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Scripture of the Week

DAILY SCRIPTURES

Reflection on the DAILY SCRIPTURES can be found at the following links:

'Our Daily Prayer' - Jesuit Communications (Australia) 

Commentaries on the Daily Readings from SACREDSPACE (Ireland) 

Readings and Reflections on the day's Scripture (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) 

Daily Readings and Reflections (Passionist Fathers - USA) 

Commentary on the Gospel Reading for each day of the month (Dominican Fathers - Ireland)  

SUNDAY SCRIPTURES

Reflect on the Sunday Scriptures with:

Sr. Veronica Lawson rsm   SEE BELOW

Fr. John McKinnon click here

Fr. John Thornhill  click here

GOSPEL AND REFLECTION

SUNDAY 25 AUGUST 2019 : TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C

First Reading - Is 66:18-21

They will gather all of your people from all nations.

The Lord says this: I am coming to gather the nations of every language. They shall come to witness my glory. I will give them a sign and send some of their survivors to the nations: to Tarshish, Put, Lud, Moshech, Rosh, Tubal, and Javan, to the distant islands that have never heard of me or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory to the nations. As an offering to the Lord they will bring all your brothers, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules, on dromedaries, from all the nations to my holy mountain in Jerusalem, says the Lord, like Israelites bringing oblations in clean vessels to the Temple of the Lord. And of some of them I will make priests and Levites, says the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 116. R. Mk 16:15

(R.) Go out to all the world

and tell the Good News.

Second Reading - Heb 12:5-7, 11-13

The Lord disciplines those he loves.

Have you forgotten that encouraging text in which you are addressed as sons? My son, when the Lord corrects you, do not treat it lightly; but do not get discouraged when he reprimands you. For the Lord trains the ones that he loves and he punishes all those that he acknowledges as his sons. Suffering is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? Of course, any punishment is most painful at the time, and far from pleasant; but later, in those on whom it has been used, it bears fruit in peace and goodness. So hold up your limp arms and steady your trembling knees and smooth out the path you tread; then the injured limb will not be wrenched, it will grow strong again.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia!

I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord;

no one comes to the Father, except through me.

Alleluia!

Gospel - Lk 13:22-30

From East and West they will come to take their place in the kingdom of God.

Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.

‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men!”

‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.

‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’

Gospel Reflection:

Some people seem to have an ingrained sense of entitlement. They put themselves first without regard for the sensitivities or rights of others. Whether their behaviour derives from childhood experiences of over-indulgence or from some other source, it can be quite divisive and even destructive of family or workplace or community. Those who put themselves first will often find themselves last in that they are tolerated at best rather than welcomed into most circles.

As Jesus moves from town to town on his way to Jerusalem, “someone” puts a question to him. The question is about salvation: “Are only the few saved?” Jesus treats this as a rhetorical question that presupposes an affirmative answer. His answer could be interpreted as affirmative, even if it is a far cry from the expected response. The questioner rightly assumes that God is the one who saves. Jesus responds with a reminder that God’s saving action cannot be taken for granted. One must “strive to enter the narrow door”. Hard work is involved in ensuring that God’s saving power is there for God’s world.

While the question comes from one person, Jesus’ response is “to them”. The insistence of people in the crowd that they have eaten with him may suggest they are among those who have been following him from Galilee. They may even be those who objected to Jesus’ table companions, the tax-collectors and sinners (Luke 7:34). The text makes it clear that they have heard his teaching: “You taught in our streets”.

Jesus’ reply indicates that the tables have turned. It would come as no surprise to a Jewish audience to hear Jesus stating that the kin-dom belongs to Israel’s ancestors and to all the prophets. Jesus’ assertion that it also belongs to those who come from far and wide, “from east and west and north and south”, might be less than palatable to those who see themselves as “first” in the schema of salvation. 

Those who share in the banquet in God’s kin-dom, the “saved”, have prevailed in the struggle to enter through the “narrow door”. Entry is by no means restricted to Israel’s forebears. It belongs to all who hear the word of God and put it into practice. The inclusion or “salvation” of outsiders will cause grief among “evil-doers”. These flawed individuals include those who have eaten with Jesus and who have heard his teaching without effect and who, consequently, have failed to commit themselves to the struggle to establish God’s reign of justice and peace and reconciliation. There is no privileged access to salvation on the basis of birth or race or any other contingency. While the “door” to salvation may be “narrow”, the Lukan Jesus has already declared that it is open to all who hear the word of God, to those who “hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance” (8:15).

 Sr Veronica Lawson rsm

© The scriptural quotations are taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday & Co Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. The English translation of the Psalm Responses, the Alleluia and Gospel Verses, and the Lenten Gospel Acclamations, and the Titles, Summaries, and Conclusion of the Readings, from the Lectionary for Mass © 1997, 1981, 1968, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.


 

 

 

 
 

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