Bible Diary for October 15th – 21stBible Diary
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Is 25:6-10a
On this mountain Yahweh Sabaoth will prepare for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, meat full of marrow, fine wine strained.
On this mountain he will destroy the pall cast over all peoples, this very shroud spread over all nations, and death will be no more. The Lord Yahweh will wipe away the tears from all cheeks and eyes; he will take away the humiliation of his people all over the world:
for Yahweh has spoken.
On that day you will say: This is our God. We have waited for him to save us, let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For on this mountain the hand of Yahweh rests.
2nd Reading: Phil 4:12-14, 19-20
I know what it is to be in want and what it is to have plenty. I am trained for both: to be hungry or satisfied, to have much or little. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
However, you did right in sharing my trials.
God, himself, will provide you with everything you need, according to his riches, and show you his generosity in Christ Jesus. Glory to God, our Father, for ever and ever: Amen.
Gospel: Mt 22:1-14
Jesus continued speaking to them in parables: ”This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven: A king gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to call the invited guests to the banquet, but the guests refused to come.
Again, he sent other servants, instructing them to say to the invited guests, ‘I have prepared a banquet, slaughtered my fattened calves and other animals, and now, everything is ready. Come to the wedding! But they paid no attention and went away, some to their farms, and some to their work. Others seized the servants of the king, insulted them and killed them.
The king was furious. He sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is prepared, but the invited guests were not worthy. Go instead to the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.‘
The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, good and bad alike, so that the hall was filled with guests.
The king came in to see the wedding guests, and he noticed a man not wearing a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in without the wedding clothes?‘
But the man remained silent. So the king said to his servants, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.‘
For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Isaiah talks about the fine banquet God prepares on the mountain. Jesus elaborates on the gratuitous banquet with the imagery of a wedding reception. From his own experience, Paul assures that God provides everything that we ever need. The invitation to the banquet of the Kingdom is freely offered to all. Everyone is invited. However, not everyone accepts it. And those who accept must play by the rules of the Kingdom. That is why the one without the wedding garment is thrown out. Sometimes we have an erroneous understanding of God‘s mercy–that He forgives everything and therefore, anything goes. It doesn‘t.
Let us pray for all people in the world to accept the invitation to the Kingdom.
Invite a fallen away Catholic to join you at the Eucharist today.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
1st Reading: Rom 1:1-7
From Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, an apostle, called and set apart for God‘s Good News, the very promises he foretold through his prophets in the sacred Scriptures, regarding his Son, who was born in the flesh a descendant of David, and has been recognized as the Son of God, endowed with Power, upon rising from the dead, through the Holy Spirit. Through him, Jesus Christ, our Lord, and for the sake of his name, we received grace, and mission in all the nations, for them to accept the faith.
All of you, the elected of Christ, are part of them, you, the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy:
May God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, give you grace and peace.
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.
Every day we are surrounded by signs. There are signs that could guide us (traffic signs), warn us (siren) or invite us to make preparations (heavy rain that lead to flashflood).
In the gospel, there are two evident signs: Jonah‘s preaching and Jesus‘ presence. Both signs could guide people towards God, warn them to repent or invite them to remain with God. Jesus speaks about the sign of Jonah, i.e., his preaching of God‘s word that leads to the mass conversion of Ninevites. Though he portrays how powerful Jonah‘s preaching was, but he speaks further about a greater sign, not a mere preaching but the presence of the ”Word-made-flesh” himself. Just as ”Jonah became a sign for the people of Nineveh,” the Son of Man is ”a sign for this generation.”
Today, we encounter Christ himself in the Liturgy, in the sacraments, in the proclamation of the Word of God, in the tradition of the Church, and in the Magisterium. If we pay attention to the external signs that surround us daily, we must all the more be aware of the signs of Christ‘s presence among us–signs that could guide us to the path of holiness, warn us of the severe effects of sins, and invite us to prepare always for Christ‘s second coming.
St. Ignatius of Antioch
1st Reading: Rom 1:16-25
For I am not ashamed at all, of this Good News; it is God‘s power, saving those who believe, first, the Jews, and then, the Greeks. This Good News shows us the saving justice of God; a justice that saves, exclusively by faith, as the Scripture says: The upright one shall live by faith.
For the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven, against all ungodliness, and injustice, of those who have silenced the truth by their wicked ways. For everything that could have been known about God, was clear to them: God himself made it plain. Because his invisible attributes—his everlasting power and divinity—are made visible to reason, by means of his works, since the creation of the world.
So they have no excuse, for they knew God, and did not glorify him, as was fitting; nor did they give thanks to him. On the contrary, they lost themselves in their reasoning, and darkness filled their minds.
Believing themselves wise, they became foolish: they exchanged the glory of the immortal God, for the likes of mortal human beings, birds, animals and reptiles. Because of this, God gave them up to their inner cravings; they did shameful things and dishonored their bodies.
They exchanged God‘s truth for a lie; they honored and worshiped created things, instead of the Creator, to whom be praise for ever, Amen!
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.
The ”outside and inside of the cup and the dish,” as stated in the gospel, represent the exterior and interior aspects of man. Today, it is evident that there are people who, like Pharisees, are concerned much of their outward appearance but disregard their inner disposition. We should realize that doing something good is not enough, one must do it from the heart. A person could enjoy the esteem of other people by performing acts of charity even if he is not internally disposed; but if such acts are done with right motivation, it is not merely praiseworthy in the eyes of man but also in the eyes of God.
Since for Luke almsgiving constitutes an essential part of the Christian ethical life, he challenges us, especially those who have, to share with those who have not. This connotes doing acts of charity to those in need with pure intent. We are reminded that what makes us clean is not just established ritual practices but crossing boundaries to help those in need. For He who made the outside, also made the inside, and He judges both.
1st Reading: 2 Tim 4:10-17b
You must know, that Demas has deserted me, for the love of this world: he returned to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke remains with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is a useful helper in my work. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
Bring with you the cloak I left at Troas, in Carpos‘ house, and also the scrolls, especially the parchments. Alexander, the metalworker, has caused me great harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. Distrust him, for he has been very much opposed to our preaching.
At my first hearing in court, no one supported me; all deserted me. May the Lord not hold it against them. But the Lord was at my side, giving me strength, to proclaim the word fully, and let all the pagans hear it. So I was rescued from the lion‘s mouth.
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.‘
During harvest time, a sufficient number of laborers is needed to make the reaping faster and easier. There would be a delay if the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few. This is also true with the missionary work of the Church. There are still a lot of people who haven‘t heard and known Christ, but only few people have the courage to dedicate their life for missionary work.
Our Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them ”two by two” because going out in pairs could serve as an avenue to manifest mutual support; to bear witness to the truth of their testimony; and to concretize the message of the gospel of peace.
As baptized Christians, we are called to be missionaries. If not by going to distant places, we can be missionaries in our own ways and in our own places by supporting the mission initiatives of the Church, by praying for all the missionaries, and by being witnesses of the gospel through our words and actions. Each of us could serve as instruments of both ”bringing Christ to others” and ”bringing others to Christ” in our own way. This would be easier if we perform our mission with another person or with the community itself.
Sts. Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, and Companions
1st Reading: Rom 3:21-30
But, now it has been revealed, altogether apart from the law, as it was already foretold in the law and the prophets: God makes us righteous by means of faith in Jesus Christ, and this is applied to all who believe, without distinction of persons. Because all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God; and all are graciously forgiven and made righteous, through the redemption effected in Christ Jesus. For God has given him to be the victim, whose blood obtains us forgiveness, through faith.
So God shows us, how he makes us righteous. Past sins are forgiven, which God overlooked till now. For, now, he wants to reveal his way of righteousness: how he is just, and how he makes us righteous, through faith in Jesus.
Then, what becomes of our pride? It is excluded. How? Not through the law and its observances, but through another law, which is faith. For we hold, that people are in God‘s grace, by faith, and not because of all the things ordered by the law. Otherwise, God would be the God of the Jews; but is he not God of pagan nations as well? Of course he is, for there is only one God, and he will save, by faith, the circumcised Jews, as well as the uncircumcised nations.
Gospel: Lk 11:47-54
A curse is on you, for you build monuments to the prophets your ancestors killed. So you approve and agree with what your ancestors did. Is it not so? They got rid of the prophets, and you build monuments to them!
For that reason the wisdom of God also said: I will send prophets and apostles and these people will kill and persecute some of them. But the present generation will have to answer for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was murdered between the altar and the Sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, the people of this time will have to answer for them all.
A curse is on you, teachers of the law, for you have taken the key of knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you prevented others from entering.”
As Jesus left that place, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees began to harass him, asking him endless questions, setting traps to catch him in something he might say.
The killing and persecution of the prophets and apostles which is cited in the gospel recalls the event of the killing of Abel (Gen 4:1-12) and murder of the priest Zechariah in the court of the house of the Lord (2 Chr 24:20-22). These incidents serve as outcomes of envy and murderous rage. For Luke prophets and apostles hold the same function. They are both sent by God to proclaim his word. Since there are those who cannot accept their words or envious of them, killing and persecution took place.
Sufferings and difficulties are among the crosses that a follower of Christ must carry. They were experienced by early Christian and saints; and up to now, being experienced by the members of the Church founded by Christ. In the midst of them, we could use our own knowledge of the doctrine of the Church in order to endure until the end. Let this knowledge become our tool to make prudent judgment; to attain a deeper relationship with Christ; and to lead and encourage others to do the same. Be not like the lawyers in Luke‘s communities who possess the key of knowledge but their conduct have prevented them from using it for themselves and others.
St. Paul of the Cross
1st Reading: Rom 4:1-8
Let us consider Abraham, our father in the flesh. What has he found? If Abraham attained righteousness because of his deeds, he could be proud. But he cannot be this before God; because Scripture says: Abraham believed God, who took it into account, and held him to be a just man.
Now, when someone does a work, salary is not given as a favor, but as a debt that is paid. Here, on the contrary, someone who has no deeds to show, but believes in him, who makes sinners righteous before him: such faith is taken into account, and that person is held as righteous. David congratulates, in this way, those who become righteous, by the favor of God, and not by their actions: Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven and whose offenses are forgotten; blessed the one, whose sin God does not take into account!
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 cautions his listeners of the leaven of the Pharisees, that is, hypocrisy. Just like a leaven (zymē) that penetrates within bread and, though hidden, acts powerfully; the hypocrites, though virtuous in the surface, deep within them are hidden vices.
Today, there are people who appear to be exemplary and honorable individuals but in reality filled with wickedness, dishonesty and immorality. Followers of Christ should not let themselves be contaminated by their corrupting influence. Jesus reminds us that hypocrisy won‘t work for ”nothing is covered that will not be uncovered; or hidden, that will not be made known.” (v.2)
In rendering service to God and to other people, our intention must be pure. In receiving the sacraments, especially the Holy Communion, we make sure that we are in the state of grace. Before facing the altar to bring offering, admit humbly our wrong deeds and be reconciled with our neighbors, with the Church and with God. Only those who walk in the path of truth and righteousness are worthy to be called true disciples of Christ.
1st Reading: Rom 4:13, 16-18
If God promised Abraham, or rather his descendants, that the world would belong to him, this was not because of his obeying the law, but because he was just, and a friend of God, through faith.
For that reason, faith is the way, and all is given, by grace; and the promises of Abraham are fulfilled for all his descendants, not only for his children according to the law, but, al so, for all the others, who have believed.
Abraham is the father of all of us, as it is written: I will make you the father of many nations. He is our father, in the eyes of Him, who gives life to the dead, and calls into existence, what does not yet exist, for this is the God in whom he believed.
Abraham believed, and hoped against all expectation, thus, becoming the father of many nations, as he had been told: See how many will be your descendants.
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.”
Many times Christians are confronted with various forms of persecution because of their faith. This faith is tested constantly and gradually: from simple criticism and condemnation to severe persecution; from insult or attack on one‘s dignity to physical attack or violence. Many, because of fear and weakness, gave up their faith and turn their back from God. How about us, what shall we do when we are confronted with such situation? Shall we face our persecutors and trust God; or shall we surrender our faith just to spare ourselves from suffering?
Jesus assures us that during the time of persecutions the Holy Spirit will teach us what we have to say (cf. v.12). Just like warriors who use armors or defensive covering for their body to secure themselves and to have confidence in facing their enemies; we, Christians, need a ”spiritual armor,” the Holy Spirit, that would give us confidence to face our persecutors, protect our souls from fear and secure our faith.
In times that we are persecuted because of our faith, we must not fear but trust in God, who will send his Spirit to guide and teach us what to say. If we are confronted with our persecutors yet we still acknowledge the Son of Man and never blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, our Lord will acknowledge us before the angels of God!