December 13, 2014

3rd Sunday of Advent - B

Commentary

The Voice in the Desert

It might be relevant to note three descriptions of John the Baptist in this passage of Scriptures. 

  • His origin:  He “is sent by God.”
  • His mission:  “to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.”
  • The circumstance or manner of his mission:  He was “a voice crying out in the desert.”

How do these things relate to each one of us?

When I might be the lonely voice crying out in the desert, John reminds me that, like him, I am indeed sent by God  to testify to the light, so that all might believe through me (not in me).

3rd Sunday of Advent - B (December 14, 2014)


Readings

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December 6, 2014

2nd Sunday of Advent - A

Commentary
Mark 1: 1 – 8

The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

By the opening line of his Gospel, Mark already tells us what he is writing about, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.”

And this Gospel is based on the testimonies of God, spoken through the prophets in Sacred Scriptures, and of John the Baptist.  [1]

That is just the beginning. [2]

The Good News will unfold in the life of Jesus.

And it will continue because the eternal Word of God never ends.

The Good News of Jesus is also proclaimed continuously through the witness of the lives of all those who are called to point out Jesus to others – that is all of us. 

It is important to note that it is the Gospel of Jesus, not ours, that we are called to proclaim and to testify to.  And like John, the authenticity of our lives is the most convincing testimony of the Gospel.

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[1] Frank Moloney, This is the Gospel of the Lord: Reflections of the Gospel Readings, Year B. Homebush, NSW, Australia: St. Paul Publications, 1993; p. 68.
[2] John Petty, “Lectionary Blogging,” www.progressiveinvolvement.com

2nd Sunday of Advent - A (December 7, 2014)


Readings


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November 29, 2014

1st Sunday of Advent - B

Commentary

Each with His Own Work

The man “leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work.” 

As a result, the best thing one can do to remain watchful and alert is to carry out the task given to him/her.

In the context of the Liturgical Calendar, we now begin a new year, with the readings of the Gospel According to Mark.  However, the two passages from Matthew for the last two Sundays of the previous liturgical year transitioned smoothly into today’s passage. 

In the parable of the talents, the master of the house entrusted with his servants different amounts, “each according to his ability” (Matthew 25: 15).

Then, in the parable of the judgment of the nations, the work given to each follower of Christ is to be carried out in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for those in need…. 

That is the work of building the Kingdom and at the same time preparing for the return of the King.  This task has been entrusted to us, “each with his own work.”

1st Sunday of Advent - B (November 30, 2014)


Readings


November 22, 2014

Christ the King - A


Commentary
Matthew 25: 31-46

Where is the King?  Who is the King?

This parable ends Matthew’s account of Jesus’ public teaching.  [1] (Jesus’ passion narrative begins with the following chapter).

Matthew begins his account of Jesus’ teaching with the summary of his message, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (4:17).

Jesus goes on to call “blessed” the poor, the hungry, the meek, …  because they are citizens of the Kingdom (“theirs is the kingdom of heaven”)(5:3). [2]

Now, as the conclusion of his teaching, Jesus goes further to identify himself, who sits on his glorious throne, with those who are poor, hungry, the prisoners, the strangers, etc.
 
Not only are these suffering people citizens of the kingdom, they are the King in the flesh. 

The mystery of Christ’s Incarnation continues.  Christ now lives among us in the poor, the hungry, the prisoners, the strangers….  In them lives the Emmanuel, God-with-us.  In them, His Kingdom is at hand. 

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[1] and [2].  John Petty, Blog.  Progressive Involvement at progressiveinvolvement.com