What is the essence of this teaching? (division is inevitable on the path to the kingdom)
Why division? (if each individual is ‘becoming’, he/she will become ‘different’ and will reject control by another)
What kind of guilt will this produce? (Irrational)
“I came not to bring peace…to part thee from brother, sister…because they are foes…in these things thy soul is destroyed.” (Meister Eckhardt)
How is creative guilt part of this? (protects family early in life, gets your attention and draws it to the need to change, helps to take back projections when it is time to leave)
What does Peter say here? (“Depart from me for I am sinful man.”)
What kind of guilt is Peter expressing? (it can be creative or non-creative, depending upon the path he chooses)
What is Peter in the presence of? (the alarming possibility of being evil, at least by comparison to Jesus)
What are its qualities? (numinous, contrast between good and evil and the need to choose, between apocalyptic God image and inclusive God image)
Of what kind of guilt might the woman have been a victim? (society’s judgment, carries guilt of clients, identifies self as a ‘bad’ person)
**Identify a part of you that has been prostituted and write about the kind of guilt that has been produced.
When creativity serves the ego, it works for the masculine element and the status quo. When guilt is creative, is leads to change.
** Draw the guilt if had a chance to turn toward healing
Put the drawing on the floor in front of you, and let it speak to you.
What is Jesus being criticised for? (harvesting on the sabbath)
How does Jesus respond? (King David set precedent)
What was David’s excuse? (he was in need and hungry)
What does Jesus say in vv. 27? (the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath)
What was the sabbath? (holy day of rest)
What is a word that would be a sabbath for you, i.e. something you keep holy, precious?
**Take a breath and find that place in you, and get a sense of it.
In your own words, what was Jesus trying to say? (sabbath is a gift to be used as a gift)
Where is the authority over the sabbath? (Son of Man)
How does the Son of Man function, in your own words? (from the place in touch with God)
**Use your body to feel what it is like to be made for the sabbath?
Use your body to feel what it is like to be Lord of the sabbath?
Now write down what your body told you
Note: this is a parable on the worth of sinners
For whom does the father give the feast? (younger son)
And who is this in the words of v.17? (the one who “came to himself”)
What does it mean to come to oneself? (discover who one is, realise one has not been who one really is)
Why didn’t the father give a feast for the older son? (older son just did what he was supposed to do, his righteousness is not in question, but there are no prizes for just doing what one is supposed to do)
Why does the father respond as he does when the younger son comes home? (relief and joy at his return)
How has the son’s journey served the father? (father gets back a more conscious son; hence getting back more than he lost, gets a good return on 1/2 the inheritance)
What qualities were added to the father not previously present? (joy, realisation of son’s worth, projection placed on the kid were replaced with reality)
What has the son done that the father could not do? (be irresponsible, go to a far place, experienced famine, grow toward self)
What is the new concept of sonship shown in this parable? (now in real relationship that is not possible until one discovers oneself, ‘hated’ father, i.e. the tie was broken that would otherwise have retarded growth)
Why does the older brother get angry? (envy, young brother is threat to older brother’s resistance to growth)
“Little is forgiven the righteous; therefore, they love little, and this is their unrighteousness.” (Paul Tillich)
Does this mean sinning is necessary for loving?! (In a word, yes, for it one never sins, there is no need for forgiveness, and Jesus tells us that loving is proportional to forgiveness one has received.)
How does the young son feel when he is greeted by the father? (humble, surprised, forgiven, grateful, joyful, confused, overflowing love)
“One cannot love from rejection. Forgiveness is participation; union overcomes estrangement, and love is made possible” (Paul Tillich)
What most strikes you about this concept? (Adam and Eve had to disobey, be driven from the garden and forgiven in order to love God)
What is the main point of the parable? (God needs us to venture out in truly creative exploration of the frontiers of our relationship with God and self to do whatever is necessary to claim consciousness. Innocence may be bliss, but the search for consciousness brings joy.)
What does the woman hear in v.48? Write it in other words. (I am loved, I have worth, I am changed)
Reword vv. 44-47, explaining what Jesus is saying about the relationship of love and forgiveness. (love is proportional to experience of forgiveness)
How do you understand this process happening? (love and forgiveness are concurrent, love is ignited by forgiveness, forgiveness arises from love, which then flows through the forgiven; if love then forgiveness happens, but if no love, then guilt is left.)
What does the tree of knowledge of good and evil have to do with this process? (it is the resource to discern the means to deal with guilt and gain the understanding that leads to forgiveness)
What role does Jesus play in this particular process? (reality tester, articulation of creative Word, mirror in which to see oneself truly, mediates authority from the Source)
In v. 34, what was the outcome? (punishment, withdrawl of forgiveness)
What happened to the process of judgment, guilt and forgiveness? (aborted by the refusal to seek, and therefore receive, forgiveness; good and evil not discerned)
Where did he go wrong? (unlike the prodigal, he did not ‘come to himself’; as he judged, so was he judged; he sinned the ‘unforgivable’ sin)
The man is in relationship to what kind of God? (vengeful and just, Old Testament, Sistine Chapel God)
What is the desire of God represented here? (for connection, relationship)
In vv.21-22, what is Peter’s attitude toward forgiveness? (a duty, limited, determined from outside, finite)
What is Jesus’ answer? (forgiveness is endless, unlimited)
What is his attitude about forgiveness? (it is a recurrent, never-ending process that is part of the definition of G-O-D)
What is behind Jesus’ understanding? (the experience of forgiveness as his baptism, his connection to the Source, the experience of always being present to life, not hampered by the past)
Note: the Greek for forgiveness in rooted in a word meaning “release from bondage.”
A Modern Parable
The boy beats up on his younger brother. The younger runs to the house, where one parent consoles him. The older runs to the garage, where the other parent goes to him.
Which parent did the most valuable thing? (The one who had the opportunity to convey forgiveness.
The basic aspects of forgiveness are we all are wounded and we wound. Also we all must choose, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, our actions, due to our fundamental freedom.
If you recall the two voice in the garden: God says don’t eat, the serpent says it’s okay to eat. The two voices live in us, leading to abiding ambivalence.
The Midrash includes a saying by God: “May it be my will that my love overcomes my wrath and my mercy overcomes my other attributes.”
What does this say about God? (God has choice, too; God wills to mercy)
How does this feel in your guts?
Back to the story
What will the younger boy have to do as he grows up? (forgive his brother)
What will the older boy have to do as he grows up? (forgive himself)
The Lord’s Prayer has that line, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive…
What does it say first? (seek forgiveness)