TWENTIETH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

                                TWENTIETH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C  

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

 

Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

 FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?

 

 2. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 SECOND DAY         READ JEREMIAH 38:4-6, 8-10       FIRST READING

         (“King Zedekiah answered: ‘He is in your power.'”)

 

  1. What did the princes say to the king? Jeremiah 38:4

  

  1. What was it Jeremiah said that caused the princes to say this?  Jeremiah 38:1-3

  

  1. What did the princes say Jeremiah did to the soldiers and    all the people and in what did they say was his interest?

     Jeremiah 38:4

  

  1. Who was the king at that time, how did he answer them and  for what reason?  Jeremiah 38:5

    

 5. What did they do with Jeremiah? Jeremiah 38:6

 

 

  1. Who was Ebed-melech and what did he do? Jeremiah 38:7-8

 

  1. What did he tell the king about the men who had Jeremiah put in the cistern?  Jeremiah 38:9

 

 

  1. What did he say would happen to Jeremiah and for what reason?  Jeremiah 38:9

 

 

  1. What did the king order to be done? Jeremiah 38:10

 

 

Personal – In what way are you influenced by the opinions of others?  This past week how have you obeyed God’s Word, which was against what others thought you should do.  

 

 

THIRD DAY           READ HEBREWS 12:1-4           SECOND READING

          (“For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;”)

 

  1. By what are we surrounded? Hebrews 12:1

 

 

  1. What are we to lay aside? Hebrews 12:1

 

 

  1. In what are we to persevere? Hebrews 12:1

 

 

  1. On whom are we to keep our eyes fixed, and what does he do  for us?  Hebrews 12:2

 

 

  1. What lay before him and what did he endure, heedless of its shame?  Hebrews 12:2

 

 

  1. Where has he taken his seat? Hebrews 12:2

 

 

  1. What are we to remember and what are we not to become?     Hebrews 12:3

  

  1. Who was it that opposed him? Hebrews 12:3

 

  1. Who are the sinners? Romans 3:23

  

  1. Where do we get our strength in the struggle against sin? Isaiah 40:28-31

 

 11. What have we not yet done? Hebrews 12:4

 

 Personal – How have you resisted sin in your life?  What does it mean to you personally: “In your fight against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood?”

 

FOURTH DAY             READ LUKE 12:49-53               GOSPEL

           (“I have come to set the world on fire,”)

 

  1. What has Jesus come to do on the earth? Luke 12:49

 

 

  1. What does he wish? Luke 12:49

 

 

  1. What does he have to receive and what does he feel, until it is over?  Luke 12:50

 

 

  1. What is the baptism to which he is referring? Mark 10:38 and          John 19:28-30

 

 

  1. What question does Jesus ask and how does he answer it?     Luke 12:51

 

 

  1. Why did he come? Luke 12:51

 

 

  1. What is the division to which he refers? Matthew 25:32-46,    Ezekiel 34:17

 

 

  1. What will happen to a household of five? Luke 12:52

 

  1. What will happen to fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law?  Luke 12:53

 

 

  1. What will happen to you because of Jesus and when will this  happen?  Matthew 10:21-23

 

 

  1. Who will be our enemies? Matthew 10:36

 

 Personal – In what way has following Jesus separated you from family members?  How have you dealt with the rejection?  Meditate on Matthew 11:28-30.

 

FIFTH DAY             READ PSALM 40:2-4, 18             PSALM

 

                (“He put a new song into my mouth.”)

 

Read and meditate on Psalm 40:2-4, 18.

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

SIXTH DAY              READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

                      JEREMIAH 38:4-6, 8-10

      King Zedekiah and his officials did not want to listen to Jeremiah’s words, but they were in need of blessing from his prayers.  The King went back and forth from surrender to resistance.  The King was in turmoil with everyone.  He was told by Jeremiah that if he accepted Egypt’s help and stayed in Jerusalem, he would be destroyed by the Babylonian army.  He asked Jeremiah to come secretly to the palace, hoping for some better news from God.  The King was in a panic, he  wanted to hear God’s word but he had no desire to enter into a political conflict with some of his public officials. 

      King  Zedekiah was a leader who was incapable of making firm decisions. He agreed with everybody, which  resulted in his nation’s being in turmoil.  He listened to Jeremiah (37:2); and then by another’s advice, he agreed that Jeremiah should be killed (38:5).  Finally, he had Jeremiah rescued by advice from yet a different person (38:10).  Jeremiah was not popular, his words were misinterpreted as being those of a traitor.  He was, in fact, stating God’s prophecy that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed because of its sins.  He warned the people to flee to Babylon but they refused to listen.  Jeremiah was proclaiming God’s word for 40 years and was rejected, persecuted, and had no followers encouraging him.  He finally was forced to leave his homeland, and even the pagan Babylonians treated him with more respect than did his own people. 

      Today, we need to recognize that God does not guarantee that his servants, even one with the stature of Jeremiah, will escape persecution, even when they are faithful.  But God does promise us, as he promised them, that he will be with us and will give us the strength to endure.  As you minister to people,  remember that your service is for God and not for man’s approval.  Jerusalem had several gates, including the gate of Benjamin, where legal matters were handled.  Ebed-melech, a public official, went immediately to the gate of Benjamin to protest to the King about the injustice being done to Jeremiah.  This public official stood alone in his protest of the murder plot.  His obedience could have cost him his life, but God spared him when Jerusalem fell (39:16-18). 

     You can either go along with the crowd or speak up for God when someone is treated unjustly.  You may be the only one, and when you are being treated unjustly yourself be sure to thank the Lord when he sends an “Ebed-melech” your way.

                          HEBREWS 12:1-4

      Living a Catholic Christian Life, or as they say in the street, not only talking the talk but also walking the walk, involves hard work.  We are called to let go of anything or anyone who endangers our personal relationship with the Lord.  We are to run patiently and to struggle against sin in our lives with the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7).  To live this type of life, we must constantly keep our vision on the Lord Jesus Christ.  We stumble and eventually fall when we take our eyes off Jesus Christ and look at ourselves or the circumstances surrounding us.  We need to remember that we are running Christ’s race and we must always keep him in sight.  When hardship and discouragement come, it is easy, sometimes, to lose sight of the big picture. 

     Jesus is always with us, encouraging us in our struggle.  We must not back away from suffering either, because suffering is the training for our Christian spiritual maturity.  Jack LaLayne, the body builder, canned the phrase “no pain, no gain.”  It is true that suffering develops our patience and makes our final victory sweeter.  Jesus endured the ultimate suffering and it was for us all.  He suffered to the point of shedding his blood, so that all mankind might be free.

     Many of us face tremendous physical, emotional or spiritual difficulties but it is in knowing that he is within each of us that makes the race endurable.  Jesus sweat great drops of blood over the sin and temptation to which all are subject.  Jesus did not give up his vision for our freedom, and neither should we give up our vision of running his race in the same manner as he did his. 

     Today we hear of many ways to run in the race of life.  An athlete has to train diligently if he expects to be successful.  You and I are called to look together to Jesus, and he will be in concert with us. His love will become obvious in the way we respond to the needs of others.

                           LUKE 12:49-53

      Jesus warns that his coming to the earth was about to bring division between many close groups, including families.  He tells us that he came to bring a fire to the earth and that, of course, was his Holy Spirit.  We think of the coming of the Holy Spirit as little tongues of fire over the heads of the Apostles  (Acts 2:3).

Fire is used for cleansing and purifying precious metals.  Fire strips and burns away all imperfections.  Fire is powerful and painful.

      Jesus’ terrible baptism was his coming crucifixion.  He talked of the incredible physical, emotional, and spiritual pain of complete separation from God which was necessary to pay for the sins of the whole world.  That’s right, he had to take on the pain of all the sins of the world.  He died for you and me, while we yet were sinners (Romans 5:8).  His death released all of us from our slavery to sin.  It is easy for us to say we will suffer anything for Christ, and yet most of us complain every day when even little irritations come.  If we say that we are willing to face suffering on a large scale for Christ, we must be willing to suffer in little ways for Christ.

      Jesus had revealed that his coming would result in conflict even between family members.  He demands a response, and many groups are torn apart when some choose to follow him and incur suffering in his name, while others refuse to do so.  There is no middle ground with Jesus; you are either with him or against him.  We need only look at places in our world where families are pitted against each other. We are called to declare our loyalty to Christ and make our commitment to him.  This might involve cutting off some relationships, possibly in our own family.  Are you willing to risk the approval of your friends or even that of your families to gain eternal life?

 Application

      In the first reading we see Jeremiah being persecuted and rejected for forty years in his ministry.  The second reading tells us that we must keep our eyes on Christ as we run the race of life, especially when suffering comes our way.  The gospel tells us not to give up, that Christ is always with us even in our darkest moments of life.

      This week, let us be especially aware of others, particularly our family members.  If we experience rejection and persecution because of our commitment to Christ, let us, through our prayers, and knowledge that Jesus is always with us, respond in a manner that will show others that nothing can separate us from God’s love.     

NINETEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

 

                              NINETEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C  

 BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

 What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from  the homily you heard on Sunday?

  

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

   

SECOND DAY            READ WISDOM 18:6-9        FIRST READING

         (“Your people awaited the salvation of the just.”)

 

  1. What night was known beforehand to our fathers? Wisdom 18:5-6

 

 

  1. Fill in the following blanks:  “With sure knowledge of the          oaths in which they put their __________ they might have          ____________.  Wisdom 18:6

 

 

  1. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1

 

 

  1. How does faith come to us? Romans 10:17

 

 

  1. They put faith in the knowledge of what in order to have courage?  Wisdom 18:6

 

   

  1. What did the people await? Wisdom 18:7

 

  1. Who was punished and in this, what happened to those who had been summoned?  Wisdom 18:8

 

 

 

  1. What were the holy children offering and what were they

     putting into effect with one accord?  Wisdom 18:9

 

 

  1. What two things would the holy ones share alike and what had they previously been doing?  Wisdom 18:9

 

 

Personal – In what way have you been “singing the praises” of what your forefathers, those who believed, have passed on to you?  In what way have you passed this faith on to your family?

 

 

THIRD DAY          READ HEBREWS 11:1-2, 8-19    SECOND READING

 

(“Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, …”)

 

  1. Fill in the following blanks:  “Faith is the confident          assurance concerning what we __________ for, and conviction   about things we do _______ ________.”  Hebrews 11:1

 

 

  1. Why were the men of old approved by God? Hebrews 11:2

 

 

  1. What did Abraham do when he was called, where did he go, and did he know where he was going?  Hebrews 11:8

 

        

  1. What did Abraham do in the promised land as in a foreign country and with whom did he dwell in tents who were heirs to     the same promise?  Hebrews 11:9

 

 

  1. To what was he looking forward, and who is the designer and maker of this?  Hebrews 11:10

 

 

  1. What did Abraham do by faith, and of what did he think the one who made the promise was worthy?  Hebrews 11:11

 

  1. In whom are we to trust? Hebrews 2:13, Isaiah 8:17

 

 

  1. As a result of this faith, what came forth from the one man?       Hebrews 11:12

 

 

  1. What happened to those who died in faith and for what were they searching?  Hebrews 11:13-16

 

 

  1. What is God not ashamed to be called, what has he prepared   for them, what did Abraham do by faith and what would happen through Isaac?  Hebrews 11:16-18

 

 

  1. What did Abraham reason that God was able to do; in so doing,     as what did he receive Isaac back?  Hebrews 11:19

 

 

Personal – List the things you have given up by faith and trust in the Lord.  This list can include monetary things or people.

 

 

FOURTH DAY            READ LUKE 12:32-48               GOSPEL

             (“Do not live in fear, little flock”)

  

  1. In what must you not live, and what has pleased our heavenly Father?  Luke 12:32

 

       

  1. What must you do, what must you give and what must you get? Luke 12:33

 

 

  1. Fill in the following blank: “Wherever your treasure lies, there your _____________ will be.”  Luke 12:34

 

 

  1. What must you do, with whom will it go well when the master returns, and what will the master do with them? 

     Luke 12:35-37

 

 

  1. If the head of the house knew when the thief was coming, what      would he not do?  Luke 12:39

 

 

  1. What are we to be and when will the Son of Man come?      Luke 12:40

 

 

  1. What was the question Peter asked Jesus when the Lord replied with a question and then gave an example? Luke 12:41-42

 

 

  1. What is the servant doing who is fortunate, and who will the master rank undeserving of trust? Luke 12:43-46

 

 

 

  1. What will happen to the one who knew his master’s wishes and what will happen to the one who did not know them? 

     Luke 12:47-48

 

 

  1. When much has been given a man what will be required of him and what will be asked of a man to whom more has been    entrusted?  Luke 12:48

 

 

Personal – How have you been preparing for the day when you will be face to face with the Lord.  Pray and ask the Lord to show you where to spend your money, where to spend most of your time and what you should be doing with your talents (natural gifts God has given you).  Repent and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week in order to receive the added grace to change.

 

 

FIFTH DAY         READ PSALM 33:1, 12, 18-22

 

            (“Happy the nation whose God is the Lord.”)

              

Read and meditate on Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-22.

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

SIXTH DAY         READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

                        WISDOM 18:6-9

      The Exodus was Moses leading his people out of bondage in Egypt and into freedom in the new land.  The angel of death went from house to house and killed the first-born baby.  The only ones spared were in the homes that had the blood of the slain lamb spread around its doorsill.  The Israelite’s, rather than succumb to the darkness of false religions and immoral culture, remain loyal to genuine wisdom of their faith.

      This passage was written for the Jews who found it essential  to keep that night (Exodus) vividly implanted in their minds for maintaining spiritual balance.  On that night, all of Egypt’s first-born died. 

      We see incredible contrasts in this passage, the Hebrews sharing the same things, blessings and dangers, and all the time singing praises to their heavenly Father.  We can also hear the despairing cry of their enemies lamenting for their dead children.  All suffered, slave, master, common man, even Pharaoh’s first-born died that night.  Finally he saw that the faith of the Hebrews was far too strong for him to defeat.  He told them to take their God with them and flee from Egypt. 

      The Jews were delivered from Pharaoh by the power of God’s Holy Word.  In faith they read, believed, and lived his word.  The Lord delivered them and he will deliver us if we keep his Holy Word in our minds, on our lips and in our hearts.  He has given us the gift of faith and in that faith we will find the courage to profess that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. 

     Jesus is the new and permanent passover. Through Moses the people passed over from bondage to freedom and then finally they died.  Through Jesus we have passed over from death to life and with him we will have eternal life.

                       HEBREWS 11:1-2, 8-19

     This passage challenges us to question the very meaning of faith.  What is faith? 

      Faith is the response to the living presence of the power of God in our lives.  It is a response, an acceptance, a belief of a very special gift from God.  A birthday always brings the excitement and anticipation of receiving gifts.  You knew you would receive some things but there would always be something that was a surprise.  Birthdays combine assurance and anticipation and so does faith.  Faith is the conviction based on past experience that God’s new and fresh surprises will surely be ours. 

      We describe faith with words like confidence and certainty.  These two qualities need a secure beginning and ending point.  The beginning point of faith is believing – “He is what he says.”  The end point is believing in God’s promises – “He will do what he says.”

     Abraham believed in who God was and he believed in what God promised.  His faith was anchored by obedience.  It is not enough to believe, we must also, through obedience, RESPOND.  Abraham left his home and went to another land, obeying without question.  Abraham was even willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  We should not be surprised if God asks us to give up the security of the familiar to obey him and what he promised.  Many people of faith listed in scripture died without receiving all that God promised, but they never lost their vision of heaven.

     Today many Christians become frustrated and defeated because their needs, wants, expectations, and demands are not immediately met when they believe in Christ.  Many become impatient and want to quit. We need to take courage from those heros of faith who lived and died without seeing the fruit of their faith on earth, and yet they continued to believe.  We can in faith trust God with our most prized possessions (our families, etc.).  We may not receive what we want immediately, but by responding in faith he will do what he says, when the time is appropriate.

                          LUKE 12:32-48

      This passage tells us that to worry is not of the Lord. Jesus tells us that it gives his Father great pleasure to give us the kingdom. To understand this verse we must know that when a person was adopted into a Hebrew family, he became legally eligible for all the benefits that were due to him; therefore, he was now a full fledged heir to the estate.  Through the blood of Jesus Christ we all become eligible heirs to the King.  We need only to accept Jesus as Lord to become an heir to the kingdom. 

     That is why we do not have to worry, we are heirs of the King.  We do not need to worry about how much money we have to make, God will provide for us.  This does not mean that we do not need to be responsible or to plan to provide for our families.  Money used as an end in itself quickly traps us and cuts us off from both God and the needy.  We need to see how much of our money can be used for God’s purposes.  Does God’s love touch your wallet?  Does your money free you to help others?  If so, you are storing up lasting treasures in heaven.  We cannot separate what we do from what we believe.  What we treasure reveals our true priorities.  If your priorities were judged by where you put your time, your money, and your energy, what would be the verdict?

     Not only does Jesus tell us to not worry but also to be prepared for his return.  Our faith is a response to the living presence of God in our lives.  It is through the gift of faith that we can draw on the resources of Jesus Christ.  It is Jesus who will supply all of our needs from his riches in glory (Phil. 4:19).  We must stop worrying about what the world thinks of us and in faith live in preparation for his return.

      Jesus tells us that a kingdom is being prepared for his followers.  Furthermore, we are told in this passage that much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater.  You and I have much; we have been blessed in many ways.  We have a loving, compassionate, forgiving God, who calls on us to be the same as he.  Our faith, which is a gift from him, gives us the courage to say “Yes Lord.”

      To prepare for the Lord’s return, we must not be hypercritical, but sincere, fearless,  and ready to witness.  We need not be anxious, but trusting.  We should not be greedy but generous, not lazy but diligent.  In faith, we can be ready for his return.

Application

      “That night,” in the first reading, was a flight of faith out of Egypt.  In the second reading, we saw a journey through darkness by our spiritual heroes that was illuminated by their faith.  The gospel tells us to be prepared and through the gift of faith, be ready for the Lord’s return. 

      Today, through our own gift of faith, by daily prayer, reading scripture and receiving the sacraments, we can keep ourselves ready for when the Lord appears personally to each one of us.                        

 

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

                       THE BREAD OF LIFE

                     CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY

          EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C    

 BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

 Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

 

FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

 

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from

        the homily you heard on Sunday?

 

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you

        choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 SECOND DAY      READ ECCLESIASTES 1:2; 2:21-23  FIRST READING

      (“For what profit comes to a man for all the toil and

  anxiety of heart with which he had labored under the sun.”)

  

  1. Who is Qoheleth, and what are his words? Ecclesiastes 1:1-2

 

 

  1. How has a man labored, over what has he labored, who must he leave it to, and besides vanity what is it? Ecclesiastes 2:21

 

 

  1. Why do we do honest (labor) work? Ephesians 6:7-8

 

 

  1. What question is asked over that which a man labors?      Ecclesiastes 2:22

 

 

  1. For the sake of profit, what do many do, and what does the  struggle for wealth do?    Sirach 27:1

 

 

  1. What chokes the word and bears no fruit? Mark 4:19

 

 

  1. What did Jesus tell Martha? Luke 10:41-42

 

 

  1. What is a man’s occupation, what happens to him at night,   and what is this?    Ecclesiastes 2:23

 

 

  1. What has God made the wisdom of the world, and what will he  do with it?  1 Corinthians 1:19-20

 

 

  1. What is there in much worldly wisdom and sorrow?    Ecclesiastes 1:18

 

 

Personal – In what way have you worked so hard that worry has kept you awake at night over your work?  What is your purpose in doing this?

 

THIRD DAY         READ COLOSSIANS 3:1-5, 9-11   SECOND READING

     (“Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off  the old self with its practices.”)

 

  1. What did you do with Christ, what do you seek, and where is  Christ seated?   Colossians 3:1

 

 

  1. Through what have we grown in union with him, and through what shall we also be united with him? Romans 6:5

 

 

  1. About what are we to think, about what are we not to think,  and for what reason are we to think this way? Colossians 3:2-3

 

 

  1. About what things are we to think, with what are we not to occupy our mind, and where is our citizenship?

     Philippians 4:8, Philippians 3:19-20

 

 

  1. What will happen when Christ your life appears, and what are we to put to death?   Colossians 3:4-5

 

 

  1. What should not even be mentioned among us? Ephesians 5:3

 

 

  1. What are we to stop doing, and what have we taken off?    Colossians 3:9

 

 

  1. What is being renewed, and for what is it being renewed?   Colossians 3:10

 

 

  1. What are we to put away, and in what are we to be renewed?   Ephesians 4:22-24

 

 

  1. Between what is there no distinction, and who is everything  and in everything?   Colossians 3:11

 

Personal –  What are the things you seek in life, and about what do you spend most of your time thinking?  What do you need to do to think about the things above and not of these earthly things?

 

FOURTH DAY            READ LUKE 12:13-21               GOSPEL

 

      (“Take care to guard against greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”)

 

  1. What did someone in the crowd say to Jesus, how did Jesus      address him, and what did he say?    Luke 12:13-14

 

 

  1. Against what did Jesus tell the crowd to guard, of and what did he say one’s life does not consist?   Luke 12:15

 

 

  1. What comes from a man’s greed, and it is better to be a poor  man than what? Proverbs 19:22

 

 

  1. What does not satisfy a man’s greed? Ecclesiastes 4:8

 

 

Personal – How can you guard against greed in your home or work?

 

 

  1. What did Jesus go on to tell the crowd? Luke 12:16

 

 

  1. What did the rich man ask himself, and what did he say he

     would do to store his bountiful harvest?   Luke 12:17-18

 

 

  1. Now that he had so many good things stored, what did he

     say he could do?   Luke 12:19

 

 

  1. About what should you not boast, and for what reason?   Proverbs 27:1

 

 

  1. What are you to tell the rich? 1 Timothy 6:17-18

 

 

  1. What did God say to the man? Luke 12:20-21

 

 

Personal – What are the things you are storing that matter to God, and what do you need to give away?

 

 FIFTH DAY           READ PSALM 95:1-2, 6-9

 

             (“Come, let us bow down in worship.”)

 

Read and meditate on Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9.

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 SIXTH DAY         READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

                    ECCLESIASTES 1:2, 2:21-23

      Today’s reading is taken from the Book of Qoheleth, which in Greek means Ecclesiastes. The book is presented as coming from David’s son, King in Jerusalem. We see the author as a man of numerous experiences. His interest of human life and experiences is very broad.

      This reading challenges us and raises more questions than it answers. We see man constantly searching for more out of life, and while he achieves a great deal, he seems frustrated and unfulfilled. He talks about vanity in the sense that everything is only temporary and to put all of our energy into things is foolish as well as in vain. He states that the wise man and the fool both die, and whatever they have on earth goes to someone else to enjoy.  He sees in the vanity of life that a man is blessed if he reverently honors his promise to God. The unjust man, on the other hand, will some day face great punishment.

      A strong vanity of life appears to be great wealth, because it also causes a man much worry and loss of sleep due to his fear of losing his wealth. Wisdom seems to help a man from being depressed and fills his life’s emptiness, but death seems to put an end to wisdom. Qoheleth showed through experience that even the just suffer and the unjust seem to go unpunished for a long time. He calls for patience and wisdom. He links obedience with authority to obedience to God. He sees life as something to be enjoyed rather than something to be endured. This reading brings to us the example of life’s experiences.

      Today we see people who are very wise with very little formal education. We see in the wise person the knowledge that God is the only one who is permanent. Today’s passage tells us that to put our complete trust and faith in anything or anyone, other than God, is indeed this vanity of vanities.

                     COLOSSIANS 3:1-5, 9-11

      In today’s passage, true Christian behavior is demonstrated by putting on a new nature and accepting Christ, and then letting the old nature die. In Baptism, the Christian dies and rises again. Baptism means to submerge, drown, and sink. This is the death of the old nature. To rise is when we come up out of the water and, like Christ did in the resurrection, take on a new life. We rise from the waters of Baptism, a different person.

      We change our behavior when we let Christ live within us, so that he can shape us into what we should be, rather than what we may want to be. While the Christian’s real home is in heaven, it does not mean that he is to withdraw himself from the work and activities of the world. God never did tell us to leave this world; he did tell us to win over the world. The Christian sets his eye, his standard, and his ideal, not on the world but on that which is of God. He will go on using the things of the world, but he will use them in a new way.

      As Christians, we are invited to place giving before getting, serving before ruling, and forgiving above avenging. The Christian’s standard of values will be God’s standards, not men’s. The early Christians regarded Baptism as a dying and rising again. The Greeks spoke of a man who was dead and buried as hidden in the earth, but the Christian who has died a spiritual death in Baptism is not hidden in the earth, but hidden in Christ.

     Today, the world tells us that the treasury of wisdom is hidden, acquired knowledge. Christians have the treasury of all wisdom in Jesus Christ. The Christian is in a continuing educational program. The more we know about Christ, the more we are being changed to be like him. Christ breaks down all barriers and accepts all people who come to him. As Christians, we are called to build bridges, not barriers.

                          LUKE 12:13-21

      Today’s Gospel brings us right into the conflict that is threatening to tear the heart out of our communities. The conflict is between the people who have much of the so-called good life and those who are struggling just to make ends meet. Jesus is pointing to a higher issue, a correct attitude toward the accumulation of wealth.  He tells us that life is far more than material goods, and most important is our relationship with God.

     When we bring our problems to God in prayer, he often shows us how we need to change and grow in our attitude toward these problems. Jesus tells us that we do not always have to wish for what we do not have, and he tells us the existing good life has nothing to do with being wealthy. This is the exact opposite of what the world is telling us. Advertisers spend fortunes telling people that if they buy a certain product, their lives will be happier, and more comfortable. In your community, how do you respond to the constant pressure to buy?

      We must learn to concentrate on the good life; that is to live in a relationship with God and do his work. The man in today’s reading died before he was able to use what he had saved. Jesus asks what good is it to put all of our energy into what we need here on earth and not to prepare for our inevitable death. When a rich man or a poor man dies, they both will stand in judgment. It makes no difference how well they did in their earthly life. How powerful, rich, or educated you are will not be the question asked by the Lord. He will say, “What you did to the least of my people, you did to me.” (Mat. 25:31-46). You are to plan and save and be prudent with your life, but it is most important to make your life worthwhile by living it for others through Christ. When Christ one day asks you, “What did you do when you were on earth?” and if you say, “I loved others as you have loved me,” you will be one of the richest saints in heaven.

Application

     The first reading tells us “that you can not take it with you.” The second reading tells us to give before getting, serve before ruling, forgive before avenging. The Gospel shows that we should seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be given to us.

     This week, use what you have to help others and let your example be passed on to others. Let your comments be positive and offer to help whether it is a big project or a small one. Share your wealth generously. Your wealth is far more than your money. To those who love you and know you, your presence is priceless to them. Let people see the Christ in you as you speak. Listen to them with the ears of Christ and see others through the eyes of Christ. You will be the richest person in your community because Christ wants you to give him away, so he can stay with you.

SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

                       THE BREAD OF LIFE

                     CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY

          SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C  

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

 

FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

 1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from

        the homily you heard on Sunday?

 

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you

        choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY           READ GENESIS 18:20-32       FIRST READING

      (“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great,  and their sin so grave,”)

 

 

  1. What did the Lord say about Sodom and Gomorrah?      Genesis 18:20-21

 

 

  1. What was one of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah? Genesis 19:4-9

 

 

  1. Why did the Lord go down to Sodom and Gomorrah? Genesis 18:21

 

 

  1. Who were the two men that walked on further while Abraham  remained standing before the Lord?  Genesis 19:1

 

 

  1. What did Abraham say to the Lord in Genesis 18:23?

 

 

  1. What did he say about fifty innocent people? Genesis 18:24

 

  1. What was Abraham’s statement to the Lord, and what was the Lord’s reply?  Genesis 18:25-26

 

 8. How did Abraham see himself, with what did Abraham persist in questioning the Lord, and what was the Lord’s answer? 

     Genesis 18:27-32.

 

 

  1. How many times did he persist with his questions?

     Genesis 18:24-32.

 

 

  1. As soon as the Lord had finished speaking to Abraham, where did he go, and where did Abraham go?  Genesis 18:33.

 

 

Personal – In what specific area have you been persistent in praying to the Lord?  How often do you get into conversations with the Lord as Abraham did?

 

 

THIRD DAY           READ COLOSSIANS 2:12-14     SECOND READING

 

       (“God gave you new life in company with Christ.”)

 

  1. What two things happened to you in Baptism? Colossians 2:12

 

 

  1. In whom did these two things happen and why? Colossians 2:8-9       Colossians 2:12.

 

 

  1. Who raised Jesus from the dead? Colossians 2:12

 

 

  1. What condition were you in when God gave you new life?      Colossians 2:13

 

 

  1. When you were dead in sin, to whom did you give allegiance?      Ephesians 2:1-2.

 

 

  1. With whom was this new life that God gave you? Colossians 2:13

 

  1. How can we partake of this new life? Romans 6:3-4

 

 

  1. What did he do with all of our sins? Colossians 2:13

 

 

  1. What did he cancel, and taking it; what did he do with it?      Colossians 2:14

 

 

  1. What did Jesus do in his own flesh, what did this create in him, and what was the result?  Ephesians 2:14-15

 

Personal – In what way do people see in you a person who has been pardoned of all your sins?  Take time to thank God for freeing you from the bondage of sin which he did by sending Jesus to die on the cross for you.  Spend time in conversation with our Father this week.

 

FOURTH DAY             READ LUKE 11:1-13                GOSPEL

                   (“Lord, teach us to pray.”)

 

  1. What did the disciples of Jesus observe him doing in a certain place, and what did they ask him?  Luke 11:1

 

 

  1. To whom did Jesus say you first address your prayer, and what two things do you say to him? Luke 11:2

 

 

  1. Next, what do you ask him to do? Luke 11:3

 

 

  1. What do we ask him to do for us as we do the same to others?      Luke 11:4

 

 

  1. From what do we ask him to forgive us? Luke 11:4.

 

 

Personal – How have you used the five levels of prayer in the Our Father this past week?  (Praise; Acceptance; Petition; Forgiveness; Protection).  Let this include your family life and work.

 

 6. Jesus tells a parable on prayer in Luke 11:5-8. What is a    reason he gives for prayer to be answered?  Luke 11:8.       

 

  1. What does Jesus say will happen when you ask, when you seek, and when you knock?  Luke 11:9.

 

 

  1. What does he repeat in verse 10 of Luke 11?

 

 

  1. What analogy does he use about our earthly fathers?     Luke 11:11-12

 

Personal –  When did you personally ask God to give you the Holy Spirit?  What change took place in your life?

 

FIFTH DAY           READ PSALM 138:1-3, 6-8

                 (“I will give thanks to you.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 138:1-3, 6-8.

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 

SIXTH DAY         READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

                         GENESIS 18:20-32

 

     Abraham introduces to us the idea that prayer is the means through which we can better comprehend the mind of God.  Abraham is well aware of the evil that is going on in Sodom, and he begins his prayer for the Lord’s people, including Lot, his nephew and Lot’s family.  It appears that Abraham was attempting to change God’s mind but in the process Abraham’s mind was changed. 

      Abraham never doubted that God hated sin and that sinners

would be punished.  But he may have been confused on just how merciful God really is.  He is seen probing the mind of God and ending his prayer convinced that God is both kind and fair.  Abraham’s prayer is in many ways like ours, always subject to change.  We might question why God let Abraham intercede for a city of people who were so wicked.  God wanted Abraham to personally experience God’s mercy towards sinners.  God knew that there were not ten righteous people in the city of Sodom, but he was delighted with Abraham’s intent to intercede for them.

 

     God wants us to constantly intercede for others, so that they can repent and come back to the kingdom of righteousness.  It is very important that we see God, not as one who enjoys destroying the wicked, but as one who must punish sin.  God was fair in testing the men of Sodom.  He told Abraham that he was going to see for himself how wicked the people of Sodom were and then he would decide what to do (Genesis 18:20).  God was not ignorant of the perversion that was going on in the city (Gen. 19:4-9), but in his mercy he gave the people one last chance to turn to him. 

      God is still waiting for his people to turn to him (2 Peter 3:9).  We are that people.  We too can suffer the same fate as the people of Sodom.  We need only to look around and see the moral perversion that has become so common and acceptable in our society.  Abraham prayed that God would not destroy the city if only ten people were righteous.  We need to reflect and pray that there are enough good people in our community. 

      God wills that none of us should perish.  God was not unfair to the people of Sodom.  He showed great mercy to Lot, who had only a mild relationship with him.  We are told in scripture, “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15).  Let us not be like the Sodomites who risked God’s patience wearing out. Rather, let us imitate Abraham and be people of prayer and righteousness.

                        COLOSSIANS 2:12-14

      In Paul’s day, the Church’s common form of Baptism was total immersion.  This was because the majority of new Christians were adult converts.  The Christian family had not yet come into existence which led naturally to infant baptism.

     The new Christians were completely submerged in water. This submersion symbolized the death and burial of their old way of life.  The coming up out of the water symbolized the resurrection of Christ from the dead.  We who have been baptized need only  think of our old sinful life as dead and buried. Then we will have a powerful motive to resist sin.  We do not want to empower that ugly part of our past. 

     Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of his Holy Spirit, we can consciously choose to treat the old nature as dead and enjoy our wonderful new life with Jesus Christ.  Through our baptism, we now have a new nature.  God crucified the old one (Romans 6:6) and replaced it with a new loving nature (Colossians 3:9-10).  It is important for us to realize that God does not take us out of the world and make us into religious robots.  We still have that tendency to sin occasionally and sometimes we do sin. 

     Incredibly, before we were saved we were slaves to a sinful nature, but now, through faith in Jesus Christ, we can choose to live for Christ.  We can enjoy our new life in Christ because we have joined him in his death and resurrection.  Our evil desires, our love of sin, and our bondage to sin have died with him.  Now, joining him in his resurrection, we can have unbroken fellowship with God and freedom from sin. 

      Our debt for sin has been paid in full, our sins are swept away and forgotten. We can be clean and new.  We need not be torn apart by the distractions in our society, families and even within ourselves.  We have been saved from the grasp of Satan by Christ through Baptism.  We have become heirs of the King and children of God.  We need only remember that because of our baptism “the Spirit that is within us is greater than anyone in the world.” (1 John 4:4). 

     Our baptism brings into our temple the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes us far more than just conquerors.  Spend time with our heavenly Father this week. Giving prayer and praise will strengthen our response in faith.  Those around us will see that we are people of prayer and power.

                           LUKE 11:1-13

     After finishing a regular, much needed, and fulfilling time of prayer, Jesus was asked by his disciples to teach them how to pray.  Jesus was a devout Jew who practiced his faith very diligently by reading his scripture and spending time in prayer.  He knew that his power and success in his mission came from his heavenly Father.  We too can take on this attitude of humility especially when we look around and see the accomplishments that we have made in our families, jobs, etc.  We need to remember that we can’t do anything of lasting value by ourselves. 

      Our only power and success comes from God (2 Cor. 3:5). This is why praying is so powerful and so needed in our lives today.  Jesus taught them what we call today the “perfect prayer.”  First, he identifies God as “Father,” which immediately ties him into a special relationship.  The Hebrew word for father is “Abba” or daddy.  Jesus, by calling him that name, states that he knows him personally. Not only he but all who make this prayer can be included in this intimate relationship.  He lets us know right from the beginning that Our Father can be trusted completely. 

      Jesus praises his Father and then he makes his requests.  Praising God first puts us in the right frame of mind to tell him about our needs.  The most powerful way to break out of a depression is through praise.  We step out of ourselves when we are truly praising someone else. 

      Many times our prayer is a shopping list, and not a conversation, between two people who love each other.  We see his precious name being hallowed or blessed.  This makes sense when we realize that in Hebrew times a person’s name was his entire character, his strength, and his reputation.  God’s name was blessed because all who called on it would also be blessed.  His kingdom was not only coming to earth but was in fact already here, transforming and saving the earth through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

     God’s provision of bread is daily, not once but for all.  We can’t just store it up and then cut off communication with God.  We dare not become fully self-satisfied.  If we are running low on strength, we need only to ask ourselves  how long have we been away from the source.  The cornerstone of this prayer is forgiveness.  Forgiveness, like love, is a decision that must be made in our relationship with God.  We can choose not to forgive and hold someone else in bondage, or we can choose to forgive and loosen someone from the bondage of being imprisoned. 

      Jesus very clearly shows us that his love is a love of forgiveness. We are to love as his Father loves and to love as Jesus loves.  We must forgive those who have wronged us just as he has forgiven us who have wronged him.  To remain unforgiving shows that we have not understood that we ourselves, along with all others, deeply need to forgive. 

     After the Lord’s prayer, Jesus continues to explain the need

for persistence in prayer by an example of a friend waking his neighbor in the middle of the night asking for food. We need to be as persistent in our prayer as the man knocking on his neighbor’s door. 

     God who loves us receives our prayers as a perfect Father would and we should be persistent in praying to him.  His response to us is always for our own good, even if we don’t understand fully the response at the time.  He is our Father, he is blessed, and he forgives us. We as his children honor him by our prayers, our praise, and our forgiveness of others.

Application

      The first reading shows that Abraham prayed constantly and with great persistence.  The second reading tells us that we are dead to the old sinful nature through Christ, and the Gospel introduces us to the perfect prayer.

      Let us pray that all will accept the Holy Spirit from our heavenly Father.  If you have not asked to receive him, I pray that you will take this time now and invite the Holy Spirit to take up residence in your heart.  This is the essence of our “perfect prayer.”  The result of this will be a hunger to know his will for your life by getting to know what he says in his Word.   

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

                       THE BREAD OF LIFE

                     CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY

          SIXTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C  

 BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

 

FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

 

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from

        the homily you heard on Sunday?

 

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you

        choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY           READ GENESIS 18:1-10       FIRST READING

 

    (“…he waited on them under the tree while they ate.”)

 

  1. To whom did the Lord appear by the great tree at Mamre, where  was he sitting, and what was happening to the day? 

     Genesis 18-l

 

 

  1. When he looked up, what did he see and what did he do?      Genesis 18:2

 

 3. What are two of these men called? Genesis 19:1

 

 

  1. What did Abraham say to them? Genesis 18:3

 

 

  1. Why did he want to bring them water? Genesis 18:4

 

 

  1. What did Abraham call himself, and why did he want them to  have food?  Genesis 18:5

 

  1. How did Abraham enter the tent, and what did he say to his wife, Sarah?  Genesis 18:6

 

 

  1. How did he go to the herd, and after picking out a tender choice steer, to whom did he give it for preparation? 

     Genesis 18:7

 

  1. What else did he get for them, and what did he do, and      continue to do as they sat eating under the tree? Genesis 18:8

 

 

  1. What did they ask Abraham, what was his reply, what did one of      them say about Sarah and what was Sarah doing? Genesis 18:9-10

 

Personal – In what way do you show hospitality to those passing your way?  Who are the messengers of the Lord in your life?  How do you treat them?

 

THIRD DAY           READ COLOSSIANS 1:24-28     SECOND READING

 

       (“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,”)

 

  1. Who is speaking in verses 24-28 of Colossians, and to what is     he a minister?  Colossians 1:23

 

 

  1. Where does he find his joy? Colossians 1:24

 

 

  1. Where does he fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, and for whose sake does he do this?  Colossians 1:24

 

 

  1. What does he call his body? Colossians 1:24

 

 

  1. What did Paul become to this church, through the commission of whom, and to do what?  Colossians 1:25

 

 

  1. To whom has he revealed the mystery that was hidden from ages and generations past?  Colossians 1:26

 

 

  1. What is the mystery that God has willed to make known?      Colossians 1:27

 

 

  1. What is this for which you hope? Colossians 1:27

 

 

  1. What are we to proclaim, and how are we to do it?     Colossians 1:28

 

 

  1. What is useful for teaching and admonishing one another?      2 Timothy 3:16

  

Personal – In what way has the mystery of Christ in you been revealed to others?  When did you first realize that he dwells in you, and what change took place in you when you realized this?

  

FOURTH DAY            READ LUKE 10:38-42               GOSPEL

 

             (“There is need of only one thing.”)

 

  1. Who welcomed Jesus to her home, and where was this located?      Luke 10:38, John 11:l

 

 

  1. What was her sister’s name, and what two things did she do?      Luke 10:39

 

 

  1. What did God the Father tell us to do? Mark 9:7

 

 

  1. What did Moses say about Jesus? Deut. 18:15 and Acts 3:22

 

 

  1. With what was Martha busy, and what did she say to Jesus?         Luke 10:40

 

 

  1. What did Martha tell Jesus to do? Luke 10:40

 

 

  1. What was the Lord’s reply? Luke 10:41

 

  1. What is the one thing only that is required? Psalm 27:4

 

 

  1. Who had chosen the better portion? Luke 10:42

 

 

  1. What did he say would not happen to Mary? Luke 10:42

 

 

Personal –  This past week in what way have you not been distracted by duty in order to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him?  In what way have you heard his voice and responded?  Share this with someone.

 FIFTH DAY              READ PSALM 15:2-5

              (“He who walks blamelessly and does justice,”)

 Read and meditate on Psalm 15:2-5.

 What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 SIXTH DAY         READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

                         GENESIS 18:1-10

      The story illustrates near Eastern hospitality in several ways.  In Abraham’s day, a person’s reputation was largely connected to his hospitality, in the sharing of his home and food.  Even traveling strangers were accorded treatment that would be given to highly honored guests.  Meeting another’s need for food or shelter was and still is today one of the most immediate and practical ways to obey God and do his will.

     We can see Abraham trying to get a cool breeze and looking out of the opening of his tent on a very hot day in the desert.  He probably was startled when he saw the three men coming toward him.  He immediately gave them all of his attention.  He addressed one of his guests as “my lord” and yet he addressed himself as a servant.  He acted like they would be doing him a favor by letting him serve them and attend to their needs.  He washed their feet in accordance with the local custom.  This was not only a pleasant comfort but also a sign of genuine respect.  This was a courtesy to refresh a traveler in a hot, dusty climate like Mamre.  He then prepared his food from his best source of crops and the meat came from choice animals.  He bowed down to them and stood back and waited upon them like a true servant.

      Tradition reflects on the three angels as the Trinity.  We may well reflect on the hospitality that Abraham extends to his guests and try to bring it into our manner of conduct.  Do people see in my actions the role of a servant, or do we insist on our needs being met first?  We are called on to meet the needs of anyone who needs help.  Jesus, in Philippians 2:6-11, shows us how to take on the role of a servant.  We need to look with humility and joy towards others, and they need to see in our service the sign of God’s love and peace in us.

                        COLOSSIANS 1:24-28

      Paul compares his suffering as completing the sufferings of Jesus Christ.  Jesus died to save the church; but the church must continue on in a broken lonely world.  Paul experienced incredible rejection and physical danger in bringing his message of Good News to a many times more hostile world.  Paul’s legacy to us is that we too are called today to bring the marvelous mystery of Christ to all people, and if such service involves suffering, sacrifice and even death, then that is the filling up and sharing the suffering of Christ.  Paul’s task was to bring to men a new discovery, a mystery that was now revealed.

      Paul’s great gift to our Christian faith and to the world itself was that Christ was the God of not just the Jews,  but the Gentiles as well.  Paul totally destroyed the idea that God’s love and mercy were for only a special nation or a privileged people.  Our God is a God of all people, poor people, rich people, young people, old people and all nationalities.

      Had it not been for Paul we might have been nothing more than a new sect of Judaism.  The Jews would have refused to believe that he was the God of Gentiles, and that would have been blasphemous.  The gnostic would have never believed that every man could be taught enough knowledge necessary for salvation.  The gnostics believe that salvation was only for the spiritual elite and the chosen few.

      Most educators today have agreed that it is impossible to teach knowledge to every person, because not everyone is capable of learning it.  We can look around today and see that not everyone has the same gifts.  There are gifts which some will never attain.  There are those who are color-blind and to whom the wonders of art mean nothing.  There are those who are tone deaf and the glory of music does not exist.  Not everyone can be a singer, a writer, a student, or a preacher.  These are gifts which some will never possess.  There are privileges a person will never enjoy.  There are some heights of fame and glory that some will never scale but the mystery that Paul brought to the world through his preaching was that to everyone there is available the Good News of the Gospel, and that is the love of God in Christ Jesus who dwells within each one of us.

     This Good News is the transforming power which brings holiness into life itself.  That is why Paul can say he rejoices in his suffering for us.  He was bringing the Good News, and making the Word of God fully known.  Today you and I are called to continue and we too are to rejoice in our sufferings as we bring the Good News, and, like Paul, make the Word of God fully known to all men.

                          LUKE 10:38-42

      In the first reading Abraham’s anxiety to entertain his guests leaves us almost winded.  Abraham hastened into the tent.  He ran to the herd.  He had a servant quickly prepare a meal.  Then in our Gospel reading we see Martha rushing about and even complaining about Mary’s lack of concern.  To judge from the story of the Samaritan, Martha should have been praised for her practical service to Jesus.  Jesus, in fact, challenges her priorities.

      The whole gospel is not contained in loving your neighbor, no matter how important that is.  Christian discipleship is first and foremost surrendering to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  There must be a quiet time to listen to his Word.  Devotion to Jesus is the “one thing” that is required.  Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first his kingship and all else will be added unto you.”  This kind of a relationship shows itself in loving service, but without prayer, care for other’s needs may not be love.

      Today’s Gospel shows us a tension between temperaments.  Some people are naturally dynamos of activity; others are normally quiet.  Some people find it very hard to just sit and meditate alone with the Lord.  There are those who would find it very uncomfortable to go into an active ministry.  God needs his Mary and Marthas too.  Ecclesiastes tells us, “There is an appointed time for everything and a time for every affair under the heavens.” (3:1).

     In today’s Gospel Luke shows us how the incident between Mary and Martha illustrates the primary love of God with all one’s heart, soul, strength and mind.  Jesus points out to Martha that there is a proper time for prayer and contemplation, for studying scripture and listening to God, just as there is a proper time for action.

     We need only to think where Jesus was going when this happened.  He was on his way to Jerusalem – to die.  His whole being was taken up with the intensity to bend his will to the will of God.  Jesus wanted comfort, peace, solace and Martha wanted to lay on him a fantastic meal and a spotlessly clean house.  That was not what Jesus needed or wanted but it was what Martha wanted.  Mary listened to his needs and Martha in her kindness assumed his needs.  Jesus said “one thing is necessary,” and in probability, a small simple meal would have of been enough.  This is one of our great difficulties in life.  We want to be kind to people, but we want to be kind to them in our way. We get hurt when  our way is not the necessary way.  We need to forget our plans and  listen to what he or she needs.  Mary understood Jesus’ needs but Martha did not.  Let us, as Mary, listen, listen………….

 Application

      The first reading tells us that a person’s reputation was largely connected to his hospitality.  The second reading tells us that the Good News of the Gospel is available to everyone. The Gospel reveals that it is God’s agenda not ours that is to be followed.

      Let us be available as Abraham and a servant to others, and let the mystery of Christ’s presence within us be available to all we meet.  Mary listened to Christ and she heard his heart as well as his words; let us do no less.

      We can be present to our families only when we are listening and understanding what they are saying and not saying. The essence of the Christian life is not doing, but rather it is dying. It is in dying to one’s own needs and being available to listen and respond to other’s needs.

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

          open_bible_over_black_and_blue_clouds_with_reflection             THE BREAD OF LIFE

                     CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY

           FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C  

 

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

 

Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

 

FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

 

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from

        the homily you heard on Sunday?

 

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you

        choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY         READ DEUTERONOMY 30:10-14     FIRST READING

 

     (“If only you heed the voice of the Lord, your God,”)

 

 

  1. Who is speaking and to whom is he speaking? Deuteronomy 29:1

 

           

  1. If you heed the voice of the Lord and keep his statutes and      commandments what will God do?  Deuteronomy 30:9-10

 

 

  1. What is this book called? Deuteronomy 30:10

 

 

  1. In what way must you return to the Lord?

     Deuteronomy 30:10, 6:5

 

 

  1. What does Moses say this command is not? Deuteronomy 30:11

 

 

  1. What two places will you not find it, and what shall you say about it not being there?  Deuteronomy 30:12-13

 

  1. What two places will you find this command? Deuteronomy 30:14

 

 

  1. What are you to do with the Lord’s command? Deuteronomy 30:14

 

 

Personal – In what way has your mouth spoken about the love that you have in your heart for the Lord?  In what way have others in your family, friends, or work acquaintances seen and heard this love in you?  Is the way you see yourself confirmed by the way others see and hear you?

 

 

THIRD DAY           READ COLOSSIANS 1:15-20     SECOND READING

 

       (“Making peace through the blood of the cross.”)

 

 

  1. Who is the first born of all creatures? Colossians 1:15

 

 

  1. In the image of whom did he come? Colossians 1:15

 

 

  1. In whom were heaven and earth created? Colossians 1:16

 

 

  1. What are some of the things that were created for Jesus?      Colossians 1:16

 

          

  1. Apart from him, what came into being? John 1:3

 

 

  1. He is before what, and how does everything continue its being?      Colossians 1:17

 

 

  1. Of what is he the head, and for what reason? Colossians 1:18

 

 

  1. What pleased God? Colossians 1:19

 

 

  1. How are we reconciled to God, and how has peace been made?         Colossians 1:20

 

 

  1. For what reason has he done this? Ephesians 1:14

 

 

Personal – In what way have you personally been at peace with God through Jesus?  Write down when and how this happened.  In what way have you shared this with someone else?

 

 

 

 

FOURTH DAY            READ LUKE 10:25-37               GOSPEL

 

                 (“Then go and do the same.”)

 

 

  1. Who stood up to pose a problem, how did he address him, and  what did he say to him?  Luke 10:25

       

 

  1. When Jesus answered him, he answered with two questions. What       were they?  Luke 10:26

 

 

  1. What was the lawyer’s reply in verse 27 of Luke 10?

 

 

  1. What is the new command that Jesus gave us at his last supper?  John 13:34 and 15:12

 

 

  1. How did Jesus say the lawyer had answered him and from where did he get his answer? Luke 10:28, Deuteronomy 6:5 and

     Leviticus 19:18

 

 

  1. What did Jesus say would happen to him if he followed that        command?  See Luke 10:28, and also Leviticus 18:5 to see what       happens to a man who obeys his command.

 

 

  1. What did he say to Jesus and what was Jesus reply about the  man going from Jerusalem to Jericho?  Luke 10:29-30

 

  1. Who was going down the same road and what did he do, and then who came upon him and what did he do? Luke 10:31-32

    

 

  1. What did the Samaritan do when he saw the man? Luke 10:34

 

 

  1. What did the Samaritan do the next day? Luke 10:35

 

 

  1. What did Jesus ask the lawyer, what was the lawyers answer, and what did Jesus tell him to do? Luke 10:36-37

 

 

Personal – In what way has the Lord given you an opportunity to be compassionate to a family member, a friend, a work acquaintance, a stranger this past week?  How did you respond?

 

 

FIFTH DAY  READ PSALM 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36-37

 

           (“In your great mercy, turn toward me.”)

 

 

Read and meditate on Psalm 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36-37.

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 

 

SIXTH DAY         READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

 

                      DEUTERONOMY 30:10-14

 

     This passage states that comfort, forgiveness, and restoration is not only possible for the Israelites but is desired by God. The nation of Israel must turn itself around and come back to the Lord.  Only then will God restore his mercy and restore Israel to her rightful place in the land.  Only through the covenant proposed by God to his people can the people regain happiness.

 

     We hear in today’s reading that the keeping of the command (Deut. 30:11-14) is not as far-fetched as many of the shallow minds of the ages suggested.  The author has stressed a powerfully spiritual message. The Law of God is not in some far-off courtroom or in some prestigious university. The Law of God is something very close to the heart of man. If this attitude prevailed toward the Mosaic Law, Jesus would not have had such conflict with the formalism of the lawyer. The Judeo-Christian positive law can be equated simply with God’s way of guiding the aspirations of the human heart toward him.

 

     St. Paul shows us how close God’s law really is in Romans 10:6-10. Paul tells us that we don’t need to search the heavens for Christ to bring him down to help us, and we don’t need to go among the dead to bring Christ back to life again! Salvation is trusting in Christ; it is as near as our own hearts and mouths.  For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.

 

     People have always looked for God through dramatic experiences, hoping for some life-changing encounter.  Some people will travel far and wide to meet some famous spiritual leader, but God’s salvation is right in front of us.  He will come into us wherever we are.  All we need to do is yield and surrender to his gift of salvation.  We need to stop searching and start yielding to his love and mercy.

 

     We hear everyday at our Catholic Mass the proclamation of God’s Word bringing us salvation, healing and restoration.  Let us yield our ears to hear, our hearts to believe, and our tongues to speak and his gift of salvation will spread throughout the land.

 

                       COLOSSIANS 1:15-20

 

     This passage has some of the most powerful theological statements about Christ in the New Testament.  Christ is praised as  the Icon or image of the invisible God.  He manifests God’s presence in his person.  He is called the first born of all creation because everything else was created through his mediation.  He existed before all creation and is preeminent among all creation. Paul shows us the scope of creation.  He begins with heaven and earth, visible and invisible, power and might, thrones and dominions, principalities or power.  This was all created not only for him and through him but, also, in him.  Everything is subject to Christ, and through his creative power, creation itself continues on. 

    

     Paul speaks of Christ as the beginning, the starting point of redemption.  He is the first to experience the resurrection of life and, therefore, is the first-born from among the dead.  By the frequently used word “all,” the cosmic dimension of Christ’s power and glory are emphasized.  The restoration which he brings about is the peace that was accomplished by the shedding of his blood on the cross.

 

     It is stated that Paul had never visited Colossae, evidently the church had been founded by other converts from Paul’s missionary travels.  The church, however, had been infiltrated by religious relativism by some believers who attempted to combine elements of paganism and secular philosophy with Christian doctrine.  Paul attacks the heresy, confronts these false teachings and affirms the sufficiency of Christ.

 

     We can see in today’s passage what happens when the head coach is absent and the team begins to flounder.  Paul defends his teachings about Christ in a strong doctrinal discussion of the person and work of Christ.  Paul was battling against a group of leaders called “Gnostics.”  The Gnostics believed it took special knowledge to be accepted by God, even as they claimed to be Christian.  They believed that Christ alone was not the way of salvation.  Paul’s main argument was: it is not what one knows that makes him a Christian, but who he knows.  To know Christ is to know God.  The same danger exists today, and like Paul, we must accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.  Jesus calls for our heart, mind and soul and we need only surrender to him and say yes.

 

                          LUKE 10:25-37

 

     The lawyer asked Jesus a question that on the surface seemed simple: “What must I do to receive eternal life?”  Jesus, in his role as a Hebrew Teacher or Rabbi, answered him with two questions: “What was written in the Law, and how did he interpret the law?”  At that time, to an orthodox Jew, the definition of neighbor would have meant no one else but a Jew.  Jesus relates to them a story that draws from them a definition of who is neighbor.

 

      Jesus begins by telling the story of a man who was robbed and beaten and left in the roadway to die. The first person to come by the  injured man was a priest, who was probably on his way to the temple to practice his sacred duties.  The priest did not even touch the fallen man because, as scripture has it in Numbers 19:11, a priest would be banned from entering into the sacred temple for seven days after touching a dead person.  His duty to the temple and community came before helping this particular man.  The next person to come by was a Levite who was an assistant to the priests.  The priests made the atonement sacrifice and were in charge of the altars and sacred services.  The Levite, too, was caught up in his duties to his ministry, and his responsibility which was being an assistant to the priest in the temple and other religious duties.

 

     Finally, along came a Samaritan who not only stopped to see what was wrong, but became involved in trying to help.  The man may have not been a Samaritan really, the name itself was used for people who didn’t exactly conform to existing standards.  Today we might call that kind of a person a “maverick”, someone who is willing to take a risk.  Jesus was called a Samaritan in John 8:48, obviously they thought he was not orthodox like them.  The question Jesus puts to the lawyer, “Who do you think was neighbor to the man?” is the same question that is being asked of you and me.  God’s love is so great that anyone who is in need is eligible for his help.

 

     God wishes that no man perishes no matter his station in life.   We are called to love God with all our heart, soul and strength by loving our neighbor the same way.  Jesus even elevates this standard higher in John 15:12 when he calls us to love one another as he has loved us.  The Samaritan had the love of God in his heart and he spoke his love into action with his deeds.  We will be judged one day, not by our doctrine or creeds, but rather by how we loved our neighbor with all our heart, strength and soul.  It is how we love our neighbor that signifies to the world how we really love God.

 

Application

 

     The first reading tells us that repentance must come before mercy can be expected.  The second reading shows that Christ is praised as the image of the invisible God.  The Gospel reveals that we will be judged by how we love our neighbor.

 

     We can love, like the Samaritan, when we yield to God’s love and allow ourselves to love everyone and anyone just as Jesus loves us. This is a love that is willing to pay any price that is required. Let your family be the first to experience this kind of love from you. You can begin by dying to your own needs, become more aware of the needs of others, and respond to those needs.                                            

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

                      

         FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C  

 

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

 

Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

 

FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

 

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?

 

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY           READ ISAIAH 66:10-14       FIRST READING

         

        (The Lord’s power shall be known to his servants.)

 

  1. Who will rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her?       Isaiah 66:10

 

 

  1. What are those to do who were mourning over Jerusalem?      Isaiah 66:10

 

 

  1. What does the milk of Jerusalem bring? Isaiah 66:11

 

 

  1. For what does 1 Peter 2:2 say to be eager, and for what reason?

 

 

  1. What will the Lord spread over Jerusalem and how?      Isaiah 66:12

 

 

  1. As nurslings, how shall you be carried and fondled?      Isaiah 66:12

 

 

  1. Fill in the following blanks: “As a mother __________    her son, so will I you.”  Isaiah 66:13

 

 

  1. Where will you find comfort? Isaiah 66:13

 

 

  1. When this happens, what will your heart and body do?      Isaiah 66:14

 

 

  1. What shall be known to the Lord’s servants and what will be known to his enemies? Isaiah 66:14

 

 

Personal – In what way do you find comfort when feeling depressed?  To whom do you go to?  Write out your thoughts and then meditate on 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

 

 

THIRD DAY           READ GALATIANS 6:14-18     SECOND READING

 

(Paul boasts of nothing but the cross of Jesus Christ.)

 

  1. Who is speaking in Galatians 6:14? Galatians 1:1

 

 

  1. Paul says he must boast of nothing but what?   Galatians 6:14

 

 

  1. Through the cross of Jesus Christ, what does Paul say about the world and about himself?  Galatians 6:14

 

          

  1. What does not matter? Galatians 6:15

 

 

  1. What is all that matters? Galatians 6:15

 

 

  1. In whose image are we created, and of what is this justice and holiness born? Ephesians 4:24

 

  1. What two things are on all who follow this rule of life?          Galatians 6:16

 

 

  1. What does Paul bear in his body? Galatians 6:17

 

 

  1. How does Paul end this letter? Galatians 6:18

 

 

Personal – In what way have you been created anew?  How do others see you dying to yourself and boasting in the cross of Jesus Christ?  What is the rule of life you follow?

 

 

FOURTH DAY         READ LUKE 10:1-12, 17-20            GOSPEL

(I have given you power to tread on all the forces of the enemy.)

 

  1. How many did the Lord appoint, and how, when, and where did he send them?  Luke 10:1

 

 

  1. What did Jesus say about the harvest and the workers, and for what did he say to ask?  Luke 10:2

 

 

  1. How did Jesus say he is sending his laborers?      Luke 10:3

 

 

  1. How did he tell them to travel? Luke 10:4

 

 

  1. When entering a house what did he tell them to say?      Luke 10:5           

 

  

  1. If there is a peaceable man, what will your peace do, and if he is not, what will happen to your peace?  Luke 10:6

 

 

  1. Where were they to stay and what did he say about wages?   Luke 10:7

 

 

  1. Where they were welcomed, what were they to do with the food, the sick, and what were they to say to them? Luke 10:8-9

 

 

  1. What were they to say to people that did not welcome them and where were they to go to say it? 

     Luke 10:10-11

 

 

  1. What will happen to such a town? Luke 10:12

 

 

  1. How did the seventy-two return, and what did they say was subject to them and in whose name?  Luke 10:17

 

 

  1. Who did Jesus say fell from the sky like lightning?      Luke 10:18

 

 

  1. What had he given them and what shall not happen to them? Luke 10:19

 

 

  1. In what should you not so much rejoice, and in what should you rejoice? Luke 10:20

 

 

Personal – In what way have you used this power that God has given you in the name of Jesus to get  rid of the enemy in your family, or with those you meet each day?  Reread verse 19 of Luke 10 and claim the promise given to you.

 

FIFTH DAY          READ PSALM 66:1-7, 16, 20

 

             (Sing praise to the glory of his Name.)

 

Read and meditate on Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20.

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 

SIXTH DAY         READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

            

                        ISAIAH 66:10-14

     God will not let his work of restoration go unfinished.  In this image of a child nursing at his mother’s breast, God shows that he will accomplish what he promised.

      This promise of eternal peace and mercy is as unstoppable as the birth of a baby.  When all the pain is over, the joy begins.  Jerusalem is being presented as the new City of God.  The new Jerusalem is a place where safety, peace and plenty will be available to all.  All the nations are coming to nurse at the breasts of the “New Jerusalem” and they too, along with the remnant of the old, will find new life in Jesus Christ.

      This is a tremendous verse about how God, in his incredible mercy, has left the door open for those who believe and obey him.  The faithful remnant asked God for two favors:  show them compassion (Isaiah 63:15-19) and punish their enemies (Isaiah 66:6).  God today still keeps that promise.  He will always preserve a faithful remnant of his people no matter how bad the world.  There are always a few who remain loyal to him.  This verse shows us how the goodness of God will be seen by the world and yet many will still go on rejecting him.  The verse closes with a firm warning that his wrath will come upon his enemies (Isaiah 66:14).  The earth, as we know it, will not last forever.  God promised Isaiah that he would create a new and eternal earth (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22).  We don’t really know how it will look or where it will be, but Jesus of Nazareth and his followers will be united to live there forever.

                        GALATIANS 6:14-18

      This passage of Paul to the Galatians boldly declares not only his freedom in  Christ but, also, it declares the freedom of all Christians in Jesus Christ.  In the days of Paul, there were many who wanted to grow in the Christian life but were being distracted by those who insisted that they had to keep certain Jewish laws. 

      Some of the “Judaizers,” (Jews who insisted that you had to be circumcised before you could become a Christian), emphasized circumcision as proof of their holiness, but ignored other Jewish laws.  People often choose a particular principle and make it the measuring rod of faith.  Some despise promiscuity but tolerate prejudice.  God’s word has to be followed in its entirety. 

      Our world is just like Paul’s world, it is full of enticements.  We are being barraged daily with both subtle and overt cultural pressures and propaganda by the media.  We hear Paul saying that he no longer is bothered by them any more because he is dead to the influence of worldly things.

      The only way for us to escape these destructive influences is to ask God to help us die to them just as Paul did.  We need to ask ourselves, how much do the interests of this world matter to us?  We need also to remember that it is very easy to get caught up in the externals.  We need to caution against emphasizing things we should or should not do, with no concern for the inward condition of the heart.  We do not do good things to become good, we do good things because of the goodness that is within us, and that is the Holy Spirit (John 14:16).  Living a good life without inward    change leads to a spiritual walk that is shallow, empty and very frustrating.

      Paul is telling us that it really does not matter what the world thinks about him or his accomplishments.  What does matter to him is the peace that came to him when he died to himself for Jesus Christ.  What matters to God is that we be completely changed from the inside out.  Paul was to the world a prisoner, but in reality he was completely free in Christ.  We have been set free by Jesus Christ.  We do not need to be set back by some form of bondage again.  We are all called to use our freedom to live for Christ and serve him as he desires.

                       LUKE 10:1-12, 17-20

      Only Luke tells of this second mission of the disciples.  More than just the twelve apostles had been following Jesus. He chose a group of about seventy disciples to prepare a number of towns that he would visit.  These disciples were just ordinary men, chosen for a not-so-ordinary assignment.  The disciples were not trained in any special categories, nor did they have any unique qualifications.  What made them different was their awareness of Jesus’ power and their vision to reach all the people through him.  We see that having personally experienced his power was much more important than dedicating their skills to God’s kingdom. Today, we need to focus on what he wants us to do in the world.

      Jesus was sending out teams of two to reach the people.  They were not to try to do the job themselves without help; rather they were to pray to God for more workers.  In doing the work of evangelizing, we may want to jump out and begin working to save others and bring immediate results.  Jesus tells us to first begin by praying for more workers, and before praying for the unsaved people, pray that other concerned people will join you in reaching out to them.

     There is no unemployment in Christian service.  The Lord Jesus has work enough for everyone.  Don’t just sit back and watch, look for ways to reap the harvest.

      Jesus leaves little room for illusion.  He tells the disciples they will be like lambs among wolves.  They would have to be careful, for they will meet all kinds of opposition.  We, too, are sent into the world as lambs among wolves.  So we need to watch out and remember that we need to face our enemies, not with timidity,  but with power, not with aggression, but with love and courage.  

      The disciples were told to accept hospitality graciously because they were entitled to it.  We need to see today that our ministers are supported emotionally and receive plenty of encouragement.  The disciples were disciplined to eat what was put in front of them and to go among the sick and heal in the name of Jesus.  They were to shake off the dust of any town that refused them and move on with the Good News.

     The disciples had seen tremendous results as they ministered in Jesus’ name and came back overjoyed.  Jesus warned them not to get puffed up with their exploits but to remember their most important victory was that their names were registered among the citizens of heaven.  Jesus reminds us, today in our ministry of discipleship, that the victory is being won in Jesus’ name.  The prize is not human glory through feats of evangelistic power, but of heavenly glory through following Jesus to Calvary.

Application

     The first reading shows that God will not let his work of restoration go unfinished.  The second reading tells us that our world, like Paul’s world, is full of enticements.  The Gospel reveals that there is no unemployment in Christian service.

     Let us boast of nothing but the power of the cross of Christ and his Holy Name.  We can be instruments of tremendous deeds in his name.  We need to begin everything we do in prayer to our Heavenly Father through the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ Name and go forth and make disciples of all the nations.  Let us begin with the members of our family.  

THIRTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

                                THIRTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C  

 

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

 

Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

 

FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

 

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from  the homily you heard on Sunday?

 

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you   choose to apply to your life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY         READ 1 KINGS 19:16, 19-21     FIRST READING

 

    (Elisha gave up all that he had to follow the Lord’s call.)

 

  1. In 1 Kings 19:16, 19-21 who is speaking and to whom is he  speaking? 1 Kings 19:12-15

 

 

  1. Who was Elijah to name king of Israel? 1 Kings 19:16

 

 

  1. What was Elijah called and who was to succeed him?     1 Kings 19:16           

 

 

  1. Which of the following show how this was to be done?
  2. appoint
  3. assign
  4. anoint

 

 

Personal – What does to anoint mean to you personally?

 

 

  1. As Elijah set out, who did he come upon and what was he doing?    1 Kings 19:19

 

 

  1. What did Elijah do to him? 1 Kings 19:19

 

 

  1. What did Elisha do with the oxen, who did he run after and what did he say to him?  1 Kings 19:20

 

  

  1. What did Elijah say to him? 1 Kings 19:20

 

 

  1. When Elisha left him, what did he do to the yoke of oxen and  the plowing equipment?  1 Kings 19:21

 

 

  1. What did he do with the flesh? 1 Kings 19:21

 

 

  1. After he did all this what did he do and how did he follow   Elijah? 1 Kings 19:21

 

 

Personal – To what extent have you been called to give up some earthly possessions to follow the Lord’s call?

 

 

THIRD DAY          READ GALATIANS 5:1, 13-18     SECOND READING

 

              (We are called to live in freedom.)

 

  1. Who is writing this epistle? Galatians 1:1

 

 

  1. Why did Christ free us? Galatians 5:1

 

 

  1. How must you stand and what must you not do? Galatians 5:1

 

 

  1. How were you freed the first time? Revelations 1:5

 

 

  1. How have we been called to live and to what does this not give full reign?  Galatians 5:13

 

 

  1. How are we to place ourselves at one another’s service? Galatians 5:13 

 

 

  1. How has the law found its fulfillment? Galatians 5:14

 

 

  1. What will happen to you if you go on biting and tearing at   one another?  Galatians 5:15

 

             

  1. How should you live and what will not happen to you?      Galatians 5:16

 

 

  1. What does the flesh and the spirit do to one another and why do you not do what your will intends?  Gal. 5:17

 

 

  1. If you are guided by the spirit, what are you not under?      Galatians 5:18

 

 

Personal – In what way are you living in accordance with the Spirit, in your home, work, or at play?  In what way are you yielding to the cravings of the flesh?  How can you take this situation and live according to the spirit?

 

 

FOURTH DAY             READ LUKE 9:51-62                GOSPEL

 

        (“Come away and proclaim the kingdom of God.”)

 

  1. As the time approached for Jesus to be taken from this world,  where did he resolve to go and who did he send ahead of him?  Luke 9:51

 

 

  1. What kind of town did those he sent ahead come to and why    were they there?  Luke 9:52

 

 

Personal – In what way have you prepared the way for the Lord’s coming for yourself and for your family?

 

 

  1. What was the Samaritan’s reaction to his coming and what was       the reason they acted this way?  Luke 9:53

 

        

  1. What did Jesus’ disciples, James and John, say when they saw the Samaritans would not welcome him? Luke 9:54

 

   

  1. How did Jesus respond to this and where did he turn?      Luke 9:55

 

 

  1. Where did they go? Luke 9:56

 

 

 

Personal – When you find opposition in walking with the Lord, what is your reaction especially in your family?  Do you continue walking with him or do you persist on getting through to them?

 

 

  1. As they were making their way along, what did someone say to       Jesus?  Luke 9:57

 

 

  1. What did Jesus say to him? Luke 9:58

 

 

  1. What did he say to another? Luke 9:59

 

 

  1. What did Jesus say to him? Luke 9:60

 

 

  1. Why did Jesus want him to come with him? Luke 9:60

 

 

  1. What was the stipulation another gave him before he could be his follower?  Luke 9:61

 

 

  1. What did Jesus say about a person who keeps looking back? Luke 9:62

 

Personal – What blockages or excuses have you had for not following Jesus?  He is saying to you “Come after me.”  In what way have you been going before him instead of after him as a follower?

 

 

FIFTH DAY         READ PSALM 16:1-2, 5, 7-11

 

              (“You will show me the path of life”)

 

Read and meditate on Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11.

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your life?

 

 

SIXTH DAY         READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

 

                          1 KINGS 19:16, 19-21

     One of the most important aspects of this passage, from the Old Testament, deals with the price of discipleship.  To follow the call of God means that we surrender our will to God so that we may fulfill the divine will.  We “tie” ourselves to the holy will of God.  This demands sacrifice, an important characteristic of religion.

     Sacrifice means “to make holy.”  Religion means to bind oneself to almighty God and to promote the kingdom of God in this life.

      We share in the mysteries of Christ; we all have the vocation to live out the mysteries of Christ.  And in the Old Testament we see the first manifestations of this truth since all mankind is founded on the mystery of the Incarnation (Colossians 1:15-20; Ephesians 1:4-14). 

      All of the above may be applied to the Jewish prophet, Elisha.  Elisha paid the price of discipleship.  Indeed, he gave up his worldly possessions to follow God’s call, made manifest through Elijah.  He was to succeed Elijah to the office of prophecy.

      The Old Testament tells us that repeatedly the Jewish nation had fallen into spiritual adultery by following the gods of pagan nations.  The Book of Hosea is replete with this sad phenomenon.  To recall the Jews to the worship of the true God, God raised up men totally dedicated to this task of restoration.

      This was no easy task; paganism offered an “easy” religion, a religion that made few demands on fallen human nature where the gods were made in the image of man and not man to the image of the true God.

      The prophets, as we see in the case of Elisha, his predecessor, Elijah, Jeremiah and the other prophets, faced their gigantic task with fortitude – one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.  They were men of God, worthy of imitation.

                        GALATIANS 5:1, 13-18

      Above, I mentioned that we should be “tied” and here we have Paul speaking of liberty.  Nonetheless, there is no contradiction.  To “tie” ourselves, is to bind ourselves, as the word religion suggests (from the Latin religare, to bind) therefore we are bound to the infinite God; there is no constraint whatsoever.

     On the other hand, sin can become slavery; temptations are constant demands for self-satisfaction; fallen human nature has the tendency to seek not the kingdom of God but rather the kingdom of instant gratification.  To master ourselves calls for the grace of God; to master ourselves is to possess the liberty of Christ as Paul puts it so well:  “It was for liberty that Christ freed us.  Do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time!”

      In the spirit of true liberty, we are able to give of ourselves to God who is not only within us but within our neighbor as well.  In that same liberty, we give ourselves to the service of our neighbor, to the sick neighbor, to the sick in spirit, and to see in all of these the Christ Jesus. (Matthew 25:31-46)

      When all this comes about, know that the kingdom of God is near at hand, despite appearances.

                          LUKE 9:51-62

      Today’s gospel passage deals with the last stages of Christ’s public ministry: “As the time approached when Jesus was to be taken from this world.”

      Jesus and his disciples were to return to Jerusalem by way of Samaria.  At that time bad feelings existed between the Jews and the Samaritans.  The Samaritans were a mixed race, descendants of Israelitic-Assyrian colonists, and much hated by the Jews at the time of Christ. For a Jew to go through Samaritan territory was rather a risky thing just as it was risky for a Samaritan to go through Jewish territory.

      With this background, we can understand the Samaritan’s reluctance to allow Jesus and his followers to pass through their territory.  Unlike James and John, Jesus accepted the situation.  These two disciples were all for the destruction of the Samaritans: “Lord, would you not have us call down fire from heaven and destroy them?”  But this was not the doctrine of Christ. Instead, Jesus had taught:  “…love your enemies…If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that?”  (Matthew 5:44-46).  A true disciple “…must be made perfect as (our) heavenly Father is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:48)

      We come now to the subject of vocations.  To follow Christ was never an easy task, and it will always be so.  Christ made that clear in today’s Gospel. “The foxes have lairs, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

      A second example is given:  “To another he said, “Come after me.”  The man replied, “Let me bury my father first.” Jesus’ answer seems strange.  “Let the dead bury their dead.”  Obviously, Christ did not mean that the dead can perform burials.  As commentators (e.g., Stuhlmueller in The Jerusalem Commentary, p.143,#97) point out:  “A play on words:  Let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead, mine is a message of life.”  Jesus did not intend to be taken literally, but rather he wanted to stir thought.

      Today’s gospel gives us a third example concerning the vocation to follow him.  Vocation entails a “totality.”  By this I mean that once we set out to follow Christ we do so wholeheartedly, no half-way measures.  We cannot chase after other pursuits; we should not be distracted so as other pursuits gradually become more and more important at the  expense  of  the vocation to follow Christ.  In brief, an avocation should never become a vocation; a vocation should never become an avocation. 

      In following Christ, it is of the greatest importance to pay heed to his words: “Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God.”  This is a very real admonition. Throughout the course  of  Church  history, “looking back”  has sometimes led to disastrous consequences, especially among priests and religious. Witness the spectacle of the worldly priest, the worldly religious and the worldly Christian.  Surely, if there were a better way to follow Christ; to help bring about the kingdom of God more effectively, the merciful Christ would have pointed out the way.  So we believe that doing the will of God, and not our will, is the only true criterion for putting today’s readings into practice.

Application

      The first reading shows us that the cost of discipleship is very high. The second reading teaches that mastering ourselves is to possess the liberty of Christ, and the Gospel explains that a true disciple must be made perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.

     This week, let the power of the Holy Spirit come upon you and root out the bigotry that is within you. Examine your speech, thoughts and actions and see if these areas need to be improved. Following Jesus calls for obedience, and obedience is the core of being a disciple. To really be free is to be obedient to the law of Christ, and that is to love one another as he has loved us, without regard for race, creed or color.

ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C 

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

 

FIRST DAY    Reread last week’s readings.

 

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you  heard on Sunday?

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your                           life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY                               READ 2 SAMUEL 12:7-10                         FIRST READING

(“I anointed you King of Israel”)

 

  1. Who was Nathan? 2 Samuel 7:2

 

  1. What did Nathan say to David in regards to the Parable in 2 Samuel 12:1-6?             2 Samuel 12:7

 

  1. What did Nathan say God had done for David? 2 Samuel 12:7-8

 

  1. What did David do with Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, and the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 2 Samuel 11:3-5

 

  1. What did David tell Joab, who was in command of the Army, to do and what happened to Uriah?  2 Samuel 11:15, 24

 

  1. What did David do in the sight of the Lord? 2 Samuel 12:9

 

  1. What would never depart from David’s house? 2 Samuel 12:10

 

  1. What did Jesus tell one of His disciples? Matthew 26:52

 

  1. What happened to David sons, Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah?             2 Samuel 13:28-29, 2 Samuel 18:14, 1 Kings 2:24-25

 

  1. As a result of David’s sin what did the Lord say he would do to his house, and what would happen in broad daylight? 2 Samuel 12:11

 

  1. David had done this deed in secret but the Lord will do what? 2 Samuel 12:12

 

Personal – What sin in your life has been passed on to your family?

THIRD DAY                                 READ Galatians 2:16,19-21                    SECOND READING

                                                  (“I have been crucified with Christ.”)

 

  1. How is a person not justified and how is a person justified? Galatians 2:16

 

  1. By who are we justified? Acts 13:37-39

 

  1. How did Paul die to the law? Galatians 2:19

 

  1. How was the law given and what comes through what comes through Jesus Christ? John 1:17

 

  1. Who does Paul live for and what has he done with Christ? Galatians 2:19

 

  1. What does Paul boast about and what has been crucified to him and him to it?             Galatians 6:14

 

  1. Who lives in Paul? Galatians 2:20

 

  1. In who is Paul’s faith and what has he done for him?             Galatians 2:20

 

  1. What does Paul not nullify? Galatians 2:21

 

  1. If justification comes through the law what did Christ do? Galatians 2:21

 

Personal – In what way do others see you living for God? What are area’s that you are living by the law that need to be changed? If you are doing all the right things but have a bad attitude reflect and see if you are doing them out of duty and living by the law.

 

FOURTH DAY                                  READ LUKE 7:36-8:3                                           GOSPEL

(“She has shown great love.”)

 

  1. Who invited Jesus to dine with him? Luke 7:36

 

  1. Who learned that Jesus was dining at a Pharisees house and what did she bring with her?             Luke 7:37

 

  1. Where did the woman stand and what did she do? Luke 7:38

 

  1. What did the Pharisee say to himself? Luke 7:39

 

  1. What did Jesus say to the Pharisee and what was his reply? Luke 7:40

 

  1. What did Jesus say about two people and what did he say the creditor did? Luke 7:41-42

 

  1. What was the question asked in Luke 7:42?

 

  1. What did Simon reply and what did Jesus tell him? Luke 7:43
  2. What three things did the Pharisee not do and what three things did the woman do?             Luke 7:44-46

 

  1. What did Jesus say about her sins and what had the woman shown? Luke 7:47

 

  1. What did Jesus say to the woman and what did the others at table say? Luke 7:48-49

 

  1. What did Jesus tell the woman saved her and how did he tell her to go. Luke 7:50

 

Personal – What has been your response to the forgiveness of your sins by Jesus? How can you show great love to God and to your neighbor?

 

 

FIFTH DAY                                   READ PSALM 32:1-2, 5, 7

(“…you took away the guilt of my sin.”)

 

Read and meditate on Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 7.

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your daily spiritual life?

 

 

SIXTH DAY                         READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

                                                               2 SAMUEL 12:7-10

This passage reveals to us the destructive power of sin and the consequences that happens as a result of sin. David, a special chosen man of God, fell to sin through murder, theft and adultery. He was confronted by his great friend, counselor, and Prophet Nathan. David admitted his guilt when Nathan told him “you are that man” and Nathan told him that the Lord had forgiven him but the consequences of his actions would be felt by his own family. His child by Bathsheba died and all his sons except Solomon died in violence.

He then cleansed himself and went into the Tabernacle and worshipped the Lord. Today we are faced with forgiveness for our sins, but there still is a consequence that must be paid for that sin. Like David who later became one of the greatest men that ever lived, we must repent, and enter into God’s will of love and obedience. David was called by God “A man after my own heart”, we are called to be the same. We may not sin as greatly as David, but there still will be consequences for our pride, rebellion, lying, criticism, etc. David’s response to God’s forgiveness was a life of love and obedience to God and ours should be the same.

GALATIANS 2:16, 19-21

We are being told in this passage that the law cannot save you. The law is like a mirror and shows you what you have done. Paul was trying to show them that if the law was salvation, then Christ Himself died in vain. The law can never make us acceptable to God and yet the law has a very important role to play in the life of a Christian.  It protects us by setting up a standout of acceptable behavior and it very definitely convicts us of wrong doing. This can be the time or vehicle that lets us turn to the Lord for forgiveness. All sins have a consequence and we call that penance. All crimes have a consequence and we call that fines or prison. It is obvious that we cannot keep from breaking the commandments; therefore, it brings us into a deep trust in the healing power of the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. The law cannot save us only Jesus can, but the law can be a guide to living a better life for Christ. Because we have all been infected by sin, we cannot keep God’s laws perfectly. We can only trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins, then and only then do we become acceptable to God. Christ did not die in vain, His death on the cross brought freedom to the whole world.

LUKE 7:36-8:3

             This passage reveals to us some very strong customs of the people in Jesus’ time. Jesus reclined at the table, a normal posture because he propped up on His elbow to eat at the table. This was why the woman had such easy access to Jesus’ feet and head. The host normally greeted his guest with a kiss, Jesus did not receive one. Washing the dusty feet of guests was very normal and the anointing of the guest heads by the host was very traditional. Jesus did not get these courtesies by the host. The sinful woman washes His feet with her tears, dried His feet with her hair and even anointed Him with her special perfume. She did for Jesus more than the host did for Him. Her showing such reverence for Jesus is a sign that she has experienced being forgiven by Him and the consequence of that forgiveness is demonstrated by her great love for Jesus.

This example is also spelled out by the comparison of the two men who owed a debt to the creditor. The one who has been forgiven much will return much love to the forgiver than the one who had less to be forgiven. Christ forgives today all those who come to Him. His Holy Spirit draws us to ask Jesus for forgiveness. Jesus’ death on the cross won freedom for the whole world and we show our gratitude by loving others as He loves us (John 13:34). She anointed Him with oil and He anointed her with forgiveness. Let us do no less than he did with one another. Love is a decision and forgiveness is also a decision. Unforgiveness is the greatest blockage to healing so let us forgive and experience God’s never ending forgiveness.

Application

In the first reading David was confronted by Nathan of his sinfulness. In the second reading Paul lives by faith because he knows God loves him and in the Gospel the woman responds to Jesus love and forgiveness by serving Him.

Examine your conscience and see if you have had to be confronted by another to see your sinfulness or have you seen yourself as with great sin. Respond to God by imitating David, Paul and the sinful woman to your family.

TENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C

 TENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C 

 

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

 

Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.

“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.”  (JOHN 14:26)

 

FIRST DAY    Reread last week’s readings.

 

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you                                               heard on Sunday?

 

  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your                           life this week?

 

 

SECOND DAY                                READ 1 KINGS 17:17-24                          FIRST READING

 

(“The Lord heard the prayer of Elijah, the life breath returned to the child’s body …”)

 

  1. What happened to the son of the mistress of the house? 1 Kings 17:17

 

  1. What did the widow say to Elijah and what did she call him? 1 Kings 17:18

 

  1. Who was Elijah and what does Malachi 4:5-6 say he will do?

 

  1. What did Elijah tell the widow to do with her son, from where did he take him and where did he bring him? 1 Kings 17:19

 

  1. Who did Elijah call out to and what did he say to him? 1 Kings 17:20

 

  1. What did he do three times and calling out to the Lord what did he say? 1 Kings 17:21

 

  1. What did the Lord hear and what happened to the Child?

 

  1. After Elijah gave the child to his mother what did he say? 1 Kings 17:23

 

  1. What did the widow now know and what did she say comes from his mouth? 1 Kings 17:24

 

  1. What is God’s Word? Psalm 119:105

 

  1. What will happen to a prophet who hears a word from the Lord? Ezekiel 3:17-21

 

  1. What does God do with our sins and our ills? Psalm 103:3

 

Personal – How does your life show you have accepted God’s forgiveness? What do you need to do to experience God’s healing touch?

 

THIRD DAY                                    READ Galatians 1:11-19                       SECOND READING

 

(“…but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ!”)

 

  1. What does Paul want you to know about the Gospel preached by him? Galatians 1:11

 

  1. From whom did he not receive, or be taught the gospel he preaches? How did it come to Him? Galatians 1:12

 

  1. What was given Paul, how was the mystery made known to him and to whom has it been revealed? Ephesians 3:2-5

 

  1. What two things did Paul try to do to the church in his former way of life? Galatians 1:13

 

  1. What did Paul progress in and what was he for his ancestral tradition? Galatians 1:14

 

  1. When did God set Paul apart and how did he call him? Galatians 1:15

 

  1. What was God pleased to do and for what reason? Galatians 1:16

 

  1. Who did Paul not consult, where did he go, and then after three years where did he go and then who did he consult? Galatians 1:16-18

 

  1. Who did Paul consult and remain with for fifteen days? Galatians 1:18

 

  1. Who was the only Apostle Paul saw at this time? Galatians 1:19

 

Personal – How has God revealed himself to you and what has he called you to do?

 

FOURTH DAY                                   READ LUKE 7:11-17                                            GOSPEL

 

(“Young man, I tell you arise!”)

 

  1. Who accompanied Jesus on his journey to Nain? Luke 7:11

 

  1. What did Jesus see as he drew ear the gate of the city? Luke 7:12

 

  1. What was Jesus moved with when he saw the widow and what did he say to her? Luke 7:13

 

  1. To whom does God show pity? Psalm 72:13

 

  1. What was the Good Samaritan moved with upon seeing the man who was beaten? Luke 10:33

 

  1. What did Jesus touch, what did the bearers do and what did he say? Luke 7:14

 

  1. What did the dead man do and to whom did Jesus give him? Luke 7:15

 

  1. What seized the people and glorifying God who did they say has arisen in their midst? Luke 7:16

 

  1. What cast out fear? 1 John 4:18

 

  1. What is God? 1 John 4:16

 

  1. Who has visited his people and where did the report about Jesus spread? Luke 7:16-17

 

Personal – In what way has God had pity on you and how have you experienced God raise you or someone you know from the dead?

 

 

FIFTH DAY                                READ PSALM 30:2, 4-6, 11-13

 

(“I praise you, Lord, for you raised me up….”)

 

Read and meditate on Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13

 

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?

 

How can you apply this to your daily spiritual life?

 

 

SIXTH DAY                         READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY

 

1 KINGS 17:17-24

 

In this passage we see Elijah, the most famous of all prophets being challenged by a pagan widow about his role as being a real man of God. She befriends him, feeds him and shelters him thinking she is doing the right thing. She is a widow and has only one son, and she sees her future through his eyes. Suddenly the boy becomes ill and then dies and her world explodes. She lashes out at Elijah and thinks that he is a part of God’s plan to destroy her for some hidden sin in her past. She accuses him of being especially cruel because she thinks God is doing the damage. True, we might say that she was a pagan and did not really know God. Yet, she knew who Elijah was. He was the famous prophet Elijah. His fame was known all over the land. Do you see that happening today? Have you ever experienced what this woman did? Do you wonder at times if God is punishing you for some sin that you thought was forgiven? Do you blame God for some of the painful things in your life? Well, Elijah shows us that when we have faith we can expect anything and survive anything. Today’s lesson ended with a happy ending, some of them today do not, why? Elijah told the woman “do not be troubled”. Jesus today tells us do not be troubled, just trust in him. When we put our complete trust in him, we receive the gift that passes all understanding. The word Gospel means “good news” and the good news is hope for us, hope for our families and hope for all our relatives. Today’s men and women of God are in your neighborhood. Seek them out.

 

GALATIANS 1:11-19

 

In this passage we hear Paul telling that the way to heaven is not based on some mere human dream or whim. He is basically saying that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:1-6). Today there are some religions who say there are equal valid paths to God, but that just is not true. There were zealous Jewish Christians that stated such practice as circumcision and dietary restrictions were required of all believers in Christ. These people were called Judaizers. Paul stood his ground on the message that salvation to Jews and Gentiles alike is only by faith in Jesus Christ. Paul tells his listeners that he did not choose to become an Apostle. Christ appointed him to that task. The good news of which Paul preached rests upon the authority of Jesus Christ himself. Paul now directs his energies toward building up the Christian Church. Paul knew that God called him before he was even born. God knows you intimately as well and he chose you to be his even before you were born. He wants you to fulfill the job he has given you to do. When people look at us, do they recognize that God has made a change in us, if not maybe we are not living our new lives as we should. Paul said “Yes Lord” and his life and whole world changed for him and for many others around the world. Let us also say “Yes Lord” and ask the Lord to help us change the world.

 

LUKE 7:11-17

 

Today’s Gospel shows us the compassionate Christ, the one who sees the heart not just the appearance. Mother Teresa calls us to look and see Jesus hiding in the disguise of the poor, the sick, the lame, the blind, the lonely, the broken hearted, the imprisoned and the lost and forgotten. He sees that fear in the widow’s eyes of being alone in the world. She will not have the luxury of a husband or a son anymore. He knew what a funeral procession meant to the surviving widowed mother and his heart felt tremendous sympathy for her. We read all through scripture that God shows great pity for the weak.

We see the Good Samaritan showing great pity and compassion for the man, the victim of a robbery, lying there on a deserted roadway. God surly saw his heart and must have been very pleased with the Samaritan. He gave of his time, his strength and his money without expecting a reward or even a thank you. He gave you and I a close and very personal view of his own heart. Scripture tells us that God’s love endures forever and ever. Can you picture the powerful exchange when we heard Jesus telling the woman very gently “don’t cry”. He then stepped forward and touched the coffin and said to the dead man “come back to life again”. Don’t you think that her life came back again too? Let us look at each other like he looked at that mother. In great power Jesus raised the man back to life.

 

Application

 

The first reading shows the strong faith of Elijah raising the child from the dead by the word of God. We see in the second reading the power of faith Paul was given by God to preach the Good News. The Gospel reveals that God has great compassion for the weak.

 

This week let others see in you the power of faith, mercy and love by visiting a widow and testifying to the healing power of Christ. This week be a real ambassador for Christ.