19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
The Gospel this weekend is this:
Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. 34 For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. 35 "Gird your loins and light your lamps 36 and be like servants who await their master's return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. 38 And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. 39 Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." 41 Then Peter said, "Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?" 42 And the Lord replied, "Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute (the) food allowance at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. 45 But if that servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 then that servant's master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. 47 That servant who knew his master's will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; 48 and the servant who was ignorant of his master's will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.
The first reading is this:
That night was known beforehand to our fathers, that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith, they might have courage. 7 Your people awaited the salvation of the just and the destruction of their foes. 8 For when you punished our adversaries, in this you glorified us whom you had summoned. 9 For in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution, That your holy ones should share alike the same good things and dangers, having previously sung the praises of the fathers.
The second reading is this:
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.
2 Because of faith the ancients were well attested… 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. 9 By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God. 11 By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age--and Sarah herself was sterile—for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy. 12 So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore. 13 All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth, 14 for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17 By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer
his only son, 18 of whom it was said, "Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name." 19 He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.
This Sunday is calling us to make good use of our lives on earth in preparation for our lives in Heaven and to keep faith even though physical death may seem to be an insurmountable problem.
Jesus isn't with us in the flesh as he was two thousand years ago with the apostles, but he's Resurrected and is trying to help us in our preparations - if only we'd listen!. As well as that, he has told us of his second coming (Jn 16:16). So it's important that the 'Master' find us well occupied! We have a fairly confident hope for our future, but we don't want to sit back lazily as we wait (even if one has to sit in a wheel-chair!). We want to work. And one of the jobs to be done is to 'open the door' for his coming in many human hearts. His second coming isn't a question of a plane ticket with Iberia or Aer Lingus, but with you yourself!
Our faith is the fruit of our many ancestors (as the reading from Wisdom says), and as we give thanks, we also offer ourselves to continue the chain. We offer to help St Peter in building his Church. Having an internal longing for a life and a love that last beyond death, has stimulated us to open up to the faith (Heb 11:1). Therefore we should keep up our longing and put in the effort to obey Christ, and thereby He can come back to our human family. It's up to us! It's amazing that God puts it in our hands. The Trinity want us all to be well seated for the party in Heaven, and they themselves will come and sit among us. It'll be a good party. The wedding at Cana was just a prologue!
God may test us with challenging jobs and temptations (Heb 11), but they may be a way of helping us to grow in love and solidify our faith. Those challenges will help us to have the table well prepared for the Master's return. Let's be vigilant. It's not for us to judge if our Master is on time or not. St Peter says in a letter that 'a thousand years is like a day'! (2 Pt 3:8).
It's important that the food and riches of the world be shared around, and of course, that the nutrition of the Word of God be shared around. I'll do what I can. Will you? If it involves freeing ourselves of mundane riches, honours and pleasures, that's not a foolish masochism, but rather in order to love better. It's a sensible way of investing our few years on earth in function of an eternal prize. The one who promised us is trustworthy (Heb 11:11)! The second reading of Hebrews refers to the way Abraham had faith, even to the point of offering his son Isaac (Gen 11), and that event in Genesis 11 is a good prophecy of the fact that God Himself was going to offer his Son on Calvary. Isaac makes the point that a lamb would normally be sacrificed for the holocaust, and it's all tied in with what the priest says at mass today: “This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”. He also takes away the upset of physical death. Yahoooooo!
Domingo 19º: Sab 18:6-9. Heb 11:1-2, 8-19. Lc 12:32-48
Este Domingo se nos llama a invertir bien nuestros años en la tierra en preparación para la Vida en el Cielo y de guardar la fe aunque la muerte física puede parecer un problema insuperable.
Además, Cristo nos ha hablado de su segunda venida (Jn16:16), entonces ¡es importante que 'el Maestro' nos encuentre bien ocupados! Tenemos esperanza en el futuro, pero no queremos sentarnos perezosamente en la espera (¡aunque le toque a uno sentarse en una silla de ruedas!). Queremos trabajar. Y una de las tareas para hacer, es abrir la puerta para su venida en muchos corazones humanos. ¡Su segunda venida no necesita un billete de Iberia ni de Air Lingus, sino te necesita a ti mismo!
Nuestra fe es fruto de muchos antepasados (como dice 'Sabiduría') y conviene dar gracias y ofrecernos para continuar la cadena - ¡para ser piedras en los cimientos con San Pedro! La fe es fruto de lo que se espera (Heb 11:1) - entonces conviene esperar mucho - pero esperar activamente y trabajar para que pueda Él venir. Es impresionante como Dios pone tal papel en nuestras manos - y además nos invita a una fiesta donde la Trinidad pondrá sentados a sus fieles y Ellos mismos tomarán su 'plaza' entre ellos y así será una buena fiesta - ¡aún mejor que en la boda de Cana!
Puede ser que Dios nos pone a trabajar y nos pone desafíos (Hebreos 11) pero esto es justamente lo que nos pondrá a preparar bien la mesa ¡y estar vigilantes para el Maestro que viene! Hay muchos ladrones pero ¡no les dejaremos molestar con su llegada! No tenemos que repartir la comida mundana sino el pan de su Palabra. No deberíamos estar juzgando si el Maestro viene a tiempo o tarde. Dice San Pedro en una carta que 'mil años es como un día' (2° P 3:8).
Es importante que las riquezas y la comida del mundo estén bien repartidos, y esto incluye claramente la nutrición de la Palabra de Dios. Haré lo que pueda. ¿Lo harás tu? Si esto significa liberarse de riquezas, honores y placeres, no es para un masoquismo raro, sino para amar mejor. Es una forma sensata de invertir nuestras vidas mundanas. No estamos esperando un premio mundano que no dura sino el premio eterno. Entonces dejar 'premios' mundanos no es ningún masoquismo sino una buena inversión. ¡El que hace la promesa es fiable (Heb 11:11)!
La segunda lectura de Hebreos habla de como Abrahán tuvo fe, aún hasta el punto de ofrecer a su hijo Isaac (Gen 11), y este acontecimiento en Génesis 11 está profetizando como Dios mismo iba a ofrecer a su Hijo en el Calvario. Isaac menciona como un holocausto normalmente incluía el sacrificio de un cordero, y está todo vinculado con lo que dice el sacerdote en la misa hoy: “Este es el Cordero de Dios que quita el pecado del mundo”. También quita el trastorno de la muerte física. ¡Ya-hoooooo¡
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