Vol: 46, No.41 16TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR ( C) July 21 2019  
In today’s first reading God visits Abraham and promises him a son. Abraham is resting in his tent and sees three men in front of him. These men are messengers from God. Abraham’s concern for his guests is a model of oriental hospitality, a trait expected of all God’s people. When Abraham asks the angelic messengers if he can serve them a meal they give their consent. Having been served a grand meal by Abraham, the guests dominate the scene by their questions, all of them about Sarah. The result is that they impart to him a gift of far greater value–announcing the coming birth of his long hoped for son by his beloved wife. But Abraham is not convinced for he falls on his face and laughs. He wonders if at the age of one hundred years he would still be able to father a child. He says to God that Sarah is also advanced in years. But God reiterates his promise and says that Sarah will indeed bear a son and he is to be called Isaac.
Just as Abraham laughs, Sarah also laughs. The messengers of God sternly correct her. Sarah eventually gives birth to the son of the promise.
What does Paul mean by saying that in his body he completes what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ? On the face of it, Paul seems to say that Christ’s suffering is insufficient and so Paul is completing it. But this goes against the basic NT teaching that Christ has accomplished the reconciliation between God and humankind through his suffering and death and that he has not left anything partially done or incomplete. Hence, the correct meaning should be something different. Completing what is lacking in Christ’s suffering points to the need of
suffering required for the growth of the Church. This once again reminds that Christians as they live their lives will have to undergo suffering. Through the sufferings he endures in his own flesh, Paul contributes to the sum total, to what is still lacking.

After the story of the Good Samaritan, the Lucan travel account calls the reader’s attention to Jesus’ progress on his journey towards Jerusalem by relating a visit in a certain village to Martha and Mary (Lk 10:38-42). In the preceding episode there has been a contrast between the Samaritan and the Jewish priest and the Levite; in this one the contrast is seen between the reactions of Martha, the perfect host, and Mary, the perfect disciple.
The episode makes listening to the “Word” the “one thing” needed. Priority is given to the hearing of the word coming from Jesus over preoccupation with all other concerns. Martha wants to honour Jesus with an elaborate meal, but Jesus reminds her that it is more important to listen to what he has to say. The proper service to Jesus is attention to his instruction, not an elaborate provision for his physical needs.
Moreover, Luke in this scene does not hesitate to depict a woman as a disciple sitting at Jesus’ feet. On the heels of the Good Samaritan episode, this one emphasizes the listening to the word of Jesus, something that goes far beyond love of one’s neighbour. Martha’s service is not repudiated by him, but he stresses that its elaborate thrust may be misplaced. A service that bypasses the Word is one that will never have lasting character. Listening to Jesus’ word is the lasting “good” that will not be taken away from the listener.
– AK
JuLY 2019

(16th Week in O.T., Year I)

Psalter Week 4
22 Mon (W) St Mary Magdalene, Exod 14:5-18/ Exod 15:1-6/ Jn 20:1-2, 11-18
23 Tue (G) St Bridget of Sweden, Exod 14:21–15:1/ Exod 15:8-10, 12, 17/ Mt 12:46-50
24 Wed (G) Exod 16:1-5, 9-15/ Ps 78:18-19, 23-28/ Mt 13:1-9
25 Thu (R) St James, A Feast, 2 Cor 4:7-15/ Ps 126:1-6/ Mt 20:20-28
26 Fri (W) Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Virgin Mary,
Exod 20:1-17/ Ps 19:8-11/ Mt 13:18-23
27 Sat (G) Exod 24:3-8/ Ps 50:1-2, 5-6, 14-15/ Mt 13:24-30
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