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20th Sunday A

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20th Sunday A

  1. 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time A August 14, 2011 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  2. 2. 1st reading: Isaiah 56,1.6-7 • 1 Thus says the LORD: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. 6 And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants-- all who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, 7 them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their holocausts and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. The focus is on observing what is right and just.
  3. 3. 1st reading: Isaiah 56,1.6-7 • 1 Thus says the LORD: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. 6 And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants-- all who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, 7 them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their holocausts and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Commentary • In parallel form, God commands his people to live righteous and just lives. V.1a • In parallel form also, God states the reason why: – His salvation/justice is coming. V.1b • In v.6, foreigners refer to non-Jews who fear God: – They join themselves to God – They minister to him – They become his servants – They love the name of God – They keep the sabbath – They hold his covenant. • As a result, in v. 7, God will do the following for them: – He will bring them to his mountain (Mt. Zion). – He will make them joyful in the house of prayer (Temple). – He will accept their holocausts and sacrifices. • The last line indicates that his Temple will be for all peoples, not only for the Jews.
  4. 4. Reflections on the 1st reading • God is a universal God. • His commands are also universal. • Not only Jews and Gentiles, but, we, peoples of today as well, are supposed to live in justice and righteousness. • All who live according to God’s law will be acceptable to God in his Temple and glory. • Are you a God-fearing citizen of the earth?
  5. 5. Resp. Ps. 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 • R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you! • 2 May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. 3 So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation. • 5 May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide. • 6 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you! 8 May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
  6. 6. Resp. Ps. 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 • R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you! • 2 May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. 3 So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation. • 5 May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide. • 6 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you! 8 May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him! Commentary • In v.2, the psalmist prays for mercy and blessings from God. • V.3 gives the reason why: – His way and salvation be known by all nations. • In v.5, the psalmist desires that all peoples rejoice because of God’s just rule and his guidance. • In v.6, in parallel form, the psalmist desires that peoples praise God. • In v.8, the psalmist desires that God’s blessings be upon all, like in v.2. • The psalmist also wishes that all peoples revere the Lord.
  7. 7. Reflections on the Psalm • We are supposed to appropriate (to make it our own) the psalm. • We can do this if we have good will and sincerity of heart. • Can you encourage groups and communities to praise God, not only those who are close to you? • Do you have leadership? • Do you have charisma?
  8. 8. 2nd reading: Rom 11:13-15, 29-32 • 13 I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I glory in my ministry 14 in order to make my race jealous and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? • 29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 30 Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too may (now) receive mercy. 32 For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. The focus is on the call of God to all.
  9. 9. 2nd reading: Rom 11:13-15, 29-32 Paul’s vocation • 13 I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I glory in my ministry 14 in order to make my race jealous and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? Call of God • 29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 30 Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too may (now) receive mercy. 32 For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. A simple outline!
  10. 10. 2nd reading: Rom 11:13-15, 29-32 Paul’s vocation • 13 I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I glory in my ministry 14 in order to make my race jealous and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? Call of God • 29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 30 Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too may (now) receive mercy. 32 For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. Commentary • Paul addresses himself to the Roman Gentiles. • He identifies himself as the apostle to the Gentiles (not Jews). • He is proud of his ministry. v.13 • In v.14, Paul states his reason: – To make his fellow Jews jealous and attract them to have faith in Christ, thus, saving them. – Their rejection of Christ is living in the world. – Their acceptance of Christ is resurrection from the dead. V.15 • Paul affirms their gifts and vocation as irrevocable, indelible. v.29 • The Gentile converts are gifted with mercy… • Paul hopes his fellow Jews will also obtain mercy (gift). Vv.30-32 • Paul plays on the words “(dis)obedience and mercy.”
  11. 11. Reflections on the 2nd reading • People do not buy everything we say. • We must be prepared to be disappointed when doing our mission. • Mission work does not mean automatic acceptance of our message. • Mission is pleading, appealing, cajoling, crying over and is a passionate desire for people to be better, to accept Christ in their lives. • Do you easily give up because no one is paying attention to you?
  12. 12. Gospel reading: Mt 15:21-28 • 21 At that time Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon." 23 But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, "Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us." 24 He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 25 But the woman came and did him homage, saying, "Lord, help me." 26 He said in reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." 27 She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." 28 Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that hour. The focus is on the power of having faith.
  13. 13. Gospel reading: Mt 15:21-28 Setting • 21 At that time Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. The Canaanite Woman • 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon." Jesus’ response • 23 But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, "Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us." 24 He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The Insistent Canaanite Woman • 25 But the woman came and did him homage, saying, "Lord, help me." 26 He said in reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." 27 She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." Jesus’ favorable response • 28 Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that hour. A simple outline!
  14. 14. Gospel reading: Mt 15:21-28 Setting • 21 At that time Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. The Canaanite Woman • 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon." Jesus’ response • 23 But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, "Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us." 24 He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Commentary • Jesus is in a pagan territory, somewhere in Lebanon. V.21 • Without any notice, a Canaanite woman cries out to Jesus, pleading for her daughter, who is possessed by a demon. V.22 • The woman addresses Jesus as Lord and Son of David. How did she know? V.22 • Jesus does not readily respond. He is mum. • The disciples ask Jesus to send her away. V.23 • Jesus claims he is sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. (a kind of exclusivism in Matthew).
  15. 15. Gospel reading: Mt 15:21-28 The Insistent Canaanite Woman • 25 But the woman came and did him homage, saying, "Lord, help me." 26 He said in reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." 27 She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." Jesus’ favorable response • 28 Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that hour. • The woman approaches Jesus in worship and repeats her prayer. V.25 • Jesus’ answer to the woman seems to be ungentlemanly (very insulting!). v.26 • The woman does not care. She argues picking up Jesus’ argument and turns it to her advantage. V.27 • The woman is aware of the unresponsive Israelites. • In v.28, Jesus is moved by the response of the woman. It reveals her deep faith in him. • As a result, Jesus concedes to the intercession of the woman. • Her daughter is healed (the devil is gone).
  16. 16. Reflections on the gospel reading • We can be like the Canaanite woman, when asking for favors. • We do not lose heart when, at first, God does not seem to listen to us and all odds are against us. • Against all odds, we can score victory for our loved ones, if we have great faith. • The prayer of the Canaanite woman was granted because she had great faith.
  17. 17. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm • The first reading teaches that living just and righteous lives is required of everyone. • The psalm urges everyone to praise God. • The second reading indicates that God is bent on saving everyone, even the disobedient ones. • The gospel teaches that God listens to everyone, who has great faith.
  18. 18. How to develop your homily / sharing • If you have some doubts whether you are saved or not, the readings have this to say: – God’s love is for everyone, just as he challenges each one to live just and righteous lives and to have strong faith. • Everyone is called to be holy.
  19. 19. • The first reading foresees foreigners (non- Jews) being given the privilege to worship God in his holy mountain and holy Temple. • They, too, obey God’s commands and, therefore, they are also saved.
  20. 20. • The second reading strongly indicates Paul’s efforts to facilitate the salvation of his fellow Jews through Christ. • He is willing to go to hell just to convince them to believe in Jesus Christ. • Like Paul, we must be passionate to do everything to help people go to heaven.
  21. 21. • In the gospel, Jesus gives in to the demand of the Canaanite woman. • Because of her great faith, Jesus cures her daughter. • Jesus cannot ignore people, Jew or pagan, who have faith in him. • Faith is the channel in which God works miracles for us.
  22. 22. • Through the readings, God invites all of us to gather in his house, to belong to his family of the redeemed. • God does not discriminate against “foreigners” or new converts. • He puts them side by side with the old ones. • God commands the old ones to exercise righteousness and justice, to facilitate the convergence of all peoples in his name.
  23. 23. • The readings also tell us… – Not to be discriminatory – Not to be exclusivistic, racist or xenophobic – Not to make the church a club of homogenous people, a monolith • But, be passionate for the well-being and salvation of people of all races, genders and cultures… • And, be compassionate to all who we think are lowly or inferior but are searching for God. • We must become missionaries who have deep respect for others. • Impatience and improper behavior torpedo mission work.
  24. 24. • In the mass, Jesus invites us all, believers, to participate in his meal. • In the eucharist, Jesus assures all of us who have faith of salvation. • The eucharist is the sacrament of universal brotherhood / family under the one fatherhood of God.
  25. 25. Our Context of Sin and Grace • Exclusivism • Nationalism • Ethnocentrism • Elitism • Monopoly • Dismal human rights record • Religious bigotry • Violent fraternities/ sororities • Altruism • Sportsmanship • Internationalism • Networking • Ecumenism • Linkages • Worshipping together • Community building • Just and righteous living • Strong faith
  26. 26. Suggested Songs • You Are So Good – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spj_5sTiF5Y • Buhay Maging Maligaya – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh0VyqcYK3I

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