Bible Study


Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time C Lectionary: 150

Reading 1 - SIR 35:12-14, 16-18

The LORD is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint. The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay.

Responsorial Psalm - PS 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor. I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad. R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor. The LORD confronts the evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth. When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them. R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. The LORD redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him. R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Reading 2 - 2 TM 4:6-8, 16-18

Beloved: I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel - LK 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. "Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity -- greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."


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These questions are for reflection and discussion. Please understand that the homily may not address any of these questions directly. God speaks to hearts that are prepared.

1.The first reading says The LORD is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. How is having no favorites related to justice? What is the definition of justice? Do we want God to be just or merciful toward us? Toward others?

2.The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds is a poetic way of saying what? Do you believe this? Have you ever seen the prayer of the lowly reach its goal? Does it sometimes look like the prayer of the lowly goes unanswered? How do we reconcile that with the words the Most High responds… and… will not delay?

3.Do you believe that The Lord hears the cry of the poor? Do you hear that cry? How do we answer that cry? Does paying taxes that support government programs adequately respond to that cry?

4.The Psalm says When the just cry out, the Lord hears them. Is there a difference between being just and being poor? Are all the just poor? Are all the poor just? Do I have to be poor for God to hear my cry?

5.The second reading is Paul’s farewell to this world, called his “valedictory.” Do you find his words presumptuous—or confident? Do you think you might be able to speak in the same way as your death approaches? Are you willing to make any changes in your life to make that happen?

6.Can this passage of St. Paul in any way be deemed a prayer of the lowly or the cry of the poor? How did Paul deal with those who deserted him? How do we deal with those who may have abandoned or deserted us?

7.In the Gospel, do you find the Pharisee’s prayer presumptuous—or confident? Could his prayer be deemed the cry of the poor or the prayer of the lowly? What about the prayer of the tax collector?

8.The tax collector’s cry of O God, be merciful to me a sinner is a perfectly adequate Act of Contrition that many times a priest would rather hear in Confession than a memorized prayer from childhood. As a result, the tax collector went home justified. What prevented the Pharisee from being justified? Are we ever like that?

9.Was there anything wrong with the things the Pharisee mentioned that he did as an expression of his faith? What, then, was wrong with his prayer? How can we avoid falling into the same trap?

10.What has God spoken to you, and what do you intend to do about it?

Mass Schedule

Weekend Masses
Saturday Vigil, 4:00 PM;
Sunday, 8:30 & 10:30 AM
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Monday-Thursday; 8:00 AM Rectory Chapel

Sacrament of Reconciliation
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