Scripture notes – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 30th July 2017

A theme running under the four readings today is ‘Wisdom’. These days in the world around us, I rarely hear wisdom praised perhaps because our fast-changing times highlight new information and being on top of ‘the latest’. Once wisdom was expected of those with a long life experience but now age is not prized but a problem – ‘ageism’. In the Old Testament, however, there was a long tradition of Wisdom as a gift – even an aspect – of God which enriches and gives meaning to life. Continue reading Scripture notes – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 30th July 2017

Scripture notes – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 23rd July 2017

Today’s readings vary in theme, opening with a ‘Wisdom’ reflection addressed to God and praising his compassion. In a short paragraph from St Paul we have a vision of how the Holy Spirit works in our prayer, while the long Gospel reading collects a number of Jesus’ parables on the Kingdom of God. Continue reading Scripture notes – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 23rd July 2017

Scripture notes – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 16th July 2017

There are on-going debates among philosophers over some basic questions many people face in simpler ways: If God is loving and all-powerful, how can there be so much evil in the world? If God controls everything, what responsibility do humans have for their own behaviour? J. P. Meier says, ‘No attempt is ever made in the bible to reconcile systematically the two poles of the grace/free will paradox.’ Instead the Bible is full of stories and poetry that give us glimpses of how God interacts with humans. We have examples in today’s readings. Continue reading Scripture notes – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 16th July 2017

Scripture notes – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 9th July 2017

The Gospel this week presents us with two contrasting images of Jesus Christ. One is of ultimate knowledge and power, a claim to have the highest position possible as one with the Father. The second he speaks of being gentle, ‘humble’, reaching out to those in stress. The first reading tells us this contrast was revealed in the Old Testament. Continue reading Scripture notes – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 9th July 2017

Scripture notes – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 2nd July 2017

Today’s readings seem rather a mixed bag, if one looks for a common theme running through them. With some ingenuity, we can see that the story of Elisha and some of the words of Jesus both speak of welcoming one who comes from God. Something different is St Paul’s summary of the Easter message as a basic foundation of Christian faith and hope. Continue reading Scripture notes – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 2nd July 2017

Scripture notes – 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 25th June 2017

We are moving back to ‘Ordinary Time’ picking it up from the Sunday before Lent started, followed by the Easter season and the special feasts. It may feel like a jolt, as we jump into the sequence of the readings going through Matthew of Year A in a chronological way and this means the Gospel selection comes without any context. The liturgy also is continuing a series of second readings from St Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Continue reading Scripture notes – 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – 25th June 2017

Scripture notes – The most Holy Body & Blood of Christ – Year A – 18th June 2017

I don’t know if others have a ‘favourite’ feast in the round of celebrations in the Church year, but in a sense mine is the Thursday of Holy Week, when the Eucharist is especially celebrated as we commemorate the night of the Last Supper. As much more is going on in the Triduum, we have a second day to focus on what is, of course, the heart of every mass: Christ’s total giving of himself, to the extent of being our ‘real food’ – that brings us into the life with him that is here-and-now yet also extending into eternity. Continue reading Scripture notes – The most Holy Body & Blood of Christ – Year A – 18th June 2017