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20th Sunday C

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Dear sisters and brothers,
 
If you have no sense of sin,  maybe you have not yet encountered the Lord, the Holy One. You will never be transformed.
 
Fr. Cielo

Published in: Spiritual
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20th Sunday C

  1. 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time C 14 August 2016 In preparation for this Sunday’s liturgy As aid in preparing our sharing and homilies Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  2. 2. 1st reading: Jeremiah 38,4-6.8-10 4 In those days, the princes said to the king; “Jeremiah demoralizes the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such things to them; he is not interested in the welfare of our people, but in their ruin." 5 King Zedekiah answered: "He is in your power"; for the king could do nothing with them. 6 And so they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah, which was in the quarters of the guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. 8 and Ebed- melech went there from the palace and said to him, 9 "My lord king, these men have been at fault in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, casting him into the cistern. He will die of famine on the spot, for there is no more food in the city." 10 Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite to take three men along with him, and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he should die. The focus is on sin against Jeremiah.
  3. 3. 1st reading: Jeremiah 38,4-6.8-10 The Princes and the King  4 In those days, the princes said to the king; “Jeremiah demoralizes the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such things to them; he is not interested in the welfare of our people, but in their ruin." 5 King Zedekiah answered: "He is in your power"; for the king could do nothing with them. The Princes and Jeremiah  6 And so they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah, which was in the quarters of the guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. Ebed-melech and the King  8 and Ebed-melech went there from the palace and said to him, 9 "My lord king, these men have been at fault in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, casting him into the cistern. He will die of famine on the spot, for there is no more food in the city." 10 Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite to take three men along with him, and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he should die. A simple outline!
  4. 4. Textual Context of Jeremiah 38,4-6.8-10 Part I Chapters 1-25 Type A and C Part II Chapters 26-36 Type B Part III Chapters 37-45 Type B Part IV Chapters 46-51 Type A Part V Chapter 52 Type C Type A = original oracles of Jeremiah Type B = biographical accounts about Jeremiah's works and personal sufferings, by his scribe Baruch Type C = materials handed down and edited by school of Dt. Part I is composed of oracles and accounts involving the evils of Judah under the three kings: Josiah (1-6), Jehoiakim (7-20) and Zedekiah (21-24). Part II contains stories about the prophets and oracles from the times of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah. Part III tells the stories about Judah’s last days as told by Baruch. Part IV are the oracles against foreign nations. Part V is the appendix describing the Fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., which is taken from 2 Kings 25 to complete the story of Jeremiah’s world.
  5. 5. JeremiahKing Zedekiah
  6. 6. 1st reading: Jeremiah 38,4-6.8-10 The Princes and the King  4 In those days, the princes said to the king; “Jeremiah demoralizes the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such things to them; he is not interested in the welfare of our people, but in their ruin." 5 King Zedekiah answered: "He is in your power"; for the king could do nothing with them. The Princes and Jeremiah  6 And so they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah, which was in the quarters of the guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. Ebed-melech and the King  8 and Ebed-melech went there from the palace and said to him, 9 "My lord king, these men have been at fault in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, casting him into the cistern. He will die of famine on the spot, for there is no more food in the city." 10 Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite to take three men along with him, and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he should die. Commentary In v.4 the princes falsely accuse of Jeremiah of demoralizing the soldiers and the people, of not being interested in their welfare, but in their ruin. A terrible accusation! v.5 expresses the king’s helplessness. The princes are too powerful for him. He leaves them to do their own design. V.6 describes the princes’ concrete action against Jeremiah. (They took him, threw him down with ropes.) In vv.8-9 Ebed-Melech reports to the king what they have done to Jeremiah: They are so cruel and it’s all their fault (political crisis). In v.10 the king authorizes Ebed-melech to draw Jeremiah out of the cistern.
  7. 7. Reflections on the 1st reading False accusation can be deadly. It wastes the life of an innocent person. Like Jeremiah, we who are working hard for God, can be falsely accused, if people do not like us. Suffering unjustly is part of our prophetic life. When we are in this situation, may there be some people who show care for us.
  8. 8. Responsorial Ps 40:2, 3, 4, 18  Responsorial Psalm (14b) Lord, come to my aid!  2 I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me.  3 The LORD heard my cry. He drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp; he set my feet upon a crag; he made firm my steps.  4 And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and trust in the LORD.  18 Though I am afflicted and poor, yet the LORD thinks of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, hold not back!
  9. 9. Responsorial Ps 40:2, 3, 4, 18  Responsorial Psalm (14b) Lord, come to my aid!  2 I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me.  3 The LORD heard my cry. He drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp; he set my feet upon a crag; he made firm my steps.  4 And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and trust in the LORD.  18 Though I am afflicted and poor, yet the LORD thinks of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, hold not back! Commentary  The psalm is classified as individual lament.  The psalm expresses well the feelings of Jeremiah.  In v.2, the psalmist shares his experience of praying to God and his gracious response.  In v.3, the psalmist repeats God’s response to him.  God saved him from destruction.  God made him firm and strong.  In v.4, the psalmist says something unusual:  God put a new song into my mouth, wow!  In v.18, the psalmist states his/her condition (afflicted and poor), yet God pays attention to him/her.
  10. 10. Reflections on the Psalm God is good to those who call on him for help. God does not fail to respond. Do you believe this? When you are in a difficult situation, call on God.
  11. 11. 2nd reading: Hebrews 12,1-4 1 Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us 2 while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. 3 Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. The focus is on getting rid of sin.
  12. 12. Textual Context of Hebrews 12,1-4 I. 1:5--2:18 The name superior to the angels (Eschatology) II. 3: 1--5:10 Jesus faithful and compassionate (Ecclesiology) III. 5: 11--10:39 The central exposition (Sacrifice) IV. 11:1--12:13 Faith and endurance (Ecclesiological paraenesis) V. 12:14--13:19 The peaceful fruit of justice (Eschatology).
  13. 13. 2nd reading: Hebrews 12,1-4  1 Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us 2 while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. 3 Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. Commentary  v.1Cloud of witnesses, what is this?  Those who testify to Christ, the multitude that respond to the call of God to be holy, to be blameless, to imitate Jesus.  It is the reason for getting rid of sin.  It is the reason for persevering in running the race.  V.2 “keeping our eyes fixed” on Jesus = not losing track of him.  Jesus is recognized as leader and perfecter of faith.  As a leader, he has a vision (the joy that lay before him, v.2).  This vision emboldens him to endure the crucifixion.  For this, he is now in heaven (seats at the right of the throne of God).  As a leader, Jesus also endures opposition from sinners, to strengthen us. (v.3)  Struggle against sin has not gone yet to the point of dying (v.4) for the present Christians.
  14. 14. Reflections on the 2nd reading The challenge of the author for Christians is to avoid sin. Jesus has provided a good role model in avoiding sin. He has a vision of the joy to come. Thus, he endures the sufferings, shame and cross as well as opposition from sinners. His stance should encourage us to do the same. We can do more to conquer sin and reach heaven by shedding our blood too.
  15. 15. Gospel reading: Luke 12,49-53 49 Jesus said to his disciples, "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 50 There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in- law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter- in-law against her mother-in-law." The focus is on division.
  16. 16. Gospel reading: Luke 12,49-53 The fiery mission of Christ 49 Jesus said to his disciples, "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 50 There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! The question of Christ and the answer 51 Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. The result: conflict 52 From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." A simple outline!
  17. 17. Textual Context of Luke 12,49-53 Luke 12,1-3 Warning Against Hypocrisy Luke 12,4-12 Exhortation to Fearless Confession Luke 12,13-21 The Parable of the Rich Fool Luke 12,22-34 Do Not Worry Luke 12, 35-40 Watchful Slave Luke 12,41-48 The Faithful or the Unfaithful Slave Luke 12,49-53 Jesus the Cause of Division Luke 12,54-56 Interpreting the Time Luke 12,57 Settling with your Opponent Luke 13,1 Repent or Perish Luke 13,6 Parable of the Barren Fig Tree Luke 13,10 Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman Luke 13,20 Parable of the Yeast Luke 13,22 The Narrow Door Luke 13,31-35 Lament Over Jerusalem Luke 14,1 Jesus Heals the Man with Dropsy Luke 14,7 Humility and Hospitality Luke 14,15 Parable of the Great Dinner Luke 14,25 Cost of Discipleship
  18. 18. Gospel reading: Luke 12,49-53 The fiery mission of Christ  49 Jesus said to his disciples, "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 50 There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! The question of Christ and the answer  51 Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. The result: conflict  52 From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter- in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." Commentary  The reading is one of the problematic texts in the Bible.  The sensitive layman or laywoman may be scandalized by the statements of Jesus.  We think all the while that Jesus is here to bring peace and harmony, but alas, division and conflict.  Here, we need to interpret properly. Our starting point is where Jesus is coming from.  Jesus is a zealous missionary. Jesus wants to “set the earth on fire” now (to transform it according to the plan of God). (v.49)  Fire is an agent of purification. It destroys everything to make appear what is essential to God.
  19. 19. Gospel reading: Luke 12,49-53 The fiery mission of Christ  49 Jesus said to his disciples, "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 50 There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! The question of Christ and the answer  51 Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. The result: conflict  52 From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter- in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." Commentary  The baptism here in v.50 is not the same as his baptism with John the Baptist. Baptism here is immersion in his own blood, suffering, which would bring to completion his mission. It is his own martyrdom.  Jesus is anguished waiting for his time to shed blood, which will complete his mission.  Baptism recalls of water (=blood) in contrast to fire.  Both water (blood) and fire purify.  V.51 spells out the real mission of Christ.  Not peace, but division.  Again. we need a little explanation to understand this.
  20. 20. Gospel reading: Luke 12,49-53 The fiery mission of Christ  49 Jesus said to his disciples, "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 50 There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! The question of Christ and the answer  51 Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. The result: conflict  52 From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter- in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."  We imagine the early stages of Christianity.  In a Jewish or a Gentile home, there is no peace when one member becomes a Christian.  When you become a Christian before, you stop from going to the synagogue or to participate in the rituals of the old religion.  Christianity is not accepted as a religion yet at that time.  It is regarded as superstitious, anti- social, cannibalistic, esoteric, weird, a heresy of the mainstream religion.  No wonder it pits one against another.  The division is the result of following Christ.  The author is speaking from the early Christians’ experience.  The division which is caused by sin (or unprocessed personal differences, political stance) is something else.
  21. 21. Reflections on the gospel reading When we follow Jesus closely, we are not spared of conflicts and division. This division comes as a result of choosing Jesus Christ as a source of salvation, not the old one. No person can have both Christianity and Judaism or paganism. One must choose one or the other. (God, not mammon) The person is making a strong message to his loved ones when he makes a choice for Jesus. Following Jesus is a total conversion from age old religious beliefs, traditions and culture (which gives comfort) to a new way of life (which gives more challenges and widens horizons). It is a radical change of outlook and mentality. It hurts one’s heart and loved ones. It is unsettling and fraught with danger. But it is unavoidable. It is saying good bye to the old, but an experience of liberation to express total trust and confidence in Christ.
  22. 22. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm The first reading talks about the sin committed against Jeremiah. The psalm is about praying to God for help (for forgiveness of sins). The second reading challenges Christians to get rid of sin. The gospel reading is an eye opener on the mission of Jesus: to spread fire on earth. It is a sin to think of him as goody goody. It is a sin to have misconception of him. It is a sin not to choose Jesus.
  23. 23. How to develop your sharing/homily What is a sin? Do you still have a sense of sin? If you have lost it, then you have a big problem. Sin abounds in our relationships, in our families and society. In friendship, we feel betrayed by our friends. We feel they are taking advantage of us. They are using us. In our families, parents play favorites. They refuse to pay attention to some of their children.
  24. 24. In the schools, students cheat. They don’t study hard, so they cheat during exams. No discipline. In the society, the rich take advantage of the poor. They do not give them overtime pay. They withhold their salaries. They don’t care if the majority wallow in abject poverty as long as they enjoy comfort and their properties are intact. We can mention many more sins – private sins, public sins and structural sin, etc.
  25. 25. In the first reading, sin is committed by the princes of Judah. They falsely accuse Jeremiah of demoralizing the people. They also sin by condemning him to the cistern. The second reading exhorts Christians to get rid of sin. How? By fixing their eyes on Jesus (prayer, meditation, listening to his words, eucharist) and by enduring the cross and the opposition from sinners (those who plot against his life; those who say they are right, he is wrong; those who want to preserve their interests; those who use other people to execute him).
  26. 26. We may trace sin, through the gospel reading, in the mentality of Jesus’ disciples. It is a sin to misread / misinterpret the purpose of Jesus. To think that Jesus’ message is a wishy-washy one is outrageously wrong. Jesus comes to bring fire into the world, not peace (complacency) that has nothing to do with his mission. Jesus does not come to make life comfortable to the disciples. He is here to make them work for the kingdom. Sin is not choosing Christ. It is a refusal to commit to Christ.
  27. 27. Sin has devastating effects on others and the sinner himself / herself. Chaos / death / woundedness results when there is disinformation, slander and character assassination; in Filipino term, tsismis, feasting on what might be the faults of others. Jeremiah was a victim of this. Arrogance and pride displace people from their rightful place and robs them of their dignity. You can review your catechism on the 7 capital sins.
  28. 28. There are many other sins, like environmental destruction, consumerism, materialism, pornography, drug pushing, untruthful advertising, selling of unnecessary products, etc. To sum up, sin is living without love of God, neighbor and creation. Sin is a compromise with the devil. Sin is forgiven through confession, reparation and firm promise not to do it again.
  29. 29. We are not supposed to receive the sacred host if we are in grave sin and if we have no intention of changing our lives. When we receive the eucharist, we are telling the Lord that we love him, our neighbors and our world. We commit another sin (even sacrilege) if we receive the eucharist and not give up our sins. In the eucharist, let us ask God to help us change our sinful ways so that we may be conformed to be more like him and to be enlisted in the cloud of witnesses.
  30. 30. Our Context of Sin and Grace No sense of sin Complacent False accusation Demolition job Injustices Overcoming sinful situations Strong prayer life Fear of the Lord Contrite heart Committed to the Lord
  31. 31. Suggested Songs Paano http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ICZUOf_jNo Lord, I Know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulqjOjYZOns Set Me Free http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu8qdQZDPB4
  32. 32. Dear sisters and brothers,  If you have no sense of sin, maybe you have not yet encountered the Lord, the Holy One. You will never be transformed.  Fr. Cielo

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