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Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A, October 12, 2014
Lectionary index # 142

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.

Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A, October 12, 2014
Before the first reading:

A banquet of food so good it's indescribable, an end to death, and a welcome, on the Jews' most exclusvie site, for all the earth's people. These are the surprises God is preparing, in this prophet's vision.
After the psalm, before the second reading:

From Paul's farewell to a much-loved congregation, we'll hear a summary of what Christ has let him accomplish, and of what he wishes for his friends.
Before the gospel acclamation:

Saint Matthew continues to explore the rejection of Jesus by most Jews, on behalf of Jews who had accepted him.

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, Isaiah 25:6-10a [Jerusalem Bible translation]

Our Liturgical Setting: This year, we've been reading from Saint Matthew's gospel. Its original audience were mostly Jewish Christians dealing with three hard issues: Lately our readings from Matthew have dealt with the second issue, trying to explain how God was so generous to late-comers, and how the originally chosen ones made themselves unworthy. Today's gospel makes that point with a parable about a feast to which the invited refuse to come.

Now all that just explains why the editors of the Lectionary want us to hear today's passage from Isaiah. It, too, is about a banquet.

The Theological Background: But Isaiah wasn't just saying this to set us up to hear a particular gospel paragraph. He expresses a grand prophetic vision here. Notice the universal scope of what he predicts: a feast for all people, doing away with death for all people, wiping away tears from every face, removing the reproach from the whole earth. It took a courageous prophet to speak of a God whose care extended beyond a single people, when that single people prided itself on its elect status. That, more than its reference to a banquet, makes this an important passage.

Proclaiming It: Of course, emphasize the words that tell the scope of God's care: all, every, whole.

Second Reading, Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20 [Jerusalem Bible translation]

The Historical Situation: Paul had received generous financial support from the Christians at Philippi, on several occasions; these sentences come from his "thank you" note to them. Paul is also very fond of the Philippians, and has high expectations of them as followers of Christ. This passage has a valedictory character, too, because Paul may have written while facing death in prision.

Proclaiming It: In proclaiming this aloud, be sure you accentuate the contrasts between the various levels of comfort and need that Paul recalls.

Unless the preachers in your congregation have been concentrating on the recent series of readings from Philippians, the typical listener might let this go in one ear and out the other. But there's a one-liner within these verses that, if you accent it enough, might be just what someone needs to hear this Sunday. It's this:

I can do all things in him [Christ] who strengthens me.

Try not to let this gem get lost.

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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 explains the texts verse-by-verse, and sometimes word-by-word, with cross-references to other Bible passages. Especially useful if you're puzzled about the meaning of a word or phrase in the readings.
Today Dan covers the same first reading and gospel that we do, and a slightly different passage from Philippians.

Archived 2002 column of the late Father Francis X. Cleary, S.J. (Log in using 0026437 and 63137.) From the site of the Saint Louis Review.
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.

The Text This Week; links to Lectionaries of many churches, homilies, art works, movies touching scriptural themes, and other resources on the week's scripture Saint Louis University's excellent new liturgy site

Most welcome here are Reginald Fuller's commentaries.

(SLU's offering may not yet be posted. If you get a 404 Not Found, try here).

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: August 22, 2014