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Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A, June 26, 2011
Lectionary index # 97

In some dioceses, June 26 is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. Click here for Lector's Notes for that feast.

Twenty-second digests for the congregation: Arrange with your liturgy committee to have these brief historical introductions read to the assembly before you do each reading.

Who should announce these before the first and second readings, and before the gospel acclamation? They're not Scripture, nor homiletic, so they shouldn't be delivered from the ambo. They're a modest teaching. So let the presider say them from the chair. Let the lector turn toward the presider and listen.
Print this page, cut it at the blue lines, and give the introduction paragraphs to the person who will speak them.

Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A, June 26, 2011
Before the first reading:

The woman in this story starts out just being hospitable. Then she has spiritual insight, and recognizes a prophet. Then she enjoys the promise of a great gift.
After the psalm, before the second reading:

The Bible has much to say about baptism, and what happens to us when we are baptized. Saint Paul gives the strongest interpretation possible.
Before the gospel acclamation:

In a world where family relationships trumped everything else, Jesus proposes a shocking alternative.

To pay for use of the words above, please subtract an equal number of optional words from other places in the liturgy (click here for some suggestions).

First reading, 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a

Our Liturgical Setting: This reading prepares the congregation to hear the day's gospel, Matthew 10:37-42, which you should read first. Notice that the first half of these sayings of Jesus are about the behavior of his disciples; the second half are about the behavior of others towards the disciples. It's one of those sayings that prompted the selection of today's first reading.

The Historical Situation: The traveler who enjoys hospitality in this story is identified as "a holy man of God" in the story. In fact he is a prophet. (As Reginald Fuller points out, that's what the author meant by "holy man", one who is a bearer of God's word.1) Pronounce his name "e LISH uh" with a short e in the first syllable and a short i in the second. To the careful listener, this will distinguish him from his mentor, the more famous prophet Elijah ("ee LYE juh"), of whom you can read in 1 Kings, starting at chapter 17. This is the most innocent of a series of miracle stories in 2 Kings, chapter 4, that establish Elisha's authority as a man of God.

Proclaiming It: Now this reading is a simple story. When proclaimed to the congregation, it should sound like a story. The elements of the story are quite ordinary: a frequent traveler, a kind but childless couple, hospitality, promise and hope. Tell it like you'd tell the story of how you met your spouse, or how you'd tell a serious story to a child.

Second Reading, Romans 6:3-4, 8-11

The Theological Background: In prior chapters of Romans, Paul has established that God has given us Christ so that, by our relationship with Christ, we might enjoy God's favor. Now Paul is working out some of the implications of that. That Christ was raised from the dead means at least all of the following:

Proclaiming It: The letter to the Romans is full of vivid contrasts, and these paragraphs have that character in spades.

Vary your pitch as you proclaim the contrasting elements. The congregation should hear the contrasts in your voice. If they're to grasp the contrasts intellectually, they need this help from you.

Extra! Each Sunday passage from Romans in context: Click here to see a table summarizing the readings from Romans from the 9th to the 24th Sundays of Ordinary Time, this year.

1 Preaching the Lectionary: The Word of God for the Church Today, Reginald H. Fuller. The Liturgical Press. 1984 (Revised Edition). pp. 139-141. See his treatment of all the day's readings at the link in the table below.

Several other commentaries on these passages. All are thoughtful, all quite readable, from the scholarly to the popular.
Links may be incomplete more than a few weeks before the "due date."
Lutheran pastor and college teacher Dan Nelson's notes for a study group.
Dan covers different first and second readings this week, but you'll be edified by his notes on the gospel, reflection and prayers.
The Text This Week; links to homilies, art works, movies and other resources on the week's scripture themes Father Roger Karban of Belleville, Illinois, USA, writes a newspaper column about every Sunday's readings. Here are his essays for today's passages, from: courtesy of The Evangelist, official publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York, or of The Belleville Messenger, of the Diocese of Belleville.

Read all of Father Karban's recent columns here, at the site of FOSIL, the Faithful of Southern Illinois.

Archived 2002 column of Father Francis X. Cleary, S.J. (Log in using 0026437 and 63137.)

The Lectionary selections in the frame at the left, if any, are there for your convenience. The publishers of the page in that frame have no connection, except for membership in the one Body of Christ, with the publisher of this page. Likewise the publishers of the pages on the links above.

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Last modified: June 15, 2011