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30 Aug

Gospel August 30, 2020

The First Reading is from the Prophet Jeremiah. This reading is part of Jeremiah’s well-known complaint. Jeremiah didn't want to be a prophet, a spokesperson for God; but God chose him. That fidelity to his vocation to prophesy for the Lord makes him miserable. The king and priests reject his pleas for conversion and declare unpatriotic his announcements of the fall of Judah to the Babylonians. Jeremiah does not enjoy being the “object of laughter” and having “everyone mock him.” 

23 Aug

Gospel August 23, 2020

The first reading, taken from Isaiah, gives a detailed description of the investiture of a royal court official. The robe, the sash, and the keys are insignia of this office. The Lord God, through Isaiah, tells Shebna who supports Israel’s military alliance with one pagan nation (Egypt) against another (Assyria) that the keys of authority will be taken away from him, the unfaithful, proud “master of the royal palace.”

16 Aug

Gospel, August 16, 2020

The First Reading is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. As Isaiah writes these words in chapters 56-66 during the post-exilic period of Israel’s history (their exile in Babylon, 587-540 B.C.E.), there are lots of foreigners living in Israel. Many Jews, including the leaders, consider such people as outsiders and resist their joining in the worship services even though they are willing to accept the God of Israel and follow his ways. Isaiah challenges such a parochial and narrow mentality. Therefore, the prophet is telling everyone that God accepts all those who are willing to follow God's laws with sincerity and purity of heart. Non-Jews must “love the name of the Lord, become his servants, observe Sabbath, hold to God’s covenant,” then they must be welcomed into God’s house of prayer for ‘God’s house is for all peoples.’”

09 Aug

Gospel August 9, 2020

The First Reading is from the first Book of Kings. Elijah triumphed over the prophets of Baal, a prominent pagan god, by challenging them to call fire down from heaven upon their altar. But their gods did not answer. After that, Elijah erected an altar and the one, true God answered and consumed it with fire. Elijah then had all the prophets of Baal killed. The king of Israel Ahab along with his wife Jezebel were angry with what Elijah did to the prophets of Baal. As a result, Jezebel sought to have Elijah killed. When Elijah went to the desert he was fleeing for his life.

02 Aug

Gospel August 2, 2020

The First Reading is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. After 70 years of exile, some of the Israelite captives begin to grow accustomed to the Babylonian way of life. Some captives spent their money for “what is not bread,” and wages for “what fails to satisfy.” Some are seeking life from sources other than the one God. Such searching will end in emptiness and futility.