Bible Diary for October 7th – 13thBible Diary
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Gen 2:18-24:
Yahweh God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will give him a helper who will be like him.“ Then Yahweh God formed from the earth all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air and brought them to man to see what he would call them; and whatever man called every living creature, that was its name.
So man gave names to all the cattle, the birds of the air and to every beast of the field. But he did not find among them a helper like himself. Then Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to come over man and he fell asleep. He took one of his ribs and filled its place with flesh. The rib which Yahweh God had taken from man he formed into a woman and brought her to the man. The man then said, “Now this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken from man.“ That is why man leaves his father and mother and is attached to his wife, and with her becomes one flesh.
2nd Reading: heb 2:9-11:
But Jesus, who suffered death, and for a little while was placed lower than the angels, has been crowned with honor and glory. For the merciful plan of God demanded that he experience death, on behalf of everyone.
God, from whom all come, and by whom all things exist, wanted to bring many children to glory, and he thought it fitting to make perfect, through suffering, the initiator of their salvation. So, he who gives, and those who receive holiness, are one. He, himself, is not ashamed of calling us brothers and sisters.
Gospel: mk 10:2-16:
Some (Pharisees came and) put him to the test with this question: “Is it right for a husband to divorce his wife?“ He replied, “What law did Moses give you?“ They answered, “Moses allowed us to write a certificate of dismissal in order to divorce.“
Then Jesus said to them, “Moses wrote this law for you, because you have hearts of stone. But in the beginning of creation God made them male and female; and because of this, man has to leave father and mother and be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one body. So, they are no longer two, but one body. Therefore, let no one separate what God has joined.“
When they were indoors at home, the disciples again asked him about this, and he told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against his wife; and the woman who divorces her husband and marries another, also commits adultery.“ People were bringing their little children to him to have him touch them; and the disciples rebuked them for this.
When Jesus noticed it, he was very angry and said, “Let the children come to me and don‘t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.“ Then he took the children in his arms and, laying his hands on them, blessed them.
God created man and woman to be helpers to each other, on equal footing. It has been God‘s will, from the beginning of creation, that man and woman make a commitment to belong to each other for good. Everything that exists does so through God and for His glory – so do human families. Isn‘t it more than sheer coincidence that Mark discusses the indissolubility of marriage following it up with Jesus welcoming children and rebuking those who prevent their access to him, the source of life? Of late, marriage has become a private affair between two individuals focused on furthering their own pleasure and selfish ends to such an extent that having children within marriage becomes unthinkable and an aberration. At best, they are open to having one child, and no more. Whereas Catholics don‘t have to breed like rabbits, as Pope Francis rightly pointed out, they must definitely be open to welcoming children as the necessary and noble fruit of their marital bond. Pray for Christian families. Dine together as a family. If you are single, dine with a family today.
1st Reading: Gal 1:6-12:
Brothers and sisters:
I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking
the one who called you by the grace of Christ
for a different gospel (not that there is another).
But there are some who are disturbing you
and wish to pervert the Gospel of Christ.
But even if we or an angel from heaven
should preach to you a gospel
other than the one that we preached to you,
let that one be accursed!
As we have said before, and now I say again,
if anyone preaches to you a gospel
other than the one that you received,
let that one be accursed!
Am I now currying favor with human beings or God?
Or am I seeking to please people?
If I were still trying to please people,
I would not be a slave of Christ.
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,
that the Gospel preached by me is not of human origin.
For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it,
but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Gospel: Lk 10:25-37*:
A teacher of the law came and began putting Jesus to the test. And he said, “Master, what shall I do to receive eternal life?“ Jesus replied, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?“ The man answered, “It is written: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.“ Jesus replied, “What a good answer! Do this and you shall live.“ The man wanted to justify his question, so he asked, “Who is my neighbor?“
Jesus then said, “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him and went off, leaving him halfdead.
It happened that a priest was going along that road and saw the man, but passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite saw the man, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan also was going that way; and when he came upon the man, he was moved with compassion. Then he put him on his own mount, and brought him to an inn, where he took care of him.
The lawyer knew his Scriptures very well. When Jesus asks, “What is written in the law?“ the lawyer quotes from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, verses we now call the “two great commandments: love God and love your neighbor,“ reminding us of the “two tablets“ of the law which Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. In the gospel, Jesus changes the lawyer‘s question. The lawyer asked, “And who is my neighbor?“ By his definition the neighbors of the story would have been the priest and the Levite, members of his group, not the alien and heretical Samaritan. However, at the end of the story, Jesus changes the question by asking, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor?“ that is, “Who proved to be a neighbor?“ “Neighbor“ is not defined by location or group but by those who need concern and care. Our “neighbors“ are those who need us anywhere and anytime and the challenge is to respond in full generosity and mercy and not hindered by any form of constructed social barrier.
St. Denis, bishop & martyr, & Companions, martyrs
St. John Leonardi, priest
1st Reading: Gal 1:13-24:
Brothers and sisters:
You heard of my former way of life in Judaism,
how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure
and tried to destroy it,
and progressed in Judaism
beyond many of my contemporaries among my race,
since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions.
But when he, who from my mother’s womb had set me apart
and called me through his grace,
was pleased to reveal his Son to me,
so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles,
I did not immediately consult flesh and blood,
nor did I go up to Jerusalem
to those who were Apostles before me;
rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas
and remained with him for fifteen days.
But I did not see any other of the Apostles,
only James the brother of the Lord.
(As to what I am writing to you, behold,
before God, I am not lying.)
Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
And I was unknown personally to the churches of Judea
that are in Christ;
they only kept hearing that “the one who once was persecuting us
is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”
So they glorified God because of me.
Gospel: Lk 10:38-42:
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he entered a village, and a woman called Martha welcomed him to her house. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the Lord‘s feet to listen to his words. Martha, meanwhile, was busy with all the serving, and finally she said, “Lord, don‘t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work? Tell her to help me!“
But the Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things, whereas only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.“
Martha is a doer to the point of making more complaints than simply ser ving. Martha is burdened by what she is doing. Serving is something that Jesus himself did cons tantly and he urged his followers to do the same. But it should not be a burden. A true servant does not experience anxiety and worry. It signifies a lack of inner peace and sense of balance. Martha must have been somewhat surprised when Jesus said that Mary had “chosen the better part“ which would “not be taken from her“. What was that better part? Was Mary just sitting at the feet of Jesus and not helping her sister at all? No. We are told that she was “listening to him speak“. And we have mentioned before that listening involves understanding, accepting and assimilating that message so that it becomes part of our own nature. If we do not spend time listening to him, how can we know that our activity is properly directed? It is easy for us Christians to be very busy but are we busy about the right things? To answer that question we have to stop to listen, to discern and to pray. And, ultimately, the highest form of activity in our lives is contemplation or being mindful of God‘s presence in all things. If I am not mindful of my activities each day, I end being up caught by the burden of doing things for others. I fail to see the deeper connection of who I am and what I am doing. I am simply busy.
1st Reading: Gal 2:1-2, 7-14:
Brothers and sisters:
After fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas,
taking Titus along also.
I went up in accord with a revelation,
and I presented to them the Gospel that I preach to the Gentiles–
but privately to those of repute–
so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain.
On the contrary,
when they saw that I had been entrusted with the Gospel to the uncircumcised,
just as Peter to the circumcised,
for the one who worked in Peter for an apostolate to the circumcised
worked also in me for the Gentiles,
and when they recognized the grace bestowed upon me,
James and Cephas and John,
who were reputed to be pillars,
gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership,
that we should go to the Gentiles
and they to the circumcised.
Only, we were to be mindful of the poor,
which is the very thing I was eager to do.
And when Cephas came to Antioch,
I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.
For, until some people came from James,
he used to eat with the Gentiles;
but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself,
because he was afraid of the circumcised.
And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him,
with the result that even Barnabas
was carried away by their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not on the right road
in line with the truth of the Gospel,
I said to Cephas in front of all,
“If you, though a Jew,
are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew,
how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
Gospel: Lk 11:1-4:
One day, Jesus was praying in a certain place; and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.“ And Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say this: Father, may your name be held holy, may your kingdom come; give us, each day, the kind of bread we need, and forgive us our sins; for we also forgive all who do us wrong; and do not bring us to the test.“
Luke‘s gospel has been called the Gospel of Prayer. It is in his gospel, more than any of the others, that we are told about Jesus praying, especially before the more important moments of his public life, such as at his baptism, the choosing of the Twelve, before Peter‘s confession of his Messiahship and in the garden before his Passion. Today we see Jesus just praying somewhere and it was perfectly natural for Jesus to pray to his Father, if we understand by prayer being intimate with God. When we pray, what really matters is to have a sacred space within one‘s mind and heart and allow God to speak to us. Sometimes we ask him for help in our lives or in making the right decision. Sometimes we thank and praise him for all the blessings of the day. Sometimes we pray on behalf of someone else and sometimes to simply dwell in silence. At the end, the sacred quest is silent listening to Someone who speaks to us gently and gives us inner peace and joy.
1st Reading: Gal 3:1-5:
O stupid Galatians!
Who has bewitched you,
before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
I want to learn only this from you:
did you receive the Spirit from works of the law,
or from faith in what you heard?
Are you so stupid?
After beginning with the Spirit,
are you now ending with the flesh?
Did you experience so many things in vain?–
if indeed it was in vain.
Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you
and works mighty deeds among you
do so from works of the law
or from faith in what you heard?
Gospel: Lk 11:5-13:
Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to his house in the middle of the night and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine who is traveling has just arrived, and I have nothing to offer him.‘ Maybe your friend will answer from inside, ‘Don‘t bother me now; the door is locked, and my children and I are in bed, so I can‘t get up and give you anything.‘ But I tell you, even though he will not get up and attend to you because you are a friend, yet he will get up because you are a bother to him, and he will give you all you need.
And so I say to you, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For the one who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened.
If your child asks for a fish, will you give him a snake instead? And if your child asks for an egg, will you give him a scorpion? If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.“
There are a number of ways of praying persistently. One is to keep begging God to give us something we want or that we think we need. Another is to think that somehow we can manipulate God or put him under some kind of obligation by asking him repeatedly. So, if I do a nineday novena and say certain prayers each day, I may expect that God or some saint somehow is under an obligation to give me what I am asking for. This way of praying is helpful for some but we need to grow in our relationship with God. We are invited to pray like Jesus. It is to grow in intimacy with God. “To know him more clearly, love him more dearly, follow him more nearly.“ One way of moving in this direction is to make this the constant theme of our prayer. The more we pray for this the more likely it will become a reality in our lives. To pray then is not so much then to ask God for everything we need. It is to feel God‘s presence in our lives and allow his presence to guide our everyday action and behavior. Richard Rohr says: Experiencing radical grace is like living in a different world. It‘s not a world in which I labor to get God to notice me and like me. It‘s not a world in which I strive for spiritual success. It‘s not a cosmic game of crime and punishment.
1st Reading: Gal 3:7-14:
Brothers and sisters:
Realize that it is those who have faith
who are children of Abraham.
Scripture, which saw in advance that God
would justify the Gentiles by faith,
foretold the good news to Abraham, saying,
Through you shall all the nations be blessed.
Consequently, those who have faith are blessed
along with Abraham who had faith.
For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse;
for it is written, Cursed be everyone
who does not persevere in doing all the things
written in the book of the law.
And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear,
for the one who is righteous by faith will live.
But the law does not depend on faith;
rather, the one who does these things will live by them.
Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us,
for it is written, Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,
that the blessing of Abraham might be extended
to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,
so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Gospel: Lk 11:15-26*:
Yet some of the crowd said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.“ Others wanted to put him to the test, by asking him for a heavenly sign.
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. If Satan also is divided, his empire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? (…) But if I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you? As long as a man, strong and wellarmed, guards his house, his goods are safe. But when a stronger man attacks and overcomes him, the challenger takes away all the weapons he relied on, and disposes of his spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me, scatters. When the evil spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through dry lands, looking for a resting place; and finding none, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.‘ When it comes, it finds the house swept and everything in order. Then it goes to fetch seven other spirits, even worse than itself. They move in and settle there, so that the last state of that person is worse than the first.“
Jesus shows the self defeating elements in his opponents‘ charges. A kingdom that is divided by internal rivalries cannot last. And, Jesus asks his accusers, when their own people drive out demons, by whose power do they do it? “But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is among you.“ There can be no laxity or indifference where Jesus is concerned. We have to make our choice – for him or against. Not to choose is itself a choice – against him. Put differently, the choice is between life driven by fear or life inspired by mercy. The new life that is given has to be actively filled with the Spirit of Jesus. The daily question we need to ask is “What do you fill the void in your life with?“ It is easy to look for things to fill the restlessness within. It is easy to get addicted with our computers and cellphones, with anything that distracts from centering our lives. Jesus wants to fill our hearts and minds with the power of his lifegiving word and healing love. If we want to live in true freedom, then our “house“ (our heart) has to be a place where Jesus is the center of our lives.
Blessed Virgin Mary
1st Reading: Gal 3:22-29:
Brothers and sisters:
Scripture confined all things under the power of sin,
that through faith in Jesus Christ
the promise might be given to those who believe.
Before faith came, we were held in custody under law,
confined for the faith that was to be revealed.
Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ,
that we might be justified by faith.
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian.
For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither slave nor free person,
there is not male and female;
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants,
heirs according to the promise.
Gospel: Lk 11:27-28:
As Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to him, “Blessed is the one who gave you birth and nursed you!“ Jesus replied, “Truly blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it as well.“
Are you a blessing to others? Have you shared your blessings with others? Have you felt God‘s blessings in your life? When someone from the crowd wished to compliment Jesus by praising his mother, Jesus did not deny the truth of the blessing she pronounced. Mary is truly blessed. On another occasion, Jesus pointed out that our true mother and brothers and sisters are those who hear the word of God and do it (Luke 8:21). They are truly blessed because they know their God personally and they find joy in hearing and doing his will. Jesus changes the order of relationships and shows that true kinship is not just a matter of blood relations. The new covenant with God transforms all our relationships and requires a reversal of values. Do you seek God and his word? Or do you seek temporal things in your search for material possessions? Who possesses your heart and mind at the end of the day? The advertising tag line “Satisfaction guaranteed“ can entice us to buy goods that we believe can satisfy us and make us happy forever. We end up just being restless because the heart knows no satisfaction when it comes to temporal values. The heart seeks the eternal and not the temporal.