Saturday, July 29, 2017


'Tis the Memorial of Saint Martha (died circa 80, of Bethany): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Together with her siblings [Ss.] Lazarus [17 December] & Mary of Bethany [29 July also?], she is described as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem. She was witness to Jesus's resurrection of her brother, Lazarus.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
Martha, Mary, & their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother's death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Sulien, Abbot (sixth century): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Urban II, Pope, O.S.B. (circa 1042-1099), one hundred fifty-ninth Bishop of Rome: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feria
The Book of Exodus, chapter twenty-four, verses three thru eight;
Psalm Fifty, verses one(b) & two, five & six, & fourteen & fifteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter eleven, verses nineteen thru twenty-seven;
or, the Gospel according to Luke, chapter ten, verses thirty-eight thru forty-two.

Commentary: Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today's Gospel is the story of Martha and Mary. I'd like to offer a fresh take on this famous little story. One of the principal marks of Jesus' teaching and ministry is the overturning of social conventions. And one of the most striking and surprising of Jesus' moves was a radical inclusion of women.

While the typical women's work was going on, men would sit out in the main room of the residence and talk. If a prominent rabbi or Pharisee were present, the men would sit at his feet and listen to his words.

Now we can see why Mary's attitude was so offensive to Martha and probably to everyone else in the room. Martha wasn't simply mad that Mary was giving her more work to do; she was mad that Mary had the gall to assume the stance of a man, to take up her position in the men's space.

In his response to Martha's complaint, Jesus signals more than a preference for listening over acting; he invites a woman into full participation in the life of discipleship. "Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."
Mass Readings—Memorial of St. Martha
The First Letter of John, chapter four, verses seven thru sixteen;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two;
or, Psalm Thirty-four, verse nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter eleven, verses nineteen thru twenty-seven;
or, the Gospel according to Luke, chapter ten, verses thirty-eight thru forty-two.

Bible Study—Individual Initiative
The First Book of Kings, chapter ten, verses fourteen thru twenty-nine;
The First Book of Kings, chapter eleven (verses one thru forty-three).

Commentary: Sunday's first reading is also from 1 Kings, the young Solomon's prayer for wisdom with which to lead God's people Israel. Call me a cynic, but I find it impossible to ponder Solomon's promising beginnings without also recalling his scandalous & idolatrous end, detailed in these readings: Solomon's Wealth (10:14-29) & the Sins of Solomon (11:1-43).

Bible Study—The Bible Timeline: Conquest & Judges, Part 2 of 2
Introduction to the Book of Judges;
The Book of Judges, chapter one (verses one thru thirty-six);
The Book of Judges, chapter two (verses one thru twenty-three);
The Book of Judges, chapter three, verses one thru six;
The Book of Judges, chapter six (verses one thru forty);
The Book of Judges, chapter seven (verses one thru twenty-five).

Commentary: I. Palestine after the Death of Joshua: Pagan Survivors in Palestine (1:1-36) & Infidelities of the Israelites (2:1-3:6), II. Stories of the Judges: The Call of Gideon (6:1-40) & Defeat of Midian (7:1-25).

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