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.’”

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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.
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Gospel July 26, 2020

The first reading is from the first Book of kings. Salomon, who recently ascended the throne of David, describes himself as a “mere youth.” The Hebrew word of youth or child, na’ar, denotes in this context a young adult who lacks experience in a job. Solomon is new to leadership. God asks Solomon what gift he desires most of all? He answers: “Wisdom and understanding heart.” In Israelite tradition, wisdom has to do with having the ability to attain success in any field of endeavor. Solomon illustrates this very well as he flourishes in governance, in construction, in foreign trade and diplomacy, and in writing proverbs. God gives Solomon wisdom and a discerning heart.

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