"In verbo veritatis" (2 Cor 6:7)

October 29, 2017

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2017

Filed under: Homilies — Tags: , , — komonchak @ 3:16 pm

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 29, 2017 – St. John’s, Goshen

Some things never change. To illustrate the second of the great commandments stated by Christ in today’s Gospel, we heard an extract from the Book of Exodus. The events described in this, the second book of the Bible, date from around thirteen centuries before Christ and were first handed down in oral traditions which began to be written down and combined into a narrative some centuries later. The section from which our reading was taken is known to scholars as “the Book of the Covenant,” because it sets down prescriptions that embody Israel’s responsibility in the covenant, or pact, that God struck with her at the foot of Mt. Sinai. It may have become part of the book long after the Israelites entered the Promised Land, that is, around six centuries before Christ. In other words, we have listened to moral prescriptions, commandments, that are at least 2,500 years old, and were written for a land far away and a culture far different.

But, as I said, some things never change. It is not possible to hear those words without thinking about circumstances and challenges of our own time and place. Let’s look at the text closely, and allow me to illumine the prescriptions by citing a commentary on the Book of Exodus [by Martin Noth], published in Germany 75 years ago, that describes them as “aiming to protect those who are underprivileged in law, work and society (personae miserabiles)”.

And so we have, first: “You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.” (more…)


October 26, 2013

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Filed under: Homilies — Tags: , — komonchak @ 8:06 pm

3oth Sunday of the Year – October 24, 1971 – CNR

Today’s Gospel is a hard saying, difficult to comprehend, difficult to accept. It is not primarily told as a lesson in humility; it is much more fundamental than that: it is a lesson on the nature of the Gospel, on the nature of Christianity.

Jesus does not suggest that the Pharisee was a hypocrite or a liar, that it was not true that he was not like the rest of men or that he fasted and paid tithes. (more…)

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