Cultural Context Fourth Sunday of Easter C
April 17, 2016
John J. Pilch
Mediterranean Fathers and Sons
brought up from birth exclusively by the women, a
Mediterranean boy at the age of puberty is brusquely
shoved into the hierarchical and harsh world of the
men. Here he learns obedience and manliness, commonly
by being taught to stoically endure physical punishment.
John the evangelist portrays the relationship of Jesus and his heavenly Father
in terms of an authentic and perfect Mediterranean relationship between father
The heavenly Father loves Jesus (Jn 3:5),
and Jesus knows his Father intimately
(Jn 8:55; 10:15).
Jesus was taught by his Father (Jn 8:22)
and does the will of the
Father (Jn 4:34; 6:38).
in John’s Gospel, Jesus has received a command from his Father that concerns
his death and resurrection: “I have power
to lay [my life] down, and to take it up again. I have received this command
from my Father” (Jn 10:18).
Jesus obeys this command unquestioningly, perfectly,
How are Jesus and the Father “one”? In power and activity, a perfectly
intelligible conclusion that can be logically drawn from the ideal relationship
they share as Father and Son from a Mediterranean cultural perspective.
does what the Father empowers him to do. Jesus can do what the Father does: safeguard
the sheep of the flock.
John J. Pilch
J. Pilch is a biblical scholar and
facilitator of parish renewals.Liturgical Press has published
fourteen books by Pilch exploring the
“cultural world” of the Bible.
Go to http://www.litpress.org/ to
find out more.
The complete text of the
above article can be found in:
The Cultural World of Jesus, Sunday by Sunday, Cycle C
John J. Pilch. The Liturgical Press. 1996. pp. 76-78.
Martin Erspamer, O.S.B.
from Religious Clip Art for the
Liturgical Year (A, B, and C).
Used by permission of Liturgy Training
Publications. This art may be reproduced
only by parishes who purchase the
collection in book or CD-ROM form. For
more information go to: http://www.ltp.org/