Sunday 3 May 2020

Fourth Sunday of Easter – Year A

Word for today
 The Gospel of John 10:1-10

The Predator

To reach the human heart and mind, the predator climbs "over elsewhere," in Greek allachòthen, an adverb of place with a dynamic sense of movement, of continuously repeated action. It is not just a matter of climbing from somewhere else, but from a place that has been transformed, falsified and replaced. The predator reaches man by coming from another side, through holes and mental burrows that are not meant to be the main gate; they are obscure passages and unsuitable as bridges.
The predator climbing from somewhere else, not from the main gate, is defined by two terms, thief (in Greek: klèptes) and robber (in Greek: lèstes), which describes Satana’s two-step procedure very well. The first Greek term is klèptes, from klept - coming from the verb klèpto. The etymology of the noun resides in the idea to hide, deceive, cover, wrap, and put on a husk, or a shell. The Akkadian chalapu is  "hide" from which a family of terms such as shack, husk, shell, hiding are derived. The first task of the predator is to hide, to mask reality by using a dark gelatin, so that what is real seems unreal and the unreal seems real. The second Greek term used to describe the predator is lestès, from the term leid - coming from the verb lèzomai, "take possession of, get one's hands on." The term lestès means "thug, robber, thief, pirate, raider, plunderer." The etymology of this term is linked to the idea of an armed aggression, taking possession of someone or something through a sudden attack, violence or bad intentions.  The Akkadian lapatu indicates "attack, lay hands on someone."
Once the perception of reality is twisted in the confusion of idolatry, the predator can now plunder, seize, possess, tear to pieces with all his aggressiveness.
Verse 10 well explicates the three actions of the kleptès: to steal and slaughter and destroy, in the Greek text corresponding respectively to the verbs klèpto, thùo, apòllumi.
Klèpto , ”I steal, I secretly take away, I abduct; I work with deception, I dissemble, I conceal, I disguise.” Thùo, ”I sacrifice, I burn the victim, I make a sacrifice, I kill.” Apòllumi, ”I ruin, I perish, I destroy, I vanish,” a verb formed from the preposition apò (intensive) òllumi united to the verb (I perish, failure), or apollùo, "reduce to nothing, consume, destroyed.” So it is not just a question of dying, but of being destroyed, ruined, lost.
Jesus says that "the deceiver," the Devil, kidnaps man,and  he burns and destroys him. It is well known that Satan is the one who makes his sacrifices burning human flesh: he does his best so that men, the flesh of God, are transformed into cannon fodder, meat to be burned, beings to be annihilated.
The Good Shepherd, Jesus, enters only through the door of the heart, the established gate, in total respect and absolute freedom, without deceit and cover, concealment or deception: He comes to offer to humanity pastures and well-being, He comes to offer His life, to give us life, abundant and without end.
The choice is up to us: we can either let the predator reach us, kidnap us, burn us alive and destroy us or allow the Good Shepherd to guide us, and to conduct us to His magnificent well-being and complete happiness.