What’s Better Than To Cut Off Eldad and Medad?

Who were those guys, anyway? The Lectionary framers might well have had the 1970 version of SCGS* in mind when they gave us this weekend’s readings. From the Pentateuch:

So, when a young man quickly told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp,” Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses’ aide, said, “Moses, my lord, stop them.”

But Moses answered him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!”

Why do I say SCGS? When I was sharing lectio on this Sunday’s Gospel with some friends earlier this week, I was struck by the Lord’s saying:

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.

Your hand. Not someone else’s. This passage, despite the suggestion of rabbinical exaggeration, is a response to John’s attempt to apply a cherished personal hermeneutic to cut off some exorcist who is apparently doing fruitful work in the name of Jesus. I could barely suppress laughter on Tuesday–he probably wasn’t sufficiently orthodox in John’s eyes. And Jesus seems to be suggesting to John that to cut off a part of his own body would be a better idea than cutting off someone from the Body.

* small church, getting smaller


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Hermeneutic of Subtraction, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

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