Worship Resources For Everyone

 

 

Are you ready for full and active participation in the Liturgy? Read on…

 

October 27th, The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A link to the readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102719.cfm

A Reflection on the Readings

This Sunday in the Gospel, we hear the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector who travel to the temple area to offer up prayers. The Pharisee assumes his position and justifies himself out loud before God by following the rules, obeying the Mosaic Law and doing “what God wants” as he understands it. For the Pharisee, his prayer is a competition. His prayer is an opportunity to make himself look good at the expense of another. He strings together many statements that are first person singular “I thank God that I am not like…I do this, I do that.” He does not ask for forgiveness for his sins, perhaps because he believes by keeping all these rules he has nothing to confess. Nor is there any word of praise or thanksgiving to God. The thanks he offers is designed to exalt himself and place himself above others whom he treats with disdain. It is as if to the Pharisee, God’s role is that of assessing the results and issuing prizes. Prayer appears to be an opportunity to keep God informed about how successful he is doing and also help point out the shortcomings of the others. Pharisees were members of an rigorous party of Jews who believed strictly in observing God’s law. The tax collector, on the other hand, followed another law entirely, the law of the Roman oppressors. It was his job to collect taxes from the Romans. This made him despised by many. When he enters the temple, he stood off to the distance and would not raise his head but deep inside prayed “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” The tax collector does not deny possible involvement in offensive practices, he may be doing this job only because he has no other way to support his family. He may be a just tax collector but yet know the societal tax it puts on him in the community. We do not know, but Jesus confirms the one who came to God’s house in his own eyes a sinner, went home with God’s favor; the one so sure of his virtue went home without it. The tax collector asked for mercy and mercy was granted. The Pharisee asked for nothing and received nothing as he was too full of himself to leave room for God. Last week in the parable we had the importance of persistence in prayer, this week it is humility in prayer. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. We come before God as empty, despised, bankrupt, broken, pitiable, desperate beggars, thankful for the many blessing and graces we have received.

Who are we in this parable? One man went to temple to praise himself, the other to praise God. One of the pitfalls of personal success is the arrogance that sometimes comes with it. We can fall into the trap of making ourselves feel more important by putting others down. What is dangerous about pride is first, we come to trust our own abilities rather than trusting God. And second, we come to regard other people with contempt and disrespect rather than seeing them as created equal in the image of God. We are called to extend sympathy and pastoral understanding of the pressures and burdens people have to bear, not to judge. The divine impulse is always towards acceptance, mercy and love. There is nothing wrong with having rules, every family, church, organization, community, school, and society have rules. The key is to keep the rules in perspective. When our adherence to the rules keeps us from extending acceptance, mercy and love then we need to reevaluate for fear of becoming self-righteous. The Pharisees thought the way to enter God’s kingdom was by keeping a lot of rules, not only the rules God gave to Moses in the Old Testament, but also many rules the Pharisees and religious leaders had added to the law over the course of many, many, many years.  Jesus was trying to cut through it all and bring them back to the source; love. We still need this message today, just as we talked a few weeks ago about who are the lepers of our current day, who are the tax collectors that we look on with disdain or as morally inferior? People with body piercings? People experiencing homelessness? People from a different religion? The elderly in nursing homes? People with tattoos? The addicted? People who don’t speak our language? People who work in sanitary maintenance? Immigrants? The list goes on.  When we take pride in our own righteous behavior, it is very easy to look down on others. Jesus is calling us to humbly open our heart today and see the value and worth in those around us. Being humble doesn’t mean we hide or minimize our God-given gifts, talents or resources. It means we honor others by sharing them for the benefit and goodness of God. Opening the heart is a life-long process. We progress one moment, one person, and one issue at a time. We can take a quick measure by looking at our focus. Is it one focused on God and others? Or, is it focused on self?


Music as Prayer (Bis orat qui bene cantat)

A greater entrance into the prayer of the Liturgy is achieved by being familiar with the music. In particular, the Psalm functions best as a meditation on the readings when we know it well and the mechanics of singing it do not consume too much of our focus. Similarly, with the individual parts of the Mass Settings (the sung acclamations)

Psalm – YouTube link:
Psalm 34: The Cry of the Poor – John Foley,  #33

Not in Hymnal – YouTube link:
What a Gift to Be Gathered – Marty Haugen

Mass Setting – YouTube link:
Mass of Joy and Peace – Tony Alonso

Preface Dialog – YouTube link:
Traditional Chant – ICEL

Our Father – Fr. Paveglio & Corpus Christi:
Traditional Chant – ICEL

Mass PartNumber (if present) and Title in the Gather hymnal
Gathering Song:What A Gift to be Gathered – Marty Haugen (not in hymnal)
Gloria:Mass of Joy and Peace
Psalm:#33 The Cry of the Poor
Gospel Acclamation:Mass of Joy and Peace
Prayers of the Faithful:Spoken
Preparation of Gifts:#586 Amazing Grace
Eucharistic Acclamations:Mass of Joy and Peace
Lamb of God:Mass of Joy and Peace
Communion: #636 Blest Are They
Closing: #555 Lead Me, Guide Me

The Worship Calendar:

 

Nearby: St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church  (clustered with Corpus Christi)