31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2023 (’02)

Sunday 5th November 2023 (’02) : 31stSUNinORDINARY : A

1. MAL1:14 – 2:2, 8-10 (What of the beginning of 1:14 & 2:3-7?)

* Read 1:1 – 4:6! The inflamed Voice-of-Yahweh, with Treats&Promises!

* What the principalComplaints of this prophet?

* How relevant to our contemporaryChurch, is this invective against ‘priests’?

* Read JOSH23:1 – 24:28! Circumstances&pattern of ‘TheCovenant’!

* Why is ‘TheCovenant’ so central & so crucial in Jewish/Yahwistic religion?

* Has my local church any ritual resembling (or excelling) ‘TheCovenant’?

* Who is speaking ‘threats&promises’ into my local church, like this prophet?

* Is it healthy that public ‘criticism of the church’ is largely media-driven?

2. THE PSALM : 130(131):1-3

* Might this psalm have inspired Jesus-of-Nazareth?

* In 30words, can I outline the ‘spirituality’ reflected in this prayer?

* What means do I use, so as to ‘calm&quieten my soul’?

* What methods of ‘soul work’ are being explored&inculcated’ in myChurch?

* What things are ‘too great&marvellous’ for a contemporary adultChristian?

* Is it more fruitful that the local church be ‘quiet&biddable’, or ‘watchful&critical’?

To let the ‘leaders’ lead unhampered, or to raise pungent questions?

3. 1THESS2:7-9 (Notice vv10-12!)

* Read 2:1-16! Who is ministering like this in my local church?

* In 25words, what was Paul struggling to bring about in Thessalonika?

* In a local church embedded in 21stC IrishSociety, is more effort needed, or less?

* What ‘goodnews’ are we proclaiming&embodying to ‘TheModernWorld’?

* What 5GreatObstacles are militating today against ‘God’sGoodNews’?

* In what ways is it ‘a living power amongst us who believe it’?

* If Paul were writing to my local church, what would he say?

4. MT23:1-12

* How ingrained in my local church is the custom of ‘double standards’?

* What are The3MainReasons for the habit of ‘PreachingThisButPractisingThat’?

* What is the equivalent of ‘Scribes&Pharisees’ nowadays?

* OneTeacher-TheChrist’!

Where is ‘TheChrist’ undistortedly available to me?

In what ways is ‘TheChrist’ teaching&nourishing&purifying my life?

What if ‘TheChrist’ is within me always, whispering&waiting…

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

Confidential memorandum to TheMostExcellentHighPriest Caiaphas!

Dispatched by trusted messenger from BarShemayâ’, Stalker of TheNazarene (I spit)!

May Heaven’sSmile ennoble&magnify YourExcellency in all eyes&ears!

Your most humble&obedient servant is continuing to stalk TheNazarene (I spit), so as to keep YourExcellency always freshly informed about TheNortherner’s (I spit) attempts to subvert true piety & true religion! Although not privy to the angelic deliberations of TheInnerOrder, I have ceaselessly&tirelessly (May it never be accounted lèse-majesté) counselled the summary removal of this thorn in TheHolyBody of TheTotalTemple! Only this afternoon, the uneducated&uncouth upstart (I spit) contumaciously assaulted in public the divine authority of TheScribes&ThePharisees! He alleged they themselves do not practise what they preach to others! That they seek only the flatteries of TheFaithful, &the flaunting of Robes&Titles&Insignia! That they presume to arrogate TheFirstPlace in every celebration, whether religious or not! That the title of Rabbi&Father must be avoided! Then he encouraged that rabble that love to lick his feet (I spit), not to follow the pious example of TheScribes&ThePharisees! Oh!! YourPardon, Excellency! I can still feel the rage that engulfed me, body&soul!! Finally, the final insult from this would-be firebrand (I spit)! Surely referring to YourExcellency&TheInnerOrder, he shouted with raised fists, ‘TheGreatOnes will be dragged low, &TheLowly raised to TheThrones!’

Excellency! Need Your ever-humble servant write further?

6. RIDDLE What is the irrevocable struggle?

To nourish zeal for ‘Yahweh’sCovenant’? To seek a quiet&silent praxis?

To devote one’s total self to the local church?

To unfold&embody TheChrist in the modern world?

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