Tenth Week of Ordinary Time: June 5 - 11, 2005
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Collaborative Ministry Office
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The Tenth Week of Ordinary TimeYour piety is ... like the dew that early passes away....It is love that I desire, not sacrifice,and knowledge of God rather than holocausts.This passage from Hosea begins our readings for the 10th Week of Ordinary Time. Its message about a loving heart rather than public piety is a theme that will be continued throughout the week. The Gospel for this Sunday is the call of the Apostle, Matthew. As a tax collector, Matthew was despised and feared by most of the population, and yet Jesus invites him - and us - "Follow me."During the week we begin a two week look at Paul's second letter to the Corinthians. In this spirited letter, Paul writes to the early Christian community at Corinth, both to encourage them and to defend himself from his detractors. He urges us to allow our hearts to be transformed by the Spirit of God. "We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us."Saturday our first reading celebrates a memorial to St. Barnabas, who, like Paul, was an apostle to the Gentiles.The Gospel of Matthew this week begins with the beloved teaching of the Beatitudes, found at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. The Kingdom of God belongs to the lowly, the peacemakers, those persecuted. These words are some of the most familiar of all the gospels as Jesus urges us to not hide our gifts under a bushel basket but to recognize that "you are the light of the world." Jesus transforms what the people had been taught. We are to go beyond not killing; we are to love our enemies. He tells us that he has "not come to abolish laws but to fulfill them."Jesus tells us that if we haven't forgiven someone, we should leave our offerings on the altar and go forgive those with whom we need reconciliation. By the end of the week, we hear Jesus encouraging us to live honestly, making elaborate promises and oaths unnecessary."Let your ‘Yes' mean ‘Yes,' and your ‘No' mean ‘No,'" he says. The words we use are less important than the life we lead.All of this leads us to the Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time in which Jesus tells us "The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few" and calls us to join him in his work.