› 18 فَابتَدَأُوا جَمِيعاً يَختَلِقُونَ الأعذارَ. قالَ الأوَّلُ: ‹لَقَدِ اشتَرَيتُ حَقلاً، وَعَلَيَّ أنْ أخرُجَ وَأراهُ، فَاعذُرنِي مِنْ فَضلِكَ.› 19 وَقالَ آخَرٌ أيضاً: ‹لَقَدِ اشتَرَيتُ لِلتَّوِّ عَشْرَةَ ثِيرانٍ وَأنا الآنَ ذاهِبٌ لِأُجَرِّبَها، فَاعذُرْنِي مِنْ فَضلِكَ.› 20 وَقالَ آخَرُ أيضاً: ‹لَقَدْ تَزَوَّجتُ مُنْذُ فَترَةٍ قَصيرَةٍ، وَلا أستَطِيعُ أنْ آتِيَ.›

21 «وَلَمّا عادَ الخادِمُ أخبَرَ سَيِّدَهُ بِكُلِّ هَذِهِ الأُمُورِ. فَغَضِبَ سَيِّدُ البَيتِ وَقالَ لِخادِمِهِ: ‹اخرُجْ بِسُرعَةٍ إلَى شَوارِعِ المَدِينَةِ وَأزِقَّتِها، وَأحضِرِ الفُقَراءَ وَالمُعَوَّقِيْنَ وَالعُرجَ إلَى هُنا!›
22 «فَعادَ الخادِمُ وَقالَ لَهُ: ‹يا سَيِّدُ، ما أمَرتَ بِهِ قَدْ تَمَّ. وَما يَزالُ هُناكَ مُتَّسَعٌ.› 23 فَقالَ السَّيِّدُ لِلخادِمِ: ‹اخرُجْ إلَى الطُّرُقاتِ الرِّيفِيَّةِ وَإلَى أسيِجَةِ الحُقُولِ وَألزِمِ النّاسَ بِالمَجِيءِ لِكَيْ يَمتَلِئَ بَيتِي. 24 فَإنِّي أقُولُ لَكُمْ، إنَّهُ لَنْ يَذُوقَ وَلِيمَتِي أحَدٌ مِنَ أولَئِكَ الَّذينَ دَعَوتُهُمْ أوَّلاً!›»
ﻣﺘﻰ 12:14
14 فَخَرَجَ الفِرِّيسِيُّونَ وَابْتَدَأُوا يَتَآمَرُونَ لِيَعرِفُوا كَيفَ يَقْتُلونَ يَسُوعَ

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