Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The First Book of Kings, chapter three, verses five & seven thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verses fifty-seven, seventy-two, seventy-six & seventy-seven, one hundred twenty-seven & one hundred twenty-eight, & one hundred twenty-nine & one hundred thirty;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses twenty-eight, twenty-nine, & thirty;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses forty-four thru fifty-two
(or, the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter thirteen, verses forty-four, forty-five, & forty-six).
Commentary: Video Gospel reflection by Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.
Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today includes several of Jesus' better-known parables. I'd like to comment on this one: "Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls..."Mass Journal: Week 31
What does this tell us? That there is often something interruptive about the Kingdom of God. It is a breakthrough, a radical change, a surprise.
Once we find the pearl, everything else must go. We must "sell" all of our other preoccupations and concerns, all those things and people that we once put in the center of our lives. They must go. There is something uncompromising to what Jesus is getting at.
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Holiness brings us to life. It refines every human ability. Holiness doesn't dampen our emotions; it elevates them. Those who respond to God's call to holiness are the most joyful people in history. They have a richer, more abundant experience of life, & they love more deeply than most people can ever imagine. They enjoy life, all of life. Even in the midst of suffering they are able to maintain a peace & joy that are independent of the happenings & circumstances surrounding them. Holiness doesn't stifle us; it sets us free. The surest signs of holiness are not how often a person goes to church, how many hours he spends in prayer, what good spiritual books he has read, or even the number of good works he performs. The surest signs of holiness are an insatiable desire to become all God created us to be, an unwavering commitment to the will of God, & an unquenchable concern for unholy people. Living a holy life means letting our decisions be guided by the Holy Spirit. It means allowing each moment to be all it can be.
Otherwise, 30 July would be the festival of Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop & Doctor of the Church (circa 406-450): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.
Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
A man who vigorously pursues a goal may produce results far beyond his expectations & his intentions. Thus it was with Peter of the Golden Words, as he was called, who as a young man became bishop of Ravenna, the capital of the empire in the West. In additional to his zeal in the exercise of his office, Peter Chrysologus was distinguished by a fierce loyalty to the Church, not only its teaching, but in its authority as well. He looked upon learning not as a mere opportunity but as an obligation for all, both as a development of God-given faculties & as a solid support for the worship of God.'Twould also be the festival of Blesseds Thomas Abel, Richard Featherstone, & Edward Powell, Priests & Martyrs (died 1540), martyred in the reign of the king Henry VIII: Martyr-link Tango Alpha & Wikipedia-link Tango Alpha, Martyr-link Romeo Foxtrot & Wikipedia-link Romeo Foxtrot, & Martyr-link Echo Papa & Wikipedia-link Echo Papa.
Commentary: Bls. Thomas, Richard, & Edward were hanged, drawn, & quartered for treason, for refusing to swear the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church. Alongside them three Protestants—Robert Barnes, Thomas Gerrard, & William Jerome—were burned for heresy, strong evidence that the only god King Henry feared was King Henry himself.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Leopold Mandić, Priest, O.F.M. Cap. (1866-1942, of Castelnuovo): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.
Commentary: Quoth the Holy Family bulletin (for Friday, 28 July):
A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans & was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight, & a stomach ailment. Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spend [thirteen to fifteen] hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.It is clear that the Holy Family bulletin follows Franciscan Media's calendar of saints, not the General Roman Calendar. Franciscan Media honors one saint per day & because 30 July, when not a Sunday, would be the Optional Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, outranking the festival of St. Leopold, the article on St. Leopold was from Friday last, 28 July, a day with no competing higher-ranked feast. This is a criticism of neither Franciscan Media nor Holy Family's bulletin, merely an observation.