Skip to main content

22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a
Luke 14:1, 7-14

If you had to describe this week’s readings with one word… it would be “humility.”  In our first reading from the book of Sirach, the author states this very clearly in the opening lines of the passage:  “… conduct your affairs with humility.”  Why is this important?  First, it’s good to remember that the book of Sirach falls under the category of “wisdom” literature in the bible, and because of it’s relatively late writing (around the 2ndcentury BCE), has been excluded from the Hebrew and Protestant bibles.  Catholics, however, find the work to be inspired and includes it in our Canon.  Like all wisdom literature, it is a cross between popular non-fiction and catechetical text.  In today’s reading, the author reminds us that the more we humble ourselves, the greater favor we will find with God.  And this humility isn’t limited to just how we approach God, but everyone, an idea Jesus himself codified when he taught us to “love our neighbor.”

Turning to our Gospel from Luke, Jesus gives us an example of this through his Parable of the Conduct of Invited Guests and Hosts (a prelude to the Parable of the Great Feast).  While dining at the home of the leading Pharisees, Jesus notices the guests jockeying for preferential positions at the table.  He uses this observation for a catechetical or “teaching” moment, and so as not to offend anyone directly, uses the form of a parable.  In the story, Jesus encourages guests not to take the highest spot at table, but rather, take the lowest.  Why?  If the host sees you in the wrong spot, placing you higher at the table would be an honor, whereas moving you further down the table would be an embarrassment.  In other words, we should not assume our place at table (or the heavenly kingdom), this is for our host (God) to decide.  Going back to our lesson from Sirach, letting humility be our guide, we should take our place last in line, and not presume that our place should be higher (for that would be a selfish indulgence).  Jesus doesn’t stop there, however.  He goes on to say that those who are in need (the poor, crippled, lame, blind…) should be invited as well, for as Jesus notes, the host would be blessed for their righteousness.

Not only does Jesus remind us of the need to be humble, but he reaches back to the core of the Mosaic Law, and reminds us that it is how we treat the underprivileged (the widow, the foreigner, the orphan), is how we will be judged.  In Christian theology, we call this “a preferential option for the poor.”  Those in need require our special attention.

And what of our second reading?  Here we continue our study of the Letter to the Hebrews.  This Sunday’s passage reminds us that through Christ, God is accessible.  No longer should God be feared (as it was with the Israelites in the time of Moses), but instead, wants to be with us.

Catholic Update

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

3rd Sunday of Advent

The third Sunday of Advent marks the midpoint of the season… in Catholic terms, this is like “hump day”, where we happily see that the conclusion of our journey is within sight.  Referred to as Gaudete Sunday, it takes its name from the Latin word for rejoice.  We will hear this word several times throughout this Sunday's Mass in our prayers and our readings.  We light the rose colored candle on our Advent wreaths, rose being a mixture of Advent violet and Christmas white.  Not only is Christmas a joyous occasion to celebrate the birth of our Lord, but it reminds us that we are joyous (not fearful) of his return.


The Word for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11
Luke 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28

We open with a great announcement from Third Isaiah, that the anointed brings glad tidings to the poor.  If his words sound familiar, they should.  Not only are they reminiscent to the announcement made by the angels to the shepherd in th…

4th Sunday of Lent

This Sunday we continue our Lenten journey through Salvation History with a continued focus on covenant.  We’ve already given witness to the covenants with Noah, Abraham, and Moses.  This week we turn our attention to the Davidic Covenant (the covenant with King David), or more accurately, the covenant with the monarchy of Israel.


The Word for the 4th Sunday of Lent 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23
Psalms 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6
Ephesians 2:4-10
John 3:14-21

Our first reading comes from the end of the 2nd book of Chronicles.  Though our intent this Sunday is to remember the Davidic Covenant, our Lectionary has chosen an interesting approach.  Rather than give us a story about King David, we are presented with a story  from the end of the Babylonian Exile.  Why approach the covenant with David from this tail-end view? 

It’s an approach that actually fits very well with the Book of Chronicles, for you see, the Book of Chronicles is much more than a retelling of the story we heard in books …

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Our readings this week focus on a core theme that runs through Jesus’ ministry… repentance.  There is no sin so grave that cannot be forgiven with true contrition and a return to God.  This was the message that John the Baptist proclaimed, and the message Jesus continued as he took up his ministry.  This theme not only runs through the gospels, but is a major theme that binds the entire Bible into a cohesive volume. 


The Word for the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

Our first reading comes from the book of Jonah.  The story of Jonah is well known in both Jewish and Christian circles, yet for all its popularity, we only hear it in the Liturgy this once.  For this reason, many Catholics only have a passing familiarity with Jonah’s story.  They know his name and that he was swallowed by a large fish (or whale), but that’s about it.  In our passage this week, God asks Jonah to go through the city of Nineveh preac…