Ninth Week of Ordinary Time: May 29 - June 4, 2005
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Collaborative Ministry Office
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The Ninth Week of Ordinary TimeOur week begins with the great Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. We celebrate this Sunday with profound gratitude for the gift of the Eucharist. This renewal of our sense of Jesus' presence among us can sustain us all week. (It's the 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time for the rest of the world - building on a firm foundation, rather than sand.)This week we will have three feasts: Tuesday is the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth; Friday is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and Saturday is the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So, as we go through the Ordinary Time readings, we can let these special days be rich highlights for the week.This week is our only exposure to the Book of Tobit in the two year cycle of readings. The Book of Tobit is a novel in the Wisdom literature tradition. We read the story of the misfortunes Tobit and a young woman, named Sarah. The story is about God's fidelity, even though they are tested, and their perseverance in prayer and works of charity. The songs of praise in Tobit this week are extraordinary.As we continue the Jerusalem ministry of Jesus in Matthew, we see Jesus in conflict with the religious establishment of Israel. They are angry at Jesus for telling them a parable that reveals them as unfaithful stewards. They try to reduce the notion of resurrection to an absurdity. Finally, Jesus focuses on the two great commandments: love of God and love of our neighbor.The 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time allows us to reflect upon the call of the tax collector, Matthew, because Jesus is criticized for eating and drinking with sinners. Jesus calls his critics and us to go learn the meaning of these words:. 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."