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30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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    • 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time C October 27, 2013 In preparation for this Sunday’s liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
    • 2. 1st reading: Sirach 35,12-14.16-18  12 The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. 13 Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. 14 He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint;  16 The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. 17 The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, 18 Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay. The focus is the prayer of the lowly.
    • 3. 1st reading: Sirach 35,12-14.16-18 A simple outline! The God of justice  12 The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. 13 Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. 14 He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint; The Prayer of the Lowly  16 The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. 17 The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, 18 Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay.
    • 4. Textual Context of Sir 35,12-14.16-18 Sirach (TEV) Part I In praise of wisdom (1,1—23,27) a. Duty, reward, and practical advise (1,1—16,23) b. God’s wisdom and human response (16,24—23,27) Part 2 In praise of wisdom (24,1—50,21) a. Wisdom and virtue (24,1—32,13) b. God’s wisdom and human worship and work (32,14—42,14) c. God’s glory in nature (42,15—43,33) d. In praise of ancestors (44,1—50,21) Epilogue and Appendices (50,22—51,30)
    • 5. 1st reading: Sirach 35,12-14.16-18 The God of justice  12 The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. 13 Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. 14 He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint; The Prayer of the Lowly  16 The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. 17 The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, 18 Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay. Commentary  The Book of Sirach is one of the Deuterocanonical books of the OT.  The text is divided into two sections.  Section I is about the God of justice. Vv.12-14  Section II is about the prayer of the lowly. Vv.16-18  In v.12, the God of justice has no favorites.  In v.13, if ever he has favorites, it is the weak and the oppressed. God has a certain bias for them.  God’s favorites are also the orphans and the widow. V.14  Vv.16-18 tell something about the prayer of the lowly.  Is heard (by God)  Petition goes to heaven  Pierces the clouds  Does not rest, till it reaches its goal.  Does not withdraw till God responds
    • 6. Reflections on the first reading  Our God is a God of justice.  He has a special affection for the weak, the orphan and the widow.  God hears / pays attention to their prayers and cries.  There is hope for the poor.  Therefore the poor must learn how to pray.  Through prayer, we affirm that God is justice and we can rely upon his help.  Poverty should not be used as an excuse for not praying.
    • 7. Responsorial Ps 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23  R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor. 2 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. 3 Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad.  17 The LORD confronts the evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth. 18 When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them.  19 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. 23 The LORD redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
    • 8. Responsorial Ps 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23  R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor. 2 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. 3 Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad.  17 The LORD confronts the evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth. 18 When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them.  19 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. 23 The LORD redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him. Commentary  The psalm is classified as a thanksgiving hymn.  The psalm expresses the message of the first reading in prayer form.  In v.2, the psalmist promises to bless and praise the Lord at all times.  In v.3, the psalmist seeks to find happiness in the Lord. The poor are happy when the psalmist glorifies God.  In v.17, God is hard on wicked people, evildoers, unjust, violent ones.  In v.18, God favors the just. He rescues them when in danger.  In v.19, God also favors the poor, the brokenhearted, those who are put down.  In v.23, God is acclaimed as redeemer. To redeem is to ransom.  To put oneself into the hands of God is a right thing to do.
    • 9. Reflections on the Psalm  Like the Psalmist, we can make important theological     affirmations. Can we say from our hearts that God favors the poor and he rescues them? It takes faith to say it. It takes a trying experience to be able to utter such statements with passion. We cannot really pray and give praise to God if we are not aware (or if we deny) that we have been in a critical situation and that we have been saved from it.
    • 10. 2nd reading: 2 Timothy 4,6-8.16-18  6 I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 8 From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.  16 At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. The focus is on Paul’s end.
    • 11. 2nd reading: 2 Timothy 4,6-8.16-18 Paul’s end  6 I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 8 From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. Paul’s feeling of being abandoned  16 At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! God’s rescue  17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. The focus is also on God’s help.
    • 12. Textual Context of 2 Tim 4,6-8.16-18  Introduction (1,1-2)  Praise and Exhortation (1,3—2,12)  Counsel and Warning (2,14—4,5)  Paul’s own situation (4,6-18)  Conclusion (4,19-22)
    • 13. 2nd reading: 2 Timothy 4,6-8.16-18 Paul’s end  6 I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 8 From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. Paul’s feeling of being abandoned  16 At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! Commentary  In v.6, Paul is resigned to die. He is imprisoned.  In v.7, Paul sees his death as the end of his competition / race. There will be no more struggles, arguments, fatigue, etc.  V.8 indicates the reward of Paul (crown of righteousness) at Christ’s second  There is also a reward for others who long for God’s appearance.  In v.16, Paul’s feels abandoned during the trial. Nobody comes to his rescue or stands by him.  He wishes those expected to stand by him won’t be punished.
    • 14. 2nd reading: 2 Timothy 4,6-8.16-18 God’s rescue  17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.  In v.17, Paul acknowledges the     presence of God. His presence is active, strengthens him. Even the last moments of his life, Paul considers himself as an instrument of God’s word. V.18 indicates Paul’s different meaning of “rescue”. Here it means God saves him from what keeps him from going to heaven (not rescue from prison and death).
    • 15. Reflections on the second reading  Death is something we cannot avoid.  If we are Christ’s believers, it does not mean we don’t die anymore, or we are spared of sufferings and abandonment.  Christians must have proper attitude toward their sufferings and death.  Like Paul, we have to consider death as end of our race and struggles.  Death is our entrance to heaven.
    • 16. Gospel reading: Luke 18,9-14 A simple outline! Introduction  9 Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.  10 "Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee  11 The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity-greedy, dishonest, adulterous-- or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.' The Tax Collector  13 But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' Conclusion  14 I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
    • 17. Textual Context of Luke 18,9-14 18,1-8 The Parable of the Widow and the Judge 18,9-14 The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector 18,15-17 Jesus blesses Little Children 18,18-30 The Rich Man 18,31-34 Jesus Speaks a Third Time about his Death 18,35-43 Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar
    • 18. Gospel reading: Luke 18,9-14 Introduction  9 Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.  10 "Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee  11 The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity-greedy, dishonest, adulterous-- or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.' The Tax Collector  13 But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' Commentary  The gospel reading is about the Pharisee and the tax collector (Publican)  It is addressed to the righteous (Pharisees).  V.10 contrasts the Pharisee and the tax collector in their prayer.  V.11 describes how the Pharisee prays:  Takes up his position (to be recognized)  He despises others.  He enumerates his accomplishments.  V.13 describes how the tax collector prays:  Stands off at a distance (not desiring to be recognized)  Does not raise his eyes (feeling of unworthiness)  Beats his breast (sorry for having offended God)  Asks for mercy and forgiveness.  Recognizes himself a sinner.
    • 19. Gospel reading: Luke 18,9-14 Conclusion  14 I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."  V.14 God accepts the prayer of the tax collector and goes home justified (he pleased God); God rejects the prayer of the Pharisee.  The lesson: we must be humble when approaching God.
    • 20. Reflections on the gospel reading  When praying, we must be humble.  We do not need to remind God of the sins of others and our accomplishments. That is boasting, exalting ourselves.  God prefers to listen to our prayers if we humble ourselves.  God appreciates the prayer of the lowly ones.  God rejects the prayer of those who do not admit their faults and failures.  God rejects self-righteous people.
    • 21. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm  The first reading teaches us that the prayer of the humble and the lowly are acceptable to God.  The psalm helps us to articulate a true and humble prayer.  The second reading teaches us that in our desperate situation God is with us. We are not alone in our sufferings. Like St. Paul, we have to acknowledge his presence. This is prayer.  The gospel reading teaches us that we should be humble when we pray. God has a special relationship with the poor and the lowly. God listens to their prayers. Are we poor and lowly? We do not just talk in terms of material things but most of all of attitude.
    • 22. How to develop your homily/sharing  How do you approach God?  When you pray before him, what do you bring to him?  Do you boast of your accomplishments in the Church, your donations, your accumulated titles and positions, and attendance in the meetings?
    • 23.  According to the gospel reading, the right way to     approach God in prayer is that of a lowly, self-effacing person and a repentant sinner. We must learn how to be humble. Like the Publican, you bring to God your nothingness, your sinfulness, your poverty. You admit your filth before him. You admit that you have been wrong and God has been right all the time. In this way, you will go home justified (favored), with a good mark. God justifies you / he declares that you have done the right thing in his presence.
    • 24.  God rejects people who pray like the Pharisee in the gospel.  If you are praying that way, you are just your wasting time. You won’t gain favor from God.  God does not require us to enumerate our accomplishments (our vouchers, deeds of donations, our receipts) in order to listen to us.  We should refrain from praying or going to church, if only to seek recognition from God or anyone, and if we have no intention to change.  We should respect our churches and houses of prayer.  These are places of conversion, not of boasting and grandstanding.
    • 25.  The first reading clearly assures that the prayer of the humble and the lowly reaches the ears of God.  God is attuned to their groaning and to their voices in prayer.  Their cries do not go to waste.  God answers them by giving justice.
    • 26.  The second reading displays the courage of Paul in the face of death and abandonment of his friends.  In his suffering and loneliness, he reveals his faith: God is with him.  You can feel God’s presence in times of difficulties only when you humbly pray, when you submit / surrender yourself (and all your troubles) to him.
    • 27.  In our churches, we need teachers of prayers.  Many of our church leaders (members of mandated organizations) do not know how to pray.  They are not changed when they pray.  They use the church to advance their personal agenda.  Our leaders and members should lead the people to pray.
    • 28.  Each churchgoer, Christian, Catholic, must know how to lead prayers (the rosary, angelus, etc.).  Can you, father and mother, lead the prayers in your family?  You should be ashamed of yourself if you can’t until now.
    • 29.  Participation in the eucharistic celebration is the highest form of humble prayer.  In the eucharist, we accept that God is better than us, that someone has performed better than us.  In the eucharist, Jesus comes to teach us that life is a matter of humble self-giving to others.
    • 30. Our Context of Sin and Grace  Boastful  Self-righteous  Using the liturgy to seek attention  Always proud of his/her accomplishments  Praying without conversion  Humble  Prayers with humility  Prays like Mama Mary      (Magnificat) Prays to extol God Penitent Willing to be converted Self-effacing Unnoticed, almost invisible before, during and after praying
    • 31. Suggested Songs  Like a Sunflower  Hear, O Lord by Ray Repp  Cry of the Poor (Psalm)  Theme of Life  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NiqOkXYY0A  When We Eat  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qg_-wvSm7M  Ama Namin, 1593  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g3XxLVkq30

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