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Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way

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an image John Paul II will perhaps be known as the Pope who shared his faith with us.  Of course the other Popes before him did it in their own way;  John Paul II did it in a way that leaves no mistaking that he is indeed sharing his pilgrimage of faith with us.

Sources of Renewal was the first written work of Karol Woytyla that I read.  He wrote it before becoming Pope.  That book was his evaluation of the Second Vatican Council.  It was in a way the theoretical framework of his Pontificate’s program of implementing the fruits of Vatican II.  Sources of Renewal was a book for theologians; hardly something for the laity.  It was a book that one shouldn’t read before going to bed.

While Sources of Renewal was theoretical, his most recent book in contrast (“Rise Let Us Be On Our Way”) is very personal and is intended to be so.  It is very much like the letters he writes to priests on Holy Thursday.  It is the sequel — as he makes us understand — to a book he earlier wrote about his priesthood.  “Rise…” is his story as a bishop.  Though personal, these two books are not purely auto-biographical in intent.  They were written as his way of recounting to us the graces he has received from God as a priest and bishop.  In fact, he wrote these books with the need of his priests and his fellow-bishops in mind.  Like Peter, he — through these books — strengthens his brethren in the faith.

“Rise Let Us Be On Our Way” is named after a statement made by the Lord in the gospel of John.  It is also found in a more cryptic form in the book Micah.  In this latter, the statement is an invitation to leave an atmosphere that gives no place to justice and true religion.  In the gospel of John, it is an invitation to move on to Gethsemani, and after that to the cross and to the glory of the Resurrection.  I also would like to point out that after the Lord tells his disciples to rise and be on the way, the following statements are about life with the Lord.  “I am the Vine, you are branches…”  It is as if moving on also means becoming more deeply rooted in Christ’s life.  In fact, the life of the bishop, as that of the priest, is a deeper immersion into the new life.  In this book, Karol Wojtyla tells us how his life as a bishop is a deeper immersion into the life of the Church he has been called to love, protect and nourish as Spouse as he acts in persona Christi

Update: January 12, 2005

“When His Hour had come, Jesus said to those who were with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, to Peter, James and John, His closes disciples: “Rise up let us be on our way” (cf. Mark 14:42). Not only He must “be on his way” to fulfill His Father’s will: they too must go with Him.” (JPII, Rise…, p. 215)

The possible passages that Karol Wojtyla is alluding to here (note the cf., an indication of an allussion) are actually two passages.  The Greek of both passages are the same for “Arise, let us go”.  But where Mark includes a reference to the nearness of Judas and the hordes who are with him, John simply adds the word enteuqen

  • Mark 14:42:  Arise let us go, the betrayer is at hand.
  • John 14:31:  Arise, let us from here.

I think that the proper reference should have been to the Gospel of John (here at 14:31).  There is also an Old Testament phrase that resembles these passages:  Micah 2:10.

Up be off, this is no place to rest!

However, because the immediate context is hard to discern (the Hebrew is corrupt), the meaning of this passage is — alas — irretrievable.

Originally posted 2005-01-10 20:42:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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