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.

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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.

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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. 

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