Reflections on the Daily Readings

October 19 - 25, 2014.
The Season of Ordinary Time - Twenty-eighth Week.
Readings: Sunday Cycle A; Weekday Cycle II.
Divine Office - Psalter Week IV.

Sunday 19:          The Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Mission Sunday
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6; Psalm 95; 1Thessalonians 1:1-5; Matthew 22:15-21
In the first reading the Lord, speaking through the Prophet Isaiah, tells us that apart from him all is nothing. In the gospel, the Pharisees are trying to catch Jesus out but he turns the tables on them. They did not like paying taxes to Caesar and ask Jesus whether or not the taxes should be paid. If he says ‘yes’ then he will be seen as no friend to Israel and not a true Jew; if he answers ‘no’ then he could be denounced to the Romans as a trouble maker. He tells them that as Caesar’s head is on the coins then Caesar has a right to claim them back. He uses this to say that all we have comes from God and therefore he is deserving of our praise, our thanks and our faith.
For the final weeks of this year our second reading comes from St Paul’s letter to the Christians of Thessalonica. Today’s reading is from the opening section of his second letter to the Thessalonians in which he reminds them of their faith, their love and their hope. Paul is giving them a little boost to keep them strong in faith. The same applies to us today.

Monday 20:         Of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 2:1-10; Psalm 99; Luke 12:13-21
In the letter to the Christian community at Ephesus on the western shore of modern-day Turkey, St Paul reminds his readers that humans were sinners who were ruled by their physical desires. Despite still being sinners God loved them greatly and sent his own Son to restore them to life. In the Gospel, Christ reminds us of the folly of storing up material goods here on earth. They only serve to distract us from the true treasure which we should be seeking – that is a place in the kingdom. Considering the great love of God and the sacrifice he made for us we should always keep the kingdom as the sole goal of our lives.

Tuesday 21:         Of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 2:12-22; Psalm 84; Luke 12:35-38
St Paul tells us in the first reading that before Christ there was only the Law and only Jews could worship God. Through Christ we all now have the means to salvation because we can all become Christians regardless of our birth. He goes on to speak about a household and how we are now all part of that household through the saving power of Christ. In the Gospel we are told to be always ready because we do not know when the master will return to visit us. If we are living good Christian lives then we will be always ready and will not have to worry at the Lord’s return or our call to heaven.

Wednesday 22:   Of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 3:2-12; Psalm – Isaiah 12; Luke 12:39-48
We read in our first reading from the letter to the Ephesians how the grace of God is meant for all peoples – be they Jew, Gentile or pagan. With this grace we can confidently draw closer to God. We are reminded again in today’s Gospel that we do not know the hour when we will be called to give an account of our stewardship and of our lives. When the Lord does return he will want to know if we have done all that he has told us to do which includes being full participants in the spread of the Good News.

Thursday 23:       Of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 3:14-21; Psalm 32; Luke 12:49-53
Today’s first reading contains the prayer which St Paul prayed for the Ephesians – that their faith would grow strong through the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel we read an unusual passage in which Christ says that he came to bring division rather than peace. However, when we consider that he was talking about believer and unbeliever we can understand what he is saying. We are challenged to look into our hearts to see which category we fall into knowing that faith calls for action in our lives rather than simply reciting words.

Friday 24:            Of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 4:1-6; Psalm 23; Luke 12:54-59
St Paul reminds us in the letter to the Ephesians that we all form part of the Body of Christ and that we should do all we can to build up the unity of that body. He also tells us how that should be done – through charity, selflessness, gentleness and patience and by believing in God as the head of all. Jesus admonishes the people in the Gospel for being able to read the weather but not being able to read the signs of the times and realise that he is the Messiah. We are challenged in our own day to read the signs of the times and to realise that we need Christ now more than ever before.

Saturday 25:        Of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 4:7-16; Psalm 121; Luke 13:1-9
In our first reading for today, St Paul again uses the analogy of the body to say that we each have our own role to play in the Body of Christ. Each person’s role is different but ultimately each is for the spreading of the Gospel and the building up of the kingdom and we must do all we can to fulfil that role. In the Gospel passage from St Luke, Jesus calls us to repentance in order to be saved. We should not put off our repentance until tomorrow but we should begin today for we do not know if we shall live to see tomorrow.

Memorials this Week:

© P. Breen, O.Carm. 2011
The Reflections above are available in printed form in:
Reflections on the Readings for every day of the Church's year.
Patrick J. Breen, O.Carm. Dublin: Columba Press. 2011. ISBN 978 1 85607 732 3.

And direct from the publishers: Columba Press, Dublin.

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