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“They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people's shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them”
Time to sit down with this coming Sunday's scriptures for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time.
You'll find the readings and brief commentary on them here and if you're shepherding young ones to Mass this weekend, you'll find tips on helping them prepare to hear the Word right here. (A child wondering about the readings before hearing them in church is likely to listen more carefully when at Mass!)
The gospel and first lesson for this Sunday are hard on leaders of the faith community and their failures to minister appropriately and with care for those entrusted to their care. Jesus says: "(D)o and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people's shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen"
The first scripture is just as strong where the Lord says of the priests: "You have turned aside from the way, and have caused many to falter by your instruction; you have made void the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts. I, therefore, have made you contemptible and base before all the people, since you do not keep my ways, but show partiality in your decisions."
What a contrast we find in the second lesson where St. Paul, speaking of his own ministry, writes: "We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children. With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us. You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery. Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God."
It would be interesting if any other than clergy were to preach on these texts this weekend!
Check out the complete texts -- now!
What might you preach this weekend if the clergy were sitting in front of you and listening to your words?
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