PALACHUVATTIL MATHEW, «The One Who Does the Will of The Father». Distinguishing Character of Disciples According to Matthew. An Exegetical Theological Study
The invocation “thy will be done” and the definition of a disciple as “the one who does the will of the Father” are special to the Gospel according to Matthew. Differences of opinion regarding ways of understanding and relating to the “will of the Father” have drawn students of this Gospel into very lively and enriching discussions down through the years.
A close look at six Matthean pericopes reveals that the author employs the term θέλημα at various stages of the narrative as a referral point which unites different dimensions of one’s being a disciple of Jesus. The story, as it progresses, links up the will of the Father with the practice of greater righteousness, with one’s identity as a member of Jesus’ family, and with discussions on faith and judgement. Jesus the Son, who prays with the same words as he gave to his disciples, himself becomes a model in leading the disciples on to a filial relationship with the Father. The will of the Father is also the norm for mutual relationships and decisions within the disciples’ community.
The study also puts to test a new way of reading texts of different literary genre in a unified manner by focusing attention on the meaning and function of each pericope, and shows how such a reading helps resolve apparent dichotomies and contributes to the clarification of concepts.
PALACHUVATTIL MATHEW, born in Kerala (India), is a priest of the diocese of Jalandhar, Punjab. He holds an M.A. in English Literature from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (1984), and an M.Th. from Jñana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune (1988). After obtaining an L.S.S. from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome (1993), he taught at the Trinity College Seminary in Jalandhar. He completed his doctoral studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (2007).
(C) PUG 2008