Bible Diary for September 23rd – 29thBible Diary
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Wis 2:12, 17-20:
The wicked say: Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.
Reading 2 Jas 3:16-4:3:
Beloved: Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.
Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
Gospel Mk 9:30-37:
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”
For the second time Jesus predicts his passion; the disciples do not understand and Jesus gives another lesson on discipleship. Why must Jesus suffer and die? Do we accept suffering not only as part and parcel of life but even essential to following the Lord? Pray for the strength to withstand trials in your ministry. Learn greatness from the simplicity and humility of little children.
Reading 1 Prv 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:
Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”
If you have a gift and you neglect it (like the man in the Gospel who buried his one talent), you gradually lose it. For example, if you have a gift for music but you never practice it, you begin to lose the gift; but if you cultivate that gift it increases. The same is true of all gifts: gifts of prayer, of intelligence, of imagination, even of physical strength.
Reading 1 Prv 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:
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
Everyone who hears and keeps the Word of God is a relative of Jesus. Why not spell it out more fully? If you are trying to live a Christian life you can think of yourself as the Lord’s mother, aunt, uncle, younger sister, brother, cousin, next-door neighbor…. If this awareness entered your soul very deeply you could never again treat any relative of yours badly. Every human relationship would be opened up and made a vehicle for the grace of Christ.
Reading 1 Prv 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:
Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”
Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and curing diseases everywhere.
People who believe in God and in God’s providence do not have it any easier than others; in fact they often have it harder. A business person (Matthew, for example in his tax-gathering days) would say there were no short-term benefits. What about the long-term benefits? Preachers have played this card with the shamelessness of businessmen. Their hearers were prepared for it, because they all remembered by heart the catechism answer to why we are on this earth, “To know, love, and serve God, and by this means to be happy with him forever in heaven.” God then was a means to my happiness. It is not surprising that many found Mammon could do it better.
St. Vincent de Paul
Reading 1 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:
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.
John was Herod’s bad conscience that is why he appeared to be always coming back: guilt does not let you rest in peace for long. Herod’s presence at this point is an ominous one, and even more ominous is his curiosity about Jesus; one is better off without the curiosity of such people. It is empty curiosity strongly contrasted with the interest that real disciples have in turn.
St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions
Reading 1 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:
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.
He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
What is the difference between the questions: “Who do the crowds say I am?” and “Who do you say I am?” In a word, the difference is suffering. To answer the first, you need to be a religious journalist; to answer the second, you need to put your cards on the table – or rather, your life on the line. The word “to suffer” means “to allow”: to allow faith to penetrate you is to suffer; it is to lose that arm’s length that the journalist maintains so carefully.
St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, Archangels
Reading 1 Dn 7:9-10, 13-14:
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:
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Have you ever wondered what the “el” at the end of certain names means? Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Daniel, Ezechiel, etc. Sometimes the “el” is at the beginning: Elizabeth, Elijah, Elisha. It is a short for “Elohim,” a Hebrew name for God. All these names have meanings of course. But even if your name is not one of these, you can still think of it as naming your relationship to God. The deepest layer of our identity is our relationship with God, and God calls us by our name. If you bring strength and support to another person, you are (in a sense) an angel to that person. Angel means “a messenger of God.” What we write in our address books is one thing, but our deepest identity and our most secret name is our relationship to God.