Bible Diary for October 14th – 20thBible Diary
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Wis 7:7-11:
I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.
Reading 2 Heb 4:12-13:
Brothers and sisters: Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
Gospel Mk 10:17-30:
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”
Jesus loves the rich young man but too many possessions prevent him from following Jesus. The image of the camel demonstrates the problem with riches. But it is important to remember that all things are possible with God. What are the problems with riches and following Jesus? Have you given up anything to follow Jesus? The true follower of Jesus lives without great attachment to things. Pray for a sense of detachment. Pray that you may be grateful for and content with what you have. Be generous with everything you possess.
St. Teresa of Jesus
Reading 1 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:
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
If in prayer we never hear ourselves praising the most unlikely persons, it is likely that we are not listening to God at all but only to our prejudices. Simone Weil spoke of “the arsenal of lies” that the ego arranges around itself, to defend itself from the truth. We have to call the bluff of everyone of them, for it is well known that we are our own greatest deceivers. When we have called their bluff we will see clearly that much of what we call loyalty to this group or that is only a larger egotism.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Reading 1 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 uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
Gospel Lk 11:37-41:
After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”
When we cannot impress others by our qualities, we try other ways of impressing them, and so we enter a world of lies and pretence: we try to distract them from our real condition by weaving some colorful lies. We end by believing in these lies ourselves: by not knowing the real from the fake, the inner from the outer. Then, the more we concentrate on the outside, the more false becomes the inside. The stuff that went into the making of the Pharisees is universally available.
St. Ignatius of Antioch
Reading 1 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:
The Lord said: “Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”
Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.” And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”
In the absence of love, everything goes wrong. This has always been the message of the world’s greatest teachers. But love can be extremely arduous, and—like anger—hard to pitch right. Too often when the word-package is opened, there is nothing in it, or there are foul substitutes: lust, self-flattery, the will to power…. It must be the study and struggle of a lifetime to learn how to love.
Reading 1 2 Tm 4:10-17b:
Beloved: 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 coppersmith 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:
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”
“There is a legend that Luke was a skilled painter… Certainly he had an eye for vivid things. It would not be far wrong to say that the third gospel is the best life of Christ ever written,” says a commentator. Luke was a Gentile. In fact the only non-Jewish writer in the New Testament. It is also clear that he wrote mainly for Gentiles. Luke’s gospel is especially the gospel of prayer: he shows Jesus very often at prayer. He gives a very special place to women. It is above all a gospel of praise; he uses the expression “praising God” more often than all the others put together. It was he who gave us those three great canticles: the Benedictus, the Magnificat, and the Nunc Dimittis.
Sts. Isaac Jogues, John de Brefeuf, and Companions
Reading 1 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:
At that time: So many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”
I was alone at the bedside of a dying man during his last hour. Suddenly he began to talk about his life. He talked and talked compulsively, as if making up for lost time. At the end, he said, “I never did any harm to anyone in my life.” I had known him most of my life, so I knew that this was perfectly true. Then he added: “And I never did much good either.” It was a cruel assessment, and on his face I saw a profound regret. “Everything now hidden will be made clear,” said Jesus. “Every hair on your head has been counted.” We are known through and through by God who cares for us more than we dare to believe. God knows all our sins and failures and still loves us. Then, what is all the secrecy for?
Solemn Novena to St. Jude Begins
St. Paul of the Cross
Reading 1 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:
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. “Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”
Matthew and Mark say that Jesus spoke about this “sin against the Holy Spirit” immediately after his miracles had been ascribed to the power of Beelzebul rather than the power of God (Mt 12:32; Mk 3:29). The Scribes and Pharisees could not look at God’s work and call it the devil’s. Why is it said that the sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven? Is God’s mercy limited? No, but the road to that mercy is destroyed. A map tat calls north south can only lead you astray.