Tag Archives: scripture commentary

Scripture Commentary for Sunday, September 22

Catholic News Service publishes their “Word to Life” series based on the readings for Sunday. Read this week’s commentary.

Scripture Commentary for Sunday, September 15

Word to Life, September 15

Commentary on the Sunday Readings

Catholic News Service publishes “Word to Life,” a commentary series on the Sunday Scriptures. Here is the commentary for August 18.

The Concho Padre

Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

In today’s gospel Jesus returns to His hometown not simply as the son of the carpenter but now as a rabbi with disciples. Every week Jesus goes to the synagogue to worship and on occasion to read the scriptures and comment on them to the people. His kababayans (town mates) listen very carefully on this occasion because they heard about the miracles he performed in other towns. Indirectly they are looking for a sign. But Jesus startles them by saying that aprophet is not without honor except in His native place and in His own house.The people of Nazareth are offended at what He has said and therefore refuse to listen to what he has to say.

They refuse to listen for three reasons: First, because he is a workingman. He worked with His hands in wood, and stone, and metal. He fixed doors and windows, built houses, and made plows. Some people then, like some today, thought that those who work with their hands are incapable of any intellectual level which could command respect. But in the Talmud, however, carpenters are praised for their knowledge of the Torah.

The second reason why they reject Jesus, it is because He is so close to them as their neighbor. He is a mere layman. And the third reason they reject Him is because of His family. He was related to some of the townspeople. The Semitic words used here for brother and sister can be used of cousins or even more distant relatives. They remember Him as Joseph’s kid or maybe as a baby conceived illegitimately. Their memories of His youthful immaturities distracted them from seeing His true identity as the Savior of the world. This is how familiarity can breed mistaken contempt.

In a similar manner, we are rejected too by those who know us too well. But rather than get angry about this let us take this situation as an opportunity to further our humility. Being accepted by God should be our highest goal and it is only His opinion of us that really matters. Somebody had said that as long as God approves of us, the fact that others accept us or reject us is a moot point.

It is good to us if we are rejected by people especially those who have known us well because it is for the benefit of our spiritual growth as true Christians. A priest in his homily said that as St. Teresa of Avila, in her The Way of Perfection (chapter 12) had said: “God deliver us from people who wish to serve Him yet who are mindful of their own honor.” When we want to be accepted because it feels good, we are caught in the trap of self-centeredness. St. Teresa called it the temptation of “vainglory” (vanity); to do God’s will and then expect others to praise us for it is a “poison” that is “fatal to perfection,” it destroys the love and holiness within us.

We should want nothing but to please God and we should expect no reward but His happiness.

From justmehomilies.com

Tuesday of the 17th week in ordinary time

Click here to see today’s readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

In today’s Gospel passage Jesus offers a point-by-point explanation of the parable that He preached in the passage proclaimed in the cycle of Ordinary Time weekdays two days earlier. The evangelists rarely offer us examples of Jesus explaining one of His parables, so today’s passage is insightful not only in terms of the content of this specific parable, but also in terms of Jesus’ method of using parables.

We might wonder, to start with, what the significance is of the evangelist telling us that it’s after “Jesus dismissed the crowds” that “His disciples approached Him” to ask for an explanation of the parable. This is an important distinction that the evangelist didn’t have to note for Jesus’ explanation to make sense. Perhaps the evangelist is highlighting the importance of petitioning God for deeper insight into His revealed Word.

Jesus explains the meanings of seven persons or things from the parable. This allegorical explanation of the parable is important because it’s in accord with the method of interpreting Jesus’ parables commonly found in the writings of the saints in the patristic and medieval periods of Church history. This method is often rejected today by scholars who offer their own theories about the interpretation of parables. It’s important to note that among those whom modern scholars criticize are not only canonized saints whose holiness is proven, but also—as we hear today—Our Lord Himself!

Wednesday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time – Commentary

Click here to see today’s Mass readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

“A sower went out to sow”

Now if you ask me what Jesus Christ means by the sower who goes out early to sow seed in his field: my dear brethren, that sower is the good God himself! He began his work for our salvation from the beginning of the world by sending his prophets to us before the coming of the Messiah to teach us what we had to do to be saved. And, not satisfied with sending his servants, he came himself, marked out for us the way we should take, and came to preach his holy word.

Do you know what those people are like who aren’t sustained by that holy word or who abuse it? They are like the sick without a doctor, like a traveller who has gone astray without a guide, like a poor man without means. Let us rather say, my brethren, that it is altogether impossible to love God and please him without being nourished by this divine word. What is there that can draw us to attach ourselves to him if not because we know him? And what enables us to know him with all his perfections, beauty and love for us if not God’s word, which teaches us all he has done for us and the good things he is preparing for us in the life to come if we try hard to please him?

Saint John Marie Vianney
Patron of Parish Priests

The Concho Padre

Commentary – Tuesday of the 16th week in ordinary time

Readings for today.

Have you ever considered yourself a brother or sister of Jesus?

Do you consider yourself as part of His family?

Hopefully your answer is an affirmative YES. However, if you have never considered yourself as part of Jesus’ family, He is inviting you today to consider the invitation. “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Some have tried to interpret this Gospel story in different ways:

1) They say that Jesus is putting down His mother Mary. This is not the case at all. Jesus is rather affirming all of us who try to do His will. And the Scriptures are clear about Mary’s role – “Blessed are you among women…” (Luke 1:42) And Jesus followed the 4th Commandment of honoring His father and mother.

2) Others say that this Scripture means that Jesus had biological siblings and therefore Mary is not ever-virgin. I think the key Scripture that points to Jesus not having siblings is John 19:27 – “John, behold your mother.” Jesus was watching out for His mother from the cross because in that society women only had social standing through the men in their families. Joseph had already died and Mary’s only son, Jesus, was about to die. If Jesus had brothers, Mary simply would have been entrusted to one of them. However, Jesus entrusted His mother to John, the beloved disciple.

The significance of this Scripture is that the Lord invites us all to be a part of His family – intimate members of His household. We become His sons and daughters through our baptism. But we must also do the will of God the Father to maintain that relationship. What must we do to do the will of the Father?

We must pray to know the will of the Father.

We must put our faith into action.

We must have the courage to follow wherever the Lord calls us.

Is there anything holding you back?

Are you spending quality time in prayerful conversation with the Lord every day in order to know His will?

Are you putting your faith into action?

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

Sunday’s Scripture Commentary

Catholic News Service is the official news agency of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. As part of their service, they offer a weekly Scripture commentary called “Word to Life.”

Read more

The Concho Padre

Commentary – Saturday of the 15th week in Ordinary Time

Click here to see today’s readings.

17-21. Once again the sacred text points out the contrast between the contem-
porary mistaken Jewish notion of a spectacular messianic kingdom and the dis-
cernment which Jesus asks of those who witness and accept His teaching and
miracles. By providing this long quotation from Isaiah (42:1-4), the Evangelist is
giving us the key to the teaching contained in Chapters 11 and 12: in Jesus the
prophecy of the Servant of Yahweh is fulfilled: the lovable and gentle teacher
has come to bring the light of truth.

When narrating the passion of our Lord, the Gospels will once again remind us
of the figure of the Servant of Yahweh, to show that in Jesus the suffering and
expiatory aspect of the death of the Servant finds fulfillment (cf. Matthew 27:30,
with reference to Is 50:6; Matthew 8:17 and Isaiah 53:4; John 1:38 and Isaiah
53:9-12; etc.).

17. Isaiah 42:1-4 speaks of a humble servant, beloved of God, chosen by God.
And in fact Jesus, without ceasing to be the Son of God, one in substance with
the Father, took the form of a servant (cf. Philippians 2:6). This humility led him
to cure and care for the poor and afflicted of Israel, without seeking acclaim.

18. See the note on Matthew 3:16.

[Note on Matthew 3:16 states:

16. Jesus possessed the fullness of the Holy Spirit from the moment of His con-
ception. This is due to the union of human nature and divine nature in the per-
son of the Word (the dogma of hypostatic union). Catholic teaching says that in
Christ there is only one person (who is divine) but two natures (divine and human).
The descent of the Spirit of God spoken of in the text indicates that just as Jesus
was solemnly commencing His messianic task, so the Holy Spirit was beginning
His action through Him. There are very many texts in the Old Testament which
speak of the showing forth of the Holy Spirit in the future Messiah. This sign of
the Spirit gave St. John the Baptist unmistakable proof of the genuineness of his
testimony concerning Christ (cf. John 1:29-34). The mystery of the Holy Trinity is
revealed in the baptism of Jesus: the Son is baptized; the Holy Spirit descends
on Him in the form of a dove; and the voice of the Father gives testimony about
His Son. Christians must be baptized in the name of the Three Divine Persons.
“If you have sincere piety, the Holy Spirit will descend on you also and you will
hear the voice of the Father saying to you from above: “This was not My son, but
now after Baptism he has been made My son” (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, “De Bap-
tismo”, 14).]

19. The justice proclaimed by the Servant, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, is
not a noisy virtue. We can see the loving, gentle way Jesus worked His miracles,
performing righteousness in all humility. This is how He brings about the triumph
of His Father’s Justice, His plan of revelation and salvation–very quietly and very
effectively.

20. According to many Fathers, including St. Augustine and St. Jerome, the
bruised reed and the smoldering wick refer to the Jewish people. They also stand
for every sinner, for our Lord does not seek the sinner’s death but his conversion,
and his life (cf. Ezekiel 33:11). The Gospels often bear witness to this reassuring
truth (cf. Luke 15:11-32), the parable of the prodigal son; Matthew 18:12-24, the
parable of the lost sheep; etc.).

From an online Irish commentary

Scripture commentary for Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

The field of grain that Jesus and his disciples were going through was probably wheat. They would rub the grains in their hands to free them from the outer shell so they could eat them. They did this on the Sabbath which was the day of rest. The Pharisees were always on the watch to find something to condemn Jesus. They pointed out to him that his disciples were breaking the Sabbath day of rest by their actions: “…on the seventh day you must rest even during the seasons of plowing and harvesting” (Ex 34:21). They were overly strict when they considered the disciples to be harvesting the wheat. The law also said, “When you go through your neighbor’s grain field, you may pluck some of the ears with your hands, but do not put a sickle to your neighbor’s grain” (Deut 23:26).

We must be careful not to be overly strict in interpreting God’s laws. Having compassion for others’ needs is also important. That is also a requirement of God’s law: “Love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom 13:10).

In attempting to loosen up the Pharisees from being overly strict, Jesus pointed out to them an incident in King David’s life when he and his men ate “the bread of offering” which only the priests could lawfully eat (1 Sam 21:1-7). This was allowable because David and his men were hungry—just as were Jesus’ disciples. Jesus also pointed out that for a special reason the priests break the Sabbath law in order to minister in the temple. In doing this sacred work they were perfectly innocent of any wrongdoing.

What did Jesus mean when he said, “…something greater than the Temple is here?” Jesus is the new and greater Temple of God (Jn 2:19). If the priests of the Old Testament could serve in the Temple on the Sabbath and remain guiltless, so can Jesus’ disciples work with Jesus on the Sabbath and remain sinless.

External sacrifices are meaningless when the heart of a person is not in them. The sacrifice must be an expression of the heart’s desire for it to have worth and be acceptable to God.

The Pharisees focused too much on the extra rules they added on to the law to the detriment of the respect and mercy due to persons. Jesus is saying that they need to start having merciful hearts for people and their human needs. They ought to focus their concern more in that direction than trying to catch them breaking the endless rules that they fabricated. They need to be more humane in their treatment of others. Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6 to show that God’s word supports his interpretation and reason for acting the way he did: God desires mercy.

As a Son of Man (who is also divine: Dan 7:13-14) Jesus has the authority to interpret the law: he interprets it in a merciful way. The Sabbath law does not oblige a person to go hungry in order to keep it.

From comelordjesus.com

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