Time to open the scriptures to preview what the Lord will be saying to us this weekend on the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Take a few minutes to look back over the gospel readings for the last several Sundays to see how Luke has been instructing us on the life and demands of discipleship. This Sunday's gospel sustains the theme with an instruction on treasure in the heart of a disciple and on vigilance in our relationship with Jesus. The lectionary offers a longer and shorter form of this gospel so it's possible that you may not hear the whole of what you read as you prepare.
The first lesson, from the book of Wisdom, is rich in passover references. To help you better understand this scripture, you might want to refresh your memory of this text from Holy Thursday. This Wisdom text is a good example of how background knowledge of the story of Israel is critical for understanding other texts in the Hebrew scriptures.
The lectionary also provides a longer and shorter form for the second lesson. From Hebrews, this passage offers an excellent definition of faith: "the substance of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen." The passage includes a lengthy reference to Abraham's and Sarah's faith. This is a helpful scripture for those who believe, who hope and who sometimes think there is no hope. For some background to the reference to Isaac, you might want to review this text from the Easter Vigil.
For the texts of the readings and brief commentary on them, check here. If you're bringing children to Mass on Sunday, you'll find tips on helping them prepare to hear the Word here.
A teaser to get you started:
What do you treasure?
Where is your treasure kept?
Where is your heart?
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