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Posts by kellynla

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  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 07-28-16

    07/30/2016 4:07:35 PM PDT · 10 of 32
    kellynla to Salvation

    Glad to have you back.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-10-12

    03/10/2012 6:21:48 AM PST · 12 of 26
    kellynla to kellynla

    From: Luke 15:1-3; 11-32

    Parables of God’s Mercy


    [1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him (Jesus).
    [2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives
    sinners and eats with them.”

    The Prodigal Son


    [3] So He told them this parable: [11] “There was a man who had two sons; [12]
    and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property
    that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. [13] Not many days la-
    ter, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country,
    and there he squandered his property in loose living. [14] And when he had spent
    everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. [15]
    So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent
    him into his fields to feed swine. [16] And he would gladly have fed on the pods
    that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. [17] But when he came to him-
    self he said, ‘How can many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and
    to spare, but I perish here with hunger! [18] I will arise and go to my father, and I
    will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you; [19] I am
    no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.’”
    [20] And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance,
    his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed
    him. [21] And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and be-
    fore you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ [22] But the father said to
    his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on
    his hand, and shoes on his feet; [23] and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let
    us eat and make merry; [24] for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he
    was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.

    [25] “Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the
    house, he heard music and dancing. [26] And he called one of the servants and
    asked what this meant. [27] And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and
    your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and
    sound.’ [28] But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and
    entreated him, [29] but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have
    served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid,
    that I might make merry with my friends. [30] But when this son of yours came,
    who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ [31]
    And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
    [32] It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and
    is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    1-32. Jesus’ actions manifest God’s mercy: He receives sinners in order to con-
    vert them. The scribes and Pharisees, who despised sinners, just cannot under-
    stand why Jesus acts like this; they grumble about Him; and Jesus uses the
    opportunity to tell these Mercy parables. “The Gospel writer who particularly
    treats of these themes in Christ’s teaching is Luke, whose Gospel has earned
    the title of ‘the Gospel of mercy’” (Bl. John Paul II, “Dives In Misericordia”, 3).

    In this chapter St. Luke reports three of these parables in which Jesus describes
    the infinite, fatherly mercy of God and His joy at the conversion of the sinner.

    The Gospel teaches that no one is excluded from forgiveness and that sinners
    can become beloved children of God if they repent and are converted. So much
    does God desire the conversion of sinners that each of these parables ends with
    a refrain, as it were, telling of the great joy in Heaven over a sinner who repents.

    1-2. This is not the first time that publicans and sinners approach Jesus (cf. Mat-
    thew 9:10). They are attracted by the directness of the Lord’s preaching and by
    His call to self-giving and love. The Pharisees in general were jealous of His in-
    fluence over the people (cf. Matthew 26:2-5; John 11:47), a jealousy which can
    also beset Christians; a severity of outlook which does not accept that, no mat-
    ter how great his sins may have been, a sinner can change and become a saint;
    a blindness which prevents a person from recognizing and rejoicing over the good
    done by others. Our Lord criticized this attitude when He replied to His disciples’
    complaints about others casting out devils in His name: “Do not forbid him; for
    no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon after to speak evil
    of Me” (Mark 9:39). And St. Paul rejoiced that others proclaimed Christ and even
    overlooked the fact they did so out of self-interest, provided Christ was preached
    (cf. Philippians 1:17-18).

    11. This is one of Jesus’ most beautiful parables, which teaches us once more
    that God is a kind and understanding Father (cf. Matthew 6:8; Romans 8:15; 2
    Corinthians 1:3). The son who asks for his part of the inheritance is a symbol of
    the person who cuts himself off from God through sin. “Although the word ‘mer-
    cy’ does not appear, this parable nevertheless expresses the essence of the di-
    vine mercy in a particularly clear way” (Bl. John Paul II, “Dives In Misericordia”,
    5).

    12. “That son, who receives from the father the portion of the inheritance that is
    due him and leaves home to squander it in a far country ‘in loose living’, in a cer-
    tain sense is the man of every period, beginning with the one who was the first
    to lose the inheritance of grace and original justice. The analogy at this point is
    very wide-ranging. The parable indirectly touches upon every breach of the cove-
    nant of love, every loss of grace, every sin” (”Dives In Misericordia”, 5).

    14-15. At this point in the parable we are shown the unhappy effects of sin. The
    young man’s hunger evokes the anxiety and emptiness a person feels when he
    is far from God. The prodigal son’s predicament describes the enslavement which
    sin involves (cf. Romans 1:25; 6:6; Galatians 5:1): by sinning one loses the free-
    dom of the children of God (cf. Romans 8:21; Galatians 4:31; 5:13) and hands
    oneself over the power of Satan.

    17-21. His memory of home and his conviction that his father loves him cause
    the prodigal son to reflect and to decide to set out on the right road. “Human life
    is in some way a constant returning to our Father’s house. We return through
    contrition, through the conversion of heart which means a desire to change, a
    firm decision to improve our life and which, therefore, is expressed in sacrifice
    and self-giving. We return to our Father’s house by means of that sacrament of
    pardon in which, by confessing our sins, we put on Jesus Christ again and be-
    come His brothers, members of God’s family” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing
    By”, 64).

    20-24. God always hopes for the return of the sinner; He wants him to repent.
    When the young man arrives home his father does not greet him with reproaches
    but with immense compassion, which causes him to embrace his son and cover
    him with kisses.

    20. “There is no doubt that in this simple but penetrating analogy the figure of the
    father reveals to us God as Father. The conduct of the father in the parable and
    his whole behavior, which manifests his internal attitude, enables us to rediscover
    the individual threads of the Old Testament vision of mercy in a synthesis which
    is totally new, full of simplicity and depth. The father of the prodigal son is faithful
    to this fatherhood, faithful to the love that he had always lavished on his son. This
    fidelity is expressed in the parable not only by his immediate readiness to wel-
    come him home when he returns after having squandered his inheritance; it is ex-
    pressed even more fully by that joy, that merrymaking for the squanderer after his
    return, merrymaking which is so generous that it provokes the opposition and ha-
    tred of the elder brother, who had never gone far away from his father and had ne-
    ver abandoned the home.

    “The father’s fidelity to himself [...] is at the same time expressed in a manner
    particularly charged with affection. We read, in fact, that when the father saw the
    prodigal son returning home ‘he had compassion, ran to meet him, threw his
    arms around his neck and kissed him.’ He certainly does this under the influence
    of a deep affection, and this also explains his generosity towards his son, that
    generosity which so angers the elder son” (”Dives In Misericordia”, 6).

    “When God runs towards us, we cannot keep silent, but with St. Paul we ex-
    claim, “Abba Pater”: ‘Father, my Father!’ (Romans 8:15), for, though He is the
    creator of the universe, He doesn’t mind our not using high-sounding titles, nor
    worry about our not acknowledging His greatness. He wants us to call Him
    Father; He wants us to savor that word, our souls filling with joy [...].

    “God is waiting for us, like the father in the parable, with open arms, even though
    we don’t deserve it. It doesn’t matter how great our debt is. Just like the prodigal
    son, all we have to do is open our heart, to be homesick for our Father’s house,
    to wonder at and rejoice in the gift which God makes us of being able to call our-
    selves His children, of really being His children, even though our response to Him
    has been so poor” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 64).

    25-30. God’s mercy is so great that man cannot grasp it: as we can see in the
    case of the elder son, who thinks his father loves the younger son excessively,
    his jealousy prevents him from understanding how his father can do so much to
    celebrate the recovery of the prodigal; it cuts him off from the joy that the whole
    family feels. “It’s true that he was a sinner. But don’t pass so final a judgment
    on him. Have pity in your heart, and don’t forget that he may yet be an Augus-
    tine, while you remain just another mediocrity” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 675).

    We should also consider that if God has compassion towards sinners, He must
    have much much more towards those who strive to be faithful to Him. St. The-
    rese of Lisieux understood this very well: “What joy to remember that our Lord
    is just; that He makes allowances for all our shortcomings, and knows full well
    how weak we are. What have I to fear then? Surely the God of infinite justice
    who pardons the prodigal son with such mercy will be just with me ‘who am al-
    ways with Him’?” (”The Story of a Soul”, Chapter 8).

    32. “Mercy, as Christ has presented it in the parable of the prodigal son, has the
    interior form of the love that in the New Testament is called AGAPE. This love is
    able to reach down to every prodigal son, to every human misery, and above all
    to every form of moral misery, to sin. When this happens, the person who is the
    object of mercy does not feel humiliated, but rather found again and ‘restored to
    value’. The father first and foremost expresses to him his joy, that he has been
    ‘found again’ and that he has ‘returned to life’. This joy indicates a good that has
    remained intact: even if he is a prodigal, a son does not cease to be truly his fa-
    ther’s son; it also indicates a good that has been found again, which in the case
    of the prodigal son was his return to the truth about himself” (”Dives In Misericor-
    dia”, 6).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-10-12

    03/10/2012 6:19:59 AM PST · 11 of 26
    kellynla to Salvation

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Saturday, March 10, 2012

    2nd Week of Lent

    From: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20

    Prayer for Jerusalem


    [14] Shepherd thy people with thy staff,
    the flock of thy inheritance,
    who dwell alone in a forest
    in the midst of a garden land;
    let them feed in Báshan and Gilead
    as in the days of old.
    [15] As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt
    I will show them marvellous things.

    Hymn to the Lord


    [18] Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity
    and passing over transgression
    for the remnant of his inheritance?
    He does not retain his anger for ever
    because he delights in steadfast love.
    [19] He will again have compassion upon us,
    he will tread our iniquities under foot.
    Thou wilt cast all our sins
    into the depths of the sea.
    [20] Thou wilt show faithfulness to Jacob
    and steadfast love to Abraham,
    as thou hast sworn to our fathers
    from the days of old.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    7:14-17. These verses also deal with hope in the future restoration, but it is now
    expressed in the form of a prayer to the Lord. He is asked for a return to the way
    things were in the early days of the chosen people — a repetition of wondrous
    works that will astound the Gentiles (vv. 16-17) and convince them of the power
    of the Lord v. 16). The prayer also desires the Lord to be the only shepherd of his
    people (v. 14; cf. 5:3), who now occupy the whole of Palestine again, a land that
    is most fertile. Bashan and Gilead, on the eastern banks and highlands of the
    Jordan, were areas renowned for rich pasture-land.

    7:18-20. The last three verses of the book, in a liturgical tone, celebrate the Lord’s
    steadfast love. Witnessing the works of the Lord (his pardoning of sins, and put-
    ting them out of his mind: vv. 18-19; his faithfulness to his promises, no matter
    what: v. 20), all that the believer can do is be grateful and live in awe: “Who is a
    God like thee?” (v. 18). Many of the terms used in this short hymn (remnant, in-
    heritance, faithfulness, etc.) have come up earlier in the book and are being re-
    hearsed again here. But we can appreciate their importance more if we remem-
    ber the way Micah is echoed in the Benedictus of Zechariah in the New Testa-
    ment. That hymn sums up very well the hope in the Messiah harbored by gene-
    ration upon generation of the people of God, and when we reread it, it will help to
    revive our own hope in the definitive (second) coming of the Lord: “Blessed be the
    Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people, and has raised up
    a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the
    mouth of his holy prophets from of old” (Lk 1:68-70).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 10-10-11

    10/10/2011 7:24:29 AM PDT · 14 of 43
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Monday, October 10, 2011

    28th Week in Ordinary Time

    Optional Memorial (Canada): Thanksgiving Day

    From: Luke 11:29-32

    The Sign of Jonah


    [29] When the crowds were increasing, He (Jesus) began to say, “This genera-
    tion is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except
    the sign of Jonah. [30] For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will
    the Son of Man be to this generation. [31] The queen of the South will arise at the
    judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from
    the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something
    greater than Solomon is here. [32] The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment
    with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah,
    and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    29-32. Jonah was the prophet who led the Ninevites to do penance: his actions
    and preaching they saw as signifying that God had sent him (cf. note on Mat-
    thew 12:41-42).

    [The note on Matthew 12:41-42 states:

    41-42. Nineveh was a city in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) to which the prophet Jo-
    nah was sent. The Ninevites did penance (John 3:6-9) because they recognized
    the prophet and accepted his message; whereas Jerusalem does not wish to re-
    cognize Jesus, of whom Jonah was merely a figure. The queen of the South was
    the queen of Sheba in southwestern Arabia, who visited Solomon (1 Kings 10:1-
    10) and was in awe of the wisdom with which God had endowed the King of Is-
    rael. Jesus is also prefigured in Solomon, whom Jewish tradition saw as the epi-
    tome of the wise man. Jesus’ reproach is accentuated by the example of pagan
    converts, and gives us a glimpse of the universal scope of Christianity, which will
    take root among the Gentiles.

    There is a certain irony in what Jesus says about “something greater” than Jonah
    or Solomon having come: really, He is infinitely greater, but Jesus prefers to tone
    down the difference between Himself and any figure, no matter how important, in
    the Old Testament.]

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 10-10-11

    10/10/2011 7:22:38 AM PDT · 13 of 43
    kellynla to Salvation; All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Monday, October 10, 2011

    28th Week in Ordinary Time

    Optional Memorial (Canada): Thanksgiving Day

    From: Romans 1:1-7

    Greeting


    [1] Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gos-
    pel of God [2] which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy
    scriptures, [3] the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David
    according to the flesh [4] and designated Son of God in power according to the
    Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, [5]
    through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obe-
    dience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, [6] including your-
    selves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ: [7] To all God’s beloved in Rome,
    who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and
    the Lord Jesus Christ.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    1-15. These opening verses of the letter are a combination of greeting, introduc-
    tion of the writer and the prologue to the entire text. The passage deals with
    themes in no particular order — in line with the style of some other Pauline let-
    ters, especially Romans itself.

    Three matters are being covered here — Paul’s introduction of himself, and his
    plans to visit Rome (vv. 1, 5, 9-15); who the immediate recipients are and their
    particular situation (vv. 6-8, 11, 15); and, finally, Paul’s purpose in writing to the
    faithful at Rome (outlined in his greeting — vv. 2-4, 15 and, to a lesser degree, v.
    9).

    1-2. The word “gospel”, which St Paul uses very often, here refers to the purpose
    of his vocation: he has been designated to preach the Gospel of God. This is ob-
    viously not a reference to the written Gospels; he is speaking of something com-
    plex and profound, already articulated by Christ in his preaching. Jesus said of
    himself that he had come to bring Good News (cf. Mt 11:15; Mk 1:14-15; Lk 4:18;
    etc.), as the prophets had foretold (especially is 61:1, which Jesus quoted). “As
    an evangelizer, Christ first of all proclaims a kingdom, the Kingdom of God; and
    this is so important that, by comparison, everything else becomes ‘the rest’,
    which is ‘given in addition’ (cf. Mt 6:33).

    “As the kernel and center of this Good News, Christ proclaims salvation, this
    great gift of God which is liberation from everything that oppresses man but which
    is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One” (Paul VI, “Evangelii Nuntiandi”,
    8 and 9).

    When he was about to ascend into heaven, Jesus charged his Apostles to pro-
    claim the Good News (Mk 16:15; cf. Mt 28:19-20) which was to be “the source
    of all saving truth and moral discipline” (Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”, 7). For the Apo-
    stles this Good News was nothing more or less than Jesus Christ and his work
    of salvation. That is why the Gospel (which the Church is given to hand on to all
    generations) is centered on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as passed on
    to us by the Apostles. “The promises of the New Alliance in Jesus Christ, the
    teaching of the Lord and the Apostles, the Word of life, the sources of grace and
    of God’s loving kindness, the path of salvation — all these things have been entrus-
    ted to her. It is the content of the Gospel, and therefore of evangelization” (”Evan-
    gelii Nuntiandi”, 15). Thus we can say with St Thomas Aquinas (cf. “Summa Theo-
    logiae”, I-II, q. 108, a.1; “Commentary on Rom.” 1, 1) that the core of the Gospel
    has to do with uniting men and God, a union which takes a perfect form in Christ
    but an imperfect one in us. The superiority of the Gospel over the Old Law con-
    sists in the grace of the Holy Spirit, which Christ confers on us. Therefore, the
    Gospel, to which the Apostles dedicated themselves, is, at one and the same
    time, a series of truths revealed by our Lord, the saving power of grace and the
    Church-in-action.

    1. In addressing the Christians at Rome the Apostle uses, of his two names —
    Saul and Paul — the one he has used since his first missionary journey (cf. Acts
    13:9), a Roman name indicating his Roman citizenship (cf. Acts 16:37; 22:25-28).
    It was in fact quite common for Jews to use two names — a national name, He-
    brew or Aramaic, and another name, Greek or Latin, for dealings with people from
    other countries in the Empire. We find a number of examples of this in the New
    Testament — John-Mark, Symeon-Niger (Acts 13:1), Tabitha-Dorcas (Acts 9:36),
    et cetera.

    Paul, who had been born a Roman citizen, was deeply conscious of his Jewish
    roots. He was of the tribe of Benjamin (Rom 11:1; Phil 3:5) and bore the name of
    one of the most famous members of that tribe — King Saul, son of Kish (Acts 13:
    21). He was well able to show his pride in his Jewish descent (cf. 2 Cor 11:22;
    Gal 1:13-14) yet was ready to become all things to all men in order to save even
    some (cf. 1 Cor 9:22).

    St Paul wants to speak about Christ and his saving Gospel, but he cannot avoid
    making reference to himself and the mission entrusted to him; this he does by
    using three words which are full of meaning: he is a “servant” of Jesus Christ,
    called by God to be his “apostle” (envoy), “set apart” or designated by God to
    preach the Gospel. These three words tell the whole story of his vocation, and
    each of them encapsulates something of the mystery which Paul will expound in
    his epistle — the mercy of God, who saves men, justifies them, sanctifies them
    and sends them out.

    “Servant”: this title, also used by St James (Jas 1:1), St Peter (2 Pet 1:1) and St
    Jude (Jud 1), comes from the Old Testament. There the great prophets and guides
    of the chosen people described themselves as “servants” of Yahweh (cf., for exam-
    ple, Samuel: 1 Sam 3:9f; Abraham: Ps 104:6; David: 2 Sam 24:10; Moses, Aaron,
    Solomon, etc.), and the entire people of Israel is called the “servant” of God (Is 49:
    3); but most prominently there is the Messiah, the “Servant” of God to the extent
    of actually giving his life (Is 41:9; 42:1; 49:6; 53:11). In the world of the Hebrew
    religion “servant of God” is the equivalent of “worshipper of God”, one who offers
    religious worship: this notion of servant did not carry the overtones of inhuman
    debasement that it had in Greco-Roman culture. When St Paul says that he is
    a “servant” (or “slave”) of Jesus Christ he is implicitly saying that he renders him
    religious adoration.

    “Apostle”: this word designates preachers of the Gospel, particularly the twelve
    chosen disciples of Jesus (cf. Mt 10:24 and Mk 3:16-19) it was quite logically ap-
    plied to Matthias when he became one of the Twelve (Acts 1:25). Christ himself
    designated Paul an apostle when he appeared to him on the road to Damascus
    (Acts 26:16-18; Gal 1:15-16), called him to the faith and charged him with his
    mission to preach. By describing himself as “called to be an apostle”, St Paul is
    saying that he is on an equal footing with the Twelve — for example, Peter, James
    and John, whom he calls “pillars” of the Church (Gal 2:9) — since he received his
    calling from Christ himself, as had been the case with the other Apostles (cf.
    Acts 9:3-18), and not from the leaders of the community of Antioch (Acts 13:2-3).

    “Set apart”: this refers to the mission entrusted to St Paul of preaching the Gos-
    pel to the Gentiles. Possibly it also refers to Paul’s place in God’s eternal plan;
    in this sense he can say that he was “set apart” ever since he was in his mo-
    ther’s womb (Gal 1:15; cf. Jer 1:5; Is 49:1).

    St John Chrysostom comments on this verse as follows: “If Paul constantly re-
    calls his vocation it is in order to show his gratitude. This gift, which he did not
    solicit, took him by surprise; he simply obeyed and followed the divine inspiration.
    As regards the faithful, they too, as he himself says, have been called to holiness”
    (”Hom. on Rom”, 1).

    3-4. Scholars are now confident that in Rom 1:3-4 St Paul is quoting from a Chris-
    tological formula or hymn (like that in I Tim 3:16 or Phil 2:6-11) — probably used in
    the very earliest Christian liturgy. In these two verses St Paul offers, as it were, a
    summary of Christology: Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, is the Son sent by
    his Father God (v. 3). From all eternity he is God, equal to the Father, and in the
    fullness of time he has taken up a human nature which was initially capable of ex-
    periencing pain (v. 3) and was later glorified (v. 4).

    The Incarnation did not involve any change, as far as the Word was concerned,
    either in his divine nature (which he did not shed and which did not alter) or in his
    being a Person distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. However, by the Incar-
    nation he assumed a human nature, being born of a Virgin (cf. Lk 1:27, 35): and
    so the Son of God became the Son of David, of the lineage of David. The phrase
    “according to the flesh” actually emphasizes the lowliness which the Incarnation
    implied — fragility, suffering, self-emptying, humiliation (cf. Jn 1:14 and note; Phil
    2:7).

    During Christ’s life on earth prior to his Resurrection, although it was united to
    the Word, his human nature, especially his body, was not fully glorified. More-
    over, although it is true that during that period of his life he showed his divinity by
    his miracles (cf. In 2:11) and by words confirmed by those miracles (cf. Jn 10:37
    ff), it is also true that his human nature was to the forefront most of the time. After
    the Resurrection, his human body and soul were fully glorified and therefore from
    then on his divine nature was the more apparent. This real change which took
    place in Christ’s human nature when he rose from the dead, and the fact that his
    divinity became more manifest and he was more easily recognized to be God,
    are captured in what St Paul says here in v. 4.

    The words “according to the Spirit of holiness” can refer both to Christ’s divine na-
    ture (in the same way as “according to the flesh” refers to his human nature) and
    to the action of the Holy Spirit, whose effects were more easily seen after the
    Resurrection, especially from Pentecost onwards (cf. Jn 7:39 and note on same).

    5. Here St Paul refers to the mission given him by God the Father through Jesus
    Christ at the time of his conversion (cf. Acts 9:15) and which he mentions explicit-
    ly in his letter to the Galatians (cf. Gal 2:7). Within the world-wide mission implied
    in being an apostle called by Christ himself, St Paul was given a special mission
    of his own — to be the Apostle of the Gentiles; he mentions this mission at the
    beginning of this letter to show why he should be addressing the Christians at
    Rome, a church which he had not founded.

    The purpose and effect of the apostolic ministry is to bring about the “obedience
    of faith”: when a person believes, he submits his mind and will to God’s authority,
    freely accepting the truths which God proposes. Apropos of this obedience proper
    to faith the Second Vatican Council says: “’The obedience of faith’ (Rom 16:26; cf.
    Rom 1:5; 2 Cor 10:5-6) must be given to God as he reveals himself. By faith man
    freely commits his entire self to God, making ‘the full submission of his intellect
    and will to God who reveals’ (Vatican I, “Dei Filius”, chap. 3) and willingly assen-
    ting to the Revelation given by him. Before this faith can be exercised, man must
    have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior help of
    the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes
    of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth’ (Second
    Council of Orange III, “De Gratia”, can. 7; “Dei Filius, ibid.”)” (Vatican II, “Dei
    Verbum”, 5).

    7. “Called to be saints”: literally “called saints”. This is not just a way of spea-
    king: St Paul really is saying that Christians are “called” in the same kind of way
    as the Israelites were so open called through Moses (Num 10:14). In the Chris-
    tians’ case, the calling is to form the new people of God, one of whose characte-
    ristic features is holiness. Basing itself on this and other Pauline texts, the Se-
    cond Vatican Council has this to say: “As Israel according to the flesh which
    wandered in the desert was already called the Church of God (cf. 2 Ezra 13:1;
    cf. Num 20:4; Deut 23:1 ff), so too, the new Israel, which advances in this pre-
    sent era in search of a future and permanent city (cf. Heb 13:14), is called also
    the Church of Christ (cf. Mt. 16:18) [...]. The followers of Christ, called by God
    not in virtue of their works but by his design and grace, and justified in the Lord
    Jesus, have been made sons of God in the baptism of faith and partakers of the
    divine nature, and so are truly sanctified” (”Lumen Gentium”, 9 and 40).

    This is in fact the basis of the “universal call to holiness”. All Christians, by vir-
    tue of their Baptism, should live in line with what that means: they are called to
    be saints and their whole life should be a pursuit of holiness: “In baptism, our
    Father God has taken possession of our lives, has made us share in the life of
    Christ, and has given us the Holy Spirit” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By,
    128). “We are deeply moved, and our hearts profoundly shaken, when we listen
    attentively to that cry of St Paul: ‘This is the will of God, your sanctification’ (1
    Thess 4:3). Today, once again, I set myself this goal and I also remind you and
    all mankind: this is God’s Will for us, that we be saints” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends
    of God”, 294).

    The formula “grace and peace” seems to be St Paul’s own: it is a combination of
    the usual Greek greeting at the start of letters and the Hebrew shalom (peace).
    The Apostle uses this double greeting very often (cf., for example, 1 Cor 1:3 2 Cor
    1:2; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; etc). It is a Christian greeting, referring to the gifts the Holy
    Spirit brings us. Jewish and pagan greetings wished people material prosperity or
    good fortune; the Apostle’s are wishes for something higher — divine benevolence,
    which comes in the form of the gift of sanctifying grace and the virtues and gifts
    of the Holy Spirit, and interior peace, which derives from reconciliation with God
    brought about by Christ. These gifts, according to the Apostle, come to us from
    God our Father, and from Jesus Christ, the Lord, who is equal to the Father. Thus
    we see Christian life as being inserted in the intimate life of the Blessed Trinity,
    for “grace and peace” came from the goodness and mercy of God, by way of the
    Incarnation of the Word and the Redemption wrought by him.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 10-02-11, Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

    10/02/2011 9:11:00 PM PDT · 40 of 55
    kellynla to Salvation

    You’re welcome.

    And THANK YOU for all you work over the years.

  • Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 10-02-11, Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

    10/02/2011 7:32:18 AM PDT · 24 of 55
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Sunday, October 2, 2011

    27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    From: Matthew 21:33-43

    The Parable of the Wicked Tenants


    (Jesus told the chief priests and the elders,) [33] “Hear another parable. There
    was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, dug a wine
    press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another coun-
    try. [34] When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants,
    to get his fruit; [35] and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another,
    and stoned another. [36] Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and
    they did the same to them. [37] Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They
    will respect my son.’ [38] But when the tenants saw the son, they said to them-
    selves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ [39] And
    they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. [40] When there-
    fore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” [41] They
    said to Him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vine-
    yard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

    [42] Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The very stone
    which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s
    doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes’! [43] Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of
    God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    33-46. This very important parable completes the previous one. The parable of
    the two sons simply identifies the indocility of Israel; that of the wicked tenants
    focuses on the punishment to come.

    Our Lord compares Israel to a choice vineyard, specially fenced, with a watch-
    tower, where a keeper is on the look-out to protect it from thieves and foxes.
    God has spared no effort to cultivate and embellish His vineyard. The vineyard is
    in the charge of tenant farmers; the householder is God, and the vineyard, Israel
    (Isaiah 5:3-5: Jeremiah 2:21; Joel 1:7).

    The tenants to whom God has given the care of His people are the priests,
    scribes and elders. The owner’s absence makes it clear that God really did en-
    trust Israel to its leaders; hence their responsibility and the account He demands
    of them.

    The owner used to send his servants from time to time to collect the fruit; this
    was the mission of the prophets. The second dispatch of servants to claim what
    is owing to the owner — who meet the same fate as the first — refers to the way
    God’s prophets were ill-treated by the kings and priests of Israel (Matthew 23:37;
    Acts 7:42; Hebrews 11:36-38). Finally he sent his son to them, thinking that they
    would have more respect for him; here we can see the difference between Jesus
    and the prophets, who were servants, not “the Son”: the parable indicates singu-
    lar, transcendental sonship, expressing the divinity of Jesus Christ.

    The malicious purpose of the tenants in murdering the son and heir to keep the
    inheritance for themselves is the madness of the leaders in expecting to become
    undisputed masters of Israel by putting Christ to death (Matthew 12:14; 26:4).
    Their ambition blinds them to the punishment that awaits them. Then “they cast
    him out of the vineyard, and killed him”: a reference to Christ’s crucifixion, which
    took place outside the walls of Jerusalem.

    Jesus prophesies the punishment God will inflict on the evildoers: He will put
    them to death and rent the vineyard to others. This is a very significant prophecy.
    St. Peter later repeats to the Sanhedrin: “This is the stone which was rejected
    by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner” (Acts 4:11; 1
    Peter 2:4). The stone is Jesus of Nazareth, but the architects of Israel, who build
    up and rule the people, have chosen not to use it in the building. Because of their
    unfaithfulness the Kingdom of God will be turned over to another people, the Gen-
    tiles, who WILL give God the fruit He expects His vineyard to yield (cf. Matthew
    3:8-10; Galatians 6:16).

    For the building to be well-built, it needs to rest on this stone. Woe to him who
    trips over it! (cf. Matthew 12:30; Luke 2:34), as first Jews and later the enemies
    of Christ and His Church will discover through bitter experience (cf. Isaiah 8:14-
    15).

    Christians in all ages should see this parable as exhorting them to build faithfully
    upon Christ and make sure they do not fall into the sin of this Jewish generation.
    We should also be filled with hope and a sense of security; for, although the buil-
    ding — the Church — at some times seem to be breaking up, its sound construc-
    tion, with Christ as its cornerstone, is assured.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 10-02-11, Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

    10/02/2011 7:31:11 AM PDT · 23 of 55
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Sunday, October 2, 2011

    27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    From: Philippians 4:6-9

    Exhortation to Perseverance and Joy (Continuation)


    [6] Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication
    with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of
    God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in
    Christ Jesus.

    [8] Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,
    whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excel-
    lence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. [9] What
    you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of
    peace will be with you.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    5-7. “The Lord is at hand”: the Apostle reminds the faithful of the nearness of
    our Lord; he wants to encourage them to rejoice and to be understanding towards
    one another. These words must surely have brought to their minds the exclama-
    tion “Marana tha” (Come, Lord), which was often in the lips at liturgical celebra-
    tions (cf. note on 1 Cor 16:21-24). In the sort of hostile environment that many of
    them lived in, they needed to put their hope in their Savior, Jesus Christ, who will
    come from heaven to judge the living and the dead (cf. Phil 3:20; 1 Thess 4:16ff;
    2 Thess 1:5). St Paul does not mean to specify when the “Parousia” or second
    coming of Christ will take place (cf. “Introduction to St Paul’s Epistles to the
    Thessalonians” in “The Navarre Bible: Thessalonians; EB”, 414-461; note on Mt
    24:36). Like the first Christians, we should make sure it does not catch us un-
    prepared.

    Besides, the Lord is always near us, always caring for us in his providence (cf.
    Ps 119:151). There is no reason for us to feel ill at ease. He is our Father, he is
    near to all who call on him (cf. Ps 145:18); he listens to our prayers, ever ready
    to instruct us and to give us whatever we need to overcome difficulties that arise.
    All that he asks is that we trustingly tell him our situation, speaking to him with
    the simplicity of a child.

    Constant dialogue with God in prayer is, as St Paul suggests, a good way to
    prevent anything robbing us of peace of soul, for prayer “regulates our affections”,
    St Bernard teaches, “directs our actions, corrects our faults, guides our conduct,
    beautifies and orders our life; it brings with it knowledge of things divine and
    things human also. It determines what we ought to do and reflects on what we
    have done, in such a way that our heart never becomes wanton or in need of dis-
    cipline” (”Book of Consideration”, I, 7).

    8-9. The Christians soul is never closed or indifferent to noble human aspirations.
    “Redeemed by Christ and made a new creature by the Holy Spirit, man can, in-
    deed he must, love the things of God’s creation: it is from God that he has re-
    ceived them, and it is as flowing from God’s hand that he looks upon them and
    reveres them. Man thanks his divine benefactor for all these things, he uses
    them and enjoys them in a spirit of poverty and freedom: thus he is brought to a
    true possession of the world, as having nothing yet possessing everything: ‘All
    [things] are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s’ (1 Cor 3:22-23)” (Va-
    tican II, “Gaudium Et Spes”, 37).

    The Second Vatican Council has highlighted the permanent relevance of St Paul’s
    teaching in this and in other passages: “In the pursuit of this aim priests will be
    helped by cultivating those virtues which are rightly held in high esteem in human
    relations. Such qualities are goodness of heart, sincerity, strength and constance
    of mind, careful attention to justice, courtesy and others which the apostle Paul
    recommends [...] (Phil 4:8)” (”Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 3).

    In the same connection, in a passage where it is encouraging the apostolate of
    the laity the Council says: “Catholics should strive to cooperate with all men of
    good will in the promotion of all that is true, just, holy, all that is worthy of love
    (cf. Phil 4:8)” (”Apostolicam Actuositatem”, 14).

    Earthly realities and the noble things of this world have a divine value; they are
    good; they help man to reach God. For, as St. Irenaeus wrote, “through the Word
    of God, everything comes under the influence of the work of Redemption; the Son
    of God has been crucified on behalf of all, and has traced the sign of the cross on
    all things” (”Proof of the Apostolic Preaching”). “We cannot say that here are
    things — good, noble or indifferent — which are exclusively worldly. This cannot be
    after the Word of God has lived among the children of men, felt hunger and thirst,
    worked with his hands, experienced friendship and obedience and suffering and
    death” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 112). Therefore, “your daily encoun-
    ter with Christ takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work and
    your affections are. It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that
    we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind” (St. J. Escriva, “Con-
    versations”, 113).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 10-02-11, Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

    10/02/2011 7:29:12 AM PDT · 22 of 55
    kellynla to Salvation; All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Sunday, October 2, 2011

    27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

    From: Isaiah 5:1-7

    The song of the vineyard


    [1] Let me sing for my beloved
    a love song concerning his vineyard:
    My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
    [2] He [spaded] it and cleared it of stones,
    and planted it with choice vines;
    he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
    and hewed out a wine vat in it;
    and he looked for it to yield grapes,
    but it yielded wild grapes.

    [3] And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
    and men of Judah,
    judge, I pray you, between me
    and my vineyard.
    [4] What more was there to do for my vineyard,
    that I have not done in it?
    When I looked or it to yield grapes,
    why did it yield wild grapes?

    [5] And now I will tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard.
    I will remove its hedge,
    and it shall be devoured;
    I will break down its wall,
    and it shall be trampled down.
    [6] I will make it a waste;
    it shall not be pruned or hoed,
    and briers and thorns shall grow up;
    I will also command the clouds
    that they rain no rain upon it.
    [7] For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
    is the house of Israel,
    and the men of Judah
    are his pleasant planting;
    and he looked for justice,
    but behold, bloodshed;
    for righteousness,
    but behold, a cry!

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    5:1-7. The “song of the vineyard” is a masterpiece of Hebrew poetry, full of sym-
    bolism and carrying an important message. In the figure of heartbroken farmer,
    we can see our Lord Jesus Christ and his sorrow at finding that his people yield
    such a poor crop of righteousness. In vv. 1-2 the author assumes the role of
    God’s friend; in vv. 3-6 the lover speaks, describing all the care he has taken
    of his people, and then in v. 7 the author speaks again. It is a simple story that
    does not take long to tell; to begin with, the author keeps us in suspense as to
    what he is getting at (rather as Nathan does, in the parable he tells David: cf. 2
    Sam 12: 1-15), but then he tells us: the vineyard is “the house of Israel” (v. 7);
    despite all the care God has taken of it, it failed to yield the expected fruit, gi-
    ving “wild grapes” instead. Israel needs to admit its fault. So, the lyrical tone
    now ceases, and a series of woes follows. The song contains many plays on
    words, impossible to render in translation.

    The prophet Hosea, earlier, used the simile of a vine to describe Israel (Hos 10:1).
    Isaiah himself will use it again (27:2-5) and it recurs in Jeremiah (2:21; 5:10; 6:9;
    12:10) and in Ezekiel (Ezek 15:1-8; 17:3-10; 19:10,14); and there are traces of it
    in Psalm 80:8-18 and in the “Song of Moses” (Deut 32:32-33). For his part, Sir-
    ach compares divine wisdom to a vine (cf. Sir 24:23-30). Finally, it appears in our
    Lord’s parable of the wicked tenants of a vineyard, a parable that is a kind of com-
    pendium of salvation history, including his own experiences with the Jewish au-
    thorities (Mt 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19).

    As the heir of ancient Israel, the Church, too, is prefigured in the story of the vine-
    yard. The Second Vatican Council remarks on this when it comments on the me-
    taphors that the Bible uses for the Church: “The Church is a piece of land to be
    cultivated, the field of God (1 Cor 3:9). On that land the ancient olive tree grows
    whose holy roots were the patriarchs and in which the reconciliation of Jews and
    Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about (Rom 11: 13-26). That
    land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly Husbandman (Mt
    21:33-43 and par.: cf. Is 5:1-7). The true vine is Christ who gives life, and the po-
    wer to bear abundant fruit, to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church
    remains in Christ, without whom we can do nothing (Jn 15:1-5)” (Lumen Gentium,
    6).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 09-24-11

    09/24/2011 8:34:19 AM PDT · 13 of 38
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Saturday, September 24, 2011

    25th Week in Ordinary Time

    Optional Memorial: Our Lady’s Saturday

    From: Luke 9:43b-45

    Second Prophecy of the Passion


    [43b] But while they were all marvelling at everything He (Jesus) did, He said to
    His disciples, [44] “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is to
    be delivered into the hands of men.” [45] But they did not understand this saying,
    and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were
    afraid to ask Him about this saying.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    44. Christ predicts His passion and death a number of times. Initially He does
    so in veiled terms (John 2:19; Luke 5:35) to the crowd; and later, much more
    explicitly, to His disciples (Luke 9:22), though they fail to understand His words,
    not because what He says is not clear, but because they do not have the right
    dispositions. St. John Chrysostom comments: “Let no one be scandalized by
    this imperfection in the Apostles; for the Cross had not yet been reached nor
    the grace of the Spirit given” (”Hom. on St. Matthew”, 65).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 09-24-11

    09/24/2011 8:32:49 AM PDT · 12 of 38
    kellynla to Salvation; All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Saturday, September 24, 2011

    25th Week in Ordinary Time

    Optional Memorial: Our Lady’s Saturday

    From: Zechariah 2:1-5, 10-11a (RSVCE; NAB = 2:5-9, 14-15a)

    Third vision: the measurer


    [1] And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his
    hand! [2] Then I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure
    Jerusalem, to see what is its breadth and what is its length.” [3] And behold,
    the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to
    meet him, [4] and said to him, “Run, say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem shall be
    inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and cattle in
    it. [5] For I will be to her a wall of fire round about, says the Lord, and I will be the
    glory within her.’”

    [10] Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the
    midst of you, says the Lord. [11a] And many nations shall join themselves to
    the Lord in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    2:1-13. What the prophet now sees and hears concerns the city of Jerusalem.
    It is going to be remodeled as an open city, without walls; its defense will be
    provided by God himself and therefore more people will be able to live there. The
    man with the measuring line is an angel, as are the other two figures mentioned.
    The idea of measuring the city in order to rebuild it is also found in Ezekiel 40-42
    and Jeremiah 31:38-40 and, later, Revelation 11:1.

    The vision is followed by an oracle (vv. 6-10) in which the Lord speaks through
    the angel. He invites the Jews to leave Babylon and return to the holy land. This
    is a call that is also found in Isaiah and Jeremiah (cf. Is 48:20; Jer 50:8; 51:6). It
    could be that some were reluctant to move. God promises that in Judah they will
    be safe from other nations because they are his beloved people, the “apple of his
    eye” (v. 8), and his angel will defend them. Moreover, he will settle there, and
    many nations will become his people (vv. 10-11).

    Presence of the Lord, security against enemies and a way for the nations to be-
    come people of God — these are the features that Judah and Jerusalem will have
    following the return from exile. In this sense, they prefigure the Church. Com-
    menting on v. 4, St Jerome points out: “Reading in a spiritual sense, all of these
    things are to he found in the Church, which is “without walls”, or, as the Septua-
    gint puts it, “katakarpos”; that is, filled with an abundance of fruit and a great
    multitude of men and asses [...]. The men and the asses [cattle, animals] stand
    for the two peoples, the Jews and the Gentiles; those who came to faith in Christ
    through the fulfillment of the Law are called men; we, however, who were idola-
    trous and lived as though in a wilderness, being far from the Law, and alone, be-
    cause of our distance from the prophets who suffered, are the asses [...j. But
    these animals hear the voice of the good shepherd, and know him, and they fol-
    low him” (”Commentarii in Zachariam”, 2, 4).

    2:10. This call for rejoicing, similar to that made by the prophet Zephaniah (cf.
    Zeph 3:14) and one made later (9:9), is repeated in the angel Gabriel’s greeting
    to the Blessed Virgin when he tells her that she is to conceive the Messiah (cf.
    Lk 1:28). That event will truly bring about what is said here, for Mary is “the mo-
    ther of him in whom ‘the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily’ (Col 2:9)” (Cate-
    chism of the Catholic Church, 722). Bl. John Paul II sees Mary, the Mother of
    the Redeemer, prefigured in the title “daughter of Zion” found here: “Her presence
    in the midst of Israel — a presence so discreet as to pass almost unnoticed by
    the eyes of her contemporaries — shone very clearly before the Eternal One, who
    had associated this hidden ‘daughter of Sion’ (cf. Zeph 3:14: Zeph 2:10) with the
    plan of salvation embracing the whole history of humanity” (”Redemptoris Mater,
    3).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 09-17-11, Opt Mem St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Doctor/Church

    09/17/2011 8:04:07 AM PDT · 14 of 43
    kellynla to Salvation; All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Saturday, September 17, 2011

    24th Week in Ordinary Time

    Optional Memorial: St Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor

    Optional Memorial: Our Lady’s Saturday

    From: Luke 8:4-15

    Parable of the Sower. The Meaning of the Parables


    [4] And when a great crowd came together and people from town after town came
    to Him (Jesus), He said in a parable: [5] “A sower went out to sow his seed; and
    as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds
    of the air devoured it. [6] And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered
    away, because it had no moisture. [7] And some fell among thorns; and the thorns
    grew with it and choked it. [8] And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded
    a hundredfold.” As He said this, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him
    hear.”

    [9] And when His disciples asked Him what this parable meant, [10] He said,
    “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of God; but for
    others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they
    may not understand. [11] Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
    [12] The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes
    and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be
    saved. [13] And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word,
    receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of
    temptation fall away. [14] And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those
    who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches
    and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. [15] And as for that in the
    good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and
    good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    4-8. Our Lord explains this parable in verses 11-15. The seed is Jesus Himself
    and His preaching; and the different kinds of ground it falls on reflect people’s
    different attitudes to Jesus and His teaching. Our Lord sows the life of grace in
    souls through the preaching of the Church and through an endless flow of actual
    graces.

    10-12. Jesus uses parables to teach people the mysteries of the supernatural
    life and thereby lead them to salvation. However, He foresaw that, due to the
    bad dispositions of some of His listeners, these parables would lead them to
    harden their hearts and to reject grace. For a fuller explanation of the purpose
    of parables see the notes on Matthew 13:10-13 and Mark 4:11-12.

    12. Some people are so immersed in a life of sin that they are the patch on
    which falls the seed “which suffers from two kinds of hazard: it is trodden on by
    wayfarers and snatched by birds. The path, therefore, is the heart, which is trod-
    den on by the frequent traffic of evil thoughts, and cannot take in the seed and
    let it germinate because it is so dried up” (St. Bede, “In Lucae Evangelium Ex-
    positio, in loc.”). Souls hardened by sin can become good soil and bear fruit
    through sincere repentance and penance. We should note the effort the devil
    makes to prevent souls from being converted.

    13. “Many people are pleased by what they hear, and they resolve to do good;
    but as soon as they experience difficulties they give up the good words they
    started. Stony ground has not enough soil, which is why the shoots fail to pro-
    duce fruit. There are many who, when they hear greed criticized, do conceive a
    loathing for it and extol the scorning of it; but as soon as the soul sees some-
    thing else that it desires, it forgets what it previously promised. There are also
    others who when they hear talk against impurity not only desire not to be
    stained by the filth of the flesh but are even ashamed of the stains that they
    already bear; but as soon as bodily beauty presents itself to their eyes, their
    heart is so drawn by desires that it is as if they had done or decided to do no-
    thing against these desires, and they act in a manner deserving condemnation
    and in a way which they themselves previously condemned when they reflec-
    ted on their behavior. Very often we feel compunction for our faults and yet we
    go back and commit them even after bemoaning them” (St. Gregory the Great,
    “In Evangelia Homiliae”, 15).

    14. This is the case of people who after receiving the divine seed, the Christian
    calling, and having stayed on the right path for some time, begin to give up the
    struggle. These souls run the risk of developing a distaste for the things of God
    and of taking the easy, and wrong, way of seeking compensations suggested
    to them by their disordered ambition for power and their desire for material
    wealth and a comfortable life involving no suffering.

    A person in this situation begins to be lukewarm and tries to serve two masters:
    “It is wrong to have two candles lighted—one to St. Michael and another to the
    devil. We must snuff out the devil’s candle; we must spend our lives completely
    in the service of the Lord. If our desire for holiness is sincere, if we are docile
    enough to place ourselves in God’s hands, everything will go well. For He is
    always ready to give us His grace” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 59).

    15. Jesus tells us that the good soil has three features—listening to God’s de-
    mands with the good disposition of a generous heart; striving to ensure that
    one does not water down these demands as time goes by; and, finally, begin-
    ning and beginning again and not being disheartened if the fruit is slow to ap-
    pear. “You cannot ‘rise’. It’s not surprising: that fall!

    “Persevere and you will ‘rise’. Remember what a spiritual writer has said: your
    poor soul is like a bird whose wings are caked with mud.

    “Suns of heaven are needed and personal efforts, small and constant, to shake
    off those inclinations, those vain fancies, that depression: that mud clinging to
    your wings.

    “And you will see yourself free. If you persevere, you will ‘rise’” (St. J. Escriva,
    “The Way”, 991).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 09-17-11, Opt Mem St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Doctor/Church

    09/17/2011 8:02:02 AM PDT · 13 of 43
    kellynla to Salvation; All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Saturday, September 17, 2011

    24th Week in Ordinary Time

    Optional Memorial: St Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor

    Optional Memorial: Our Lady’s Saturday

    From: 1 Timothy 6:13-16

    An Appeal to Defend the Faith (Continuation)


    [13] In the presence of God who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus who
    in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, [14] I charge
    you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the ap-
    pearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; [15] and this will be made manifest at the pro-
    per time by the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
    [16] who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no
    man has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    13-14. “Keep the commandments”: the Greek may be referring to one specific
    commandment (as the RSV reflects); but it can also mean law as a whole and,
    more likely, the truths of Revelation, that is, the deposit of the faith professed
    at Baptism.

    St Paul very formally calls in, as witnesses to this instruction, God the Father
    and Christ Jesus, “who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good
    confession”. Jesus’ “testimony” includes his entire passion and the declaration
    he made to the Roman procurator about messianic kingship and his true identi-
    ty (cf. Jn 18:36-37).

    “Until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ”: when referring to the second co-
    ming of Christ the New Testament often uses the term “parousia” (cf. 1 Cor 15:
    23; 2 Pet 3:4) or “revealing” (cf., e.g., 1 Cor 1:7); the Pastoral Epistles prefer
    “appearing”, epiphany, manifestation (cf. 2 Tim 4:1, 8; Tit 2:13), which better re-
    flect the coming of Christ in glory as Savior (cf. 2 Tim 1:10). There is, of course,
    a wonderful continuity between the redemptive work of Christ, the action of the
    Church in conserving Revelation and passing it on, and the final coming of Christ
    at the end of time.

    15-16. This doxology or hymn of praise, one of the richest and most beautiful in
    the New Testament, may have been taken from the Church’s liturgy (which may
    also be the case with the other hymns in this letter: cf. 1:17 and 3:15 -16). It
    was possibly a reply to pagan hymns honoring rulers and emperors as gods.
    However, it is more likely that this particular hymn was inspired by the Old Tes-
    tament, which speaks of God in similar language. Whatever its origin, the impor-
    tant thing about the hymn is that it expresses faith in God who merits all praise.

    At a time known only to him (cf. Mt 24:36), God the Father will bring about the
    glorious manifestation of Jesus Christ. The text refers to four attributes which
    show the power and sublimity of God: he is the “only Sovereign”, from whom
    all lawful rulers on earth receive their authority (cf. Jn 19:11). He is the “King
    of kings and Lord of lords” (literally, “the King of those who reign and the Lord
    of those who wield lordship”); this is not, then, a merely honorific title: he does
    actually exercise sovereignty over those who claim to possess it (cf. Rev 17:14;
    19:16). He is “immortal”, for immortality is proper to God, who is Life (cf. Jn 1:
    4); angels and souls are immortal only by virtue of the nature given them by
    God. Finally, he is “light” and brightness: these are attributed to God (cf. Ps
    104:2) to show his sublimity: God transcends all created things and cannot be
    fully comprehended by man. St Thomas explains that an object can be invisible
    on two counts either because it lacks brightness, as occurs with things which
    are dark and opaque, or because it is too bright, as occurs in the case of the
    sun, which is so bright that the human eye cannot look at it; God is so far be-
    yond the capacity of the human mind that man cannot entirely take him in even
    though what we can learn about him by the right use of reason and through re-
    velation is true and accurate (cf. “Commentary on 1 Tim, ad loc.”). The conclu-
    sion of the hymn, which is liturgical and pedagogical in style, is similar to that
    found in 1:17: there it says “honor and glory”, here “heaven and eternal domi-
    nion”, putting more stress on God’s sovereignty.

    This and the other hymns which appear in the letter show that the first Chris-
    tians were fully aware that man’s true purpose in life is to give glory to God.
    “We do not live for the world, or for our own honor, but for the honor of God, for
    the glory of God, for the service of God. That is what should motivate us!” (St.
    J. Escriva, “The Forge”, 851).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings August 20, 2011

    08/20/2011 5:06:28 AM PDT · 11 of 47
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Saturday, August 20, 2011

    20th Week in ordinary time

    Memorial: St Bernard, Abbot and Doctor

    From: Matthew 23:1-12

    Vices of the Scribes and Pharisees


    [1] Then said Jesus to the crowds and to His disciples, [2] “The scribes and the
    Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; [3] so practice and observe whatever they tell you,
    but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. [4] They bind heavy
    burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves
    will not move them with their finger. [5] They do all their deeds to be seen by
    men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, [6] and they
    love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, [7] and
    salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. [8] But you are
    not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. [9] And
    call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in Heaven. [10]
    Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. [11] He who is
    greatest among you shall be your servant; [12] whoever exalts himself will be
    humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    1-39. Throughout this chapter Jesus severely criticizes the scribes and Phari-
    sees and demonstrates the sorrow and compassion He feels towards the ordina-
    ry mass of the people, who have been ill-used, “harassed and helpless, like sheep
    without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). His address may be divided into three parts:
    in the first (verses 1-12) He identifies their principal vices and corrupt practices;
    in the second (verses 13-36) He confronts them and speaks His famous “woes”,
    which in effect are the reverse of the Beatitudes He preached in Chapter 5: no
    one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven—no one can escape condemnation to the
    flames — unless he changes his attitude and behavior; in the third part (vv. 37-39)
    He weeps over Jerusalem, so grieved is He by the evils into which the blind pride
    and hardheartedness of the scribes and Pharisees have misled the people.

    2-3. Moses passed on to the people the Law received from God. The scribes, who
    for the most part sided with the Pharisees, had the function of educating the peo-
    ple in the Law of Moses; that is why they were said to “sit on Moses’ seat”. Our
    Lord recognized that the scribes and Pharisees did have authority to teach the
    Law; but He warns the people and His disciples to be sure to distinguish the Law
    as read out and taught in the synagogues from the practical interpretations of the
    Law to be seen in their leaders’ lifestyles. Some years later, St. Paul — a Phari-
    see like his father before him — faced his former colleagues with exactly the same
    kind of accusations as Jesus makes here: “You then who teach others, will you
    not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who
    say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor
    idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by
    breaking the law? For, as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among
    the Gentiles because of you’” (Romans 2:21-24).

    5. “Phylacteries”: belts or bands carrying quotations from sacred Scripture which
    the Jews used to wear fastened to their arms or foreheads. To mark themselves
    out as more religiously observant than others, the Pharisees used to wear broa-
    der phylacteries. The fringes were light-blue stripes on the hems of cloaks; the
    Pharisees ostentatiously wore broader fringes.

    8-10. Jesus comes to teach the truth; in fact, He is the Truth (John 14:6). As a
    teacher, therefore, He is absolutely unique and unparalleled. “The whole of Christ’s
    life was a continual teaching: His silences, His miracles, His gestures, His prayer,
    His love for people, His special affection for the little and the poor, His acceptance
    of the total sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of the world, and His resurrec-
    tion are the actualization of His word and the fulfillment of revelation. Hence for
    Christians the crucifix is one of the most sublime and popular images of Christ
    the Teacher.

    “These considerations are in line with the great traditions of the Church and they
    all strengthen our fervor with regard to Christ, the Teacher who reveals God to
    man and man to himself, the Teacher who saves, sanctifies and guides, who lives,
    who speaks, rouses, moves, redresses, judges, forgives, and goes with us day
    by day on the path of history, the Teacher who comes and will come in glory” (Bl.
    John Paul II, “Catechesi Tradendae”, 9).

    11. The Pharisees were greedy for honor and recognition: our Lord insists that
    every form of authority, particularly in the context of religion, should be exercised
    as a form of service to others; it must not be used to indulge personal vanity or
    greed. “He who is the greatest among you shall be your servant”.

    12. A spirit of pride and ambition is incompatible with being a disciple of Christ.
    Here our Lord stresses the need for true humility, for anyone who is to follow Him.
    The verbs “will be humbled”, “will be exalted” have “God” as their active agent.
    Along the same lines, St. James preaches that “God opposes the proud, but
    gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). And in the “Magnificat”, the Blessed Vir-
    gin explains that the Lord “has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exal-
    ted those of low degree [the humble]” (Luke 1:52).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings August 20, 2011

    08/20/2011 5:05:41 AM PDT · 10 of 47
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Saturday, August 20, 2011

    20th Week in ordinary time

    Memorial: St Bernard, Abbot and Doctor

    From: Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17

    Ruth is well received by Boaz


    [1] Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a man of wealth, of the family
    of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. [2] And Ruth the Moabitess said to Nao-
    mi, “Let me go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose
    sight I shall find favour.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter. [3] So she set
    forth and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to
    come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elime-
    lech.

    [8] Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in
    another field or leave this one, but keep close to my maidens. [9] Let your eyes
    be upon the field which they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged
    the young men not to molest you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels
    and drink what the young men have drawn.” [10] Then she fell on her face, bow-
    ing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favour in your eyes, that
    you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” [11] But Boaz answered
    her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your hus-
    band has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your
    native land and came to a people that you did not know before.

    Marriage of Boaz and Ruth


    [13] So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and he went into to her, and
    the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. [14] Then the women said to
    Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next of kin,
    and may his name be renowned in Israel! [15] He shall be to you a restorer of
    life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who
    is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” [16] Then Naomi took the child
    and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. [17] And the women of the
    neighbourhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They
    named him Obed; he was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    2:1-17. The Lord richly rewards Ruth. These pages speak of the providence of
    God who, very discreetly, as if everything happened naturally, was disposing
    events to ensure that Naomi and Ruth would have everything they needed. “The
    witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is con-
    crete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events
    of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God’s absolute
    sovereignty over the course of events: ‘Our God is in the heavens; he does what-
    ever he pleases’ (Ps 115:3). And so it is with Christ, ‘who opens and no one
    shall shut, who shuts and no one opens’ (Rev 3:7). As the book of Proverbs
    states: ‘Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the
    Lord that will be established’ (Prov 19:21)” (Catechism of the Catholic Church,
    303).

    The Law laid down that once a field was reaped, it should not be gone back over
    to gather grain that had fallen or been missed by the reapers; this would allow
    needy people to pick up any grains that still lay on the ground (cf. Lev 19:9-10
    and Deut 24:19). Ruth avails herself of this humanitarian stipulation and follows
    the reapers in search of food; this takes her into Boaz’ field. When visiting his
    men, Boaz notices Ruth and is kind to her when he hears who she is.

    This kindness is a sign of the protection given her by “the Lord, the God of Israel
    under whose wing you have come to take refuge” (2:12), as Boaz will tell her. The
    idea of having recourse to the Lord in order to shelter under his wings occurs of-
    ten in the Bible (cf. Deut 32:10-11; Ps 17:8; 36:8; 61:5; 63:8; and 91: 4); it is a
    very poetic way of describing the tenderness with which God takes care of those
    who have recourse to him. Our Lord Jesus Christ uses the image to show how
    much he loves the Holy City, and yet his love is not returned: “How often would I
    have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
    and you would not!” (Mt 23:37).

    4:13-22. Ruth has benefitted from the redemption performed by Boaz has become
    a member of the people of God. God blessed their union with a son, Obed, who
    in time would be the grandfather of David the king. And so it happened that this
    Moabite woman who left her family and country out of faithfulness to the God of
    her first husband, was generously rewarded by that God: he made her one of the
    great women who played leading roles in salvation history (cf. 4:11-12). Ruth be-
    came a forebear of David (vv. 18-22; cf. 1 Chron 2:5-15).

    In St. Matthew’s Gospel the name of Ruth appears as a direct forebear of Jesus
    Christ (Mt 1:5). “It is only right that St Matthew should record in his Gospel that
    the Lord, who came to call Gentiles to form part of the Church, became man in
    a lineage which included foreigners” (St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelium secun-
    dum Lucam, 3, 33).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings August 19, 2011

    08/19/2011 5:06:44 AM PDT · 10 of 38
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Friday, August 19, 2011

    20th Week in Ordinary Time

    Optional Memorial: St John Eudes, Priest

    From: Matthew 22:34-40

    The Greatest Commandment of All


    [34] But when the Pharisees heard that He (Jesus) had silenced the Sadducees,
    they came together. [35] And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, to
    test Him. [36] “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” [37]
    And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and
    with all your soul, and with all your mind. [38] This is the great and first com-
    mandment. [39] And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as your-
    self. [40] On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    34-40. In reply to the question, our Lord points out that the whole law can be con-
    densed into two commandments: the first and more important consists in uncon-
    ditional love of God; the second is a consequence and result of the first, because
    when man is loved, St. Thomas says, God is loved, for man is the image of God
    (cf. “Commentary on St. Matthew”, 22:4).

    A person who genuinely loves God also loves his fellows because he realizes
    that they are his brothers and sisters, children of the same Father, redeemed by
    the same blood of our Lord Jesus Christ: “this commandment we have from Him,
    that he who loves God should love his brother also” (1 John 4:21). However, if we
    love man for man’s sake without reference to God, this love will become an obsta-
    cle in the way of keeping the first commandment, and then it is no longer genuine
    love of our neighbor. But love of our neighbor for God’s sake is clear proof that we
    love God: “If anyone says, ‘I love God’, but hates his brother, he is a liar” (1 John
    4:20).

    “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”: here our Lord establishes as the
    guideline for our love of neighbor the love each of us has for himself; both love of
    others and love of self are based on love of God. Hence, in some cases it can
    happen that God requires us to put our neighbor’s need before our own; in others,
    not: it depends on what value, in the light of God’s love, needs to be put on the
    spiritual and material factors involved.

    Obviously spiritual goods take absolute precedence over material ones, even
    over life itself. Therefore, spiritual goods, be they our own or our neighbor’s, must
    be the first to be safeguarded. If the spiritual good in question is the supreme one
    of the salvation of the soul, no one is justified in putting his own soul into certain
    danger of being condemned in order to save another, because given human free-
    dom we can never be absolutely sure what personal choice another person may
    make: this is the situation in the parable (cf. Matthew 25:1-13), where the wise
    virgins refuse to give oil to the foolish ones; similarly St. Paul says that he would
    wish himself to be rejected if that could save his brothers (cf. Romans 9:3) — an
    unreal theoretical situation. However, what is quite clear is that we have to do all
    we can to save our brothers, conscious that, if someone helps to bring a sinner
    back to the Way, he will save himself from eternal death and cover a multitude
    of his own sins (James 5:20). From all this we can deduce that self-love of the
    right kind, based on God’s love for man, necessarily involves forgetting oneself
    in order to love God and our neighbor for God.

    37-38. The commandment of love is the most important commandment because
    by obeying it man attains his own perfection (cf. Colossians 3:14). “The more a
    soul loves,” St. John of the Cross writes, “the more perfect is it in that which it
    loves; therefore this soul that is now perfect is wholly love, if it may thus be ex-
    pressed, and all its actions are love and it employs all its faculties and posses-
    sions in loving, giving all that it has, like the wise merchant, for this treasure of
    love which it has found hidden in God [...]. For, even as the bee extracts from
    all plants the honey that is in them, and has no use for them for aught else save
    for that purpose, even so the soul with great facility extracts the sweetness of
    love that is in all the things that pass through it; it loves God in each of them,
    whether pleasant or unpleasant; and being, as it is, informed and protected by
    love, it has neither feeling nor taste nor knowledge of such things, for, as we
    have said, the soul knows naught but love, and its pleasure in all things and
    occupations is ever, as we have said, the delight of the love of God” (”Spiritual
    Canticle”, Stanza 27, 8).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings August 19, 2011

    08/19/2011 5:05:44 AM PDT · 9 of 38
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Friday, August 19, 2011

    20th Week in Ordinary Time

    Optional Memorial: St John Eudes, Priest

    From: Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22

    Elimelech and his family migrate from Israel


    [1] In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a cer-
    tain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and
    his wife and his two sons.

    [3] But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two
    sons. [4] These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the
    name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years; [5] and both Mahlon
    and Chilion died, so that the woman was bereft of her two sons and her husband.

    Ruth the Moabitess leaves her land and goes to Judah


    [6] Then she started with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab,
    for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and
    given them food.

    [14] Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mo-
    ther-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. [15] And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has
    gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” [16] But
    Ruth said, “Entreat me not to leave you or to return from following you; for where
    you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people,
    and your God my God;

    [22] So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her,
    who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the be-
    ginning of barley harvest.

    Commentary:

    1-5. We are told why a family from Bethlehem in Judah had to leave their country
    and migrate to Moab. The book of Judges reported on how the Moabites oppress-
    sed the Benjaminites at the time of Eglon of Moab (Judg 3:12-14); however, there
    is no sign here of Elimelech and his family being anyway wary of the Moabites.
    They settle down in Moab peacefully and the two boys take Moabite wives. A
    similar mutual respect is to he seen in David’s friendship with the king of Moab
    which is recorded in some traditions (cf. 1 Sam 22:3-4).

    The name Elimelech means “my God is king”, and that of Naomi, “my delight”;
    Mahlon means “pain”; Chilion, “destruction”; Orpah, “she who turns her back”;
    Ruth, “she who comforts”. All the names say something about the people who
    bear them.

    1:6-22. Naomi does not mislead her daughters-in-laws, to get them to go with
    her. On the contrary, she spells out exactly what they find if they stay with her.
    In the explanations she gives (vv. 11-13) one can see that she is thinking of the
    law of levirate whereby if a man died without issue, his brother was supposed to
    take his wife and the first born-son of that marriage would be the son of the first
    husband in the eyes of the law (cf. Deut 25:5-10). This means that if Naomi were
    to marry again and have another son, he would be a new brother-in-law to Ruth
    and Orpah and, through the law of levirate, he would take them as wives. But
    that law could be of no help in this particular situation.

    Orpah makes a perfectly reasonable decision; she sorrowfully says goodbye
    to Naomi and returns home. Maybe this makes Ruth’s decision all the more im-
    pressive: she opts to leave her land and her family and accompany Naomi; back
    to her dead husband’s country, where she (Ruth) had never been. Her determina-
    tion says much for her fidelity to the God she came to know in her husband’s fa-
    mily: “Where you go, I go, and where you lodge, I will lodge” (v. 16). Ruth did not
    belong to Israel by birth; the text repeatedly mentions that she was a Moabitess
    (1:4, 22; 2:2, 6, 21; 4:5, 10), a foreigner (2:10). But when she comes to know the
    people of God, she decides to become a member of it and makes a binding oath
    to this effect (v. 17). It was customary to spell out the penalties that would apply
    if one failed to keep an oath. However, in the sacred text, those words, which
    were usually rather chilling, are replaced by a general form of words such as
    “May the Lord do so to me and more also” (v. 17; cf. 1 Sam 3:17; 2 Sam 3:9;
    etc.).

    Christian tradition has seen in Ruth the Church of the Gentiles — all those men
    and women of every background who, coming to know the Lord through the wit-
    ness borne by others, become part of the People of God: “In her [Ruth] we are
    given a symbol of all of us who have been drawn from among all the peoples to
    form part of the Church” (”Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam, 3, 30)

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings August 18, 2011

    08/18/2011 4:37:05 AM PDT · 10 of 39
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Thursday, August 18, 2011

    20th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Matthew 22:1-14

    The Parable of the Marriage Feast


    [1] And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, [2] “The kingdom of
    heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, [3]
    and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but
    they would not come. [4] Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who
    are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves
    are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.’ [5] But they
    made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, [6] while
    the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. [7] The
    king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and
    burned their city. [8] Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready, but
    those invited were not worthy. [9] Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite
    to the marriage feast as many as you find.’ [10] And those servants went out
    into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the
    wedding hall was filled with guests.

    [11] “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who
    had no wedding garment; [12] and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in
    here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. [13] Then the king
    said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer dark-
    ness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’ [14] For many are called, but
    few are chosen.”

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    1-14. In this parable Jesus reveals how intensely God the Father desires the
    salvation of all men—the banquet is the Kingdom of heaven —and the mysterious
    malice that lies in willingly rejecting the invitation to attend, a malice so vicious
    that it merits eternal punishment. No human arguments make any sense that go
    against God’s call to conversion and acceptance of faith and its consequences.

    The Fathers see in the first invitees the Jewish people: in salvation history God
    addresses himself first to the Israelites and then to all the Gentiles (Acts 13:46).

    Indifference and hostility cause the Israelites to reject God’s loving call and there-
    fore to suffer condemnation. But the Gentiles also need to respond faithfully to
    the call they have received; otherwise they will suffer the fate of being cast “into
    outer darkness”.

    “The marriage”, says St Gregory the Great (”In Evangelia Homiliae”, 36) “is the
    wedding of Christ and his Church, and the garment is the virtue of charity: a per-
    son who goes into the feast without a wedding garment is someone who believes
    in the Church but does not have charity.”

    The wedding garment signifies the dispositions a person needs for entering the
    Kingdom of heaven. Even though he belongs to the Church, if he does not have
    these dispositions he will be condemned on the day when God judges all man-
    kind. These dispositions essentially mean responding to grace.

    13. The Second Vatican Council reminds us of the doctrine of the “last things”,
    one aspect of which is covered in this verse. Referring to the eschatological di-
    mension of the Church, the Council recalls our Lord’s warning about being on
    the watch against the wiles of the devil, in order to resist in the evil day (cf. Eph
    6:13). “Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice
    of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly
    life is completed (cf. Heb 9:27), we may merit to enter with him into the marriage
    feast and be numbered among the blessed (cf. Mt 25:31-46) and not, like the
    wicked and slothful servants (cf. Mt 25:26), be ordered to depart into the eternal
    fire (cf. Mt 25:41), into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their
    teeth’” (”Lumen Gentium”, 48).

    14. These words in no way conflict with God’s will that all should be saved (cf. 1
    Tim 2:4). In his love for men, Christ patiently seeks the conversion of every single
    soul, going as far as to die on the cross (cf. Mt 23:37; Lk 15:4-7). St Paul teaches
    this when he says that Christ loved us and “gave himself up for us, a fragrant offe-
    ring and sacrifice to God” (Eph 5:2). Each of us can assert with the Apostle that
    Christ “loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). However, God in his infinite
    wisdom respects man’s freedom: man is free to reject grace (cf. Mt 7:13-14).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings August 18, 2011

    08/18/2011 4:36:13 AM PDT · 9 of 39
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Thursday, August 18, 2011

    20th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Judges 11:29-39a

    Jephthah’s rash vow


    [29] Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed through
    Gilead and Manasseh, and passed on to Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah
    of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites. [30] And Jephthah made a vow to
    the Lord, and said, “If thou wilt give the Ammonites into my hand, [31] then
    whoever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return
    victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer him up for
    a burnt offering.”

    Jephthath’s victory over the Ammonites


    [32] So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them; and the
    Lord gave them into his hand. [33] And he smote them from Aroer to the neigh-
    borhood of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim, with a very great
    slaughter. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel.

    In fulfillment of his vow, Jephthah sacrifices his daughter


    [34] Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah; and behold, his daughter
    came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances; she was his only child;
    beside her he had neither son nor daughter. [35] And when he saw her, he rent
    his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! you have brought me very low, and
    you have become the cause of great trouble to me; for have opened by mouth
    to the Lord, and I cannot take back my vow.” [36] And she said to him, “My fa-
    ther, if you have opened your mouth to the Lord, do to me according to what has
    gone forth from your mouth, now that the Lord has avenged you on your enemies,
    on the Ammonites.” [37] And she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for
    me; let me alone two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains, and
    bewail my virginity, I and my companions.” [38] And he said, “Go.” And he sent
    her away for two months; and she departed, she and her companions, and be-
    wailed her virginity upon the mountains. [39] And at the end of two months, she
    returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had made.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    11:29-40. The Bible contains clear laws which, in addition to forbidding the kil-
    ling of an innocent person (Ex 23:7), regard human sacrifice as a very grave sin,
    a crime and a form of idolatry (cf. Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; Deut 12:31; 18:10; Mic 6:7).
    Human sacrifice was common among Israel’s neighbours, as can be seen from
    Ugarit and Phoenician texts and from the book of Kings (2 Kings 3:27) which
    reports the sacrificing of the first-born son of Mesha, king of Moah; there even
    seems to have been an instance of it in Israel (cf. 2 Kings 16:3). But in all cases
    it is condemned. However, the sacrificing of Jephthah’s daughter is reported with-
    out any clear negative criticism and the event was commemorated year by year
    (v. 40). The episode certainly is disconcerting, but it may be that the author (wri-
    ting at a time when no one was in any doubt about human sacrifice being an abo-
    mination) chose to respect the traditions that had come down, cruel and harsh
    though they were, in order to convey a lesson about the sacredness of vows and
    promises. Vows are such holy things that they should always be kept. But, for
    that very reason, they should not be made rashly. This teaching is repeated else-
    where in the Bible in reaction to abuses involved in the fulfillment of vows, espe-
    cially by those who made them hurriedly and then went back on them (cf. Num
    30:3; Deut 23: 22-24; Eccles 5:3-4; cf. also Lev 27:1ff).

    When revelation reaches its fullness, the doctrine on vows and promises made
    to God becomes quite clear: a person may, out of devotion, promise God that he
    will perform some act – say some prayer, give alms or do some other good work.
    Keeping this promise is a sign of respect for God’s majesty and of love towards
    a faithful God. Sometimes, that promise may take the form of a vow, that is, of
    “a deliberate and free promise made to God, concerning some good which is pos-
    sible and better” (Code of Canon Law, c. 1191, 1) which “is an act of devotion in
    which the Christian dedicates himself to God or promises him some good work”
    (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2102). If having made a promise or vow, one
    realizes that one has promised something wrong, one clearly should not keep
    the promise: to do so would not be proof of fidelity to God; it would be sacrile-
    gious. Therefore, Jephthah’s action cannot be justified.

    11:37. Jephthah’s daughter asks him to delay carryout out his vow so that she
    can “bewail her virginity”, that is, lament that fact that she will die before marrying
    or conceiving a child. These were ambitions of every Israelite woman and not to
    have achieved them would have been a reason for feeling ashamed and sorrow-
    ful.

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings August 17, 2011

    08/17/2011 5:09:02 AM PDT · 12 of 44
    kellynla to All

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

    For: Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    20th Week in Ordinary Time

    From: Matthew 20:1-16

    The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard


    [1] “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who went out early in the
    morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. [2] After agreeing with the laborers for
    a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. [3] And going out about the
    third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; [4] and to them he
    said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they
    went. [5] Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the
    same. [6] And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing;
    and he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ [7] They said to him,
    ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’
    [8] And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call
    the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’

    [9] And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received
    a denarius. [10] Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more;
    but each of them also received a denarius. [11] And on receiving it they grumbled
    at the householder, [12] saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have
    made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching
    heat.’ [13] But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did
    you not agree with me for a denarius? [14] Take what belongs to you, and go; I
    choose to give to this last as I give to you. [15] Am I not allowed to do what I
    choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? [16] So
    the last will be first, and the first last.”

    *********************************************************************************************
    Commentary:

    1-16. This parable is addressed to the Jewish people, whom God called at an
    early hour, centuries ago. Now the Gentiles are also being called — with an equal
    right to form part of the new people of God, the Church. In both cases it is a mat-
    ter of a gratuitous, unmerited, invitation; therefore, those who were the “first” to
    receive the call have no grounds for complaining when God calls the “last” and
    gives them the same reward — membership of His people. At first sight the labo-
    rers of the first hour seem to have a genuine grievance—because they do not rea-
    lize that to have a job in the Lord’s vineyard is a divine gift. Jesus leaves us in
    no doubt that although He calls us to follow different ways, all receive the same
    reward — Heaven.

    2. “Denarius”: a silver coin bearing an image of Caesar Augustus (Matthew 22:
    19-21).

    3. The Jewish method of calculating time was different from ours. They divided
    the whole day into eight parts, four night parts (called “watches”) and four day
    parts (called “hours”)—the first, third, sixth and ninth hour.

    The first hour began at sunrise and ended around nine o’clock; the third ran to
    twelve noon; the sixth to three in the afternoon; and the ninth from three to sun-
    set. This meant that the first and ninth hours varied in length, decreasing in au-
    tumn and winter and increasing in spring and summer and the reverse happe-
    ning with the first and fourth watches.

    Sometimes intermediate hours were counted—as for example in verse 6 which
    refers to the eleventh hour, the short period just before sunset, the end of the
    working day.

    16. The Vulgate, other translations and a good many Greek codices add: “For
    many are called, but few are chosen” (cf. Matthew 22:14).

    *********************************************************************************************
    Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
    Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
    the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.