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Showing posts from October, 2013

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

The theme for this week is Justification… but what exactly does that mean?  According to Merriam-Webster, "justification" is “the act, process, or state of being justified by God”.  Looking more closely at the root word, “justify”, means “to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable.”  So it begs the question… what is right or reasonable by God?  How do we justify ourselves before the Lord?  Let’s see what our readings have to say…

The Word for the 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time
       Wisdom 11:22-12:2
        Psalm 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14
        2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2
        Luke 19:1-10

Our first reading this week comes from the Book of Wisdom.  Similar in style and teaching to the Book of Sirach (which you may recall dates to about 150 BCE), the Book of Wisdom is newer (dating to about 50 BCE), and comes from the Jewish community in Alexandria instead of Jerusalem.  What makes Wisdom stand apart from Sirach, however, is its perspective from a people who are being op…

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

As you may be aware, Halloween is next week.  While some of our Christian brothers and sisters have developed a disdain for the holiday, we Catholics choose to join in the celebration while also reminding ourselves of the holiday’s uniquely Christian origins.  What was called All Hallow’s Eve is celebrated the night of October 31st as the vigil celebration of All Hallow’s Day… what we now call All Saints Day… which is celebrated November 1st.  This is followed by All Souls Day on November 2nd.  These three celebrations together form the triduum of Hallowmas, a celebration that honors the dead (saints, martyrs, and all the dearly departed).  Our neighbors in Mexico celebrate this time as Dia de Muertos… Day of the dead.  All these traditions have their origins in pagan mythology, but as with many pagan celebrations, they translate to Christian theology in a way that enlightens our faith, while maintaining certain cultural heritages.  But for now, we still have our session for this week…

29th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

As for this week’s readings... we  continue our theme of prayer.  Last week we focused on prayer of thanksgiving.  This week we focus on petition and intersession… in other words, making requests of God, either for our benefit, or the benefit of others.  There are actually two types of intercessory prayer:  One is praying directly to other souls to intercede on our behalf to God, such as in a prayer to Mary or one of the saints.  The other is us praying on behalf of others, such as what the lector or the priest does at Mass during the “prayers of the faithful”.  In this second case, we are the soul interceding on behalf of someone else.  So as you can see, we can serve both as the intercessor, and the intercessee in this type of prayer.

The Word for the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
        Exodus 17:8-13
        Psalm 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
        2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
        Luke 18:1-8

As for our readings, we open with Exodus.  Moses and the Israelites are pushing into the Southern Canaan…

28th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

Thank you.  It’s a phrase we (hopefully) hear and/or express daily.  Sometimes it’s used so often it tends to lose its meaning.  Similarly, there are times when it should be or could be used, but doesn’t, diminishing its importance.  This week our readings remind us of the power and importance of the need to give thanks...

The Word for the 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
        2 Kings 5:14-17
        Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
        2 Timothy 2:8-13
        Luke 17:11-19

We open with a reading from 2nd Kings.  Naaman, a Syrian military commander, seeks to thank Elisha for curing him of his leprosy (an act that King Joram of Israel is not too keen to happen).  Not only does he wish to give thanks to Elisha, but also to his God.  This is nothing short of a complete conversion for Naaman, who not only sees the glory of God, but recognizes the importance of the land in this covenant relationship.  He asks for two mule loads of dirt to take back to his homeland in order to worship God on his la…

27th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

Much of what we read in the Bible is where the Lord (through the prophets) tells us how special we are... God's chosen ones, a people he has taken unto himself.  Sounds pretty good, right?  But then there are those other parts of the Bible where the Lord tells us that we have no right to claim any special privileges... even though we've been chosen.  What's going on there?  Sounds to me like our Scripture is giving us mixed messages... is it?  Let's see what our readings tell us this week... 

The Word for the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
        Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
        Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
        2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
        Luke 17:5-10

Our opening reading from Habakkuk shares the same passion employed by Amos, Isaiah, and Jeremiah to condemn the social abuses of their day.  To put this into context, Habakkuk’s ministry started about 140 years after Amos’ ministry.  Amos, a Northern prophet born in the South, spoke of the fall to come.  By the time of Haba…