Bible Diary for October 14th – 20thBible Diary
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Wis 7:7-11:
I prayed and understanding was given to me; I asked earnestly and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepters and thrones and I considered wealth as nothing compared with her.
I preferred her to any jewel of inestimable value, since gold beside her is nothing but a few grains of sand, and silver but mud. I loved her more than wealth and beauty and even preferred her to light, because her radiance never dies.
She brought with her all other good things, untold riches in her hands.
2nd Reading: heb 4:12-13:
For the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword.
It pierces, to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and judges the intentions and thoughts of the heart. All creation is transparent to him; everything is uncovered and laid bare, to the eyes of him, to whom we render account.
Gospel: mk 10:17-30:
Just as Jesus was setting out on his journey again, a man ran up, knelt before him and asked, “Good Master, what must I do to have eternal life?“
Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: Do not kill; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not cheat; honor your father and mother.“ The man replied, “I have obeyed all these commandments since my childhood.“
Then Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him; and he said, “For you, one thing is lacking. Go, sell what you have, and give the money to the poor; and you will have riches in heaven. Then, come, and follow me.“ On hearing these words, his face fell and he went away sorrowful, for he was a man of great wealth.
How hard for the rich to discover the kingdom! Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!“ The disciples were shocked at these words, but Jesus insisted, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.“
They were more astonished than ever and wondered, “Who, then, can be saved?“ Jesus looked steadily at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God; all things are possible with God.“
Peter spoke up and said, “We have given up everything to follow you.“ Jesus answered, “Truly, there is no one who has left house, or brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake, and for the gospel, who will not receive his reward. I say to you: even in the midst of persecution, he will receive a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands in the present time; and, in the world to come, eternal life.
The one gift we must ask God for is wisdom: the grace to understand. The good, young man who wanted to inherit eternal life, is asked to give up everything he has and follow Christ. The word of God, the two-edged sword, can pierce our inner selves and reveal the stuff we are made of. The rich young man started off poorly: His question to Jesus had an inherent contradiction: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?“ One does not do anything to inherit anything; one just needs to be, for meriting inheritance. My inheriting my parental property is not predicated on what I do, but who I am in relation to my parents. In other words, the only requirement for me to inherit my parental property is that I simply be their child. If the rich young man knew who he truly was, he didn‘t have to worry about eternal life – he would know it is his for the taking. And once he knew his inheritance, it would have been easier for him to let go of everything and just be with Christ. However, he is not alone in this misunderstanding; many human beings lack the wisdom of inheritance. Pray for the gift of wisdom to understand our true inheritance. Today act like a child of God [keeping in mind that others have the same inheritance as well.]
St. Teresa of Avila
1st Reading: Gal 4:22-24, 26-27, 31 — 5:1:
Brothers and sisters:
It is written that Abraham had two sons,
one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman.
The son of the slave woman was born naturally,
the son of the freeborn through a promise.
Now this is an allegory.
These women represent two covenants.
One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery;
this is Hagar.
But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother.
For it is written:
Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children;
break forth and shout, you who were not in labor;
for more numerous are the children of the deserted one
than of her who has a husband.
Therefore, brothers and sisters,
we are children not of the slave woman
but of the freeborn woman.
For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm
and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
Gospel: Lk 11:29-32:
As the crowd increased, Jesus spoke the following words: “People of the present time are troubled people. They ask for a sign, but no sign will be given to them except the sign of Jonah. As Jonah became a sign for the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be a sign for this generation. The Queen of the South will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and here, there is greater than Solomon. The people of Nineveh will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for Jonah‘s preaching made them turn from their sins, and here, there is greater than Jonah.“
People are eager and curious to see signs and wonders from Jesus. They want proofs before any real commitment to following Jesus. Jesus refers them to the sign of Jonah. Jonah‘s being taken in the belly of a whale is a metaphor of inward journey, a necessary step to personal conversion. Jesus, like Jonah, is a call to repentance and radical conversion. And Jesus implies that many of his listeners are not ready or willing to hear that call. They want cheap grace and not arduous task of inner change. In fact, they don‘t need any signs; Jesus has been giving them an abundance of signs through his teaching and healing work. God doesn‘t accept superficial adherence to him. If adherence to him rests on the need for signs of wonder and power, then one‘s faith is shallow. True faith requires conversion. Following Jesus is a radical change of mind and heart.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
1st Reading: Gal 5:1-6:
Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
It is I, Paul, who am telling you
that if you have yourselves circumcised,
Christ will be of no benefit to you.
Once again I declare to every man who has himself circumcised
that he is bound to observe the entire law.
You are separated from Christ,
you who are trying to be justified by law;
you have fallen from grace.
For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness.
For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor un-circumcision counts for anything,
but only faith working through love.
Gospel: Lk 11:37-41:
As Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to have a meal with him. So he went and sat at table. The Pharisee then wondered why Jesus did not first wash his hands before dinner. But the Lord said to him, “So then, you Pharisees, you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside yourselves you are full of greed and evil. Fools! He who made the outside, also made the inside. But according to you, by the mere giving of alms everything is made clean.“
He is invited to dinner by a Pharisee. Jesus apparently went straight into the dining area and reclined at the table prepared to eat. The Pharisee was quite shocked because Jesus had not first washed his hands before eating. Of course, we are strongly recommended to wash our hands before sitting down to eat. But here we are not dealing with a question of hygiene but of ritual washing. Jesus is deliberately making a more essential matter. A person‘s character is not to be judged by his performance or non-performance of an external rite. The host, a Pharisee was more interested in what is outside the cup while inside it is full of all kinds of selfish and evil intentions. God is as much, if not much more, concerned about the inner motivation than the external ones. Jesus suggests that they give alms to the poor and, when the inside is clean, there is no need to worry about the outside. Charitable acts are concrete gestures of kindness to another person; these are acts of love and mercy. Charity driven by mercy replaces the greed and envy in our hearts. It is not, like the washing of hands, a purely empty ritual which says little and is almost totally self-serving.
St. Ignatius of Antioch
1st Reading: Gal 5:18-25:
Brothers and sisters:
If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious:
immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry,
sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy,
outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness,
dissensions, factions, occasions of envy,
drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.
I warn you, as I warned you before,
that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, generosity,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh
with its passions and desires.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
Gospel: Lk 11:42-46:
“A curse is on you, Pharisees! To the temple you give a tenth of all, including mint and rue and other herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. These ought to be practiced, without neglecting the other obligations. A curse is on you, Pharisees, for you love the best seats in the synagogues and to be greeted in the marketplace. A curse is on you, for you are like tombstones of the dead which can hardly be seen; people don‘t notice them, and make themselves unclean by stepping on them.“
Then a teacher of the law spoke up and said, “Master, when you speak like this, you insult us, too.“ And Jesus answered, “A curse is on you also, teachers of the law. For you prepare unbearable burdens and load them on the people, while you yourselves do not move a finger to help them.“
Jesus criticizes the attitudes of the Pharisees for their scrupulous observance of even the tiniest of regulations and forgetting what is truly essential the justice and love of God. He reminds them that their attention is focused on seeking status than service. They expect people to look up to them and give them special honors because of their supposed higher level of religious observance. They expect to be given front seats in the synagogue and for people to greet them deferentially in the streets. People coming in contact with them are not aware that under the facade of piety inside they are really bearers of hypocrisy and greed. Religious authorities may find themselves guilty of the same sins. Pope Francis was clear about this temptation when he mentioned the “terrorism of gossip“ and the “pathology of power“ that afflict those who seek to enhance themselves above all else, and the “spiritual Alzheimer‘s“ that has made leaders of the Catholic church forget they are supposed to be joyful. But the clergy have no monopoly on this. Parents too can be guilty when they follow double standards, making one rule for themselves and another for their children… “Do as I say; don‘t do as I do.“ Pharisaism is alive and well in the Church and in our society but the first person I need to ask is whether I am guilty too of the same behavior.
Feast of St. Luke
1st Reading: 2 tim 4:10-17b:
Demas, enamored of the present world,
deserted me and went to Thessalonica,
Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Luke is the only one with me.
Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is helpful to me in the ministry.
I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas,
the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.
Alexander the copper-smith did me a great deal of harm;
the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
You too be on guard against him,
for he has strongly resisted our preaching.
At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf,
but everyone deserted me.
May it not be held against them!
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
Gospel: Lk 10:1-9:
After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them, two by two, ahead of him, to every town and place, where he himself was to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know.
“Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!‘ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.
“When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them: ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.‘“
What is the significance of Jesus appointing seventy disciples to the ministry of the word? In Jesus‘ times seventy was held to be the number of nations throughout the world. Jesus commissioned the seventy to continue the mission of proclaiming the Reign of God. Jesus gave them instructions on how they were to carry out their ministry. They must do their work, not for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give freely to others, without expecting special privileges or reward. Simplicity of heart and having limited material resources help them to be less concerned about greed and possessions and make ample room for God‘s providence. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves. Jesus ends his instructions with a warning: If people reject God‘s invitation and refuse his word, then they bring condemnation on themselves. When God gives us his word there comes with it the great responsibility to respond. Indifference will not do. We are either for or against God in how we respond to his word. God gives us his word that we may have life in him. He wills to work through and in each of us for his mission. God shares the word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and simply to others. Do you witness the truth and joy of the gospel by word and example to those around you?
St. Isaac Jogues
St. John de Brebeuf & Companions
St. Paul of the Cross
1st Reading: eph 1:11-14:
Brothers and sisters:
In Christ we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.
Gospel: Lk 12:1-7:
Meanwhile, such a numerous crowd had gathered that they crushed one another. Then Jesus spoke to his disciples in this way, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered that will not be uncovered; or hidden, that will not be made known. Whatever you have said in darkness will be heard in daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places, will be proclaimed from housetops.
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who put to death the body and, after that, can do no more. But I will tell you whom to fear: Fear the one who, after killing you, is able to throw you into hell. This one you must fear. Don‘t you buy five sparrows for two pennies? Yet not one of them has been forgotten by God. Even the hairs of your head have been numbered. Don‘t be afraid! Are you less worthy in the eyes of God than many sparrows?“
Jesus begins by speaking first to his own disciples. “Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.“ On the outside they pretended to be what they were not on the inside. “There is nothing…hidden that will not be made known.“ It can mean that their hypocrisy will ultimately be laid bare. In contrast to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees the followers of Jesus must practice transparency and accountability. And, although much of the teaching that the disciples receive is in private, ultimately all will have to come out into the open. The Church that is faithful to Jesus has to proclaim Reign of God and be a true witness to what she says and does. “What you have whispered in locked rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops.“ This, of course, will involve dangers. The Gospel will be resisted. It will be seen as a dangerous threat to those who wield power through deceit and manipulation. Christians will die and, in fact, thousands have sacrificed their lives simply because they have disobeyed the orders and the values of the powers that be. They refused to condone the abuses committed against the poor, the defenseless, and the marginalized. Their faith impelled them to act with justice and mercy.
Blessed Virgin Mary
1st Reading: eph 1:15-23:
Brothers and sisters:
Hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus
and of your love for all the holy ones,
I do not cease giving thanks for you,
remembering you in my prayers,
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the Church,
which is his Body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
Gospel: Lk 12:8-12:
I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before people, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But the one who denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. There will be pardon for the one who criticizes the Son of Man, but there will be no pardon for the one who slanders the Holy Spirit.
When you are brought before the synagogues, and before governors and rulers, don‘t worry about how you will defend yourself, or what to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you have to say.
The boldness which Christ calls for in the faithful proclamation of God‘s truth and love does not come from our own strength and wisdom. Jesus says that the power of our proclamation comes from the Holy Spirit. Let us cease to worry about the consequences of our boldness and focus our attention on the source of it — God‘s Spirit. With great assurance, Jesus says, “Do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.“ See how the Holy Spirit did just this in Acts 4:8-10 “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.“
It is not enough simply to look at truths about the Spirit, if we don‘t connect them to our lives. In the twenty-first century, we have become too selfsufficient and indifferent to the promptings of the Spirit. We need to let the Holy Spirit to instruct and guide us.