Weekly Gospel Readings

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.      


Gospel August 11, 2019

In the nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the first reading is from the Book of Wisdom (18:6-9). The author’s purpose in writing was to strengthen the faith of his coreligionists in Alexandria and to help them rediscover and maintain the richness of their heritage and traditions. The reader is reminded of what God accomplished through the exodus event. The people were delivered out of bondage, given their ultimate freedom, and set upon their own land. The annual Passover was a living memorial to the God who saves, provides for, delivers, and protects his people.


Gospel August 4, 2019

In the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the first reading is from the Book of Ecclesiastes (1:2, 2:21-23). Vanity or hebel (Hebrew) repeated six times literally translated as “breath” or “vapor.” Therefore, Qoheleth, the author of this Book uses “vanity” to refer to things in life that are transient, transitory, fleeting, and insubstantial. For this author, riches, power, pleasures are worthless and empty. Only God gives meaning to life.


Gospel July 28, 2019

On seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the first reading is from the Book of Genesis (18:20-32). Abraham, the Father of the Jewish people and Muslims alike, had a great relationship with the Lord Himself. Abraham was not asking for personal favors but for the life of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah where his nephew, Lot, and his family lived. These two cities had become synonymous with evil and depravity of every kind. In the reading, Abraham questions God six times about the parameters of divine justice, and six times God appears to adjust them. God heard and responded to Abraham's plea. The key ingredients in this story are Abraham's faith and persistence.


Gospel July 21, 2019

On this sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary time, the first reading comes from the Book of Genesis. The Yahwistic author mentioned Abraham addressed “three men,” as one person, “Sir.” Abraham offered his visitors the best of his household. The quality of his hospitality was rewarded with the annunciation of Isaac’s birth. The divine visitation to Abraham portrays a God who fulfills the promise that Abraham will be the father of a multitude. Abraham’s welcoming faith had been rewarded with an experience of the transcendent God.


Gospel July 14, 2019

The First Reading is from the Book of Deuteronomy. This Book was written by a group of faithful Jews in the northern kingdom of Israel in the 9th century BC and means a “second law” that sums up the significance of the Exodus. Moses urges the people to heed the voice of God and to keep God’s commandments with all their heart and soul. After listening and acknowledging the one God, the people are to love the Lord their God with their whole being.


Gospel July 7 2019

The First Reading is from the Prophet Isaiah. This passage announces the Israelites return to Israel after their 50 years captivity in Babylon. It proclaims the end of a time of suffering and the beginning of a new era of peace for Jerusalem and her inhabitants: “Rejoice with Jerusalem!” The prophet teaches that if they trust in God and worship Him faithfully, they will again have the spiritual wealth, prosperity and good fortune that they once had. Peace “Shalom!” 

The Second Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians. Paul experienced opposition from a certain group of converts that insisted the Gentiles must be circumcised before they could be baptized into Christianity. For Paul, circumcision means nothing. For Paul to boast of the Cross of Christ is amazing when we realize how crucifixion is regarded in his time. Paul also stated all that was necessary was faith and trust in Jesus Christ who gives peace to his followers. 

The Gospel Reading is from the Gospel of St. Luke. Jesus commissions 72 disciples in pairs to share the Good News to all who are ready to listen. Before they depart, Jesus warns them that they will not be received warmly. He also tells them to travel lightly and to trust him. If people open their hearts to you, accept their offer of hospitality. Cure the sick, cast out demons. If people close their hearts to you, do not waste time arguing with them. Move on to the next town. The reading ends with the return of the 72 disciples and their stories of success. 

Gospel June 30 2019

In the First Reading, from the First Book of Kings, Elijah is told by God to transfer his authority to Elisha. He is very willing to respond to his call, but first asks if he can bid farewell to his parents. Elijah’s harsh remark is no harsher than Jesus’ in today’s Gospel. This is a story of prophetic succession. It is done not only by spoken word, but also by symbolic action, i.e., passing of the mantle which represents the handing down of prophetic authority from Elijah to Elisha. 

The Second Reading is taken from Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Paul speaks about Christian freedom. Christian freedom is not a license to do what we want especially not a license to follow every urging of the flesh. Rather, Christian freedom calls us to be free to serve others in love. The Spirit, on the other hand, is that part of us that seeks to follow God’s promptings. If we submit to the Holy Spirit, he will help us to resist the inclinations of the flesh and embrace the ways of Jesus. 

The Gospel Reading is from the Gospel of Luke. Several disciples claim to be His followers, but first they have to fulfill other obligations. The point here is that following Jesus is not a question or action of getting up and walking in His footsteps. Rather, it is a change of heart and focus of those actions that relate to our commitment to follow Jesus whenever or wherever He leads us.

Gospel June 23, 2019

In the First Reading, from the Book of Genesis, we have a story about Melchizedek, King of Salem (early name for Jerusalem) who comes to greet Abram by returning from a victorious battle. Melchizedek, who is also a priest, blesses Abram with bread and wine. The bread and wine are taken to prefigure the bread and wine of the Eucharistic sacrifice that celebrate Jesus’ victory over death, evil and sin, and enable us to remember our union with Jesus.

The Second Reading is taken from St. Paul's First letter to the Corinthians. This is the most ancient text we have on the origin of the Eucharistic sacrifice of Christ. Since Paul was not present at the Last Supper, he is passing on what he himself received. Jesus gave us the Eucharist and the command to continue the practice of participating in the Eucharist to nourish our souls and spirit, but also to give our bodies in loving service and example just as Jesus did. This is what "Do this in remembrance of me" means.

The Gospel Reading is from the Gospel of St. Luke. This is the only miracle story recorded in all four Gospels. Jesus is out in the desert with a large crowd of people, teaching them about the reign of God and healing their sick. Jesus is feeding the multitude with a few loaves of bread and a few fish with more than enough for everyone and much left over. It is a prelude to His institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. “All are satisfied” and there are 12 baskets left over. “Give them something to eat yourselves” is a challenge to the Church to feed the physical and soul-hungers of people.

Gospel June 16, 2019

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity, we honor all three Persons of God. 

In the First Reading from the Book of Proverbs we hear of the creation of all things by the Father. Wisdom, who is usually considered to be the Holy Spirit, is there with the Father.  

The saving work of Jesus is a major theme in the Second Reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. We are saved by grace. We do not earn it. Rather, by opening our hearts to Jesus in faith, we “gain access” to God who is our peace, hope and end. Because of our relationship with God, we can endure afflictions with the help of the Holy Spirit who is the love of God poured out into our hearts.