Bible Diary for October 28th – November 3rdBible Diary
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feast of St. Jude
1st Reading: Jer 31:7-9:
For Yahweh says this, “Shout with joy for Jacob; rejoice for the greatest of nations.
Proclaim your praise and say: ‘Yahweh has saved his people, the remnant of Israel!‘ Look, I will bring them back from the land of the north, gather them from the ends of the earth, the lame and the blind, mothers and women in labor — a great throng will return.
They went away weeping, they will return in joy.“
2nd Reading: heb 5:1-6:
Every high priest is taken from among mortals, and appointed, to be their representative before God, to offer gifts, and sacrifices for sin. He is able to understand the ignorant and erring, for he, himself, is subject to weakness.
This is why he is bound to offer sacrifices, for his sins, as well as for the sins of the people. Besides, one does not presume to take this dignity, but takes it only when called by God, as Aaron was.
Nor did Christ become high priest in taking upon himself this dignity, but it was given to him, by the one who says: You are my son, I have begotten you today. And in another place: You are a priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.
Gospel: mk 10:46-52:
They came to Jericho. As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth passing by, he began to call out, “Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!“ Many people scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he shouted all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!“
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.“ So they called the blind man, saying, “Take heart! Get up, he is calling you!“ He immediately threw aside his cloak, jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?“ The blind man said, “Master, let me see again!“ And Jesus said to him, “Go your way, your faith has made you well.“ And, immediately, he could see, and he followed Jesus along the road.
Those who left weeping will return in joy, thanks to the intervention of God. A priest is one called upon by God to bring people to God. Jesus heals Bartimaeus, the blind, in response to his cry. “Go your way“ was the blessing and permission given by Jesus to Bartimaeus after healing him; but Bartimaeus chooses to follow Jesus. He knew he had no way other than that of Jesus. Perhaps he understood far better than others what Jesus meant when he had said, “I am the way.“ Bartimaeus chose correctly. There is no way to deeper sight, knowledge, and life‘s fullfilment but following Jesus. “Lord Jesus, you are the way, the truth, and the life. Let me walk your path in your light.“ Have you pledged your eyes? If not, you might want to think about doing so.
1st Reading: eph 4:32 — 5:8:
Brothers and sisters:
Be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.
Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you,
as is fitting among holy ones,
no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place,
but instead, thanksgiving.
Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person,
that is, an idolater,
has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no one deceive you with empty arguments,
for because of these things
the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.
So do not be associated with them.
For you were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light.
Gospel: Lk 13:10-17:
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath, and a crippled woman was there. An evil spirit had kept her bent for eighteen years, so that she could not straighten up at all. On seeing her, Jesus called her and said, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.“ Then he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight and praised God.
But the ruler of the synagogue was indignant, because Jesus had performed this healing on the Sabbath day, and he said to the people, “There are six days in which to work. Come on those days to be healed, and not on the Sabbath!“
But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Everyone of you unties his ox or his donkey on the Sabbath, and leads it out of the barn to give it water. And here you have a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound for eighteen years. Should she not be freed from her bonds on the Sabbath?“
When Jesus said this, all his opponents felt ashamed. But the people rejoiced at the many wonderful things that happened because of him.
There are two powerful gospel stories in Luke 7:3650 and Luke 13: 1017. The first is the story of a woman who entered the house of a Pharisee, named Simon. He had invited Jesus for a meal; while at table, she began to wash the feet of Jesus with both her tears and ointment. The second is a woman bent over for eighteen years. The two women have something in common – shame, worthlessness and their oppressive exclusion due to their bodies (sin, sickness, bleeding, and deformity). Their wretched bodies make them outsiders in a socio-cultural religious context which considers them impure, subservient, and invisible. In the narrative, they all break the rules of culture and religious purity and observance. The first enters the house of Simon without being invited; the second appears before Jesus in the synagogue on the Sabbath. What is so significant about the movement of the two women is reality of the dis-empowered outsider who initiates the miracle process. The bent-over woman invited Jesus to break the Sabbath in favor of her liberation from years of deformity, suffering, and exclusion. She became part of, and was an active participant in, the Reign of God as well as privileged beneficiary of the miracle and empowerment of Jesus. Faith seeking embodiment shatters any justification to the violence done against women and children today. All bodies are sacred and resist any form of commodification and exclusion.
1st Reading: eph 5:21-33:
Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the Church,
he himself the savior of the Body.
As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the Church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the Church,
because we are members of his Body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,
and the wife should respect her husband.
Gospel: Lk 13:18-21:
And Jesus continued, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? Imagine a person who has taken a mustard seed, and planted it in his garden. The seed has grown, and become like a small tree, so that the birds of the air shelter in its branches.“
And Jesus said again, “What is the kingdom of God like? Imagine a woman who has taken yeast, and hidden it in three measures of fl our, until it is all leavened.“
What can mustard seeds and leaven teach us about the Kingdom of God? The tiny mustard seed literally grew to be a tree which attracted numerous birds because they loved the little black mustard seed it produced. God‘s kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God‘s word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within. Leaven is another powerful agent of change. A lump of dough left to itself remains just what it is, a lump of dough. But when the leaven is added to it a transformation takes place which produces rich and wholesome bread when heated and wonderfully shared with others. The Kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers. When we yield our lives to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Paul the Apostle says, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us“ (2 Cor. 4:7). Do you believe in the transforming power of the mustard seed, the seed of God‘s mercy in your heart? Is the power of your faith like a dough that inspires you to share your life with others? What matters is the joy of giving and giving yourself generously.
1st Reading: eph 6:1-9:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Honor your father and mother.
This is the first commandment with a promise,
that it may go well with you
and that you may have a long life on earth.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.
Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling,
in sincerity of heart, as to Christ,
not only when being watched, as currying favor,
but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
willingly serving the Lord and not men,
knowing that each will be requited from the Lord
for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
Masters, act in the same way towards them, and stop bullying,
knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven
and that with him there is no partiality.
Gospel: Lk 13:22-30:
Jesus went through towns and villages teaching, and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?“ And Jesus answered, “Do your best to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When the master of the house locks the door, you will stand outside.
Then you will knock at the door, calling, ‘Lord, open to us!‘ But he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.‘ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets!‘ But he will reply, ‘I don‘t know where you come from. Away from me, all you workers of evil.‘
You will weep and grind your teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves left outside. Others will sit at table in the kingdom of God, people coming from east and west, from north and south. Some who are among the last, will be first; and some who are among the first, will be last!“
Jesus is approached by a man who wants to know if only a few will be saved. One has the feeling that he expects the answer to be ‘Yes‘ and that he regards himself as being among the chosen ones. Jesus does not answer the question directly but he implies that those who are saved are not necessarily those who regard themselves as God‘s chosen ones but rather those who walk the path differently. That path, of course, is precisely what he is proposing through his own life and teaching. It is a narrow door, he says, which many will not be able to enter. It is clearly not enough to be just in Christ‘s company or to have heard his teaching, for example, being a baptized Catholic or even routinely fulfilling a few religious obligations. To go in the “narrow door“ is to be actively committed to living the Gospel in one‘s behavior. Each day and all day of our lives we have to walk through that narrow door, that door of faith and trust and love for Jesus and our brothers and sisters. Only then will we find ourselves entering the narrow door not as a means of personal salvation but as part of the mission of God to change our world to be marked by justice, peace, and mercy. We need to care for everyone and not just our own salvation.
Solemnity of All Saints (All Saints Day)
1st Reading: Rev 7:2-4, 9-14:
I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
“Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.
After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”
All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:
“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”
2nd Reading: 1 Jn 3:1-3:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.
Gospel: Mt 5:1-12a:
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. He sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them: Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are those who mourn; they shall be comforted.
Fortunate are the gentle; they shall possess the land.
Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy.
Fortunate are those with pure hearts, for they shall see God.
Fortunate are those who work for peace; they shall be called children of God.
Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you be cause you are my followers.
Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God. For that is how this people persecuted the prophets who lived before you.
The Beatitudes turn everything in this world upside down. “Blessed are the poor in spirit“ first of all says that those who are dependent on God‘s Providence are more blessed than those who think they have it all. Part of what makes the Beatitudes counter-intuitive is that Jesus pronounces God‘s blessing on those who have poverty of spirit and not those possessed by wealth, power and fame. Our typical approach to life is that success or wealth or power equals happiness. The problem with that is that the more you succeed, the more wealth and power you gain, the more you have to lose, and, therefore, the more you relate to life in fear and competition. This way of life leads us to think we can only be happy in life by winning, by getting ahead and by beating someone else at the game. Those who seek to follow Jesus Christ are called to embody a completely diffe rent vision of life. We are called to give our lives working to extend God‘s mercy to the left out and beaten down in this world, to seek to establish God‘s peace and God‘s justice for all the dispossessed and disenfranchised of this world. We are called to align our lives with those whom the world despises and rejects — which means that we too, will be despised and rejected because of our commitment to God‘s mercy and peace and justice. But like those whom the world marginalizes, when we align our lives in that way, we also can rejoice when God‘s Reign becomes more visible in our lives.
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day)
1st Reading: Wis 3:1-9:
The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.
2nd Reading: Rom 6:3-9:
Brothers and sisters:
Hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his Blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Gospel: Mt 25:31-46:
All the nations will be brought before him; and, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so will he do with them, placing the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. The king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, blessed of my Father! Take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me into your home. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to see me.‘
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Go, cursed people, out of my sight, into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry, and you did not give me anything to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not welcome me into your house; I was naked, and you did not clothe me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.‘
‘Truly I say to you: just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.‘
Jesus is not choosing between the bad ones and the holy ones. In the judgment of the sheep and the goats, Jesus is distinguishing sharply among persons who profess to be Christians and claim to belong to him. He is clearly saying that the ultimate mark of an authentic disciple is not his creed, or his faith, or his orthodoxy, but the concern which he shows to those who are in need and helpless. The concrete action of mercy and love is the final proof of transformative faith. Jesus does not ask anyone to present his case or argue his cause. He asks no questions nor requests any evidence. He simply extends to this one group the invitation, “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom.“ Then he explains the basis of his choice. He has simply noted that when they had opportunity to help someone in need, they did it. Nothing more is required. Jesus identifies himself with those in need and suffering. The seriousness of this matter of helping the needy is seen in the severity of the Lord‘s words here. And let us remember that these are people who honestly think they are sheep or that they have done good deeds. They can point with pride to a moment when they made a profession of belief and are church members in good standing, but by their lack of response to the cries for help that come to them from every side went unnoticed. They simply did not care.
St. Martin de Porres
1st Reading: Phil 1:18b-26:
Brothers and sisters:
As long as in every way, whether in pretense or in truth,
Christ is being proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Indeed I shall continue to rejoice,
for I know that this will result in deliverance for me
through your prayers and support from the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
My eager expectation and hope
is that I shall not be put to shame in any way,
but that with all boldness, now as always,
Christ will be magnified in my body,
whether by life or by death.
For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.
If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.
And I do not know which I shall choose.
I am caught between the two.
I long to depart this life and be with Christ,
for that is far better.
Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit.
And this I know with confidence,
that I shall remain and continue in the service of all of you
for your progress and joy in the faith,
so that your boasting in Christ Jesus may abound on account of me
when I come to you again.
Gospel: Lk 14:1, 7-11:
One Sabbath Jesus had gone to eat a meal in the house of a leading Pharisee, and he was carefully watched. Jesus then told a parable to the guests, for he had noticed how they tried to take the places of honor.
And he said, “When you are invited to a wedding party, do not choose the best seat. It may happen that someone more important than you has been invited; and your host, who invited both of you, will come and say to you, ‘Please give this person your place.‘ What shame is yours when you take the lowest seat!
“Whenever you are invited, go rather to the lowest seat, so that your host may come and say to you, ‘Friend, you must come up higher.‘ And this will be a great honor for you in the presence of all the other guests.
For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.“
As I read Jesus‘ parable, do I have either the proud feeling of being considered more special than I thought I was, or do I feel deprived of being thought more ordinary than seemed right to me? When Jesus recommends humility – and his parable is not about right etiquette at parties – what is he calling me to? What is so great about this humility? In Jesus we see the humility of the one who knew who he was – God‘s beloved – and freely caring, serving and healing others. He is among us as one who serves, the one who sees the needs of his people and does his best to meet them. In word and actions, he served us with his whole life. Pope Francis said in one of his homilies: “God saves us by making himself little, near and real.“ By being “little, near and real“ God makes himself relatable and felt. “The Lord does not want to be feared like a powerful and aloof sovereign. He does not want to remain on his throne in heaven or in history books, but loves to come down to our everyday affairs, to walk with us.“