Scripture notes – 32nd Sunday of the Year, B – 11th November 2018

The liturgy this week shows us two poor but generous widows. Widows of that time had no inheritance rights, and without a man to support them were often needy, and throughout the Bible there are frequent condemnations of those who do not help, and frequent urging people to care for them and for orphaned children, as well. Continue reading Scripture notes – 32nd Sunday of the Year, B – 11th November 2018

Scripture notes – 31st Sunday of the Year, B – 4th November 2018

Today’s readings stress love as the foundation of living a Christian and Jewish life, when loving God and loving others as we ourselves are loved is the basis for all ethical decisions. Reducing the Commandments to two may seem to make it easier, but always acting in a loving way may be even more challenging than ticking off rules. Continue reading Scripture notes – 31st Sunday of the Year, B – 4th November 2018

Scripture notes – 29th Sunday of the Year, B – 21st October 2018

This week’s readings turn around the idea of sacrifice, how it was from the time of Moses, and how the the prophet Isaiah saw it born out in God’s ‘Servant’. Jesus found it hard for his disciples to understand that he himself would end as a sacrifice, a ‘ransom’ for us all. Continue reading Scripture notes – 29th Sunday of the Year, B – 21st October 2018

Scripture notes – 28th Sunday of the Year, B – 14th October 2018

‘What choice do you make as central to your life?’ These questions could describe the theme running through our readings this week. Solomon chooses Wisdom; the Word of God reaches into the heart to reveal what lies there. A young man wants the secret of eternal life, but does not like the answer Jesus gives. Continue reading Scripture notes – 28th Sunday of the Year, B – 14th October 2018

A Brief Introduction to the Gospel of Mark

In the three-year cycle of Gospels read at Mass, Year B is Mark, the shortest of the four gospels. After reading the introductions in the dozen commentaries at hand with all their differences, I did not feel like writing even a ‘brief ‘one. Yet some background is useful for those who come to the book fresh, or have forgotten details from the last Year B. What Mark seems to call for is – just read Mark. The whole Gospel can be gone through in one sitting, and that is something I recommend doing sometime during this liturgical year. Get your sense of what Mark set out to do, what picture he paints of Jesus. Continue reading A Brief Introduction to the Gospel of Mark

A brief Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew

In Year A of the liturgical season, the gospel readings at mass highlight Matthew, the first book in the New Testament as we find it now. Since the liturgy can present only short selections, an overview of the book itself and what is found in current scholarship about its background, the author and the meaning, can be helpful for a fuller understanding. Some of this will be taken up in the weekly notes I make available, but here is an overview. Continue reading A brief Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew