29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 22nd October 2023 (’02) : 29thSUNinORDINARY : A

1. IS45:1, 4-6 (Note the powerful, but omitted, vv2-3!)

* Read 45:1 – 46:2! Yahweh-polemic against TheOtherGods & TheirServants!

* ‘Cyrus!’: Ku-ra-ash means ‘shepherd’! Called ‘Anointed/Messiah-of-Yahweh’! Isaiah

imagined that He made him Emperor of Persia, so as to restore TheExiles to Judea!

* In what ways has the ‘politicised Yahweh’ inspired ‘church involvements’ in politics?

* How is ‘the divine right of kings’ still alive&well as a fantasy in Ireland?

* The insistence of monotheism, ‘There is no other god!’, has it a ‘downside’ also?

* But, in a more critical light, how weighty are Yahweh’s claims here?

* If 45:1-7 are heard in a psychological or mystical, not political, way?

2. THE PSALM : 95:1, 3-5, 7-10

* Read 95(96):1-13! Somewhat chauvinistic acclaim of ‘Yahweh’sAbsoluteSovereignty’!

* But does that which is called ‘Yahweh’ mutate according to socio-religious realities?

* ‘Cos at least ‘unconsciously’, any vested interest might ‘masquerade-as-Yahweh’!

* Do I perceive a gulf between the ‘fervour’ of liturgical rhetoric & my life’s nittygritty?

* What crouches in the gulf, keeping biblical&contemporary experience from meeting?

* How can I listen both critically&empathically to this ‘revivalist’ excerpt, unless I am

developing tools&skills of ‘presence&self-awareness&irony’, alone & with-others!

* Is this excerpt also pleading for a much less sedentary&passive&monolithic ‘liturgy’?

3. 1THESS1:1-5

* Read 1:1-10! Warmly-complimentary opening of his letter, ending on a sombre note!

* Who is currently writing/speaking strongly into the nittygritty of adults’ complexity?

* GodTheFather&TheLordJesusChrist! How can I deeply-listen to this ‘mantra’?

* In my local church, what 10Factors above-all are we ‘thankful’ for?

* ‘Faith-in-Action, Work-for-Love, Perseverance-in-Hope!’: Is this me, or just them?

* ‘Power&TheHolyBreath&UtterConviction!’ How being encouraged in all adults?

* ‘Brothers!’: Again it must be asked, does he appear to be writing only to men?

* Which divinity’s ‘goodnews’ am I actually living? Or have I checked the truth yet…

4. MT22:15-21

* What ‘interpretations’ have I been given for this story?

* What is the equivalent of this story in my local church?

* What was the precise nature of the trap the pious men set for Jesus?

* To what extent is their preamble about honesty&fearlessness&rank, also true of me?

* Can I indicate how Jesus habitually ‘dealt with questions’ (devious or not)?

* ‘Premissible!’: Who or what was referred to?&What is the equivalent nowadays?

* As opposed to ‘God’, who&what demands my allegiance&resource in IrishSociety?

* From my total resource, how do I perceive&apportion what belongs to God&Caesar?

5. The presence&action of the BlessedOne, is it like this?

Confidential memorandum to TheMostExcellentHighPriest Caiaphas!

Dispatched by trusted messenger from BarShemayâ’, Stalker of TheNazarene!

May Heaven’sSmile enrobe YourExcellency! Since being honoured with this ministry of Stalker-of-TheNazarene, I have often mentioned in dispatches, not as advice, of course, but as personal rumination, the utter need to ensure that properly-trained&briefed agents are always sent out to engage TheNazarene in lethal debate, thus either to entrap or discredit him! I observed a clear case yesterday of the gross unprofessionalism &ineptitude of a group of lay adjuncts (Herodians&Pharisees)! The seeming-innocent query put to TheNazarene, about the morality of paying imperial taxes, is one I realise TheInnerGathering have often carefully considered! A dangerous topic too, whose contagion&venom might all too easily implicate TheLord’sTemple! As ever, I watched &listened&absorbed with the utmost diligence! As ever, the finesse with which the hateful Northerner contorted the challenge, &created a deadly riposte against the interrogators! As a final flourish (I often envy his accursed flair&ingenuity! Whence his nearly-magical skills? From Beelzebub, I spit, perhaps?), he spoke a riddle in public that truly opens a hideous rift in our already-agitated situation! ‘What belongs to Heaven, &what belongs to Rome?’ Excellency, surely it is already time!! Fare well!!

6. RIDDLE Who&what actually gets the most of my total resource?

Caesar? TheLady? TheOtherGods? Yahweh? TheMarket?

God? MyHobbies? MyHealth? TheEarth? TheTrinity? TheBreath?

Refections and comments can be emailed to adbi@chokmah.ie