XXII SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE B 2015
The theme for the XXII Sunday in Ordinary time is the law given by our God and Father, the law of life and liberty, which requires from us to abide it in freedom, which is the only way to live in the law of love.
The thee readings speak to us about this same theme. It is not enough to hear and to know intellectually, we need to live bent toward the vulnerability of our sisters and brothers.
THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY
Ø In he Hebrew Bible this book is called “These are the words” and in the Greek translation it has been given the name of Deuteronomy: deuterons (second) nomos (law).
Ø We find it after the Book of Numbers and it is the fifth book of the Pentateuch (5 books) which is the name we give to the 5 first books of the Bible. Our Jewish brothers call it the Torah or the Law.
Ø “these words” are the words of Moses to the people before the entrance into the promised land, words written in different literary styles, especially in legal vocabulary.
Ø The book is organized in 4 speeches pronounced by Moses, who is introduced to us as leader, prophet and legislator.
Ø The biblical tradition likes to have important characters say the teachings the author wants to convey in his work, these characters are not necessarily the authors of these teachings. This is the case of the Book of Deuteronomy.
Ø The reformation found in the Book of Deuteronomy
o Centralization of worship which brings the
o Centralization of justice and of
o Other religious and social measures.
FIRST READING : Dt 4:1-2.6-8
« In the previous chapters Moses makes a synthesis of the history of the people up to the moment they find themselves in.
« In truth it is not Moses who makes either the synthesis or the speech, but the authors of the book.
« Israel is asked to listen to the commandments and decrees which Moses teaches them in the name of God
« On fulfilling the precepts and decrees they will be able to enter and live in the land that God promised their fathers.
« Israel cannot take from or add to the law that Moses has taught them in the name of God.
o Nothing can be taken from the Law because God is the LAW, which he has given them for their wellbeing, only God knows what is good for us.
o Nothing can be added to the law, because whatever we add is the fruit of our pride which inclines us to be willing “to be like gods.”
o The Law is God’s and not ours. We cannot do it either easier or more difficult.
« Our wisdom and prudence is found in acting according to the precepts of God.
« The author of this part of the book makes a question: what people what nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us?
Yes, anyone who follows the law which God has put in the heart of every human being, realizes that he or she is very close to God who guides and protects him or her.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 15
The psalmist asks himself LORD WHO CAN ABIDE IN YOUR TENT? That is, who can be near you abiding in your home, living with you.
And he answers to his question mentioning a list of behaviors who respond to what God has prescribed in his Law. This means that who abides in God and God in him/her is the one who lives his/her life according to the will of God manifested in the Law.
THE ONE WHO DOES JUSTICE WILL LIVE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD
Whoever walks blamelessly and does justice
Who thinks the truth in his heart
And slanders not with his tongue
Who harms not his fellow man
Nor takes a reproach against his neighbor
By whom the reprobate is despised
While he honors those who fear the Lord.
Who lends not his money at usury
And accepts no bribe against the innocent
Whoever does these things
Shall never be disturbed.
GOSPEL OF MARK 7:1-8.14-15.21-23
ü In this reading we witness a discussion between the Teachers of the Law and Jesus.
ü The Teachers of the law are scandalized, angry, worried because the disciples eat without having previously washed their hand. In truth they are questioning the behavior of Jesus, but they only mention his disciples.
ü Jesus answers with vehemence quoting Isaiah 29:13.
ü Jesus attacks the worship that man/woman have invented ignoring what God has said.
ü We may discover this same passion against the worship invented to falsely quiet our hears, not worshiping our Father in Is 1:10-20.
ü We follow very carefully the liturgical laws which we have invented ourselves; but at the same time we forget about the law about acting moved by the fraternal love, in justice and respect for our brothers and sisters who suffer, are exploited, humiliated.
ü We recite prayers, which is a good thing, but at the same time we do not question the many discriminations that we have inside our heart, the pride and self-contentment when we judge ourselves better than the rest, because we are in the church, how we forget those whom we do not like or who are difficult for us.
ü And Jesus invites us day after day to be like Him, to act like Him who gave his life for his friends and also for his enemies, for all. Jesus loves all of us, those I like and those I do not like.
ü To live as Jesus invites us to, we need to allow him to free us in order to be really free, only then we will be able to live according to the commandments.
LETTER FROM JAMES
§ The seven letters which are not from Paul: James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1,2,3 John and Judas.
§ Apparently there is no specific reason to call them with this name apart from considering them universal letters addressed to the Church.
§ In the New Testament we find several characters called James:
o James the son of Zebedee and brother of John (Mk 1:17; 3,17; Hch 1:22)
o James the son of Alpheus (Mk 3:18; Hch 1:13
o James the brother of the Lord (Gal 1:19; 2:9)
§ This letter can only be attributed to the “brother of the Lord” who had a leading role in the community of Jerusalem.
SECOND READING Jas 1:17-18;21-27
o James reminds all those who have been baptized, that all we have, has been given by God the giver of all that is good.
o God who has chosen us as the first fruits of his creatures.
o He invites us also to accept with docility, that is with pleasure and thanksgiving, the word which the same God has sowed in us. Word which is the Gospel of Jesus.
o The Word is not only to be heard, it is to be put into action, this means according to love (to visit the orphans, the widows in their tribulations…) We may do a list of all those who wait for our love, in our society, in our faith community, in our family, at our work.
o God does not need our plans, our programs, our courses, etc. etc, we are the ones who need them. God needs that I love every human being and this will lead me to do good to everyone, according to what every person needs from me.
At sea as well as in land, in the cities as well as in the desert the missionary of Christ must not be careless of self. If he cannot do all his readings, at least he should read two chapters of “The Imitation of Christ”, one in the morning and one in the evening, don’t ever abandon this faithful friend and always he be his adviser.
Do not kill the spirit of the holy prayer no matter the many things he has to do.
Jesus Christ our Lord and most perfect Master during the day did mission work and at night he prayed. María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claetian Missionary Sisters. The Apostolic Missionary 2.18-20
I had observed that the holy virtue of poverty not only edified people and upset the idol of mammon but also helped me greatly to grow in humility and advance in perfection. I can sum up what I learned by experience in the following comparison: The virtues are like the strings on a harp. Poverty is the shortest and thinnest chord and hence gives the highest sound. The shorter we are in life's conveniences, the higher we reach on the scale of perfection. Thus we see that Jesus spent 40 days and nights without anything to eat. He and his Apostles ate barley loaves, and they even ran out of these at times. Once the Apostles were so short of food that they took ears of grain and rubbed them in their hands to kill their hunger with the grains. They were even criticized for this by the Pharisees because they did it on a sabbath Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 370.
CLARET, Antonio María . Autobiografía.
DESCLÉES DE BROUWER. Biblia de Jerusalén, nueva edición totalmente renovada
PARIS, María Antonia. “El Misionero Apostólico”.
RAVASSI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras. Año B. Bogotá Colombia 2005
SAGRADA BIBLIA, versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española. Madrid 2011