Weekly Gospel Readings

Gospel November 17, 2019

The First Reading is from the Prophet Malachi. Malachi is writing in the fifth century before Christ to a community with very lax morals. In this reading, Malachi speaks in frightening terms of the imminent “Day of the Lord.” There was much corruption and unfaithfulness to God. The message here is that all humanity must eventually take sides to choose "good" or "evil" because "a Day is coming" when there will be a reckoning and all must be judged.

Read more...

Gospel November 10, 2019

Synopsis, Nov 10, 2019

In the First Reading from the Second Book of Maccabees, we hear only part of the story about the heroism of a family of seven brothers who died at the hands of a Greek king who tried to force all Jews into accepting the Greek culture of Hellenism. These brothers would rather die than betray the God of Israel. Their faith gave them reassurance that fidelity to God's laws would be rewarded with salvation and resurrection which was a fairly recent concept for the Jews of that time; and only some of the Jews accepted it.

Read more...

Gospel November 3, 2019

The first reading from the Book of Wisdom is a beautiful reflection on how our divine Creator is intimately involved with every aspect of his creation: “Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.” The Creator loves all that he has created and is rich in mercy to all who have sinned. God’s whole desire is not to condemn the sinner but to gradually draw him/her to repentance. God’s mercy extends to all.

Read more...

Gospel October 27, 2019

The First Reading is from the Book of Sirach. Sirach insists that the poor person’s gift is equal in value to the rich person’s gift. God has no favorite. Although God has no favorites, he does have a special place in his heart for the prayer of the weak, oppressed, orphaned, the deaf, and widowed. These are not necessarily poor people; rather, they are those who approach God in prayer with humility, recognizing their needs and their dependence upon God for help.

Read more...

Gospel October 20, 2019

In the First Reading, from the Book of Exodus, Moses is leading the Israelites through the desert toward the Promised Land. They must go through various enemy territories which often resulted in tribal wars. Moses sends Joshua and his men down to the valley to engage Amalek and his army, while he, Aaron and Hur remain on the hill and enter into intercessory prayers for the men in the valley. While Moses’ arms remained firm, the battle went in the Hebrew’s favor; but when they let up, Amalek and his men start to regain strength. Moises is able to keep his hands steady until sunset. God is the one who is victorious over the Amalekites.  

Read more...

Gospel October 13, 2019

The First Reading is taken from the Second Book of Kings. The scene in today’s reading reveals not only Naaman’s cleansing from leprosy, but also his transformation from arrogant resistance to humble acceptance, and his new faith in the God of Israel. As a man of means, Naaman desires to offer gifts to Elisha. But Elisha refuses because he wants to make it clear to Naaman that it is God, not he, who is the source of his healing. This story is intended to show God’s concern for non-Jewish persons, which is also a central theme in today’s Gospel.

Read more...

Gospel, October 6, 2019

The First Reading is from the Book of the Prophet Habakkuk. This prophet accuses God of not listening to his cry for help and not intervening in the face of violence. Habakkuk’s cry for help should not be interpreted as a sign of despair but as the lament of one who has known the love of God and yearns to heighten the experience of that love in the midst of desperate circumstances. Because of Habakkuk's sincerity, God answers his prayer, not with immediate relief, but with encouragement to wait and be patient as the end is not far off.

Read more...

Gospel September 29, 2019

 

In the First Reading from the Book of the Prophet Amos, the Prophet denounces the rich who exploit and take advantage of the poor. The merchants considered the Sabbath an intrusion into their questionable business transactions. The insensitivity of the rich toward the poor will be punished by exile. Amos challenged the people of Northern Kingdom to change their ways as God’s judgement was imminent. 

Read more...

Gospel, September 22, 2019

The First Reading is from the Book of the Prophet Amos. This prophet from the Southern Kingdom of Judah is called by God to preach to the Israelites living in the Northern Kingdom. Amos, a deeply religious man, zealous for God’s glory, is often called the prophet of social justice. He proclaims that true religion involves not only worship of God on the Sabbath, but also caring for the poor during the rest of the week. That is why Amos condemns dissolute city life, social injustice and insincerity of religious worship. He exposes those who exploit the poor and upbraids judges for their venality.

Read more...

Gospel, September 15, 2019

In the First Reading from the Book of Exodus, the molten calf has been built and the rebellious people have offered sacrifice to their god. The Israelites wanted to worship something they could see, touch and feel, not God Himself who gave them life, freedom and direction. This incident is a metaphor for Israel’s relationship with God. They were a people who constantly disobeyed and rebelled against God. But now, because of Israel’s idolatry, the Lord no longer identifies them as “my people”; they now belong to Moses. Moses’ plea to the Lord is both audacious and unselfish. The Lord listened to such an impassioned speech and turned away from the threatened punishment. In spite of Israel’s infidelity, the people remain the Lord’s own.

Read more...

Gospel September 8, 2019

In the twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, the First Reading is from the Book of Wisdom (9:13-18B). Today’s reading is from the prayer of Solomon in which he asks “Who can know God’s council, or who can conceive what the Lord intends? The answer is, of course, no one unless God chooses to reveal it. According to Solomon, wisdom knows and understands all things and will guide him and make his deeds acceptable. Only those to whom God has given wisdom through the only spirit sent from on high will know God’s counsel.

Read more...

Gospel, September 01, 2019

In the twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, the first reading comes from the Book of Sirach (3:17-18, 20, 28-29). Sirach represents an amalgamation of the wise man’s keen insights on the Torah, on other sacred writings, on wisdom and maxims for sensible, successful living of a well-disciplined, moral life.  The context of today’s reading is that of a parent counseling his child in the fine art of dealing with other people. In his exhortation regarding humility the author praised the value of a modest, gentle life, free of pretentiousness and excessive ambitiousness. Humility is the ultimate act of faith in which the believer abandons the self to the will and care for God.

Read more...

Gospel, August 25, 2019

On the twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, the first reading is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah 66:18-21. Isaiah 66 is considered part of Third Isaiah. It was written as a prophetic book following the Babylonian exile. The tone of this reading is apocalyptic. It looks forward to the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. God gives the nation the role of bringing back to Jerusalem “all your brothers and sisters” from the lands where they have been scattered. An essential purpose of the gathering of Israel and the nations is thus worship. The final verse of this reading seems to describe an extraordinary transformation.

Read more...

Gospel August 18, 2019

In the twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the first reading is from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah (38:4-6, 8-10). Jeremiah had announced, “This city shall certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon; he shall capture it.” His prophecy conflicted with the military strategies of the princes, who brought their accusations against him to Zedekiah who was a week and inconsistent leader, the last of Judah’s kings. They chose to throw him into a muddy cistern, intending to make him a humiliating spectacle whose prophetic word would be ridiculed. The king who had approve the violent action against Jeremiah orders Ebed-melech to rescue the prophet before he dies.      

Read more...