The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Word This Week ~ 6 July 2014

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First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10

This reading from Zechariah offers a perspective on one of the least discussed but most important prophetic themes: offering a vision for the future that challenges and sustains. For a community of people, recently freed from captivity, the challenges of social organisation were enormous. Here the image of a king, who will bring peace and a cause to rejoice, yet in a peaceful and humble manner, offers a hope for their future.

Second Reading: Romans 9:9. 11-13

Romans are Paul’s masterpiece, written to be an expose of his main ideas. He uses a technique similar to that of the Book of Psalms, which oscillates between laments and praises but which ultimately gives way to unbridled, exuberant praise. The same drama is evident here as he pitches spirit and flesh, life and death. This is a frank acknowledgement of the human situation that oscillates between a consciousness God and a sense of "trying it for ourselves.” Yet ultimately, just as praise will win over lament, the Spirit living within us will guide those who believe to the truth.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 25-30

The search for Wisdom is one of the themes of the Gospel of Matthew. Wisdom within the Old Testament was the sense of order and beauty that God had placed in creation. To live according to this was to live with balance and harmony. Yet it has never been easy to do so. Circumstance of life will often put that harmony and balance out of kilter and leave us frail and worn. For some in the Old Testament, the answer was a strict adherence to Torah, which would bring one back to life and harmony. Yet even for those who are compliant to the Law, life can bring its tragedies and sorrow. Christ goes to the heart of what Wisdom really is – a constant rediscovery of the “gentleness” of God, who is constantly recreating image and seeing that all is good.

Published Fri 4th Jul 2014 12:11:43

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