Ninteenth Week of Ordinary Time: Aug. 7 - 13, 2005
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Collaborative Ministry Office
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The Nineteenth Week of Ordinary TimeOn the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Elijah finds God not in the thunder and driving wind, but in a gentle breeze. Peter's fear gets the best of him, when Jesus calls him out of his boat in a stormy sea. Peter takes his eyes off of Jesus and would have perished without Jesus' rescuing him.Monday is the Memorial of Saint Dominic. Wednesday is the Feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr with the beautiful gospel about the grain of wheat that must die to bear fruit. Thursday is the Memorial of Saint Clare.In the first reading this week we hear about the entry into the promised land. Moses says farewell to the people. Then we have three readings from the Book of Josuah, who was the successor of Moses. The people cross the Jordan, with the Arc of the Covenant clearing a path through the river. Josuah speaks to the people as a prophet and recounts all God has done for them. The people renew their covanent at Scheckem.In the daily readings from Matthew's Gospel, Jesus again warns his disciples about his upcoming passion, death and resurrection, but they are "overwhelmed with grief." Jesus resolves the temple tax question, as if to say, "it will be given you." When the disciples are wondering about "who is the greatest," Jesus points to a child and says the greatest is the one who is humble, like the defenseless child. He also says that anyone who receives, embraces, cares for a defenseless one, receives and embraces Jesus himself. When Peter asks Jesus how many times we must forgive, Jesus tells the powerful parable of the servant who is forgiven his debt but doesn't forgive his debtors. Jesus urges us to forgive from our hearts. Jesus tells his disciples about the sacredness of marriage. The disciples tried to prevent people from bringing children to Jesus and he said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."This brings us to the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. A Canaanite woman appeals to Jesus to heal her daughter. At first, he says he was sent for the "lost sheep of the house of Israel." Her persistent faith moves him and he heals the girl.