Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time: July 24 - 30, 2005
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Collaborative Ministry Office
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The Seventeenth Week of Ordinary TimeOn the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time we see how God admires Solomon because he asked for wisdom rather than riches or honors. Jesus is the source of God's wisdom and teaches us more about the Kingdom of Heaven. We imagine the passion of one discovering a treasure buried in a field or finding a pearl of great value, sacrificing everything to buy what is so deeply desired. A dragnet hauls in fish that can nourish others as well as what is not useful for others. Jesus invites us into deeper reflection on what we value and prepares us for our mission.Monday is the Feast of St. James, Apostle. Tuesday is the Memorial of Saints Ann and Joachim, Parents of Mary. Friday is the Memorial of St. Martha.This is the third and final week from the Book of Exodus. Moses meets face to face with God in a tent in the desert and invites God to come with them on their journey. Moses' face is so radiant after meeting with God, it is covered with a veil. Moses builds a movable meeting tent for their journey, and puts the arc of the commandments in it, and in a cloud by day and with fire by night, God was with them. We have only two days of readings from the Book of Leviticus which is the third book of the set of five books that begin the scriptures, called the Pentateuch. It is a book of liturgical practices governing the ministry of the priestly descendants of Levi. Here we read about the great Jewish festivals and Jubilee year.Because both the Sunday and weekday gospels are from Matthew's Gospel, the stories are sometimes repeated and we get more time to chew them. This is the case this week, as we hear the explanation of the parable of the weeds in the field. Then we again hear how the Kingdom is like a treasure or a pearl a merchant makes great sacrifices to obtain. Finally, we consider how everyone is gathered by God at the end of time to be judged. As disciples we are instructed to be able to put together both the new and the old. This leads us right into the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. When Jesus heard about the death of his cousin John, at the hands of Herod, he headed off for the opposite shore in a boat to be alone. The people came from all over to meet him on the other side. Taking compassion on them, he asked the disciples to feed them with what they had - five loaves and two fish - and he made it possible. Isaiah 55 invites us to come to the water when we are thirsty, to come and eat though we have no money. We can stop spending on what fails to satisfy. Paul consoles us, too, by reminding us that nothing can "separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."