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Article Index
The ‘Our Father’ of My Childhood
The Contexts of the Story
The Historical Context of the Our Father
My Historical Context
Blending Contexts in an On-going History
Companions on the Way
The Word ‘Debt/Indebted’ in the Our Father
Main Focus on Luke 11:4
Usual Interpretation of ‘Sin’ and ‘Debt’
Larger Than Sin
Indebtedness in Jesus’ Historical Setting
Where has the Jubilee Year Gone?
Rabbi Hillel’s Prosbul
The Significance of the Word ‘Debt’
The Jubilee Year in the Lk 4:16-30
More Than Sin-Orientation: The Kingdom of God
Breaking Fixed or Petrified Perspectives
Re-reading Lk 11:4 Through Jesus’ Eyes
Re-reading Lk 11:4 Through the Eyes of an Awakened, Poor Jew
Re-reading Lk 11:4 in the Larger Context of Luke’s Gospel
Lk 18: 18-27: a Commentary on Luke’s ‘Our Father’.
Social Justice in the Larger Context of Luke-Acts
Re-reading Lk 11:4 in the Context of Acts 2 and 4
Re-reading Luke 11:4 in My Context
The Need for an Alternative Spirituality
Before We Part Ways: Time to Recharge and Refresh
As We Part
All Pages

Re-reading Lk 11:4 Through Jesus’ Eyes. Having gone this far, let us now sharpen our re-reading of Lk 11:4. Let me suggest a re-reading eyeglass: ‘Looking through the eyes of Jesus.’[25]

Jesus was a ‘Third World’ person, that is, he preached the Kingdom of God in a situation infested with ‘Third World’ issues. In this context, Jesus’ perspective about life is essentially the same as the perspective of today’s awakened poor who struggle to get out from dehumanizing situations like poverty, oppression and injustice. (It is also the perspective of someone who is not poor but has an authentic solidarity with the poor in their struggle for a humane society). Hence, for the destitute in his time, Jesus wanted justice and liberation or social justice. This is a picture of Jesus that we may glean from the gospel pages. We take the following, for example:

Lk 6:20-21

Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,

for yours is the kingdom of God.

? “Blessed are you who are hungry now,

for you will be filled.

“Blessed are you who weep now,

for you will laugh.

Lk 4:18-19

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to let the oppressed go free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 7:22-23

And he answered them, “Go and tell John

what you have seen and heard: the blind receive

their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,

the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have

good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone

who takes no offense at me.”

The Greek word for poor is ?????? (ptochos) which, more accurately, means ‘poor and oppressed.’ The underlying Hebrew equivalent for ptochos is ??? (‘anah) from which we derive the words ???????? (‘anawim) or ????????? (‘aniyim). Read in context, ‘anah refers to the ‘poor and oppressed’ because of economic poverty (Cf. Ps 37:11; Ex 22:25; Lev 23:32; Dt. 15:11; Is 3:14; Jer 22:16). In Jesus’ time, ptochos referred to the beggars (Mk 10:46), casual workers (Mt. 20:1-9), tenants (cf. Mt. 21:33), slaves (Mt. 8:6), debtors (Lk 16:5), the poor of the land (Jn 7:49). To these people, Jesus pronounced blessings or good news. Accordingly, any form of blessings or good news for the poor and oppressed -- for it to be meaningful -- must at least include justice and liberation or social justice.

Looking through the eyes of Jesus (= looking through the eyes of the awakened poor), I cannot but see the connection -- in terms of social justice -- between the Jubilee Year’s provision on the cancellation of debts and the forgiveness to the indebted in the ‘Our Father’ as very meaningful and appropriate both in Jesus’ time and in the present Philippine situation and that of other Third World countries.


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