Bible Diary for September 23rd – 29thBible Diary
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Wis 2:12, 17-20:
Let us set a trap for the righteous, for he annoys us and opposes our way of life; he reproaches us for our breaches of the law and accuses us of being false to our upbringing.
Let us see the truth of what he says and find out what his end will be. If the righteous is a son of God, God will defend him and deliver him from his adversaries. Let us humble and torture him to prove his selfcontrol and test his patience. When we have condemned him to a shameful death, we may test his words.
2nd Reading: Jas 3:16 – 4:3:
Wherever there is jealousy and ambition, you will also find discord, and all that is evil. Instead, the wisdom that comes from above is pure and peace loving. Persons with this wisdom show understanding, and listen to advice; they are full of compassion and good works; they are impartial and sincere. Peacemakers, who sow peace, reap a harvest of justice.
What causes these fights and quarrels among you? Is it not your cravings that make war within your own selves? When you long for something you cannot have, you kill for it, and when you do not get what you desire, you squabble and fight. The fact is, you do not have what you want, because you do not pray for it. You pray for something, and you do not get it, because you pray with the wrong motive, of indulging your pleasures.
Gospel: Mk 9:30-37:
After leaving that place, they made their way through Galilee; but Jesus did not want people to know where he was because he was teaching his disciples. And he told them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, but three days after he has been killed, he will rise.“
The disciples, however, did not understand these words and they were afraid to ask him what he meant. Who is the greatest? They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?“But they did not answer, because they had been arguing about who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve and said to them, “If someone wants to be first, let him be last of all and servant of all.“ Then he took a little child, placed him in their midst, and putting his arms around him he said to them, “Whoever welcomes a child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not me, but the One who sent me.“
The theme of violence and conflict permeates the readings today. The wicked cannot stand the righteous and plot the latter‘s downfall. Jesus prophesizes about his own suffering and death at the hands of the enemies. James provides an insight into all violence – it is the result of jealous cravings and disordered desires. Competition, jealousy and violence happen only when the other is seen as an entity separate and different from us. If one is able to see the underlying unity of reality and the deep connectedness we have with everyone and everything else, this drive to be first and beat the rest will subside. Further, it will also help us deal with violence meted out to us with compassion and nonviolence, as Jesus could. We shall pray for reduction of violence and promotion of peace in the world. Meditate on the interconnectedness of everything.
1st Reading: Pro 3:27-34:
Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim
when it is in your power to do it for him.
Say not to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give,” when you can give at once.
Plot no evil against your neighbor,
against one who lives at peace with you.
Quarrel not with a man without cause,
with one who has done you no harm.
Envy not the lawless man
and choose none of his ways:
To the LORD the perverse one is an abomination,
but with the upright is his friendship.
The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
but the dwelling of the just he blesses;
When dealing with the arrogant, he is stern,
but to the humble he shows kindness.
Gospel: Lk 8:16-18:
No one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a bowl or puts it under the bed; rather, he puts it on a lamp stand, so that people coming in may see the light.
In the same way, there is nothing hidden that shall not be uncovered; nothing kept secret, that shall not be known clearly. Now, pay attention and listen well, for whoever produces, will be given more; but from those who do not produce, even what they seem to have will be taken away from them.
The Gospel message is not meant to be kept hidden. We are called to witness God‘s love and mercy to all. It is a message that is to be proclaimed from the housetops. If what we believe and say is good, goodness will be light from our hearts and seen from our way of life. We understand Jesus to be the Light of the world and his followers are also to be like lamps shining out for all the world to see. An invisible Christian is a contradiction in terms, yet there are strong tendencies for us to privatize our faith and fail to live the prophetic character of following Jesus. “Take heed, therefore, How you hear,“ says Jesus today. It has to be a hearing which understands, accepts, assimilates and puts into practice the values of the Kingdom. What is heard and assimilated has to be shared with others. Otherwise it dies. But “to the one who has, more will be given“. To be a Christian is not to make a personal devotion of one‘s faith; it essentially means constant growth and bearing fruit in our relationships with others, with creation and with God.
1st Reading: Pro 21:1-6, 10-13:
Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it.
All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.
To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart–
the tillage of the wicked is sin.
The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty.
Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.
The soul of the wicked man desires evil;
his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes.
When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser;
when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin.
He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.
Gospel: Lk 8:19-21:
Then his mother and his relatives came to him; but they could not get to him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and wish to meet you.“ Then Jesus answered, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.“
Jesus established a different criterion of relationships – from blood or race to one that is marked by God‘s word. There is a lot of meaning in the words of the message: “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside…“ Mary is not being excluded here or other family members. The challenge is belonging to a new family that is no longer based on blood ties. Mary responded to the invitation of God by being chosen to be the mother of God‘s Son but perhaps even more in her saying ‘Yes‘ (“Let it happen to me according to your word“), in her unswerving ‘Yes‘ to God‘s invitation and in her standing by her Son to the very end when all the rest had fled. Our discipleship, too, is not determined by our being born into a Catholic family or just by being baptized or by observing the external requirements of our faith but by our total commitment to the Gospel and to an unconditional following of Jesus. Only then can we truly be said to be his brother or sister.
1st Reading: Pro 30:5-9:
Every word of God is tested;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Add nothing to his words,
lest he reprove you, and you will be exposed as a deceiver.
Two things I ask of you,
deny them not to me before I die:
Put falsehood and lying far from me,
give me neither poverty nor riches;
provide me only with the food I need;
Lest, being full, I deny you,
saying, “Who is the LORD?”
Or, being in want, I steal,
and profane the name of my God.
Gospel: Lk 9:1-6:
Then Jesus called his Twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to drive out all evil spirits and to heal diseases. And he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He instructed them, “Don‘t take anything for the journey, neither staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and don‘t even take a spare tunic. Whatever house you enter, remain there until you leave that place. And wherever they don‘t welcome you, leave the town and shake the dust from your feet: it will be as a testimony against them.“ So they set out, and went through the villages, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
Jesus sends the twelve disciples on mission. It is the first time he has sent them out on their own without his being with them. Basically, they are to do exactly as their Master does. They are given power to heal illnesses and proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. They are to travel lightly and not to bring anything with them which would make travelling heavy and difficult. No walking staff, or purse, or food, or money, nor even a change of clothing. It is understood that the people will support them in return for the services they render. The radicality of the mission is not so much that they travel with less but to trust in God‘s providence. What they have to carry is their faith in God who will be with them in carrying the mission entrusted to them. It is God‘s mission.
The same mission is entrusted to each one of us. We are called, individually and in community, to proclaim the Gospel by word and witness. We are called to help liberate people from suffering and addictions of all kinds. We are called to be instruments of healing and wholeness in our little ways and making a difference in people‘s lives. We are called to live lives of simpli city and open to recognize peoples‘ hospitality.
St. Vincent de Paul
1st Reading: eccl 1:2-11:
Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
What profit has man from all the labor
which he toils at under the sun?
One generation passes and another comes,
but the world forever stays.
The sun rises and the sun goes down;
then it presses on to the place where it rises.
Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north,
the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds.
All rivers go to the sea,
yet never does the sea become full.
To the place where they go,
the rivers keep on going.
All speech is labored;
there is nothing one can say.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing
nor is the ear satisfied with hearing.
What has been, that will be;
what has been done, that will be done.
Nothing is new under the sun.
Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!”
has already existed in the ages that preceded us.
There is no remembrance of the men of old;
nor of those to come will there be any remembrance
among those who come after them.
Gospel: Lk 9:7-9:
King Herod heard of all this, and did not know what to think, for people said, “This is John, raised from the dead.“ Others believed that Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets, had come back to life. As for Herod, he said, “I had John beheaded. Who is this man, about whom I hear such wonders?“ And he was anxious to see him.
Herod‘s desire to see Jesus was driven curiosity, fear and anxiety. To see Jesus is to be inspired by his words and deeds. His way is caring and healing presence. Herod‘s method of eliminating and silencing enemies was the exact opposite of Jesus message of loving enemies, and promoting nonviolence. The way to meet Jesus is to have the eyes of faith that can see in the person of Jesus the presence and power of God. Let us ask to see Jesus today, a seeing that leads to a total acceptance of his way of life and following him all the way, through the cross, and seeing the power of his way of truthtelling and nonviolence as the way forward in bringing a new world of justice and peace. Herod‘s way is a deadend.
St. Wenceslaus, king & martyr
St. Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila, martyr & Companions, martyrs
1st Reading: eccl 3:1-11:
There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.
What advantage has the worker from his toil?
I have considered the task that God has appointed
for the sons of men to be busied about.
He has made everything appropriate to its time,
and has put the timeless into their hearts,
without man’s ever discovering,
from beginning to end, the work which God has done.
Gospel: Lk 9:18-22:
One day, when Jesus was praying alone, not far from his disciples, he asked them, “What do people say about me?“ And they answered, “Some say, that you are John the Baptist; others say, that you are Elijah; and still others, that you are one of the prophets of old, risen from the dead.“ Again Jesus asked them, “But who do you say that I am?“ Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.“ Then Jesus spoke to them, giving them strict orders not to tell this to anyone.
And he added, “The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the elders and chief priests and teachers of the law, and be put to death. Then after three days he will be raised to life.“
To answer the question of Jesus, all that is needed is to walk with him and find the answer along the way. The way of discipleship is to keep walking and allowing the Master to lead and allowing myself to be led. The invitation to come and see is not simply a personal affair with Jesus; it is to come and see with cosmic eyes! Pope Francis in Laudato Si brings this movement when he reflects on what is happening with the earth. Jesus‘ humanity is intimately connected with the earth, with people and with his work. His relationship with the Divine is intertwined with everything he saw and touched.
Feast of St. Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Archangels
1st Reading: Dn 7:9-10, 13-14 (or Rev 12:7-12a):
As I watched:
Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was bright as snow,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.
The court was convened, and the books were opened.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw
One like a son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.
Gospel: Jn 1:47-51:
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.“ Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?“ And Jesus said to him, “Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree, and I saw you.“
Nathanael answered, “Master, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!“ But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.‘ But you will see greater things than that.
Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.“
For most human failings, there is a biblical character to provide company for our misery. In the gospel, it‘s Nathanael. Jesus already knows him. As Nathanael walks toward Jesus, Jesus describes him: “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!“ (1:47) It seems like a straightforward description based on his knowledge of Nathanael. Nathanael says, in effect, “I don‘t believe we‘ve met.“ Where did you get to know me? He is so moved by Jesus‘ prior knowledge of him that he makes a confession of faith. In our lives, every time we approach Jesus, it is in the context of his prior knowledge about us. Jesus already knows us, even if we have no recollection of many of our prior encounters with him, even if we do not name or recognize his presence and efforts at the depths of our lives. Every time we recognize his presence in ourselves and others, in events and moments, it is because we have moved from the sinking feeling of nonawareness to greater awareness of God‘s presence in our lives.