16TH SUNDAY AFTER PENECOSTE (25th S. Ord. Time)
“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” -Ps 32:8
Psalm 78, Verse 53
He led them on secure and unafraid, while the sea enveloped their enemies.
Even in the day God was kind to rebellious Israel. This psalm is a recital of history to show that past generations did not respond to God’s gracious deeds and were punished by God making the gift into a punishment. Will Israel fail to appreciate God’s act—the choosing of Zion and of David? The tripartite introduction invites Israel to learn the lessons hidden in its traditions each section ends with the mention of God’s acts. There are two distinct narratives of approximately equal length: the wilderness events and the movement from Egypt to Canaan. The structure of both is parallel: gracious act, rebellion, divine punishment, God’s readiness to forgive and begin anew. While the Psalm has been thought to reflect the reunification program of either King Hezekiah (late eighth century) or King Josiah (late seventh century) in that the Northern Kingdom (Ephraim, Joseph) is especially invited to accept Zion and the Davidic king, a postexilic setting is also possible. Notable is the inclusion of the David-Zion tradition into the history of Israel recounted in the sources of the Pentateuch.
A Prayer before Mass
Almighty and everlasting God, behold I come to the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: I come as one infirm to the physician of life, as one unclean to the fountain of mercy, as one blind to the light of everlasting brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I implore the abundance of Thy measureless bounty that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to heal my infirmity, wash my uncleanness, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty and clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, with such sorrow and devotion, with such purity and faith, with such purpose and intention as may be profitable to my soul's salvation. Grant unto me, I pray, the grace of receiving not only the Sacrament of our Lord's Body and Blood, but also the grace and power of the Sacrament. O most gracious God, grant me so to receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He took from the Virgin Mary, as to merit to be incorporated into His mystical Body, and to be numbered amongst His members. O most loving Father, give me grace to behold forever Thy beloved Son with His face at last unveiled, whom I now purpose to receive under the sacramental veil here below. Amen.
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The church encourages us to do good works and practice humility. We are to recognize God and that we are workers in his vineyard and to not be rebellious.
Keeping Holy Sundays and Holy-Days of Obligation
How must we sanctify the Sundays and holy-days? As the third commandment enjoins, that is, on Sundays and holy-days, we must not only abstain from servile labor, but we must, as far as possible, attend divine service, both in the forenoon and afternoon; for God has not said, thou shalt be idle on the Sabbath-day, but thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath day. God will not suffer those who desecrate His holy- day to go unpunished; He will cover them with disgrace and scorn (Mai. ii. 3), and will send upon them all the evils of the time.
"'For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted".Jesus reveals His Love by curing the victim of dropsy. Love overcomes all human obstacles. The humble man does not, of course, expose his talents to the contempt of others. But he does recognize that every best gift is from above, loaned not for himself alone, but for his less favored neighbor as well. For this reason I bend my knees to the Father, exclaims St. Paul, as he reflects on His glorious riches: how Divine love PURGES us by strength through His Spirit, ILLUMINATES us through our faith and then UNITES us in Christ's love. . .unto. . .the fullness of God. Humbly must we recognize the power that is at work in us.
Why did the Pharisees watch Jesus so closely? To discover something in Him for which they might censure and accuse Him. How like them are those Christians who watch every step of their neighbors, and particularly of priests, hoping to find something for which to blame them, and represent them as evil persons!
Who is, spiritually, like the man with the dropsy? The avaricious man ; for as a dropsical person is never satisfied with drinking, so the avaricious man never has enough; and like the dropsy, too, avarice is hard to cure, since it grows worse with age, and generally does not leave a man till he comes to the grave.
Why is avarice reckoned among the seven deadly sins? Because it is the root of many evils; for it leads to usury, theft, the use of false weights and measures, to the retaining of unjustly gotten goods, to the oppression of the poor, of widows and orphans, to the denial and suppression of justice, to apostasy from the faith, and to despair. Hence the Apostle says “They that will become rich fall into temptation and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition” (i.Tim. vi. 9). An efficacious remedy for avarice is the consideration that we are only the stewards, and not the owners of our goods, of which we can take nothing with us at the hour of our death (i. Tim. vi. 7); and that one day God will require of us a strict account of what we have had.