Bible Diary for October 21st – 27thBible Diary
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: is 53:10-11:
Yet it was the will of Yahweh to crush him with grief.
When he makes himself an offering for sin, he will have a long life and see his descendants.
Through him the will of Yahweh is done.
For the anguish he suffered, he will see the light and obtain perfect knowledge. My just servant will justify the multitude; he will bear and take away their guilt.
2nd Reading: heb 4:14-16:
We have a great high priest, Jesus, the Son of God, who has entered heaven. Let us, then, hold fast to the faith we profess. Our high priest is not indifferent to our weaknesses, for he was tempted, in every way, just as we are, yet, without sinning. Let us, then, with confidence, approach the throne of grace. We will obtain mercy and, through his favor, help in due time.
Gospel: mk 10:35-45:
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, “Master, we want you to grant us what we are going to ask of you.“ And he said, “What do you want me to do for you?“ They answered, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, when you come in your glory.“
But Jesus said to them, “You don‘t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized in the way I am baptized?“ They answered, “We can.“ And Jesus told them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink; and you will be baptized in the way that I am baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant. It has been prepared for others.“
On hearing this, the other ten were angry with James and John. Jesus then called them to him and said, “As you know, the socalled rulers of the nations behave like tyrants, and those in authority oppress the people. But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be our servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all. Think of the Son of Man, who has not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life to redeem many.“
The suffering servant of Yahweh will take away our guilt and free us. Thanks to Jesus, the high priest, we can approach the throne of grace and claim mercy. Jesus teaches his disciples the concept of servant leadership, in response to the request for special favors by the Zebedee brothers. The other ten disciples were angry at James and John precisely because the latter almost grabbed what the other ten themselves might have loved to have, but never dared to ask – special favors and positions in Jesus‘ Kingdom! It took the maternal heart of Jesus to call them all together and teach them how one must learn to put others before self and learn to give rather than to grab. Pray for the leaders of the Church. Reach out to your pastor and let him know how you appreciate his ministry.
St. John Paul II
1st Reading: eph 2:1-10:
Brothers and sisters:
You were dead in your transgressions and sins
in which you once lived following the age of this world,
following the ruler of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient.
All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh,
following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses,
and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest.
But God, who is rich in mercy,
because of the great love he had for us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
raised us up with him,
and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,
that in the ages to come
he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace
in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and this is not from you; it is the gift of God;
it is not from works, so no one may boast.
For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works
that God has prepared in advance,
that we should live in them.
Gospel: Lk 12:13-21:
Someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, “Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance.“ He replied, “My friend, who has appointed me as your judge or your attorney?“ Then Jesus said to the people, “Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life.“
And Jesus continued, “There was a rich man, and his land had produced a good harvest. He thought, ‘What shall I do, for I am short of room to store my harvest? All right, I know what I shall do: I will pull down my barns and I will build bigger ones, to store all this grain, which is my wealth. Then I will say to myself: My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.‘ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you. Tell me, who shall get all you have put aside?‘ This is the lot of the one who stores up riches for himself and is not wealthy in the eyes of God.“
Thích Nhất Hạnh, a Buddhist monk, narrates the story of a person who lost his cows. One day the Buddha was sitting with a group of monks in the woods near the city of Sravasti. They had just finished a mindful lunch and were engaged in a small Dharma discussion. Suddenly a farmer came by. He was visibly upset and shouted, “Monks! Have you seen my cows?“ The Buddha said, “No. We have not seen any cows“ “You know, monks,“ the man said, “I am the most miserable person on earth. For some reason, my twelve cows all ran away this morning. I have only two acres of sesame seed plants, and this year the insects ate them all.“ I think I am going to kill myself. Out of compassion, the Buddha said, “No. Sir, we have not seen your cows. Maybe you should look for them elsewhere.“ When the farmer was gone, the Buddha turned to his monks, looked at them deeply, smiled, and said, “Dear friends, do you know that you are the happiest people on Earth? You don‘t have any cows to lose“(laughter). So, my friends, if you have cows (laughter), look deeply into the nature of your cows to see whether they have been bringing you happiness or suffering. You should learn the art of releasing your cows. The key thing is to let go and free yourself. A monk or nun is supposed to leave everything behind in order to be a free person. A monk or nun should have only three robes and one bowl, because freedom is the most valuable possession.
St. John of Capistrano
1st Reading: eph 2:12-22:
Brothers and sisters:
You were at that time without Christ,
alienated from the community of Israel
and strangers to the covenants of promise,
without hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off
have become near by the Blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, he made both one
and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh,
abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims,
that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two,
thus establishing peace,
and might reconcile both with God,
in one Body, through the cross,
putting that enmity to death by it.
He came and preached peace to you who were far off
and peace to those who were near,
for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Gospel: Lk 12:35-38:
Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open the door to him. Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron, and have them sit at table, and he will wait on them. Happy are those servants, if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!
The parable in the gospel contains a lesson in faithfulness and a warning against apathy and indifference. Why is faithfulness so important to God? For one, it‘s the foundation for any lasting and meaningful relationship. The Lord is committed to us in a bond of unbreakable love and fidelity. That is what covenant means — keeping one‘s word, promise, and commitment no matter how tough or difficult it gets. Fidelity is a key character trait of God and one that he expects of us. God gives us the grace and wisdom to remain and dwell in his love and mercy. Why is fidelity, commitment, and faithfulness so difficult today? Present day society extols freedom over fidelity and doesn‘t want to be bound to an unknown or uncertain future. It‘s also inconvenient and a burden to be committed. We want to be freed from all burdens and responsibilities. We value independence at all costs. Faithfulness demands consistency, a determination to stay the course, and do hard work of loving and being merciful. The joy and privilege of being a son or daughter of God carries with it an awesome responsibility of service to others. Our blessings are not simply for our own to enjoy. The temptation while the Master is away is to forget the nature of being given with gifts and blessings. Are we faithful to God and ready to give him an account of our stewardship?
St. Anthony Mary Claret
1st Reading: eph 3:2-12:
Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation,
as I have written briefly earlier.
When you read this
you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
which was not made known to human beings in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body,
and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.
Of this I became a minister by the gift of God’s grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power.
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the Church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.
Gospel: Lk 12:39-48:
Pay attention to this: If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.“
Peter said, “Lord, did you tell this parable only for us, or for everyone?“ And the Lord replied, “Imagine, then, the wise and faithful steward, whom the master sets over his other servants, to give them wheat at the proper time. Fortunate is this servant if his master, on coming home, finds him doing his work. Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property.
But it may be that the steward thinks, ‘My Lord delays in coming,‘ and he begins to abuse the male servants and the servant girls, eating and drinking and getting drunk. Then the master will come on a day he does not expect, and at an hour he doesn‘t know. He will cut him off, and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.
The servant who knew his master‘s will, but did not prepare and do what his master wanted, will be soundly beaten; but the one who does unconsciously what deserves punishment, shall receive fewer blows. Much will be required of the one who has been given much, and more will be asked of the one who has been entrusted with more.
The steward that Jesus holds up for acclaim is not doing something particularly flashy or creative. He is just continuing to do his duty, day after day, without fail, without forgetting, without unexplained lapses. His virtue is steadfastness. You can count on him. Life for so many of us is filled with loose ends. There are things undone and things half-done; things put off and things not even attempted. Good stewards have always the sense of a task that must be completed and finished. The unmindful steward simply does not care about his work. He lives for himself and not his master. He neglects his responsibilities toward his fellow servants and, instead, looks to his own comfort and luxury, signaled by “eating and drinking.“ If we are living for ourselves, we cannot at the same time be under discipline as a faithful servant to the Master. How much would we be willing to give up of comfort and securities before we say, “Enough! I won‘t go any farther.“? How steadfast are we really? Or are we just fair-weather Christians?
1st Reading: eph 3:14-21:
Brothers and sisters:
I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine,
by the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Gospel: Lk 12:49-53:
I have come to bring fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what anguish I feel until it is finished!
Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, in one house five will be divided: three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.“
The breakup of families, father against mother, parents against children, in-laws against in-laws comes as the result of making a big decision to follow Jesus. To follow the way of truth and love, of freedom and justice is always going to arouse the hostility of those who feel threatened by freedom in love. But is it right to break up one‘s family? The answer is definitely no but when there is a greater value that is at stake, we pursue not a dream for the family but God‘s dream for humanity. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela gave humanity the best of himself when he followed his dream of racial equality, left the trappings of a good life and became a prisoner of conscience in his fight against apartheid. A harsh choice. He confessed the pain: “I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found that I was prevented from fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father, and a husband. In that way, my commitment to my people, to the millions of South Africans I would never know or meet, was at the expense of the people I knew best and loved most. It was as simple and yet as incomprehensible as the moment a small child asks her father, Why can you not be with us? And the father must utter the terrible words: There are other children like you, a great many of them . . . and then one‘s voice trails off.“
1st Reading: eph 4:1-6:
Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit
through the bond of peace;
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.
Gospel: Lk 12:54-59:
Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming‘; and so it happens. And when the wind blows from the south, you say, ‘It will be hot‘; and so it is. You superficial people! You understand the signs of the earth and the sky, but you don‘t understand the present times. And why do you not judge for yourselves what is fit? When you go with your accuser before the court, try to settle the case on the way, lest he drag you before the judge, and the judge deliver you to the jailer, and the jailer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the very last penny.“
Jesus challenges his audience, He has been performing one sign after another through the power of his teaching and the authority. Still they are unable to see the clear hand of God in what he does. They follow him with curiosity to see what they may be able to get for themselves but very few commit themselves to following him as disciples. Secondly, he asks them why they do not judge for themselves what is right? He urges them to reconcile instead of dragging their opponents to court only to find they lose the case and end up in jail. Priority should be given to having inner peace and establishing right relations. The invitation is always to read the clear signs of God‘s call coming through Jesus and to respond by metanoia a radical shift of mind and heart. We need to develop a real sense of abundance in our lives seeing God‘s Providence in our daily life and having a sense of the common good in the sense of wanting the best for all concerned. Forgiveness and reconciliation should be a high priority for us. There should be no place in our lives for sheer vindictiveness or, perhaps worse, simply centering our lives in the accumulation of goods and possessions.
1st Reading: eph 4:7-16:
Brothers and sisters:
Grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Therefore, it says:
He ascended on high and took prisoners captive;
he gave gifts to men.
What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended
into the lower regions of the earth?
The one who descended is also the one who ascended
far above all the heavens,
that he might fill all things.
And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood
to the extent of the full stature of Christ,
so that we may no longer be infants,
tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching
arising from human trickery,
from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming.
Rather, living the truth in love,
we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ,
from whom the whole Body,
joined and held together by every supporting ligament,
with the proper functioning of each part,
brings about the Body’s growth and builds itself up in love.
Gospel: Lk 13:1-9:
One day, some people told Jesus what had occurred in the temple: Pilate had had Galileans killed, and their blood mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus asked them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered this? No, I tell you. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish, as they did.
And those eighteen persons in Siloah, who were crushed when the tower fell, do you think they were more guilty than all the others in Jerusalem? I tell you: no. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish, as they did.“
And Jesus continued, “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it, but found none. Then he said to the gardener, ‘Look here, for three years now I have been looking for figs on this tree, and I have found none. Cut it down, why should it continue to deplete the soil?‘ The gardener replied, ‘Leave it one more year, so that I may dig around it and add some fertilizer; perhaps it will bear fruit from now on. But if it doesn‘t, you can cut it down.‘“
Catastrophes or accidents which take people‘s lives constantly force people to ask, Why? When some die suddenly and there are no justifiable reasons, some see it as a punishment from God. Jesus disagrees. “Do you think they were more guilty than anyone else who lived in Jerusalem?“ Jesus asks. “Certainly not!“ he asserts. In fact, he says, his hearers will all meet a similar fate unless they change their ways. The sins of the victims were not the cause of their death but they are certainly warnings to the rest of us to see if we are ready to give the best for God and humanity. And he goes on to illustrate his meaning with a parable. In a sense the people he has been talking to are like fig trees that have not borne fruit. They still have a chance to turn their lives around, a chance which was not given to those who had died in those two incidents. We, too, are being given a chance – For a day? A month? Several years? We have no idea. What is clear is that there is no time to waste; we have to start today. For God, what counts is doing something good with our lives especially making a difference in the lives of others. What is needed is not to waste time with our gifts and talents. We are called to be fruitful with our lives and the time to be serious with our lives is to grow in faith and in love.