Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-six, verses eighteen thru twenty-one;
Psalm One Hundred Seventeen, verses one & two (& the Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verse fifteen);
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter twelve, verses five, six, seven, eleven, twelve, & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter thirteen, verses twenty-two thru thirty.
Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, our Gospel for today features a question that people have been asking from time immemorial and that they still ask today: “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” Heaven, hell, salvation, damnation, who will be in and who will be out? We have remained fascinated with these questions for a long time.Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Here’s how I would recommend we approach this issue. The doctrine concerning hell is a corollary of two more fundamental truths—namely, that God is love and that we are free. Love (willing the good of the other) is all that God is. He doesn’t go in and out of love; he doesn’t change his mind; he’s not loving to some and not to others. He is indeed like the sun that shines on the good and bad alike, in the words of Jesus.
No act of ours can possibly make him stop loving us. In this regard, he is like the best of parents. However, we are free. We are not God’s marionettes, and hence we can say yes or we can say no to his love. If we turn toward it, we open like a sunflower; if we turn from it, we get burned.
Audio reflection by Scott Hahn, Ph.D. (St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology): Breaking the Bread.
Scripture Study—Day 91: Progeny Point, Day 28
The Book of Genesis, chapter forty-two, verses one thru six.
Commentary: Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt (Genesis, 42:1-6).
Mass Journal: Week 39
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
My favorite passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church appears as the first line of the first chapter, & it reads, "The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God & for God; & God never ceases to draw man to Jimself. Only in God will he find the truth & happiness he never stops searching for."†
Otherwise, 25 August would be the festival of Saint Gregory of Utrecht, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 700-776, A.K.A. of Pfalzel), abbot of the Abbey of St. Martin & apostolic administrator of Utrecht: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Utrecht & Wikipedia-link Utrecht.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Louis (1214-1270, A.K.A. King Louis IX of France), who led the Seventh Crusade (1248-1254) & the Eighth Crusade (1270), & who built the Sainte-Chapelle: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Crusade-link VII & Wikipedia-link Crusade VII, Crusade-link VIII & Wikipedia-link Crusade VIII, & Wikipedia-link.
Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth Minute Meditations from the Popes:
O Lord, grant me the generosity of spirit of St. Louis the King. He served his country all his life; calling his fellow citizens to build a society based on Christ's teachings. Help me to do the same.'Twould also be the festival of Saint Thomas de Cantilupe, Bishop (circa 1218-1282), Bishop of Hereford, who attended the Second Council of Lyons (the fourteenth ecumenical council, 1272-1274): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Diocese-link Hereford, Wikipedia-link Hereford, & Wikipedia-link Council.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Joseph Calasanz, Priest, Sch.P. (circa 1556-1648, A.K.A. Josephus a Mater Dei), founder of the Piarists (Sch.P.), formally the Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools, A.K.A. the Scolopi: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Order-link Sch.P. & Wikipedia-link Sch.P..
'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Luigi of the Consolata, Priest (1922-1977, A.K.A. Andrea Bordino): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.
'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Alessandro Dordi, Priest & Martyr (1931-1991), martyred by the Shining Path Communists, one of the Three Martyrs of Chimbote: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Chimbote.
Papal Quote o' the Day
"Christians should conscientiously take up their civic duties in a spirit of disinterested service. This will lead them to renounce seeking their personal gain, power, or prestige, it it is harmful to others."Saint Quote o' the Day
—Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978, feast day: 29 May)
"The choice before God in creating the world lay between creating a purely mechanical universe, peopled by mere automatons, or creating a spiritual universe in which there would be a choice of good & evil. What was the condition then of such a universe? He had to endow us with the power to say yes & no and to be captains of our own fate & destiny. Morality implies responsibility & duty, but these can exist only on the condition of freedom. Stones have no morals because they are not free. We do not condemn ice because it is melted by heat. Praise & blame can be bestowed only on those who are masters of their own will. It is only because you have the possibility of saying no, that there’s so much charm in your character when you say “yes.” Take the quality of freedom away from anyone, & it is no more possible for him to be virtuous than it is for the blade of grass which he treads beneath his feet to be virtuous. Take freedom away from life, & there would be no more reason to honor the fortitude of martyrs than there would be to honor the flames which kindle their stakes. Is it therefore any impeachment of God that He chose not to reign over an empire of chemicals? If God has deliberately chosen a kind of empire to be ruled by freedom rather than by force, & if we find that His subjects are able to act against His will, as stars & atoms cannot, does this not prove that He has given to those human beings the chance of breaking allegiance so that there might be meaning & purpose in that allegiance when they freely chose it? Here we have a mere suggestion about the possibility of evil."
—Ven. Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)